Learn the basic methods of refilling your Copic Markers: Ciao, Sketch, Classic, or Wide. Marianne Walker has worked with Copic markers for over 15 years and provides her expert advice.
How to know when it’s time to refill.
Test both ends of the marker. The biggest hint that it’s time to refill is when using the chisel end you see streaks. On the brush end you’ll need to refill when the ink has a harder time reaching the tip of the brush. If one end is dry but the other is juicy you may think your marker is fine, but it’s not. It still needs to be refilled.
Over time, if you find it difficult to evenly soak your paper or blend with some colors then you probably need to refill. You’ll have to refill your favorite colors sooner than you think. Some things to consider before you refill:
- Work over a protected surface. A thick paper plate, pie tin, or a stack of old newspapers make a great barrier for spills.
- Make sure your refill color matches the marker. This is an easy mistake to make.
- Have everything ready before you start, including your clean-up supplies. Keep a bottle of rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol) or hand-sanitizer and some paper towels for clean up.
The Refill cap unscrews. Don’t try to pull it straight off like a marker lid, and whatever you do, don’t squeeze the bottle while unscrewing it. You’re bound to make a mess. Unscrew it over your protected surface.
5.. Refill from the chisel end of the marker.
Give yourself plenty of time to refill. Accidents happen when you get distracted or in a rush.
Amount of Ink to addEach little mark on the side of a bottle of ink is 1 cc. These numbers will slightly underfill your marker, but it’s better to underfill than overfill.
- Ciao- add 1 to 1.5 cc’s
- Sketch- 2 cc’s
- Copic 2-3 cc’s
- Wide 3-4 cc’s
Click to Download the How to Refill Copic Markers Guide
Sketch, Copic and Ciao - Drip and Dab
This is the most direct method of refilling. Using the dropper built into the various ink bottle simply drip/dab drops of ink onto the chisel nib of your marker. Touch the very tip of the ink bottle to the tip of the marker. To refill a marker it takes about 20-30 drops of ink. Let each drop get sucked in before you add the next drop.
Remove Nib and Fill
This method is much faster than Drip and Dab. With your tweezers pull the chisel tip out from your marker. Take the cap off the other side of the marker (this helps to avoid getting air bubbles and allows the ink to seep in better). Carefully pour in the ink. Don’t squeeze too quickly since it’s easy to misjudge how much ink you’re adding. When you’re done, put the nib back in and put both caps back on. Let your marker sit for a moment so the ink evenly distributes within the marker.
Refilling with the Booster Needle
Refilling markers with the Copic Booster needle is the most accurate and quick. Attach the Booster over the built-in dropper on a bottle of various ink. Then insert this into your marker, squeeze gently until you’ve added the correct amount of ink. Copic original Markers If you look at the chisel end you will see a little gap between the nib and the plastic barrel. The booster needle fits down into that gap and easily fills the marker. As the needle enters the marker you will feel some slight resistance- this is where it is meeting the sponge reservoir inside. You don’t need to jam the needle all the way until it stops, just until you feel the slight resistance.
Sketch or Ciao Markers
You will need to remove the chisel nib to refill with the booster. Push it in until you feel some resistance, then look at the ink level so you can tell how much you need to add. Gently squeeze until you’ve added the correct amount for your marker type. When pulling the needle out of the marker do so at an angle so the ink doesn’t dribble down the side of the needle.
Also, be careful not to squeeze while you are removing the needle. Cleaning out the booster needle An easy way to clean the needle is to put it into a small cup and add a little rubbing alcohol to rinse it in. Another easy way to clean it is to take an empty various ink bottle, fill it with rubbing alcohol, and squirt it through the needle until the juice flows clear. Either way, be sure that the whole needle is clean inside and out, and the base is clean.
Using the booster with different colors You don’t need a different needle for each marker color, but you do need to clean out the needle really well between different colors. If I need to fill a pale blue marker and a dark blue marker, Do the light color first, then rather than clean out the needle you can get away with using it directly with the darker blue ink. However, when switching color families rinse out your booster well to make sure you will not contaminate your marker.
Refilling Wide Markers
Touch the dropper to the wide nib by resting it in the groove built into the barrel. Gently squeeze to add ink. If you want, you can pull out the wide nib and drip ink down into the gaping barrel instead.