Permanent marker meets its match

  • A white table
  • A portrait of a woman with long black hair
  • A black, Sharpie, permanent marker
  • A spray bottle of water
  • A pair of scissors
  • A tissue box
  • A smudged, scratched, 3-day-old puddle of blackness

There’s the description of the crime scene as I happened upon it today.  I only wished I had taken a photo of it at the time but I was too busy stifling screams and tears that never escaped amidst the myriad of questions that swarmed around my head.

  1. Why did I have permanent markers in the school room?
  2. Why did I tell one of our children that she could use that marker very carefully on the lapdesk only?
  3. Why did I think that was a rational request?
  4. Why did I think that the most damage a pair of scissors could do was cut off a doll’s hair and create countless pieces of confetti on the floor?


 After a classic discipline transference that included lines such as, “Wait until your father sees this!” and “What made you think coloring on the kleenex with marker and then spraying the table with water would remove the stain??”  I resigned myself to the failsafe method – google.  Above you’ll see the results of that search – a white eraser and white toothpaste.

  1. Use white paste, not the gel kind, and simply put a small amount directly onto the wood furniture. With either a soft bristle toothbrush or a soft rag, start making circular motions and rubbing the paste into the marker.
  2. Be patient. You may have to do several applications before the marker is completely removed.
  3. When the paste has basically taken on the color of the marker, wipe clean and then start with step 1 again.

I started and ended with the white eraser and the piece of the table you see in the photo was where the majority of the marker resided and all that remains are the scratch marks from the scissors she used to try and scrape it off when the marker-saturated kleenex failed.  Hopefully this has given you hope for your marker-tatooed furniture if you found this site in desperation.  My advice – take a photo now before the evidence is all gone!


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