Home » A Clean House is a Happy House » I Gave Birth to Matisse… and Pollack

I Gave Birth to Matisse… and Pollack

Yes, it’s true, my children are both fantastic artists, and that being said, their masterpieces cannot be contained by mere pages or coloring books. Oh no, they need a much larger canvas for their multimedia work. I present to you their gallery..er ahem, my hall.

Lovely don't you think?

Lovely don’t you think?

As previously stated this is a multimedia work, using crayon, pencil and pen. Unfortunately they skipped out on the markers on this particular work.  Having such gifted children I’m sure you can imagine just how many different techniques I have tried to remove these little works from my walls.  We have allowed Thing 1 to keep one of his masterpieces from a little over a year ago to reward him for properly using the term ‘mural’, but this one.. well, I think they just grabbed some art supplies reached their arms out and skipped back and forth down the hall.  Anyway, this is the method I have found that will absolutely get out crayon, pencil, most markers and scuff marks, and as a perk, you lose the little finger prints too!

*Just a note about magic eraser- it does work great at getting stuff out, however on my painted walls it was a little too great, and now, I have a two tone ombre effect in my dining room starting at my children’s height. This will not dull or take off any paint unless you go at it like it’s a strong man competition.

Here’s what you need for this little project:

img_0718

Oil – any kind you have on hand. I got this olive oil cheap and obviously in bulk otherwise I would probably use straight vegetable oil.

Baking Soda

Dishsoap – I only use Dawn – I really don’t know if that’s the only one that works, so if you try something cheaper and it works great please let me know.

Small bowl

3 clean dishrags

Mix up equal parts oil and baking soda in your bowl – I had the whole hallway to tackle (not just the little bit I’m sharing) so I used 1/3 c. of each.  Stir it up with a fork until it’s a uniform consistency – If you’re just eyeballing amounts just keep this in mind -you don’t want soup, but you don’t want paste either as you will be spreading this onto your wall and if it’s too thin it will just run, too thick it will just plop off onto the floor.

Here’s what I generally look for when I don’t measure.

img_0720

Once you have your concoction all set to  go, grab your bowl and one of your rags and trudge on over to your gallery. Dip your rag into the mix and smear it onto the offending masterpiece liberally like so:

img_0723Once you have a good glob on your wall start working it over the marks in a circular motion; this should totally remove the crayon and dull the pencil marks. If the circular motion isn’t getting you anywhere, just scrub along the line as it was drawn (up and down for vertical/left to right for horizontal) Don’t ask me why, but certain crayons just don’t want to come off unless you rub them right.  Do this all over any marks, including normal kid dirt and finger prints. Do not be discouraged about the remaining pencil, pen and marker that will probably still be there. This is what the parts of my wall with scuffs, pen and pencil looked like after the initial baking soda/oil scrub – unfortunately my kids skimped on the marker on this wall.

Pen

Pen

Pencil

Pencil

Scuff Mark After Oil/Baking Soda

Scuff Mark

Once you get to this point, put away your oil/baking soda mix and grab a clean rag. Throw some dish soap on it and dampen it really well. Go back over your wall again, flipping and refolding as it becomes covered with your baking soda mix. Here’s those same spots after this step – I left some of the initial marks so you can see that I’m not just faking you out with a totally different part of my wall.

Pen

Pen

Pencil

Pencil

Scuff Mark

Scuff Mark

On the scuff mark, a portion of that bit left turned out to actually be a ding in the wall that got pigment from whatever smashed into it. That will not come out, but as you can see it is infinitely better.  Once you’re done going over the trouble spots, give the whole area you already scrubbed a quick wipe down. Follow this by grabbing your last rag, wetting it and doing a quick “rinse” wipe over the whole area. Done! I know this seems like a process when it’s laid out, but in reality, doing that whole wall took a total of  just under 10 minutes.  And here is the before and after!

After

After

Lovely don't you think?

Lovely don’t you think?

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