How to Get Crayon, Pen & Marker Off of Walls

Kids bring all kinds of joy to life, but they also introduce some unique and stress-inducing messes. One, in particular, being writing on your clean walls. There is nothing that catches your eye quite like a random bold smudge of color! And although beautiful in its own childish right, we understand that it’s not a piece of artwork you plan on framing. Today, we’re sharing how to get cray, pen, and marker off of your walls, without damaging the paint. Plus, tips on how to prevent permanent staining or discoloration.

Before You Get Started

Removing a child’s wall art is not for the faint of heart! It takes some surprisingly simple products, but a whole lot of elbow grease. So we recommend mentally preparing for a whole lot of scrubbing or investing in a tool that will do it for you. Additionally, don’t jump straight at the unsightly marks. You must test any products, especially chemicals, on a discreet portion of the wall first. Otherwise, you run the risk of causing more unattractive damage.

Household Tricks to Clean Marks Off Your Walls

Some of the best ways to remove marks from your walls are already tucked away in your cabinets! Try out one of these popular household tricks for removing crayons, markers, and pens!

  • Baking Soda – Apply a small portion to a soft, damp cloth and gently scrub. It has the perfect amount of grit to remove crayon, without scuffing up your wall. After you are done, wipe the wall down and allow it to dry.
  • Magic Eraser – If you don’t already own a magic eraser, then you will after this! A soft piece of melamine foam with a cleaning agent, they are a highly rated product that makes removing dirt and grime a breeze. To use it, just wet it a little (wring it out) and gently scrub the wall. 
  • Baby Wipes – Ideal for water-based inks, like washable markers, baby wipes are a popular choice amongst moms. But a warning! Baby wipes can smudge color and cause staining. DO NOT WIPE, BLOT ONLY!
  • Toothpaste – You read that right! Non-gel toothpaste can be applied to a mark and wiped off after a short period to remove some marks. Some claim that it works best in combination with baking soda. Just don’t scrub too harshly.
  • A hairdryer – Especially useful for crayons, the heat from a hairdryer will help make waxes melt and easier to clean. Once warmed, simply use a damp cloth with mild soap to wash it off.
  • Rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol) – To remove the ballpoint pen and magic marker ink, apply rubbing alcohol to a damp cloth. Then gently dab the marks until they disappear, before wiping them down with a clean cloth.

Can’t Remove the Marks?

Unfortunately, it happens. Some marks are simply too tough to remove and will have to be covered instead. If you’re tempted to swipe on a quick coat of paint, however, stop! You can not paint directly over crayons, pen, or markers. These can bleed through the paint over time and will come back to haunt you. Instead, apply a coat of primer and allow it to dry completely, before spot painting.

Create More Room for Creativity

If your child has a habit of drawing on your walls, it might be time to stop fighting their creativity. Instead, give them a specific area to draw via chalkboard paint. Applied like regular paint, over a primer, chalkboard paint can be applied to a small area or an entire room. It can even be used on cabinetry and other flat surfaces. If you choose to go this route, consider letting your little one take part in the painting process. This will help them better understand what the area is for and establish clear boundaries. In the end, you’ll deal with a lot more messes, without hindering your child’s desire to draw.

Protect Your Walls

Once you’ve fully relished the chore of removing a child’s art from your walls, you won’t want to do it again. Luckily, there are a few steps you can take to make this unfortunate circumstance less painful in the future. Namely, stain-resistant paint. While we can’t prevent kiddos from going to town on your walls, we can make the clean-up much easier. Stain-resistant paints have a higher sheen, think satin, semi-gloss, or gloss. This type of paint helps to seal surfaces, making them less porous, and therefore easier to clean in the event of a mess. If you plan on painting again soon, opt for this type of paint. If you do not plan on painting any time soon, you can invest in a topcoat or sealer. Versus putting it in any and every room in your house, just cover the areas where your kids may be left unsupervised. Like a playroom, basement, or their bedrooms.

Need help adding a new color or an additional layer of protection to your walls? At Helix Painting, our team consists of caring, passionate, service-oriented professionals, who strive to make your interior painting experience easy and low-stress. Learn more about our interior painting services here, or request a free estimate to get started!