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Removable Markers: Ink vs. Liquid Paint for Temporary Marking

Removable Markers: Ink vs. Liquid Paint for Temporary Marking

Do you believe all removable markers are the same? It may surprise you to find out that they're not. Removable markers are versatile and different from other types of markers in both composition and usage. Read on to find out the differences between ink versus liquid paint when it comes to the removable marker and what type could be the right choice for your temporary application. 


 Types of Markers

There are three types of markers to choose from in industrial marking: solid paint markers (crayons), ink-based markers and liquid paint markers. Each type has advantages and disadvantages that can make one marker more ideal for a specific application over another. Solid paint markers are the longest lasting and most durable which make them harder to remove than temporary inks or paints. Inks have the fastest dry time, yet the fewest colors. Liquid paints have the most vibrant and broadest amount of colors, but have longer dry times than inks, and are the most expensive of the three types. This article focuses on the differences of ink versus paint markers. Further details about the differences between the three types are discussed more in-depth in the article “Quality Doesn’t Have to Leave a Mark”.


Considerations for Selecting Temporary Markers

Surfaces type and surface quality are primary considerations when choosing a temporary industrial marker. Whether it’s ink or paint temporary markers, surface types for temporary markers are typically made of solid, non-porous metal, iron, steel, aluminum, glass, ceramics or plastic. Non-porous materials ensure that the inks or paints don’t absorb into the surface so no residual marks, commonly referred to as ghosting, are left after removal. Porous surfaces absorb inks, dyes and paints, effectively trapping them inside the material where removal is more difficult and ghosting occurs. Not every temporary marker will mark well on all of these surfaces so noting manufacturer recommendations for surface marking and characteristics of the marker is important.


surface type versus surface quality banner


Surface quality should be made of clean, dry material.  In most cases, surface quality should also be non-painted and un-treated, however some temporary markers are made to accommodate these qualities as well.

Other factors that should be included in consideration are:

  • the width of the mark needed
  • marker priming (valve-actuated vs standard)
  • the marker tip (chisel vs bullet)
  • marking durability (shorter lasting and washes off with water or longer lasting and washes off with detergent)
  • mark visibility
  • colors available and the marking base (pigment/dye-based inks or water-based paint)

    Test marks should always be performed before heavy use to ensure end results are as intended.


    Where Temporary Marking is Used

    Usage of temporary marking lies mainly in the automotive market (manufacturing, work-in-process identification, part re-work items, inspection and witness marks, coding, quality-control, inventory, finishing) and after-market (dealers, auctions, rentals, repair shops, junk yards) followed by construction, fabrication, shops and even - although not categorized as industrial - restaurants. Have you ever snapped a photo of hand-drawn window art or advertising? 


    hand-drawn window ad with temporary liquid paint marker


    You can probably think of many more places you've seen or applications you believe would benefit from temporary marking.


    Select the Right Marking Tool

    Markal® has been the leading manufacturer of industrial marking tools and provider of solutions for industrial applications for over 85 years. Below is a comparison chart of Markal® temporary ink vs temporary paint markers to help you choose the right marker for your application.

    Markal Temporary Ink vs Temporary Liquid Paint Markers


    See a full comparison chart of Markal® temporary ink vs. temporary liquid paint markers.

    Whether you’re writing on metal, glass, plastic or ceramics, there is a Markal® removable marker that is available for your application. Situations for these markers can vary, however these durable industrial markers are up for the challenge with quality marking that lasts as long as you need them and removes easily when you don’t. Which removable marker from Markal® would you use and for what application?  


    We’d love to see what you’re working on! Show us your mark of work using our products on social media by tagging us and using #themarkofwork. You may be the next feature on our social channels.

    LA-CO Industries, Inc. takes pride in supporting the hardworking contractors and workers that build the world’s greatest bridges, ships, automobiles, aircraft, homes, office towers, power plants and many other engineering marvels.

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