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Posted by on Nov 2, 2011 | 0 comments

Don’t Draw on the Couch! How to Erase (or Embrace) Your Kids’ Graffiti

Don’t Draw on the Couch! How to Erase (or Embrace) Your Kids’ Graffiti

When my brother and I were little, we snuck and drew all over the underside of my parents’ marble coffee table. We never got busted. I wish my children were more surreptitious, especially my youngest. She scribbles on furniture (and herself) with total abandon and even goes so far as to blame it on the dog.

My friend and Del Ray neighbor, Dana, often expresses her desperation on social media about her children’s latest scribbling “masterpieces.” She has become an unwitting expert of sorts on how to clean up “graffiti scrawls,” as she puts it. Dana has four young children, each of whom is bright, exuberant, creative, and has at one time or another drawn on the furniture and walls.

Josephine, one of the middle twins, decorated her big sister Esme’s bed with curlicues. She also wrote her name in red in the hallway. Tobias, the youngest, scribbled with Sharpie on the white couch. But those marks have dulled over time. Or, as Dana says ruefully, “perhaps it’s all covered under a general layer of crud and grime that comes with having four young children.”

One or more children marked up the dining room table with Sharpie. Dana gave up trying to clean it. She tried “Goof Off” but it stripped the finish. “I decided it wasn’t an altogether expensive table and I’d rather allow the kids to be free with their creativity than worry about furniture.”

Here are some photos of the evidence and then some advice on how to clean them up.




The advice Dana’s received covers the gamut:

  • Try one of these products:
    Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, although it may dull the paint
    Goof Off
  • Use a dry cleaning solvent, available at drug or shoe stores. Pour a bit on a terry cloth towel to safely remove crayon from almost any (except antique wallpaper) surface.
  • Rubbing alcohol

You should spot test with these products because you never know if you may ruin the surface.

If all else fails:

  • Paint over it.
  • Frame it. Paint some fancy trim molding and Home Depot can miter cut it for you.
  • Do nothing and hope the stain wears off over time (usually my strategy).

This article goes into intricate detail about removing crayon from every different kind of surface in the house.

If you know of other tried and true methods for cleaning up after kids, especially when they get their hands on Sharpies, let us know.

Posted by Leslie

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