How to Remove Pencil Marks From Painted Walls (Pen and Crayons, Too)

When the writing's on the wall, you better hope that it's pencil scribbles. Pencil lead is designed to be erasable. But even if an eraser doesn't take pencil marks off your painted wall, don't panic — we offer a variety of options that will. And for a bonus, we'll even show you how to remove pen and crayon marks, because we're nice like that. (Moms and dads, you might want to bookmark this page, if you know what we mean.)

How to Remove Pencil Marks

If you discover pencil marks on your wall, the word that first comes to mind should be "erase." While pencils usually come topped with an eraser, different and more effective types of erasers are available (more info below). If that alone doesn't do the trick, you can also try using mildly gritty substances to remove the lead marks without damaging the paint job.

Remember to erase gently, not crisscrossing the pencil mark but working from one end of the mark to the other. Try these techniques, in this order, until the marks are gone.

  • Rub gently with a pencil eraser.
  • Rub gently with an art gum eraser.
  • Rub gently with a suede stone.
  • Wet a corner of a melamine-foam eraser and rub the pencil mark with it.
  • Wet the corner of a soft cloth, dip it in baking soda, then rub it along the mark.
  • Put a little regular white toothpaste on the mark, then rub it with a dry, soft cloth.
  • Use a mark-erasing product like Mr. Clean Magic Eraser or use WD-40 sprayed on a clean rag.
  • Try dry cleaning solvent (find it in the grocery store in the cleaning aisle) on a clean cloth.

How to Remove Pen Marks

Unlike pencils, pen ink is not as easy to erase, especially permanent ink. So if that line on your painted wall is in ink, try one of these remedies. You may have to repeat the process more than once to get the mark off completely.

  • Spray the area generously with hairspray, then wipe with a clean cloth.
  • Dip a Q-tip in nail polish remover and rub the mark lightly from end to end.
  • Apply toothpaste, allow to sit for 15 minutes, then wipe with a cloth.
  • Use a commercial product like Mr. Clean Magic Eraser.

How to Remove Crayon Marks

Crayon marks on walls are usually "designs" made by kids. And although your child may be an artistic genius, they've got to go. So, you can try any of the ink-mark remedies listed above. But first, try these crayon-specific ideas.

  • Spread mayonnaise on the area, let it soak in, then wipe the area with a clean towel.
  • Heat up the crayon marks with a hair dryer until the wax melts a little, then wipe off with a cloth and dish soap.
  • Spray WD-40 on a paper towel and wipe off the spot.