How to Remove Permanent Marker from Wood

May 5, 2012 2:22 pm 0 comments

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Raising children is a war, and in war there’s sure to be collateral damage. Case in point: this DIY-daddy’s thousand-dollar dining table, which carried the mark of a little devil before it was cleaned off with a nifty household trick. The home improvement experts at Stack Exchange have the answer(s).

Photo by Stack Exchange.

Question:

I have a 3-year-old daughter. I left a black permanent marker out. The rest is history, and it seems to be, well, permanent.

See the image to the right. The top circled area shows one mark. The bottom circle shows what happened when my wife tried to scrub another mark off. Now it’s permanently scuffed.

See here for a full description of the table we’re working with.

Please help!

Tom (originally asked here)

Answer: Use Isopropyl Alcohol (Or Booze)

Permanent marker can often be removed with isopropyl alcohol. First, assuming you still have the markers, try using isopropyl alcohol to remove it from a test surface. If it works, then try on the underside of your table to ensure it does not damage the finish. If it is safe, then go for it.

Comment by a few other ways to remove graffiti.

Answered by Steven

Answer: Power Sand

If your furniture is unsealed, the ink has likely permeated into the grain. In the end, it might come down to getting out the power sander.

Answered by DA01

Accepted Answer: I Figured It Out (Toothpaste)

Thanks everyone! Before I could even read any suggestions, my wife went ahead and tried using toothpaste over the mark and it has removed it well enough. Go figure. I don’t even know where she found that idea, I don’t like taking gambles like that, but it worked. We’ll leave the scuff mark, for now.

Answered by Tom


Think you know how to erase permanent marker from wood? Leave your suggestion in the comments or submit it at Stack Exchange, an expert knowledge exchange on diverse topics from software programming to cycling to scientific skepticism. 

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