Ways to Remove Permanent Markers from a Wall before You PaintPermanent markers, such as Sharpies, can be your best friend or your worst enemy – depending on how you look at it.  If you are interested in repainting a wall in your home but need to get rid of the permanent marker splattered on it, there are easy ways to do so.  Fortunately, most of these methods are simple, fast, and require items you likely have in your household already.

The Old Standby—WD-40

First off, WD-40 contains numerous chemicals, so precautions need to be made, such as the proper ventilation.  Place an old rag underneath the mark itself so that the WD-40 doesn’t stain the wall below it, then spray the WD-40 directly on the mark. Afterwards, clean the area with a clean, dry rag, then clean it with mild soap and water to get rid of the chemicals so the area can be smooth and clean before you paint.

Baking Soda

Using the abrasive side of a kitchen sponge, apply baking soda on the mark and scrub the area using circular motions.  Keep applying the baking soda and scrubbing it until the mark goes away, then use the softer side of the sponge to remove any grit left behind by the other side of the sponge.

Rubbing Alcohol Also Works

Rubbing alcohol (as well as nail polish remover, hand sanitizer, or hairspray) works wonders on permanent marker stains.  Test a small section first, because different types of paint produce different results when introduced to these chemicals.  If the results are positive, pour the product on a cotton ball and either blot it on the mark or scrub in a circular motion.  With this method, it may take a few cleanings to remove the mark completely, but once you’re done, you can clean the area with mild soap and water then allow to dry before you paint.


With this method, the best type of toothpaste to use is a cheap, white toothpaste—do not use a gel product.  Spread the toothpaste over the mark, then let it sit for about 10 minutes. Afterwards, the mark should be gone, and you can wipe it with a soft, dry cloth using a circular motion.  Finally, clean the area with a damp cloth, allow to dry, and you are ready to paint!

Painting over the Mark

If the area containing the permanent marker is a large area, the above methods may be ineffective, and in this case you may have to simply paint over the mark with basic white paint.  Just like painting an entire wall, you should pay attention to the instructions on the paint can, and don’t forget to let the paint dry completely before starting your project.

Getting rid of permanent marks on your wall doesn’t have to be complex, and if you are interested in additional methods, the best thing to do is consult the Internet.  There are dozens of simple, effective products that can remove permanent markers from your walls, and the best part is, the products are inexpensive and easy to find, meaning it is also inexpensive and easy to get rid of the marks on your walls.