Have you ever gotten permanent marker on your wood furniture? It’s not fun trying to remove it. But with the right techniques, it can be done.

This blog post will show you how to remove permanent markers from wood using various methods.

So read on and discover how to get that pesky permanent marker off your wood furniture!

How You Can Tell The Type Of Permanent Marker On Your Wood

Permanent markers can either be alcohol-based or oil-based, depending on the type of solvent used:


Soak a cotton wool ball in rubbing alcohol, and then rub gently on the marker stain on your painted wood. If the marker paint comes off, you automatically know that it was an alcohol-based permanent marker and if not, that’s an oil-based permanent marker.

(You can learn how to clean paint off hardwood floors without damaging the wood).


An oil-based marker stain can be removed using vegetable oil or baby oil. Pour a little bit of the oil on the stain; rub with a paper towel to remove it from your finished wood surfaces.

If you’re in a hurry, no worry;

How To Remove Permanent Marker From Wood

Use rubbing alcohol to remove permanent marker from wood. Saturate isopropyl alcohol on a cotton cloth and wipe the marker off. The rubbing alcohol will break down the ink and remove it from the surface of the wood. Repeat the process until the faint mark goes.

That’s just one method for those who can’t hold their patience. But we have a host of other methods that would be suitable for you depending on your situation.

Read along to learn more;

How To Remove Permanent Marker From Wood

The perks of using this guide on removing marker stains from wood are that all the materials you will need are most likely already in your pantry.

You will realize that most methods I will talk about here can remove permanent marker mishaps from almost all the wood surfaces. But, I will tell you the best-suited method you can use for a specific surface.  So, let’s dive right in.

Read also: How to remove mold from wood.

How To Remove Permanent Marker From Wood Floor

Here are some options you can choose to remove permanent marker stains from your wooden floor.

How to Get Marker Out of Wood Using Baby Oil Or Vegetable Oil


  • Baby oil or vegetable oil
  • Paper towel
  • Cotton cloth


Step 1: Drip a few drops of oil on a paper towel.

Step 2: Rub the marker stain lightly using the paper towel.

Step 3: Add more oil if needed and continue rubbing until you get rid of all the marker stains.

Step 4: Wipe your floor with a damp soapy cloth to remove traces of oil that might cause one to slip.

Step 5: Finally, wipe the floor area with a clean damp rag and follow up with a dry one.

How to Get Permanent Marker off Wood Using Peanut Butter

Here goes another permanent marker removal from wood solution.

Materials for removing marker from wood

  •  Peanut butter
  • Clean cloth


Step 1: Scoop a reasonable amount of peanut butter using a spoon or butter knife.

Step 2: Spread it on the marker stain on your floor. Let it sit for about five minutes.

Step 3: Rub on it gently using a damp washcloth to lift whatever stain is stuck to the wood.

Step 4: Wipe off the remaining marker. Rinse and wring that cloth in running water.

Step 5: Give the wooden floor a final wipe with a clean damp rag.

How to Get Marker off Wood Using Lighter Fuel

Materials You Will Need

  • Ronsonol Lighter fuel
  • Cotton wool or a clean cloth

Steps to Follow

Step 1: Saturate a ball of cotton wool with lighter fuel.

Step 2: Rub the saturated cotton wool on the marker stain. You will notice the stain lifting out.

Step 3: Rub the remaining marks using a ball of clean cotton wool.

 If you find fainter traces of the permanent marker, then that’s a sign that you need to repeat the process.

Step 4: Give your floor a final wipe with a ball of damp cotton wool to completely clean out any residue left.

How to Remove Marker from Wood Using A Pencil Eraser

The steps here are pretty simple.

Grab a pencil eraser and rub it on the marker stain. Erase that stain like you would erase anything on paper using a pencil dry erase marker. Wipe the surface with a paper towel or a damp cloth.

If any or all these methods fail you, try rubbing alcohol, gel toothpaste, baking soda, and toothpaste combination. Do not worry; this is expected, as some of the best paint pens for writing on wood are not easy to erase.

How To Remove Permanent Marker From Wood Table

Getting a permanent marker off the wood table should be a pretty easy task if you have the right tools and tricks. Here are some useful options you can use to salvage your wooden table.

How to Get Permanent Marker off a Table Using Baking Soda


  • Baking soda
  • water
  • Clean cloth


Scoop three tablespoons of baking soda into a bowl. Add water and stir in circular motions. Use a tablespoon to add water to the baking soda to avoid adding too much water.

Your mixture should be in a paste form with a fine-sand-like texture.

Steps to Follow

Step 1: Apply the baking soda paste on the marker stain on the table. Let it sit for a few minutes. Don’t let it dry out.

Step 2: Use a damp cloth to rub all the paste on the marker paint gently.

Step 3: Wipe the table with a damp cloth

How to Get Permanent Marker off Table Using Mayonnaise

You can count on this item to get rid of that marker stain from your table. You only need some mayonnaise and a clean cloth.

Steps to Follow.

Step 1: Scoop or squeeze a tablespoon of mayonnaise

Step 2: Spread it directly on the spot covered with the marker stain. Let it sit for about a minute or two.

Step 3: Use a cloth or damp sponge to rub the soaked stain off in circular motions.

Step 4: Give it a clean wipe with a damp cloth. Repeat the process if you notice some stain left.

If none of the two methods give you satisfying results, don’t hesitate to try on some rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol) or toothpaste. The application process is pretty much the same.

How To Get Sharpie Off Finished Wood 

Another magic-working item you cannot fail to have in your home. Other than keeping your teeth perfectly clean and white, you can also use your toothpaste to remove permanent markers from finished wood.

How to Remove Sharpie from Wood Using Toothpaste

The only acceptable kind for this purpose is the regular white toothpaste. Any other type, such as the gel one, is not recommended as it might damage your finished wood.

Materials You will Need

  • Regular white toothpaste
  • An old toothbrush or a sponge
  • Clean cloth

How to Clean Sharpie off Wood Step by Step

Step 1: Squeeze the toothpaste on the marker stain on your finished wood.

Step 2: Spread it lightly and make sure to cover the length of the stain. Leave it on for about two minutes.

Step 3: Gently rub the toothpaste on the stain using an old toothbrush or a soft sponge in back and forth motions for a few minutes. You can add a few drops of water and hand washing gel on the paste so that you have your sponge or brush gliding smoothly on the stain.

Step 4: Wipe the affected part with a damp cloth to remove the toothpaste and permanent marker residue. 

Step 5: Wring a clean cloth in water and give your surface a final clean wipe to remove the remaining toothpaste and excess water.

If there’s still some stain left, you can use equal parts of baking soda and toothpaste for better results. Use the same procedure above.

Interesting read: How to remove burn marks from wood

How To Remove Permanent Marker From Unfinished Wood

The unfinished wood is not as delicate as the finished one. While your primary concern could be to remove the marker stain, ensure that you retain the integrity of the wood.


This method is best suited for cleaning unfinished wood. This is because the permanent marker bleeds and seeps into the wood grain. Therefore, a little intense method like this is perfect.

Remember to obey the rule of thumb in this case; always sand along the wood grain and not against it.


  • Sandpaper (80 and 100 grit)
  • Wet wipes or baby wipes
  • Clean rag

Steps to Follow

Step 1: Use the wet wipe to wipe the wood surface with the permanent marker. The alcohol content in the wipes will help remove some of the permanent markers on the wood.

Step 2: Sand the permanent marker off the unfinished wood. Use 80-grit sandpaper. The aim is to remove as much stain as possible. You may lose a bit of wood in this process, but it’s within the acceptable amounts.

Step 3: Follow in with100-grit sandpaper to sand the same inconspicuous spot with the marker stain. This fine-grit sandpaper will ensure you have no more marker stain on your wood. Also, it will aid in achieving a smooth and even wood surface.

Step 4: Give the wood a clean, final wipe using a damp rag.

Using Mr. Clean Magic Eraser and A stain Remover

You may need to purchase these items from a hardware store accessible to you if you don’t already have them.

You will Need

  • Amodex Ink Stains Remover
  • Mr. Clean Magic Erasers or dry erase markers


Step 1: Apply a little amount of the stain remover on the marker stain.

Step 2: Take the magic eraser and rub the marker stain gently in a circular motion. As you rub, you will notice the stain coming off instantly.

Step 3: Finally, gently wipe the unfinished wood with a damp cloth to remove any residue left.

You may also have some luck removing permanent marker stain using Mr. Clean Magic Eraser without any stain remover. In that case, you would follow the same procedure above, starting from step 2.

How To Remove Permanent Marker From Wood Cabinets

Wood cabinets aren’t exempted from marker stains, including the best wood for cabinet doors. However, there are ways you can use to reverse that situation.

Using Nail Polish Remover


  • Nail polish remover (it can either contain acetone or without it)
  • Cotton swab
  • Clean cloth

Steps to Follow

Step 1: Soak a ball of cotton wool in nail polish remover.

Step 2: Apply it on the permanent marker stain while rubbing gently. You should see the marker stain transfer onto the cotton ball.

Step 3: Wipe the affected part of the wood cabinet with a damp cloth.

NOTE: Do not leave the nail polish remover on the wood for too long; it may damage the finish on the cabinets.

Using Vinegar

Materials You Need

  • White vinegar
  • Cotton wool

Steps to Follow

Step 1: Soak a ball of cotton wool in vinegar

Step 2: Rub the cotton wool on the marker stain. The stain should come off within a minute or two. Repeat the process if the stain doesn’t clear from the first attempt.

Step 3: Wipe away the residue using a damp cloth or cotton wool.

Regular white toothpaste, rubbing alcohol, or hand sanitizer is your equal bet to removing permanent marker stains from wooden cabinets. Whichever you choose, refer to the guide on how to use them.

How To Remove Permanent Marker From Wood Paneling

Cutting paneling, especially if it gets stained by a permanent marker, may not be a viable solution. So, here’s a handy item you can put to good use to remove that marker stain from your wood paneling.

How to get Permanent Marker out of Wood Using Hairspray

The most efficient ones contain some alcohol in them. You can find this information in the ingredients section of the hair spray container.


  • Hair spray
  • Clean cloth

Steps to Follow

Step 1: Ensure the wood paneling is dust-free. 

Step 2: Spray the hairspray on the spot with a permanent marker.

Step 3: Rub on it gently using a clean cloth to remove the permanent marker stains.

Step 4: Wipe the wood paneling with a damp cloth to remove the hairspray and permanent marker residue. Let it dry.

How to Get Rid of Sharpie on Wood Using Sunscreen

The same item that protects your skin can have other purposes as well. Take a look.

Materials You Need

  • A spray-on sunscreen or a lotion type.
  • Clean cloth

Steps to Follow

Step 1: Spray the sunscreen on the marker stain on your wood paneling. You only need two to three spritzes. For a non-spray sunscreen, squeeze out a few drops and apply them directly to the permanent marker stain.

Step 2: Use a clean cloth to rub the stain out.

Step 3: Finally, wipe the treated spot with a damp cloth.

How To Remove Permanent Marker From Wood Door

A wooden door goes through lots of traffic, in and out of the house or between the rooms. It tends to go through so much that getting a marker stain on it is no surprise.

Here’s what you can use to remove sharpie stain.

Using WD-40


  • WD – 40
  • Clean cloth


Step 1: Spray WD-40 directly on the permanent marker stain on the wood.

Step 2: Rub gently using a clean cloth to remove the marker paint.

Step 3: Wipe with a damp cloth.

How to Clean Marker off Wood Using  Mr. Clean Magic Eraser

This sponge-like item is entirely safe to use. Dip an edge of the magic eraser in water and use it to rub on the marker stain. You are going to watch the stain lift off before your eyes. Then give it a final wipe with a damp cloth. Voila.

Using Men’s Cologne or Insecticide Spray

This is one option I haven’t tried on, but other people have sworn by them. So I’m telling you about it to try it out if you are up for an adventure. Go for a “cheap” men’s cologne. The procedure is quite the same as using hairspray.

How To Get Rid Of Permanent Marker From Treated Wood

When handling treated wood, you may choose a gentle wood method not to interfere with the wood finish while effectively removing the marker stains. Focus on getting rid of the stain, don’t work the entire surface.

Using Hand Sanitizer


  • Hand sanitizer gel
  • Clean cloth


Step 1: Squeeze enough hand sanitizer drops onto a clean cloth.

Step 2: Dab it on the permanent marker paint. The alcohol in the hand sanitizer will go a long way into breaking down the marker for easy removal.

Step 3: Gently rub the marker stain out using the cloth containing a hand sanitizer.

You should be able to see the marker paint transferring onto the cloth, leaving your treated wood clean as new.

Step 4: Give your treated wood a final wipe with a wet cloth.

How To Remove Permanent Marker From Varnished Wood

You can remove permanent marker stains from varnished wood without causing any damage to it. Here’s a pretty easy and fast method guaranteed to give you gratifying results.

Using Rubbing Alcohol

This home essential will come in handy in helping you get rid of that unsightly marker stain from your varnished wood. Here’s how to

What You Will Need

  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Cotton wool or a washcloth

Steps to Follow

Step 1: Pour some rubbing alcohol on a ball of cotton wool or a clean cloth. Use whichever item you can easily access.

Step 2: Rub the saturated ball of cotton wool on the permanent marker on your varnished wood. Gently rub back and forth as the coloring transfers onto the cotton wool.

Step 3: Reapply the alcohol if there’s still some faint marking left on your varnished wood.

Step 4: Once all the permanent marker stain has come off, wipe the affected wood with a damp cloth.

Related post: How to remove spray paint from finished wood.


How to get ink off wood

To get ink out of a wood, begin by mixing water and baking soda to make a thick paste. Scoop the paste onto the ink stain and rub it back and forth. Work along the wood grain until the ink stain lifts off. Wipe the surface with a damp cloth to remove the residue.

What next? Check out our guide on removing nails from wood for tips on safe nail removal.

Final Thoughts on How to Get Sharpie off Wood

A permanent marker (sharpie) can only last long enough on an unwanted surface. So sooner or later, it’s going to have to come off.

We have talked about a wide array of everyday items you can use to remove permanent marker stain situations on wood.

Note, however, that the efficiency levels of one method over the other primarily rely on the type of finish on the wood. Anything with alcohol in the ingredients, toothpaste, and baking soda tops the efficiency chart of removing permanent marker stains from finished surfaces.

The bottom line is; test it out on a small area first before working on a larger surface. If you would like a substitute for a permanent marker paint you may use paint pens for wood.

Now, check out our other guide on removing furniture scratches to discover effective methods for restoring the pristine look of your beloved furniture pieces.

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