My pen won't work - how to prime a chalk/paint pen.

If you're new to chalk pens or paint pens you may not realise that they need priming before they will work. This needs to be done so the ink inside the reservoir of the pen, where it is sealed away to stop it drying out can move to the nib of the pen.

The best way of doing this is to shake the pen well for at least 10 seconds with the lid on, making sure you can hear the mixing balls inside the pen rattle as it mixes the liquid with the pigment as sometimes the pigment can separate and settle in the pen. If you don't hear the mixing balls rattle, tap the bottom end (opposite end to the nib) of the pen on a hard surface because the balls might have got stuck in the pigment sediment and then shake for at least 10 seconds.

Next, remove the lid and push the nib down for 10 seconds on a scrap piece of paper. Once ink appears on your paper you know it is fully primed. If after 10 seconds nothing has appeared, pop the lid back on and shake again for 10 seconds, remove the lid and push the nib down again for 10 seconds or until you can see ink. You may need to do this a few times if you have a particularly stubborn pen. You can also pull out the nib to inspect it to see if the ink is starting to come through.

Waterproof - Non Waterproof.

As you can probably guess, the main difference between these 2 versions of pens is the waterproof pens have ink inside designed to withstand contact with water such as rain so are suitable for outdoor use and normally need special chalkboard cleaner to remove them. The non waterproof pens, sometimes also called interior pens can be more easily removed with water so are only suitable for indoor use.

Porous - Non Porous.

You see a lot of mentions on our website about chalk pens being only suitable for non porous surfaces so what exactly does that mean?
A porous surface is a surface that has lots of tiny microscopic holes or pores.

Porous surface

When chalk pens are used on a porous surface the ink can gets trapped inside these holes and can not been removed which leaves stains or a 'ghosting' effect when you try to remove the ink. However specialist chalkboard cleaners like the ones we sell can help remove these stains.

Some blackboards/chalkboards are painted with porous paint so are not compatible with chalk pens however easichalk chalkboards and Rainbow chalkboard paint have been specially designed to be used with chalk pens and provide a non porous surface to write on.

Chalk Pen or Chalk Marker?

Some manufacturers call their chalk writing instruments pens and some markers - whats the difference?
We had to do some research ourselves to find out the difference and discovered that both words are interchangeable and it is perfectly acceptable to also use marker pen to describe them. Wikipedia describes a marker as a pen that has it's own ink source and a tip made of pressed fibres such as felt.