Social Question

Seaofclouds's avatar

Does anyone have suggestions for getting marker off painted walls?

Asked by Seaofclouds (22622 points ) 2 months ago

My three-year-old decided to decorate our plain white walls in the living room yesterday. We now have his beautiful artwork in black permanent (laundry) marker all over two walls. We have taken pictures to keep the memory, but need to get it off the walls. If I remember correctly, the paint is a semi-gloss.

So far I have tried the Mr. Clean Magic Erasers. It is working, but very slowly and stripping the paint with it. We are already planning to repaint the wall (they are still white from when we moved in), but we’d like to get the marker off as much as possible before we paint.

Does anyone have a better idea or suggestion for getting the marker off the walls?

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36 Answers

Dutchess_III's avatar

Just…paint over it? If it wants to bleed through, try putting a layer of Kilz on first.

Pictures please before you remove it!

dappled_leaves's avatar

Prime, then paint. I wouldn’t even bother with the erasers.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I would second the first two answers. I have a Dremel tool that will do some amazing things, but I think that would take some or a lot of paint off, even with the softest brush that would get the marker off.

shego's avatar

Was it a permanent marker that was used to mark the wall? If it was and you have some vodka, you can use that to wipe it off the wall

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@shego Without harming the paint?

shego's avatar

yeah, just pour a little on a soft cloth, and then lightly rub the mark until it comes off.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Two GA’s. I learned something highly useful today. Thanks. We have a three year old in the family.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@shego It was permanent and I do have vodka. Going to try that now!

Thank you everyone. We are planning to paint eventually. We just aren’t sure when we’ll have the time to do it.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I have a story to tell about kids writing on walls but I can’t because this is in the General Section… :(...

Dutchess_III's avatar

If the vodka doesn’t work, try rubbing alcohol or vinegar.

Seaofclouds's avatar

Sorry @Dutchess_III. I wanted to make sure I got some answers because it’s a lot of wall to clean marker from… we’re talking approximately 12’ x 3’ of drawing. The vodka worked about as well as the Magic Eraser.

Dutchess_III's avatar

12 X 3??? In FEET? That’s a lotta drawing! Can you post a picture?

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I’d like to see a picture too. That’s an impressive amount of work for a three year old. I look around for other ideas.

muppetish's avatar

[mod says] This question has been moved to Social at the OP’s request!

CWOTUS's avatar

You’ll need to use whatever solvent is in your marker. Depending on the marker, you may be able to google the basic ingredients. For example, here’s what’s in a Sharpie™ marker.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@muppetish LOL!

One time, while subbing in a class room, I accidentally wrote on what I thought was a dry erase board that turned out to be an expensive interactive white board…and the marker I used was a permanent marker, not a dry erase marker! I was in a panic. Not knowing what else to do, I grabbed the hand sanitizer off of the teacher’s desk…and to my relief, it worked. Slowly, but it worked. wipes sweat off my brow.

dappled_leaves's avatar

After repeated use, vodka will fade the marks on the walls… but perhaps not in the way that you tried.

At best, any attempt to remove the marker will slightly dull the colour, and possibly create unevenness in your paint (which you’re about to build on). There’s little point in trying to take it off. Just cover it with new paint.

Seaofclouds's avatar

Here is the picture of his artwork. I had to take a panoramic shot because it spans across the room.

The vodka probably would have been okay to dull it for a fresh coat of paint, but I’d hate to waste that much Grey Goose.

dappled_leaves's avatar

The next John Lennon!

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Wow. I’d give them an A for effort.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Wow. I see some dinosaurs and some trees and a water fall and a ginormous lady bug getting ready to jump on a fairy. And a snake. (That’s a cool corner, btw. Is the rest of your house that cool?)

Man o man. Guess you better get ready to paint. Honestly, it looks like it would be more work to try and scrub it off than it would to paint.

Seaofclouds's avatar

Yeah, the scrubbing was horrible. I’ve given up. I told my husband if he wants the marker gone before we paint, he can sand it down.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Oh, that’ll look good!
Just put a coat of KILZ over it. Lot less work than sanding. And believe you me, it works. When we moved into our rental, the room I wanted for my son had been painted by Satan worshipers or something. It was a hideous, dark purplish color, and they painted EVERYthing…the doors the door knobs, the light switches, the base board. Regular paint did almost nothing to cover it up. So I KILZ it!

Dutchess_III's avatar

Oh! In that picture, to the far left…I see a King, like that Fluther King we see when a user has left the building, with his hand in the right pocket of his robe!

shego's avatar

you have a wonderful artist on your hands. If you use the proper primer, it will not show from underneath the paint. But I do have an idea, where your 3 year old can draw on the walls without damaging them. Go to an art and get a roll of paper that is about 3–4 ft. wide or 110cm wide and put in the wall. My mother used to do this because I use to draw on the walls.

Dutchess_III's avatar

When my daughter was about 3 I had taught her to write her name, CORY. She couldn’t read, didn’t know her letters, but knew that these symbols had something to do with her.

Walked in the living room one day to see CORY scrawled on the wall in crayon. I said, “Cory! Come here!”
She came scampering and I said, “We don’t write on walls! We write on paper!”
She looked at her art work, then back at me, and with amazement in her big brown eyes she said, “How did chu know it wuss me?”

I had to go to the bathroom so I wouldn’t undo the whole discipline thing!

hearkat's avatar

You could try rubbing alcohol instead of vodka. Alcohol tends to break up inks well – like Dutchess’ hand sanitizer – but if the surface is porous rather than smooth glass, it won’t work as well.

majorrich's avatar

My wife says wallpaper would do wonders.

snowberry's avatar

I’ve done it many times. Dip a wet finger in baking soda, and rub away on your wall. You can also use a sponge, but I prefer my finger because it seems to work better for me. Baking soda is crystalline and dissolves instantly in water. It NEVER scratched anything that I’ve used it on.

It’s easiest to remove marker if it isn’t too old. You can also use Mr Clean Eraser, but baking soda is cheaper.

Edit: Also keep in mind that the marker may have dyed the paint underneath, in which case nothing’s likely to take it out.

iluak's avatar

I’m not sure if this is to be used on walls, but my mom uses the spray on sunscreen or hairspray.

snowberry's avatar

@iluak Spray-on sunscreen will dissolve the wax on a tile floor, so it might dissolve the ink in indelible marker. It would be best to try it on an inconspicuous place first. My reasoning is that there are different kinds of paint- oil and water based. It would be a tragedy if it ended up making the problem worse.

Ash_Soliatire21's avatar

Maybe you should try the magic eraser. It looks like a sponge, but performs well than the latter. It needs no soap and scrubbing effort to get rid of the dirt and permanent marks on the wall. All you need is to dip it with water and voila, your problems are also scrubbed and wiped away along with the marks. I learned this DIY technique in a blog article from Snappy Canvas.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Ash_Soliatire21…in the details the OP said she’s tried the Magic Eraser. It takes the paint off.

snowberry's avatar

Yep. Mr. Clean Eraser will damage some surfaces, while BAKING SODA never has (in my experience), unless the surface is easily damaged with water or by rubbing in the first place.

Seaofclouds's avatar

We decided we are going to paint over it (Killz and then a new color). Now just to decide on the color. Thanks again everyone!

Dutchess_III's avatar

Pictures when it’s done!

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