Asked on Aug 22, 2017

How to remove permanent chalk line on a plank wood ceiling

Between the beams in this room there are permennant red chalk lines I'd like to remove and keep the natural wood just use tongue oil on it. We are wrapping the beans in the wood that we have used on the walls for planking. I don't really wanna paint the ceiling if I can keep the original wood. Any help would be appreciated.
  11 answers
  • KattywhampusLOL KattywhampusLOL on Aug 22, 2017

    Good Afternoon Heather, UNfortunately red chalk lines are generally permanent because they have a dye solution in them that stains the wood. They were never intended to be used on areas that would be exposed and visible, and good subcontractors know this. I don't know what you have tried so far to remove it, but if you know who it was who did the ceiling, call them and ask them what they intend to do about removing the line they left behind. Otherwise all I can suggest is to try scrubbing it off with blue or green Dawn liquid dishwashing soap, unless you want to use an electric wire scrapper which will leave a thick very visible white line across the ceiling :(

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  • Yikes! We never use red, hardest to remove. I would test an area with rubbing alcohol, or hydrogen peroxide or even bar keepers friend. Here are a couple links, see if any of their remedies appeal to you. Love the wood! Your room looks awesome. I would want the original wood too. Good luck.

  • Linda Sikut Linda Sikut on Aug 22, 2017

    Here's a video that mo\ight help:

    Good luck!

  • KattywhampusLOL KattywhampusLOL on Aug 22, 2017

    Hello Heather, Red chalk lines UNfortunately have dye pigments in them that are pretty much permanent :( They were not meant to be used in areas that were going to be visible, and a good subcontractor would have known that. My guess is that he/she placed the board wrongly without even thinking aobut the line being visible. If you know the contractor who was hired to do the ceiling I would give them a call and ask what they are going to do about fixing this mistake of theirs. If their answer is they aren't going to fix it, you could try scrubbing it out with a soft bristle brush and some blue or green Dawn dish soap, or you could get an electrical wire brush or sander and remove it that way (leaving behind a wide white "line" that will be VERY visibile to anyone who glances at your ceiling), or you could take the contractor to court. I do wish I had better news, but this is all I have. Thanks for using Hometalk for answers.

    • Heather Morrison Heather Morrison on Aug 23, 2017

      The house was built in 51 so I am sure they never intended for this ceiling to be seen. I was just hoping I could expose all the wood. :-( oh well ill have to come up with something else.

  • Rex Debbie Sheeley Rex Debbie Sheeley on Aug 22, 2017

    magic eraser maybe

  • Donna Donna on Aug 22, 2017

    Try an old fashioned red eraser & rub it just like you would a pencil line. If that doesn't work, try scrubbing w a diluted detergent & water mixture (as for dishwashing) & a toothbrush in a not to obvious place (near one of the beams) to get an idea give of how much the chalk has penetrated. Blot frequently. If that doesn't work, I'm out of suggestions!

    • Heather Morrison Heather Morrison on Aug 22, 2017

      Donna I have tried a couple different mixtures of solutions. Dish soap and warm water, simple green, and I've used a magic eraser with no luck. Thank you for suggestions.

  • William William on Aug 22, 2017

    Try mineral spirits.

    • Heather Morrison Heather Morrison on Aug 22, 2017

      I will try this next. Crossing my fingers there are a lot of lines. Sanding it seems extremely time consuming.

  • B. Enne B. Enne on Aug 23, 2017

    Lightly sanding with a telescopic pole?

  • Sharon Sharon on Aug 23, 2017

    If it doesn't rub off with a cloth, then I would just use my sander and sand it off.

  • Heather Morrison Heather Morrison on Dec 06, 2017

    Just thought I would do an update on this. I tried everything suggested and last but not least with much excitement Goof Off for graffiti took it right off. So if ever you are needing those chalk lines gone that did the trick for me... We had already started thinking of what we could cover the wood with and I was so sad about it.

  • Joy68259319 Joy68259319 on Jul 11, 2022

    I have this problem as we are building, and somehow the red chalk got on the unfinished wood floors. I mixed a 50/50 mr clean and water and used a green scrubbie, came right off.