What I love about using a chalk marker is how smooth the writing looks.
|This is chalkboard vinyl with chalk marker writing.|
In comparison to using regular chalk, you have more control over the size of your writing. Chalk markers are very easy to use and really don't cost very much. The price per marker is comparable to a paint marker. I also like that they don't erase as easily as regular chalk does. So when you're using them for something like labeling a child's closet you don't have to worry about the writing being erased by little fingers.
In addition you don't have to deal with chalk dust. Although, there are two sides to every coin, and this "erasability issue" will also be covered under the ugly section as well. More on that in a bit.
Lastly, if stored properly they will have lasting power making the small expense very worthwhile. Store them horizontally and make sure the cap is on tightly. I've used my white marker a ton and it still has a long life left!
Really the only bad thing is the fact that they are hard to find. In my town I have only ever found them at Hob Lob and only sold in sets of four. They come packaged - white, blue, red, and black. I have never used any other color than white. You can buy them separately online, but I feel silly buying an item that is less than $2 online.
That is probably just my own weird personal issue though. Anyhow, I really wish you could buy the white ones separately and that they were available at more stores.
Going back to the "erasability issue" I have to say that these markers just don't erase as well as regular chalk does. Although even regular chalk can leave a film, all you need to do is use a damp cloth to wipe that film off completely. When you are using chalk markers simply wiping the surface down with a damp cloth will not do the trick. I have noticed that the longer the chalk marker stays on, the harder it is to erase. Here's a personal example.
These chalkboard shutters sat propped up on my potting bench all summer long.
The writing stayed perfectly in tact even being outside and exposed to the elements. These shutters are in a covered area but they would still get a little rain on them. The writing wasn't phased at all. I pulled them down to erase our Summer list and write down our Fall list. This is what wiping them down with a wet cloth looked like.
Not quite erased they looked like an ugly, hot mess. So I used a little bit of soap (just a mild hand soap) on a sponge and gave them a good scrubbing.
This erased the writing. I used the green abrasive side of the sponge and a little of the chalkboard paint came off.
I'm fine with this because I like the worn look out here. In addition, if I want to freshen the chalkboard surface sometime in the future (which I probably won't) I'll just add a fresh coat of chalkboard paint. They look just fine. If I was using regular chalk than anytime we had any rain at all my list would be washed away. So, the marker may be a bit harder to remove when I want to erase my list, but I don't have to keep writing my list over again every time it rains. Sometimes you just have to take the good with the ugly. In the case of my chalkboard shutters out on my potting bench I can definitely deal.
When it comes to using the chalk markers on chalkboard vinyl. Erasing is a bit easier. You will still need to do something more than simply wiping with a damp cloth. I have found that acetone (nail polish remover) works quite well to remove the chalk marker. Also a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser will magically erase chalk marker too. (I couldn't resist!) I would not recommend using the acetone or Mr. Clean Magic Eraser on your painted chalkboard surfaces only on your chalkboard vinyl surfaces. I honestly don't know what acetone would do to your paint job, but I don't think it sounds like a good idea. I have always felt like the Magic Eraser is best used on light colored painted surfaces. Anytime I've ever used them on a darker paint color they have left a little white residue.
So there you go. That is my take on the good, the bad, and the ugly of using chalk markers.
In a nutshell-
1. I recommend using them on surfaces where you want the writing to stick around for awhile. Using them for labeling.......
or for projects you don't plan to erase very often are your best choices.
2. For areas you want to erase with ease use regular chalk.
3. To erase chalk marker from painted chalkboard finishes use a mild soap and water on a soft lint-free cloth or sponge. (Don't use the abrasive side of the sponge unless you want the paint to come off too!)
4. To erase chalk marker from chalkboard vinyl use acetone or a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser.
No go forth and chalk up the world!
What is your experience with chalk markers? Any special tips for usage? Have you found them sold separately in any stores? Have you tried any other brands? Let's swap chalk marker stories!
*Linking up at Tutorials and Tips Tuesday at Home Stories A to Z