I found some pigment water-based chalkboard markers. They handle like traditional marker felts, but produce brilliant opaque colour on black. In this case, I’ve used baby food jars with lids spray-painted matte black. They don’t smudge, but can be washed off with water and a soft cloth.
We have a huge drawer of spices in baby food jars, but their paper labels are now greasy and all the same yellowy-white colour, so we always have trouble finding the right jars. Alphabetizing the drawer was not a sustainable strategy.
So this is the new approach. I think colour-coding the lettering according to the item contained within will help. Herbs will be green, mustardy and gingery things ochre yellow, curry and turmeric orange, darker spicy things brown, salt and garlic powder white.
I love these chalkboard markers. If I were a teenager all over again I would teach myself hand lettering and drawing with these implements and contract out my skills as a café board artist. I think it would be the perfect part-time college job.