When using paint markers, shake up the barrel to remix the paint after it settles, press down on the tip to initiate the flow of paint, and replace the cap tightly after using it. Use and maintain paint markers properly to extend their life with information from an art store general manager in this free video on art supplies.
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The question is, how to use paint markers. Most paint markers come with paint in the barrel and a non-charged empty tip. So when you pickup a paint marker, generally you don't take of the cap and start drawing, nothing will happen. Most paint markers, and I do say most, because some are different, which I will explain, but most paint markers are just like a can of paint and have to be shook and mixed well, patience is important here. Shake the pen well. And after you have it mixed thoroughly, what you want to do is take this tip, which is like spring loaded tip, and pump it gently once. You'll notice nothing comes out, but paint is starting to work the way down the porous tip. Now again, you need to be patient, you don't want to over pump it, because paint will come flooding out and then you'll have a mess. This is not a regular marker, this is a paint marker. So again, I'm going to pump it again, the tip is starting to get covered with yellow, but it's still not coming out yet, so I'm going to go one more time, and I do have paint. Now I have paint fully charged in here. this empty porous tip, just like a brush without any paint in it is now full of paint, now it's okay to go ahead and write with it. And that's pretty much the rule for starting a paint pen. The best thing to do with the paint pen after you're done, put the cap on, make sure you snap it on well and just leave it stored that way. When you go to use it again, just understand you have a paintbrush like tip that will have paint in it and you need to start working that way, but that's the way to start a paint marker. Some paint markers, mostly the kids paint markers, which are not as versatile, but still have many great characteristics, are already charged with the paint in the tip, and you just have to start drawing. But most paint markers on the market today, especially the oil-based, solvent-based ones have to be shook and charged in the tip like I just demonstrated.