Refilling Your Markers – Tutorial

Everyone has their own way to refill a marker.  I thought I would explain to you my process.  For those that have been doing this for a while you would think simple right?!  Well for those just starting out it is a very scary endeavor.  Let’s start with the basics.  I recommend you practice using the Blender marker or a light color to refill as it could be messy until you are comfortable.

Question: “how do I tell when a marker needs to be refilled”
Answer:  There are many ways to tell, here are just a few.

If I am coloring, and it seems like I am fighting to get it to blend, I stop and check the marker.
Look at the Chisel nib (a nib is the tip of the marker that holds the ink and you color with…just sayin’).  Does it visibly lose it color while coloring?  You will see the color in the nib lighten to a very faint shade of the color you are using.

Is the Chisel nib looking fuzzy?  You might have to look really closely to see it.

If the answer is yes to either of these (usually both) then I then take a look at the chisel tip.

Does the Chisel nib look inconsistent in color?  If yes, then next step isn’t necessary but I do it anyways.

Test the Chisel nib, this will tell you just how dry your marker is and help determine how many drops I use.

To test I simply draw a quick 3-4 inch line using the broad edge of the chisel tip on scrap paper.  If it looks like this the BINGO!, your marker needs to be refilled.

Question:  “how do I refill my marker”

  1. Working over an absorbent surface such as a paper towel or napkin
  2. Remove the lid of the chisel end of the marker
  3. Using my fingers I pull out the Chisel nib and set aside (or use the Copic nib tweezers)
  4. Remove the cap off the brush tip end.
  5. Verify the color of the marker with the color of the Various Ink refill bottle but checking side of marker label as well as the color on the lid (except on Ciao).
  6. TWIST off the Various Ink top and verify that it still matches the marker color  (trust me on this…its like the measure twice, cut once idea).  ***DO NOT SQUEEZE BOTTLE WHEN TWISTING OFF CAP!!
  7. Hold the marker in your left hand with opening facing upwards. (if you are left handed switch to other hand)
  8. With a steady hand (little late to tell you to hold off on drinking that pot of coffee), hold the refill in your other hand slightly above the open end of the marker with the tip facing down hovering over the opening about 1/2″ away.
  9. Gently squeeze the refill bottle and count the drops as they drip into open marker end.
  10. Replace cap on Various ink
  11. Put Chisel nib back into marker facing same direction as shown on side of marker for best inside contact
  12. Recap both ends of marker


Step 8 and 9
Step 11

When I refill a SKETCH marker, if it is just starting to appear dry,  I will put about 40 drops of Various ink to start with.  The reason I remove the Brush nib CAP is to help equalize the internal marker pressure.  (When I am in a hurry I don’t bother).  You are also able to see if you are overfilling as it will start to drip out the brush end.  If this happens you will need to get some excess ink out of the marker.  See instruction below.

***If you had to change out the Brush nib due to damage, expect to add extra ink into your marker.  I add at least 10 extra drops.  Watch the ink fill the nib.  If it is not filling the nib then you will add some more drops until it appears juicy but not dripping.

Question:  “how do I remove excess ink from my marker”

  1. Uncap both ends of the marker
  2. Using the side of the marker tip, daub Brush tip carefully onto a paper towel until it stops flowing out of tip of marker
  3. Or scribble off excess onto scrap paper
I hope this helped get you started.  Don’t be scared…just don’t try it over your project you are working on and it will all be ok!
Photo Disclaimer…When I was trying to take photos one handed, while the other hand was trying to hold the marker and refill AND drop drops into the end, holding both at the same time, while looking through the camera lens I did miss the end of the opening of the marker a few or more times times ha ha….AND if that wasn’t funny enough…I was filling with an almost empty refill…I thought it was empty at least….THEN I SQUEEZED!
All I could do was laugh…maybe I need to practice with a lighter color for a while 🙂
Happy New Year!!
Jennifer Dove


10 thoughts on “Refilling Your Markers – Tutorial

  1. 🙂
    Love the green fingers !!!!
    It's also sticky when you spill some refill on your fingers our marker.
    I'm always scared I will put too much refill in my marker, had no idea I could put so many drops in ! Normaly I refill on the other tip because I don't use that one and I never remove the chisel nib, is it better ?
    Thanks !

  2. Thanks!!! For an awesome tutorial! I haven't had to do this yet, but I'm sure I will need to sooner or later. I have pinned your post so I can find it again easily. One question: from where do you purchase your refill ink? Thanks again!

  3. I really don't want to do this myself. I'm too old. Can I hire you again to do them? When I was in Beaumont Calif. the scrap booking lady
    Would take all my markers and charge me $100.00 do do all of them that were needed. How about you?

  4. You're too funny! How come this the first time I've heard "40" drops? Happy New Year to you and your beautiful family!!
    Love ya like a

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