This DIY Paint From Dried-Out Markers Is Genius

A smart way to upcycle markers.

This DIY Paint From Dried-Out Markers is a Genius Way to Upcycle

Stop throwing out those dried-up, capless markers because we just discovered a genius use for them. You can make your own DIY paint!

Yes, it actually works—really well, we might add. Plus, it’s so so easy to do in just three easy steps. Check out this video for more info on how, and then read on for the instructions.

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What You Need

Collect and group markers.

You are going to want to group your markers by color so you end up with a nice, rich single color. DO NOT mix your colors unless that’s what you’re going for. In fact, this could be a good lesson in color mixing for student. But if you’re looking for red, stick to grouping all red markers.

Also, it’s best to stick with all washable markers for a washable paint as an end result. Place all your markers upside-down in a jar. We used plastic jars like these, but you could repurpose glass jars, too.


Add water.


Don’t overfill your jar, but do put enough in to cover all the tips of the markers. We recommend letting the markers sit in the water for at least 24 hours, but you can do more or less time, too. This is another good science experiment and learning opportunity for students. Compare markers that have been sitting a day to ones that were in a jar for a week or more.

Remove markers.

After you’re happy with the color, remove the markers. Then cap your jars or fill spray bottles like these with your paint. The paint should be ready to use right away. And as long as you used washable markers, it should be easy clean-up. Voila! They’re ready for painting and spraying!

Would you try making DIY paint? Come and share in our WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook.

Plus, how to print on Post-Its.

This DIY Paint From Dried-Out Markers is Genius