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How to Get Pencil Off Walls: Tried and True Tricks Using Household Items


get pencil markings off wall hd

As a parent, I love it when my kids express themselves. 

It’s seeing my walls covered in markings of all shapes and colors that makes me cringe.

I didn’t want to spend hundreds of dollars painting entire walls or putting up wallpaper. 

So, I decided I’d look for a cost-effective, practical solution.

I finally found several ‘how to get pencil off walls’ techniques. 

Some required more arm power than others. Still, they all did a terrific job!

Today, I’m going to share with you everything I learned. 

Try them out and, should be able to restore your walls to their former glory.

How Does Wall Pencil Graffiti Happen Anyway?

hand drawing

Children learn and grow through creativity. 

Part of it is making the most of whatever means they can get their hands on.

If you have young children at home, you probably know what I’m talking about. 

This is a natural phase that almost every kid goes through.

Sometimes those pencil markings aren’t the kids’ fault at all. 

Maybe you got carried away drawing frame outlines and you’re looking for a quick way to remove them.

Here’s the truth:

Whether it’s “lead” (graphite in today’s age!) pencils or colored pencils, hiding those unsightly scribbles is easier than you think. 

You won’t need to do anything drastic, like getting new wallpaper. 

Nor will your wall be needing a fresh coat of paint.

Can I Just Erase the Pencil Marks from the Wall?

erase pencil on wall

Ok, something obvious…

In many instances, you can just use an eraser! 

That’s right, gum erasers can easily wipe off both graphite and colored pencil markings from walls. 

It may take a few tries, but you’ll get there.

Unfortunately, there will be times when an eraser just won’t cut it. 

This could be due to multiple reasons. 

One is when the pencil markings land on high-gloss painted walls.

The eraser approach isn’t as effective here because the slickness of the wall doesn’t allow the eraser to grab and pull the pencil material off.

Or, say, your kid went out and did a number on the walls and covered areas whose distances you could measure only stretching out your hands as wide as they go…

Then an eraser won’t be enough. 

Neither will they work on those heavy-duty kinds of pencils that don’t rub off easily.

What about Household Cleaners Then?

So, when erasers don’t work, we go to plan B: household cleaners. 

Mild abrasives also do a good job. 

Just remember to be gentle when you use them on the walls. 

Rubbing too hard may scratch off the paint or damage the wall coverings.

Ok, now my official list of remedies!

5 Quick and Easy Ways to Get Pencil off Walls

Now, it’s time to tell you everything I know about removing pencil markings from walls. 

Painted or not, these affordable and simple techniques will save your walls from looking haggard.

Let’s take a look.

1. Gum Eraser

stationery eraser example

A quality gum eraser make the whole process easier and less of a hassle. 

They’re made of corn oil or synthetic rubbers. 

As you might imagine, they’re gentler than other cleansers. So, they work great on painted walls and won’t harm any delicate wallpaper designs (should that be your situation).

Before you get started, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Start with a new eraser to reduce the risk of creating additional streaks and smudges
  • Begin with a small area at the tip of the drawing
  • Work gently at first
  • As you go further in, apply a slight bit of pressure

2. Melamine Foam Cleaning Sponge

melamine sponges example

Melamine ‘magic cleaning’ eraser sponges are a Godsend! 

Pick these up now if you don’t already have. Trust me, you’ll use them.

You’ll find they usually come in packs of 10 or more. 

Some sell them in a variety of sizes and densities for added convenience.

They’re pretty affordable, which is a plus. So, you can just buy a pack and store it in the pantry. 

abrsive sponge cleaning wall

What I like most about these eraser sponges is they’re non-abrasive and non-corrosive. 

They’re 100% safe for removing pencil markings from painted walls as well as wallpaper.

What’s more?

You don’t need to add any cleansers. Simply wet the sponge, and then give it a nice squeeze. 

After that, start wiping away. The sponge will do all the hard work!

One note here with these…

If you work at a spot long enough and hard enough, they will draw off some paint from a painted wall.

scratched off paint on wall

It’s best to make sure you have plenty of moisture to help reduce some of the inevitable micro-abrasion.

I’ve used these with success, but there are times when the light hits the wall I cleaned up just right…and I can see a very subtle difference.

It’s a tad duller in that area.

Will anyone else notice though? Probably not… And especially not as much as when the pencil markings were there!

They’re designed to specifically remove almost all types of marks from walls.

Not only that, but they work on a whole lot of other surfaces too, such as windows, doors, and sinks. 

You can even give your shoes a nice shine with these babies.

3. Toothpaste

toothpaste example

Toothpaste is like the underdog of household cleaning products. 

You can use it to wipe away scratches off CDs, clean mirrors, and even polish bathroom fixtures.

Luckily, it’s also amazing at getting pencil marks off walls. 

All you need is a clean cloth and some basic white, non-gel toothpaste.

Avoid using anything with charcoal or clove solutions. 

They may be good for your teeth, but they risk scratching up paint or wallpaper.

Place a dab of toothpaste on the cloth, then wipe away. Repeat as necessary. 

The final step is to remove any toothpaste remains. Get a damp cloth and wipe the wall clean.

4. Baking Soda

baking soda example

Baking soda is also another miracle-worker!

Check out this video on its many cleaning uses:

It does everything from cleaning to disinfecting to removing bad odors, and a lot more. 

That’s when I realized it would also do a wonderful job of getting colored and pencils off the wall.

A word to the wise: 

If you have wallpaper, it’s better if you avoid using baking soda. 

While it’s considered to be a ‘mild’ abrasive, it may cause discoloration, tears, or even leave scuff marks.

Same with high-gloss paint that has been painted on top of an old high-gloss paint job (without the use of a primer).

On the bright side, if you have painted walls, here’s how to take pencil off the walls with this basic cleanser:

  • Mix a small amount of baking soda and water
  • Using a clean cloth, dip it in the mixture
  • Then, gently wipe off the pencil marks
  • Apply more as needed
  • When you’re done, wipe the entire wall with a damp cloth

5. Mild Detergent

liquid laundry detergent

Another household cleaning supply you have lying around is liquid laundry detergent. 

It’s my go-to product for scrubbing away many accidents around the house. 

So, if you’re looking for a way to get pencil of walls without an erase or baking soda, this is it!

I use it just like I do with baking soda. 

To make things a bit easier, I pour some into a plastic container or small bucket. Add water and mix to make a paste.

Next, get a soft cloth, dab one of its corners into the mixture. 

Then, start wiping. When all the pencil markings are done, use another towel or dry cloth to remove any leftover detergent.


Check out some of these questions for more details on how to get pencil markings off wallpaper and painted walls.

Is It Easy to Remove Colored Pencils from Walls?

Pencils are pencils, no matter the type. Their only difference may be in the hardness or softness of the core.

In other words, all the tips mentioned above can be used on all types, colored pencils included. 

Start with the gum eraser, then work your way down the list until you find the method that works best.

Can I Just Paint Over Pencil Markings on Walls?

Yes, you can! 

It’s just a more costly option than the ones I mentioned above.

Another concern is not being able to find the same color paint as the original. 

This is more of a problem if you’re painting only one section of the wall.

If you have the money and time, you can just redo the entire wall. 

Having a fresh pop of color is always a nice change of pace.


Gone are the days of fearing the sight of pencil marks on the wall. 

If I want pencil wall decor, I want to have at least a little say!

Anytime there’s a sticky situation, use my handy ‘how to get pencil off walls’ guide to help you out.

Everything I mentioned is probably already lying around your home anyway. 

So, you get to save money, time, and your walls!

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