How to Remove Scuff Marks From Walls

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You can sometimes simply erase scuff marks with an eraser.
You can sometimes simply erase scuff marks with an eraser. (Image: arquiplay77/iStock/Getty Images)

Scuff marks aren't as common on walls as they are on floors, but they do happen. The ease with which you can remove them depends on the type of paint on the wall; scuffs are much easier to remove from gloss or semi-gloss walls than from walls painted with flat paint. In the latter case, there is a danger of damaging the paint when you rub off the scuffs, so you should be prepared to touch up the spot with new paint. No matter what the paint, if scratches accompany the scuffs, it's best to fill and repaint them.

Things You'll Need

  • Spackling compound
  • Plastic putty knife
  • 120-grit sandpaper
  • Wall paint
  • Pencil eraser
  • Sponge
  • Dish soap
  • Baking soda

Feel the wall under the scuff mark. If it's scratched, repair the scratch with spackling compound. Trowel the compound on with a plastic putty knife; wait for it to dry; then sand it lightly with 120-grit sandpaper. Touch up the repair with wall paint.

Examine the wall paint if you don't feel any scratches. If the paint has a sheen, the scuff marks may be easy to remove. Try rubbing the scuff with a clean pencil eraser. If that doesn't work, try a damp sponge, and, if the marks are still there, put a drop of dishwashing soap on the sponge. If all else fails, make a paste with baking soda and water and rub it on the scuff mark, using the sponge.

Rub a scuff mark off a wall with flat paint by using a damp sponge. If the mark doesn't come off, put a drop of dish detergent on the sponge. Rub lightly, because flat paint wears off easily. Avoid using baking soda, because it is mildly abrasive and may wear the paint.

Wipe the area with clear water after the scuff mark is gone. Wait for the water to dry, then move around the room and examine the wall from several angles. If the spot is still visible, which is more likely if the wall has flat paint, the best course of action is to touch it up with paint.

Tips & Warnings

  • Another way to get scuff marks off glossy walls is to rub them with a solvent, such as dry cleaning fluid. Solvents make permanent marks on flat paint that require paint touch-up, however.

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