The Master Bathroom

My two-year-old got ahold of a Sharpie and wrote all over my melamine-wrapped (i.e. can’t be painted) master bathroom vanity.  A Magic Eraser took it off the laminate countertop and porcelain sink, but not even pure acetone nail polish remover took it off those stupid builder-crap cabinets.  We get to buy new cabinet door and drawer-fronts before we move next summer.

Submitted by: Chrysta



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  • Tammy

    have you tried hairspray? it's supposed to remove ink…good luck 🙂

  • Elf93117

    also a real pencil eraser does wonders!!!

  • peekalou

    Colour over the lines with a white board marker and wipe off immediately. 🙂

  • sdotbville

    I have painted melamine before many times. 15 years as a painter. Use oil based primer and two coats of oil based finish paint (satin finish is nice). buy paint thinner too to clean up with, oil is a pain.

  • momuf2

    I like the child locks on the cabinets…if you can't get in…destroy the outside I guess…

  • rcrossle

    My three-year-old did the same thing a month ago to my pine coffee table. I tried Magic Eraser, etc. and was prepared to get out the sanding tools when my parents came to visit. While holding back laughter (I was impressed), my father retrieved the bleach from my laundry room and proceeded to wipe down the blue Sharpie marks. They disappeared. Only problem was the table had been beaten to death with a metal spatula when friends were visiting and those places that were broken through the thin finish bleached lighter than the surrounding wood. It's still MUCH better than blue sharpie. Might want to try good old bleach before you spend hundreds on new cabinet parts. Good luck!

  • Melissa Cates

    try dry erase marker to get the sharpie off it may work you never know it works on dry erase boards.

  • Jodi

    They have this stuff called OOPS! they sell it at Walmart. It will take the Sharpie off of those doors.

  • Andie

    Try using Deep Woods Off… you spray it on, let it sit for a few minutes and scrub. You want the strong Deep Woods Off, not the basic off.

  • Heather

    Try plain rubbing alcohol…..I use this to clean the tables in my artroom.

  • Jo Ann

    Hi Chrysta,

    Just wanted to let you know that melamine can definitely be painted. ( I used to work for a paint manufacturer and have done this many times). You have two choices: 1- Use melamine paint directly on the TSP cleaned and thoroughly cleaned surface. 2- Start by applying one coat of alkyd-based primer-sealer to prevent the Sharpie marks to bleed through the paint finish later. (You could also used a highly adhesive latex primer sealer instead). Once the primer had dried, follow with two coats of whatever finish (latex or alkyd) you prefer. I suggest a satin finish or glossier but nothing matte. If you use latex, make sure it’s high quality paint for durability.

  • Jo Ann

    Forgot to add: The second option is best. Without a sealer, the pen marks could eventually bleed through the paint.

    Just thought of something else too: try removing the marks with WD-40 first. I would try spraying it no and letting it soak for a while and them wiping. That stuff works miracles you would never think of. I believe they have a long list of what it can remove on their Web site. Good luck!

  • kh7463

    Try Avon Skin So Soft original. Worked when my son wrote on the doors and the back of a recliner the day of my college graduation party. He's 24 now with his own son…

  • Riley Kenz

    i know this is really late, but if that is a nonporus outside then a black expo will take it off. Black expo is a perfect solvent for sharpie

  • Megan Pitre

    windex removes sharpie from everything, including flesh

  • Miri

    Man it’s always the sharpies. Those things are now banned from my place.

  • Claire Chinske

    I’ve had some success with using sunscreen to remove permanent marker.  It works great on skin and plastic.

  • joey

    Just use a Mr.Clean Magic Eraser