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Chalk Markers vs. Regular Chalk: What’s the Difference?

You know when you go to your favorite coffee shop and are left in awe of the beautiful, eye-catching artwork on the chalkboard out front? Chances are the artist used chalk markers rather than traditional chalk sticks.

Chalk markers are a great way to add a stunning contrast to your chalkboard sign, whether it be for your business or as a part of your home decor. So how do chalk markers differ from regular chalk, and what do you need to know before using them? Let’s take a deeper look.

Chalk Markers vs. Regular Chalk: What's the Difference?

What are Chalk Markers?

The difference between regular chalk and chalk markers is similar to that between markers and pencil crayons. Regular chalk sticks offer a dry, powdery texture whereas chalk markers consist of an inky liquid. Chalk markers are brighter than traditional chalk due to the highly concentrated pigment in the ink.

Why Use Chalk Markers?

There are numerous benefits to using chalk markers. In addition to the pigmentation mentioned previously, chalk markers are also dust-free, longer lasting, and more versatile.

With regular chalk you are limited to the confines of your chalkboard or chalkboard painted areas. With a chalk marker, you can write on glass, plastic, and even metal.

As chalk markers use ink rather than powder, your lines with be smoother and sharper than they would be when using regular chalk.

What Are the Cons of Chalk Markers?

Some brands of chalk markers can be difficult to remove from the surface, especially if you mistakenly use a porous surface to make your masterpiece. High-quality brands like Versachalk can be removed easily with a clean, damp cloth.

If you do use a lower quality chalk marker and struggle to remove the ink from the surface of your canvas, you can use Windex, nail polish remover or a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser to get the job done.

When shopping for chalk markers, be sure you buy ones that have quick-drying ink. Nothing is more frustrating than meticulously outlining your letters and accidentally smudging the ink with your hand.

When to Use Regular Chalk

Regular chalk still has merit as a crafting tool. If you desire a smudged effect in your work or plan on drawing feathers, misty mountains or Christmas light stencils, regular chalk is the right tool for the job. Regular chalk is also more kid friendly and a great medium to use for warm summer days playing hopscotch and creating driveway masterpieces. Some crafters prefer the more traditional, rustic look of regular chalk.

What Else Should I Know?

When you are purchasing chalk markers, you’ll want to have a project in mind. You can purchase any color of chalk marker, including a more traditional white ink, bold colors, neons, or even metallics. If you’re planning on creating a spring sign for your garden, chances are you’ll want different colors than you would use for a holiday present in the winter.

You’ll also want to play around with the different tip options. Like regular markers, chalk markers come in chisel tips, broad tips, and fine tips to offer varying line effects. Each type has its benefits and challenges, so don’t be afraid to experiment to find out what works for you.

Mastering Chalk Marker Lettering

As with any skill, mastering chalk marker lettering will take time, practice, and a creative mind. Start by printing and tracing different typefaces you want to use then try with only lined paper rather than traceable. Focus on drawing the letters rather than writing them. Get comfortable with the effects different tips will have on your stroke and swap them accordingly. Try holding the marker in different ways to see what feels best.

If you make mistakes, don’t fret. Simply erase the problem area and try again. With dedication, you’ll no longer be in awe of the chalkboard sign at the local coffee shop. You’ll be creating your own!

Michelle Cantu is a digital influencer who built a thriving community dedicated to supporting parents and inspiring moms to stretch their dollar. Michelle homeschools her 4 kids and lives right outside of San Antonio, Texas.

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