How to get scuff marks off walls

Here are our top tips for how to remove marks from walls, without damaging the paintwork.

8 July 2019

How to get scuff marks off a wall: Clean white wall with a white ladder, cot and bunting
Floor and surface cleaning

Key steps

  • Always start with a gentle method like water and a soft cloth.
  • Move onto more abrasive methods if the others you try don’t work
  • Use a magic eraser for marks left by children’s colouring.
  • For stubborn scuff marks, use a good quality multipurpose cleaner like Cif.

Whether you've had a house party or simply moved a bike through your hallway, scuff marks can quickly and easily appear on white painted walls. So how to clean white walls that have been scuffed, marked or drawn on? Sometimes, cleaning them off just takes a sponge and some warm water – and sometimes you'll need a stronger solution. Whatever the damage, don't panic: this article will provide tips on how to get marks off painted walls, while still being gentle on paintwork.

 If you’re looking for how to remove marks from walls that your kids have been using as a crayon canvas, magic erasers are just that... magic! Dampen them and using circular motions remove the marks. 

What you need: your kit list for how to remove marks from walls

Before we go through how to clean marks off walls, you will need to gather the essentials for getting the job done.

  • Soft cloth
  • Magic eraser
  • Washing-up liquid
  • Bowl
  • Multipurpose cleaner such as Cif
  • Baking soda
  • Fine-grit sandpaper
  • Paint trays
  • Paintbrush
  • Touch-up paint
  • Paint reducer
  • Paper towels

Top tips for how to get marks off walls

There are a number of tips we’ll show you for how to remove marks from walls. Just remember to always start with the most gentle option, moving on to the more abrasive choices if the gentler ones don’t work.

1. Method 1: Use a damp, soft cloth.

  • Dampen a soft cloth.
  • Wring it out thoroughly.
  • Lightly work on the scuff marks using your damp cloth.
  • Scrub with increasing pressure, remaining focussed on the scuff marks.
  • If this method works, simply wipe down the wall once the marks disappear with a clean, dry, soft cloth.

2. Method 2: Use a damp magic eraser.

  • To use a magic eraser, always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations.
  • As a general rule, these products need to be wet and wrung out before use.
  • Once damp, scrub the scuff marks working in a circular motion.

3. Method 3: Use washing-up liquid, water and a soft cloth.

  • Add a couple of drops of washing-up liquid to a bowl.
  • Fill the bowl with warm water.
  • Dip a soft cloth into the solution, and wring it out to ensure it is damp, not soaking.
  • Do not over-saturate the wall.
  • For more stubborn scuff marks add a little washing-up liquid directly to the cloth and apply it to the wall.

4. Method 4: Use a multipurpose cleaner like Cif.

  • For the most stubborn scuff marks, use a good quality multipurpose cleaner.
  • Apply the cleaner to a rag or cloth.
  • Scrub the mark.
  • Alternatively, try spraying the cleaner directly onto the wall and scrub again.

5. Method 5: Use baking soda and water to make a paste.

  • For a cheap, natural alternative cleaner, add drops of water to baking soda until it creates a paste.
  • Use a clean cloth to scrub the scuff marks with a small amount of the paste.
  • Wipe the area with a damp cloth.
  • Wipe the wall with a dry, clean cloth.

How to touch up walls after cleaning scuff marks

Once you have discovered how to clean white walls and which method works best for your marks, you may find you need to touch up the surrounding wall.

1. If the scuffed area is now a noticeably different texture than the surrounding wall, start by lightly sanding it with fine-grit sandpaper. Try to avoid the surrounding wall, sanding the affected area until smooth. Use a damp cloth to remove any dust from sanding.

2. Prepare a some touch-up paint according to the manufacturer’s guidelines. If you don’t have touch-up paint to match the wall, take a coin-sized paint chip to a specialist who will be able to create a match.

3. Following the manufacturer’s instructions, dilute oil-based touch-up paint with a paint reducer. This will slow down the paint’s drying time, ensuring the patch blends into the surrounding wall.
Note: If you have latex paint, dilute it with water instead of a paint reducer.

4. Take a small paintbrush.

5. Dip it into the paint and wipe off excess paint onto a piece of paper towel.

6. Apply the paint to the wall in a stipple (dotting) motion to achieve an even coat.

7. Leave the paint to dry completely.

With our guide for how to get marks off painted walls and touch up any rough spots afterwards, you can be sure to get your walls looking good as new in no time.