How to Remove Sharpie From Painted Wood

Permanent marker stains from Sharpies on wood furniture can be tough to remedy. However, several effective methods can enable you to clean your wood surface and remove marker stains easily. 

Let’s take a look at the best ways to remove permanent markers from your finished wood surfaces. These methods can also be used for an oil-based permanent marker and non-permanent markers.

Nail Polish Remover

  • You may want to test the nail polish remover on an inconspicuous spot of your wood grain surface before applying it more generously to the entire surface. This ensures that you don’t damage your floors.
  • If there’s no bad reaction with the floor, apply some nail polish remover to a dry cloth and dab the marker stain lightly. 
  • Be sure not to rub the area as the acetone in the nail polish remover can damage wood surfaces. The acetone is also what makes the solutions so effective at removing permanent marker stains.
  • Once you’ve removed the stain, use a clean cloth or paper towel to dry the area to remove any residue or remaining marks.

Hand Sanitizer

  • The alcohol content in hand sanitizer gel makes it great for removing a non-permanent marker stain and permanent marker stains from wood. 
  • Apply the gel to a soft cloth and gently dab the marked area.
  • Next, use a clean cloth to dry the area and remove any leftover gel and ink residue.
  • If you have unfinished wooden surfaces, you may want to skip this method due to how the glycerine contained in hand sanitizer gels can stain the floor and make it even more difficult to remove permanent marker from wood.

Rubbing Alcohol

  • Rubbing alcohol is one of the best ways to remove permanent marker stains from wood floors. 
  • Apply the isopropyl alcohol to cotton wool and dab the area. Be sure not to scrub the stain as it can damage the floor. Also, don’t put too much pressure on the remaining marker stain.
  • Continue dabbing the area until the Sharpie stain begins to vanish. Grab a damp cloth to wipe the area clean and remove any residue and excess water.
  • Furthermore, you may not want to repeat this process too many times due to how isopropyl alcohol can damage varnish if it’s being used too heavily. 

Baking Soda Paste

  • Baking soda toothpaste that includes a small quantity of baking soda can be great to remove ink stains from varnished wood and a wooden table.
  • Apply the gel toothpaste to a cotton ball and gently rub the ink stain. 
  • Repeat the process by applying the toothpaste if necessary.
  • You can then use a damp washcloth to wipe the area and remove any remaining toothpaste.

Remove Permanent Marker Using A Magic Eraser

  • The melamine foam from Magic Eraser sponges is great for removing ink stains.
  • Simply dampen the soft sponge with water and gently rub the stained area with a circular motion until the ink is removed.
  • Use a damp rag to gently wipe the surface and dry the area with a clean cloth.

Dry Erase Markers

  • Draw over the marked surface with a dry-erase marker. 
  • Use a clean cloth to wipe away the area in circular motions.
  • The ink from the dry erase marker should soak into the old stain and make it easier to wipe clean.
  • Use a wet cloth or baby wipes to clean the flat surface.

Fine-Grit Sandpaper

  • This method is only for unfinished wood surfaces. 
  • Use sandpaper to sand the marked area to get the permanent marker stain off. This can work for wooden floors and a wood door.
  • Be sure to sand the area gently until the stain begins to disappear. 

Also read: How to Get Permanent Marker Off Laminate Wood


So, that concludes the best techniques on how to remove the most permanent markers from your wooden floors. Be sure to try out these methods the next time you find ink stains and need to remove Sharpie marks from your wooden flooring.

You may also want to try using a non-permanent marker if you’re tired of removing marker stains from your finished surfaces.

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Written By Adam Rushton

Adam has made a name for himself in the illustration industry and is a passionate blogger and writer on the subject of art, illustration and graphic design.

His artwork has been featured in countless publications and used for very well-known media projects. As a professional illustrator for over 20 years, Adams media outlets, a wealth of knowledge, and experience enable him to consult and advise artists and illustrators in this country (from York and Manchester to Southampton and London) and all over the world.