Choosing the Right Touch-Up Marker

September 16, 2019

Choosing the Right Touch-Up Marker

Mohawk Consumer Products manufactures several types of touch up markers so you can repair a large variation in finish types. This can make it confusing so it's important to evaluate your finish and situation so you can pick the right marker.

Ultra® Mark Markers are pigment markers that are available in stain colors but with much lower pigment levels than a paint marker. They will stain wood with a similar look to the original finish without covering the view of the wood.

Our pigmented Ultra® Mark Markers range from opaque to semi-transparent stain colors. Colors in the white families will be more opaque while stain colors with wood tone names are more transparent.

 Sept. 19_Ultra Mark

These are valve type markers that contain pigment color that will settle, so they must be shaken to re-mix the pigments to maintain their intended color. This type of marker has a valve behind the tip that must be activated to allow the material to flow through for application. The material behind the valve remains in a chamber where it can be mixed prior to use. This arrangement doesn't allow for continuous flow like that of a capillary marker which wicks out fluid as long as the tip demands it and until it's depleted.

 Sept. 19_Ultra Mark 2

Pigment stains contain color particles, an oil or water-based carrier and a binder that hold them onto the wood. Pigment particles are larger than dyes and tend to remain on the surface of the wood and can provide more hiding or coverage.

Pro-Mark® Markers contain dye colors which don't settle out of the marker fluid. For this reason, they can flow through a capillary process so there's no mixing or valve to worry with. A real advantage of continuous flow is the ability to color long table edges which are prone to wear without stopping to replenish the tip. You can't beat a Pro-Mark® for ease of use and convenience when it fits your application. TIP: Because the Pro-Mark® Markers are gravity fed, it is recommended to store them lying down.

Sept. 19_Pro Mark


Dyes are transparent and won't hide the wood features. If a finish was colored with dye originally then a dye would be appropriate for touch up as well. In many cases a dye is sufficient for repair on a pigmented finish as well. Dye colored stains contain colorant and a solvent carrier such as alcohol, oil or water. Dye particles are much smaller than pigments allowing them to penetrate into the wood coloring from within. Dye stains provide excellent clarity. Since the dyes do penetrate more freely into raw wood and they can go darker than expected in cross grain scratches which can catch you off guard.

Ultimately, test your marker out to ensure the color matches before beginning your repair. The right color can make the difference between a flawless repair and a DIY disaster. 


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