How to Keep Furniture From Smudging Walls

Hunker may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story.

Things You'll Need

  • Self-adhesive furniture bumpers

  • Non-slip furniture mats

  • Shears

  • Area rugs

  • Textured rug backing (optional)

  • Furniture brackets with hardware

  • Wall anchors (optional)

  • Drill with various bits

  • Decorative chair rail moulding


Position seating at least 24 inches away from walls and maintain a 4- to 6-inch distance between bookcases, entertainment units or similar pieces and the wall.

Paint with a sheen or gloss resists smudges from furniture better than paint with a flat finish.

Area rugs soften hardwood floors while keeping heavy furniture in place.
Image Credit: hikesterson/iStock/Getty Images
See More Photos

When furniture makes contact with a wall, smudging can occur, either because the dye or finish of the furniture transfers to the wall or the friction caused scuffs in the wall paint. Various methods prevent the smudges from occurring, such as keeping the furniture in place or at a safe distance from the walls. Clean existing marks with soapy water or oil soap. If cleaning causes a variation in sheen or alters the color, touch up the area with leftover paint utilizing a stippling motion, rather than strokes, for a seamless finish.


Video of the Day

Step 1

Secure clear plastic bumpers to the backs of chairs in your dining and living room as well as the kitchen. Typically made of silicone or rubber with a sticky adhesive backing, these products are most effective when installed on the widest point of the back of a chair, usually the upper portion of the back rest.


Step 2

Position non-slip furniture mats underneath tables, seating and bookcases to prevent shifting. Cut each mat to size before placing them under the furniture. These small, indiscernible mats prevent movement, especially in spaces with hardwood or tile flooring.

Step 3

Arrange area rugs underneath furniture near walls, using the carpet's pile to keep furniture in place. Situate the rugs so that the entire furniture is resting on top of the carpet or so that the front legs sit on the rug. Depending on the rug's construction, you may need to place a rubberized carpet mat underneath to prevent the rug itself from shifting.


Step 4

Secure bookcases, dressers and armoires to the wall with furniture brackets or straps, installing the brackets or hardware directly on a wall stud or with wall anchors. This immobilizes the piece, making it impossible for it to rub against or bump into the wall. In homes with young children, this also prevents tall pieces from toppling over. Furniture brackets replace smudging with holes in the wall, and some products require holes in the back of the furniture as well. If you want to move the piece in the future, you will need to patch the drywall.


Step 5

Install chair rail around the perimeter of the room. This decorative architectural feature acts as a bumper between furniture and the wall. Install the moulding one-third of the way up the wall or 32 to 36 inches above the floor; for the best protection, choose an installation point slightly lower than the shortest piece of furniture.