Skip to main content

Serving Southern Arizona Since 2003
Call (520) 406-5900

The Writing on the Wall: Cleaning Pencil Marks from Walls

We all love creative, witty, and imaginative child drawings. Apart from that, art is known to help child development. So, when raising a little art genius, it can be hard to distinguish where the art starts and where it finishes. The fact is that sometimes it can end up on your fine and clean walls.

Though you can take a moment to appreciate the talent, the second one is already a strategy-developing moment on how to get pencil off walls without taking paint off!

Breathe in deeply, good news is on the way. There are ways to get those nice and clean walls back into shape. Keep on reading, and you’ll find out several ways on how to clean pencil off walls, and we’ll even throw in the BEST way to remove pencil from wall

Pencil Marks on the Wall: Can You Clean Them?

We all love when kids express themselves, especially parents. But seeing your walls turned into a canvas covered in markings of different shapes may cause discomfort, especially if you’ve spent hundreds of dollars on a fine paint job.

So, how to clean pencil off wall? There are various ways to make your walls pretty again. Although repainting walls (over and over again) may provide the best results, there are multiple ways to clean them from pencil marks. 

The solution can range from a basic homemade baking soda paste cleaner or hairspray to a magic eraser and rubbing alcohol solution. In addition, if you go for repainting, it can be challenging to pull a DIY because of color matching and even paint distribution. All of these methods should be carried out properly, with a lot of care to limit wall damage and other potential issues.

We’ll discuss all these methods and questions in a second. But first, let’s start with why pencil marks are so difficult to clean off a wall. 

Why Are Pencil Marks So Persistent?

Pencil marks on walls tend to be stubborn, and the longer they are there, the more persistent and difficult it is to clean them. Another point is the marks’ depth, which can also influence the cleaning process. 

Having said that, if the pencil marks affect a larger area of your walls, that will pose an additional issue and make it more difficult to clean effectively. Of course, the risk of smudging the marks and making them even worse exists. If you have already tried something, you know that another big problem is the wall may start to peel off while trying to clean the pencil off them. 

Need help on how to get pencil off walls without taking paint off? We got you! Read on to learn some helpful tricks for cleaning pencil marks off walls without damaging them.

How to Clean Pencil Off Wall: The Essential Guide

The big question is, how to clean pencil off wall? Below are three cost-effective and suitable ways to clean the pencil off your walls. 

Some methods explained here will require some arm work, but they achieve results. They may have varying degrees of success depending on the marks’ depth, how long they’ve been on the wall, and the kind of wall coating.

The Eraser 

This is a very straightforward way how to get rid of pencil marks on wall, which may almost come as a surprise. Use a rubber eraser to clean pencil marks from your walls. Note that when erasing pencil marks, you should use a new eraser because using an old one could spread more graphite tracks as you wipe across the painted wall. 

To keep the paint on the wall from peeling off, rub the pencil mark slowly and gently. Also, an art gum eraser can do a similar job and be found at most art supply stores. The trick is to be patient with this method. Use a good-quality eraser for better results. 

Dish soap mix

Using a mild dish soap mixed with water can remove pencil marks. Mix warm water and a few drops of dish soap in a bowl, and use a clean cloth to remove pencil marks gently. The second step is to wipe it with clean water and then let it air dry. 

One useful tip is testing the mixture on a small corner of the wall. If the wall paint or wallpaper is fine, continue; if not, switch to a different method.

Baking Soda

How to erase pencil from wall if the eraser and dish soup mix don’t work? Turn to the most versatile home cleaning ingredient – baking soda! To effectively remove pencil marks from your walls, scrub softly with baking soda paste. 

To make the paste, you need to combine 1/2 tbsp (14 g) of baking soda and 1 tbsp (15 mL) of water. Again, it is important to use a clean cloth with this method. After gently rubbing the paste, wipe it off. 

Bear in mind that baking soda is mildly abrasive, so it can damage paint or wallpaper. Perform this method only if your walls are washable. You may want to test the technique on a small patch before going in big.

Other Techniques to Use

Here are a few other techniques we singled out for you to try:

  • Toothpaste technique: Let the applied toothpaste react for 15 minutes and then wipe it with a cloth. 
  • Rubbing alcohol technique: Alcohol works well to get rid of pencil marks. For this technique, dampen a dry cloth with alcohol before rubbing it over the affected area.
  • Hairspray technique: Hairspray the area loosely, then wipe with a fresh cloth. 
  • Nail polish remover technique: Apply nail polish remover to a Q-tip and gently rub the pencil marks. 
  • Magic eraser technique: Try to wipe out pencil marks with a magic eraser.

The Best Way to Remove Pencil from Wall

Ultimately, even though we went through various techniques on how to clean pencil off wall, the best results are achieved by painting over those persistent pencil marks. Repainting will completely remove the pencil marks, freshen up your walls and elevate your living space. That’s why this method is probably the best way to remove pencil from wall

Repainting can be done in two ways, depending on your willingness to commit to the project. You can go for a DIY job and go the extra mile, or make your life easier and call on a professional painting service

DIY Steps to Repaint Your Walls 

One way how to get pencil off walls without taking paint off, is to apply a new coat of paint. Firstly, it’s of utmost importance to ensure that the color matches the existing one precisely, so you need to make sure of this before purchasing it. The most difficult step is to match the right colors. Otherwise, the new color will stand out, and not in a good way. 

The second step is to sand the area where the pencil marks are. Sand very lightly; you don’t want to get too deep inside the wall. Then, apply primer, and once it’s set, add a fresh coat of paint over it. Be careful to apply the paint evenly. That is how to get rid of pencil marks on wall DIY repaint style.

Call up a professional

Hiring a professional painting service might be a better option if the pencil marks are deep or affect a large wall area. If you smudge or make the pencil marks even worse by improperly applying home cleaning methods, this will be your best way out. 

The biggest advantage to calling a professional and experienced commercial painting service is you don’t have to worry about using the wrong color or applying the paint evenly. If you are facing these issues, contact AA Brite and schedule a painting date in no time. Don’t wait! Those pencil marks can only get worse.   

Cleaning Pencil Marks: It Can Be Done

Whatever you set your eye on while reading this article as the right option for you on how to clean pencil off walls, the important thing is that it can be done! You should stop worrying right away and start cleaning. On the other hand, if you decide that repainting is your best wall savior, get to work, or get your phone and call up a professional! Life is good when you have options! 


Do pencil stains come out?

Yes, they do. May require some work, but you can clean your walls in several ways. Be careful not to damage the walls while cleaning.

What cleaner removes pencil?

You can try a clean rubber eraser, dish soup mix, baking soda, and toothpaste, and here is an additional one. Car owners already have WD-40 spray. You can also use this to remove pencils from walls. The graphite in the pencil marks is removed with oil and alcohol found in a WD-40. 

Does alcohol remove pencil?

Yes, it does. Rubbing alcohol is an effective way of removing pencil marks off a wall surface. 

AA Brite 24/7 Logo

Get a Quote for Roofing or Painting Today!
Call (520) 406-5900