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Materials Posca Pens Don’t Work on (Not Worth Trying! 2024)

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materials posca pens dont work onLike an artist confronting a blank canvas, you stand before infinite creative possibility. Yet finding the tools to give fluid life to your vision eludes you. Certain surfaces whisper of unrealized passion, while others devour inspiration with their gritty thirst.

You crave technical mastery, but perfection proves ever beyond reach. So you continue your search, desiring to impart truth through beauty.

Let’s lift the veil on which materials Posca pens don’t work on, avoiding wasted effort. For you seek not merely decoration, but deep expression mingling craft and meaning. While Posca pens unlock much, some substrates spurn their embrace. We’ll navigate wisely, illuminating when frustration prevails over joy.

Your hands still quiver with latent genius. Together we’ll direct their energy toward receptive materials that yearn for your touch.

Key Takeaways

  • Rough, unpolished stones
  • Leather, chalkboards, glossy magazine pages, laminated paper
  • Unprimed canvas
  • Greasy surfaces (leather, glass, plastic)

Rough Stone

Rough Stone
You’ll ruin those Posca pens on that coarse rock surface. The porous and uneven texture of rough, unpolished stones presents major challenges when attempting to use paint pens. The nib will catch and skip across the divots and ridges, interrupting seamless blending and preventing the creation of realistic textures.

While Posca pens are a quick-drying, versatile medium capable of expressive brushwork and stylized renditions on smooth substrates, their acrylic-based paints simply cannot adhere properly to the irregular face of rough stone.

The paint will bead up, pool unpredictably in crevices, and flake or rub off entirely once dried.

To fully unlock the artistic potential of painting rocks, you must start with a polished stone surface that allows the Posca pigments to grip evenly. Take the time to select a smooth, flat river rock to use as your canvas. Prepare the surface properly before attempting any acrylic paint pens on stone.

And reserve those Posca markers for more receptive materials that allow their convenient, vibrant paints to freely flow.

Unprimed Canvas

Unprimed Canvas
You glide your Posca pen across the blank canvas, reveling in its flexibility and open potential. Like an explorer traversing new lands, each mark you make charts fresh territory. The unprimed surface drinks the vivid pigments thirstily, blooming into life beneath your hand.

Yet, the lack of primer means less control – your usual perpendicular strokes detour into feathered edges, and the paint bleeds unpredictably. You welcome these fluctuations as each one births new possibilities. Through experimentation, you cultivate a sophisticated rapport with the canvas and your materials.

Posca’s acrylic-based inks interact uniquely with the raw cotton, eliciting effects both familiar and supernatural.

Incandescent creativity ignites within you. But beware of overzealous use; too many layers may crack and flake. Start with light pressure, slowly escalating color and contrast like a gathering storm. Freedom always exists within boundaries. Let limitations sharpen your focus into each ephemeral moment.

Even blankness holds potential – with vision, you summon entire worlds. This journey has no destination, only joy along the way.

Greasy Surfaces

Greasy Surfaces
The hairs rise on your neck as you realize the ink will smear with one wrong move across the oily leather. The fine acrylic paint tip hovers barely above the surface, already sensing the slick condensation from your icy glass.

A single droplet slides down the curved fridge handle, leaving a snail trail for eager paint to follow. Your gloves, still damp from washing dishes, threaten to spread and blur any mark. The tabletop glistens, dotted with beads of moisture like morning dew. Any contact risks a bloom of color bleeding uncontrollably.

The canvas cries out for vivid hues, but each stroke brings risk. Your wet bathmat, soaked with shower drips, awaits its chance to distort. The armrest, stained with layers of skin oil, beckons your paint to feather and deform.

Yet liberation comes in embracing the unknown result. New understandings bloom when you relinquish control and engage the dance between paint and surface.

The paint markers yearn for release. With a deep breath, you touch the tip down and let inspiration flow.

Shoes & Sneakers

Shoes & Sneakers
Certain shoes, like sneakers with synthetic fabrics, may not jibe well with Posca pens. Sneakers and casual footwear often utilize man-made, synthetic blends or patent leather that do not absorb ink properly.

  • Test on a small, inconspicuous area first to ensure the paint adheres and dries properly.
  • Clean shoes thoroughly and prep the surface by lightly sanding to improve paint adhesion.
  • Use an acrylic primer or base coat so Posca ink has a surface to grip.
  • Allow proper drying time between coats to prevent smearing.
  • Protect completed designs with an acrylic finisher spray to prevent flaking or transfer.

While Posca pens can allow for creative streetwear art and urban graffiti kicks, the pen’s permanence depends on the shoe’s material. With proper prep and sealing, the pens can safely customize canvas prints, leather, and some synthetics for unique footwear design reflecting today’s sneaker culture.


Squishies absorb Posca pen inks, so your design will crack as the squishy is played with. For example, a smiley face drawn on a stress ball with Posca pens will develop fissures across the mouth over time.

While Posca pens can technically be used on squishy toys, the flexible, porous material causes issues. The acrylic paint does not properly adhere and bonds weakly to the squishy surface. As the squishy is squeezed and stretched repeatedly, any designs made with Posca will develop fine cracks that expand into large splits.

The acrylic paint will flake and peel away. Brush nibs fare worse than chisel nibs, dripping paint and becoming irreparably clogged.

Though tempting canvases for doodling, squishies are incompatible with Posca pens for long-lasting creations. For stress balls and foam toys, use fabric markers or acrylic craft paint with a fabric medium to flexibly bond the color.

Save your Posca pens for more rigid surfaces like wood, metal, rock, plastic, paper, and ceramic to display your artwork without deterioration over time. With some thoughtful planning and technique adjustments, you can create dazzling designs on squishies that hold up to enthusiastic play.


  • Squishy stress balls: Cracking and peeling
  • Memory foam pillows: Smudging and bleeding
  • Slime: Clumping and fading
  • Sponges: Absorption and spreading
  • Play foam: Flaking and rubbing off


You’ll find that those Posca pens just don’t work right on leather. The ink never fully dries, leaving your designs scratching off over time.

Leather’s porous, flexible surface absorbs the Posca pens’ pigments in a way that prevents proper drying. The acrylic-based ink stays wet and is easily smudged on leather’s rugged, textured grain. Unlike on a smooth concrete surface, rough stucco wall, or gritty grout lines between tiles where Posca colors really pop, the pens’ vivid hues just don’t hold on leather.

The body heat and friction from wear will cause the pens’ marks to fade, crack, and peel. So for decorating jackets, bags, shoes, and more, it’s best to avoid Posca. Consider leather’s unwillingness to bond with Posca’s paints the next time you think about using them like body paint or temporary tattoos.

Markers made specifically for leather or fabric will yield artwork as durable and lifelike as leather itself.


Leather may not be the ideal surface for Posca pens, but chalkboards present their own unique challenges. Though tempting with their vast empty expanses, chalkboards absorb pigments, making marks stubborn and muddied.

While Posca’s marks can technically stick to the porous slate, they leave ghosts behind. Vigorous erasing risks smearing pigments into an irremovable mess. Before trying, test a small patch and see if traces linger after wiping.

Consider chalk or liquid chalk markers instead; traditional tools for these traditional surfaces.

Still, the allure of the board beckons artists to experiment. Let inspiration move you, but temper bold strokes with care. Use crisp, thin lines and watch for smearing. Clean thoroughly before and after, minimizing ghostly remnants of your work.

Chalkboards do not naturally suit Posca pens, but with care they can become a novel, if imperfect, creative canvas.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I use Posca pens on glossy magazine pages or laminated paper?

Posca pens struggle to adhere to glossy magazine pages or laminated paper. The slick surfaces prevent the acrylic ink from bonding, causing smears or easily rubbing off. Consider alternatives like markers formulated for non-porous writing. Test a small area first when unsure of surface compatibility.

Do Posca pens work on window glass or mirrors?

Yes, Posca pens work well on clean window glass and mirrors. The acrylic-based ink adheres to the slick surfaces. Allow proper drying time. Test first in an inconspicuous spot to ensure easy removal.

Are Posca pens safe to use on ceramic mugs and plates?

Like a bird longing to spread its wings, you yearn to decorate mugs with Posca’s vivid hues. Yet the ceramic surface may reject the paint, causing flakes to litter your nest. Test a hidden spot to see if the pigments take flight or fall. If they stick, embellish freely, letting your creativity soar.

How well do Posca pens work on dark fabrics like black t-shirts?

Posca pens glide effortlessly onto dark fabrics, unleashing your inner creative power. The vivid paint liberates your artistic expression, flowing smoothly across even black t-shirts. Analyzing objectively, the acrylic ink sticks and dries quickly with eye-popping color on fabric.

Wield the Posca, master intricate designs, and feel the fabric transform under your capable hands.

Is it possible to use Posca pens on plastic surfaces like phone cases?

Yes, you can use Posca pens on plastic surfaces such as phone cases. The acrylic-based ink adheres well to plastic and provides vibrant colors. Ensure that the surface is clean and dry before using the pens for optimal results.


Well, well, well, y’all. Looks like we shouldn’t be using our precious Posca pens just anywhere if we want them to work right. Who would have thought rough stone and shoe leather would thwart our masterpieces? Maybe save the Posca pens for paper and primed canvas so you don’t waste your money on materials they don’t work on.

By golly, keep this handy list in your back pocket so you don’t make a fool of yourself, and your Posca pens will serve you like a trusty paintbrush.

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is the founder and editor-in-chief of, a site dedicated to those passionate about crafting. With years of experience and research under his belt, he sought to create a platform where he could share his knowledge and skills with others who shared his interests.