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How Long Do POSCA Pens Last? – Detailed Answered

Written by Robert S. Brown / Fact checked by Helen B. Harris

how long do posca pens last

How long do posca pens last depends on the range and on how often it is being used. Generally, after opening, it can last up to 2 years, provided they are stored properly.

When it comes to quality, POSCA pens are among the few paint pens that are known for their premium nibs and versatility, as you can use POSCA markers on different applications.

Now let’s get into the details to find out more.

How Long Do POSCA Markers Last?


One big factor that affects how long these POSCA markers last as ink content varies per barrel size, and the amount of ink dispensed varies per tip type.

The POSCA range has eight different tips in 5 different shapes. For great coverage, use PC-17K, which has the biggest tip in rectangular XXL size, or use PC-1MR if you need more precision.

The POSCA range also includes a brush tip (PCF-350), broad chisel tip (PC-8K), fine tip (PC-1MC), and 3 types of bullet tips (PC-3M / PC-5M / PC-7M).

As for lasting in terms of usage, that largely depends on what type of user you are, the frequency, and how extensive the painting work or project you are doing.

With regular usage, a POSCA pen could last more than 6 weeks, but if you are working on a massive project with a heavy ink requirement, the ink could run out sooner.

And to give a real picture of how much ink it has, a POSCA pen in the PC-5M range can fill in about 8 ½ pages of standard marker paper.

Overall, POSCA pens are highly pigmented and can easily get the job done with one coat. They do not easily fade, and each ink barrel is filled with a substantial ink amount. No wonder they top most of the best paint pens and markers lists all over the internet, making them more in demand.

Do POSCA Pens Dry Out Fast?


POSCA pens ink is made with water-based acrylic paint, thus, they dry out slowly as compared to alcohol-based pens and markers.

But, regardless of its base and formulation, drying out still is a factor in how you store your pens. For example, if you leave them open and uncapped when they’re not in use, they would definitely dry out fast even though they are water-based compared to if unopened.

How Do You Make POSCA Pens Last Longer?


The key to a long-lasting POSCA pen is proper storage.

  • Store them away from any source of heat or direct sunlight. Extreme changes in environmental conditions can affect the quality of the ink.
  • Always keep the cap tightly closed upon storage or when it is not in use.
  • For brush tips, always store them on their side or in a horizontal position. Other tip types can be stored vertically with tips facing down.

In addition, here’s how you can protect and seal POSCA pens art according to the intended surface to make it last longer.

To fix POSCA marker artwork on wood, paper, plastic, metal, mineral or rock, canvas, glass, and ceramics you can use a spray-type water-based varnish and apply at least 2 coats.

Heating is another option to fix POSCA marker art on ceramics and porcelain. For ceramics, heat settings are at 220° while you can set it at 160° for porcelains and heat for less than 45 minutes.

To make POSCA marker art permanent on fabric, textiles, and skins, apply heat by ironing the reverse side or using a hair dryer for items unsuitable for ironing. Using greaseproof paper is advisable.

Frequently Asked Questions


How should POSCA pens be stored?

POSCA pens have a metal ball inside that aids the remixing process. For POSCA markers, they can be stored horizontally or vertically but make sure to keep them tightly closed with the caps on.

However, POSCA recommends storing pens and markers with brush tips horizontally, with caps tightly closed.

Do Posca pens have refills?

No, all POSCA pens are not refillable at the moment. But, if you find your POSCA pen not working, try to revive it or try replacing the tip if it’s damaged.

However, since you can unscrew the barrel, there are other options to refill posca pens that you might want to try.

  • Refill it with water to rehydrate the dried ink left inside the barrel.
  • Use high-flow acrylic refill or mix the acrylic paint of your choice with water.

Do note to remember the position of the inner parts and return it to the same position as the metal ball.

How do you revive a Posca pen?

First, check if your POSCA pens tip.

  • If it is PC-3M and PC-5M type, then it’s reversible.
  • If your pen tip is either PC-1MC, PC-7M, PC-8K, or PC-17K, it’s removable.

Gently remove it and soak the dried-out tips in water to loosen the dried ink. Clean and remove the dried paint by rubbing it between your thumb.

Insert it back and re-saturate it by pushing the tip on a piece of paper repeatedly until the fresh ink is loaded.

Don’t worry if the tip is not removable or reversible. You can still revive it by directly soaking the tip in the water.

How to initiate POSCA pens?

  • With caps closed, shake your POSCA pen vigorously in up and down motion. This will help the ball mix and activate the paint inside.
  • Get a piece of paper. Open the cap and press the nib into the paper until the nib is saturated with the paint.
  • Test the nibs by making a few lines. Your pen is ready to paint if it’s already producing solid lines.
  • If ink starts to fade, shake with the cap on and press down again as needed.

Is it okay to fly with posca pens? Are POSCA paint pens flammable?

Yes, you can bring them with you when you travel via plane since they only contain water-based acrylic paint, so they are not considered flammable.

Are POSCA pens waterproof? Will POSCA pens wash off plastic?

Yes, once it’s dried it is already waterproof and could be permanent on porous surfaces and some plastics.

Although POSCA pens are waterproof, applying them on nonporous surfaces such as glass and metal could be different. It could crack over time that’s why sealing with varnish, or fixative is recommended.

Also, note that spraying varnish or fixative is applicable for non-food items only.

How long will it take for POSCA pen paint to dry?

They dry really fast. However, how long POSCA pens take to dry differs per surface type. Smooth surfaces need more drying time than applications made on porous surfaces.

The thickness of the application could matter. Thinner runs would take approximately less than 20 minutes to dry.

The thicker the application, the longer drying time is needed. It would be safe to wait for 1 to 2 hours before putting on another layer.

A good indication that the paint is still wet is when it looks reflective and shiny; when it’s already dry, the surface becomes matte and unreflective.

Can POSCA pens be used outdoors?

Yes, you can absolutely use POSCA pens outdoors, but it is highly recommended to use a protective coating such as water-based aerosol varnish to make the paint last longer.


POSCA pens are nothing but lovable. They can be used on a lot of different surfaces and stuff. Durable and waterproof too, but note that some smooth surfaces need sealing.

Keep in mind that spraying varnish is applicable for non-food items only.

Moreover, how long do POSCA pens last depends on a lot of factors such as usage, type, and, most importantly, how you take care of them and store them when they are not in use.

So, follow our three key points on properly storing them so you can enjoy your POSCA pens and markers longer.

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