I’ve been saying it all along, all you naysayers (ahem, dear husband)! If in doubt / turmoil / disaster, your friend, Mr Ethanol, will never let you down.
So, remember this?
I know it’s quite shameful that it’s taken me nearly 18 months to do anything about it, but I’m the world’s worst procrastinator, and I kept thinking “Well, what’s the point in painting it? She (or her brother) will only do it again!”. It’s become such an inherent part of our decor, we’d actually stopped noticing it at all. Just one more mess to add to the long list of messes in this happy little house of chaos.
And then we had a new piano delivered. As the Very Strong Man in Shorts maneuvered our new Baldwin upright into position, he nodded towards the marks on our walls, and exclaimed “Uh-oh. Looks like you’ve got an artist in the house.”. I pointed out the cheeky little minx grinning unashamedly in the hallway, and replied “Oh yes. Permanent marker, no less.”. And then….and then (drumroll, please!!), he oh-so-casually declared “Ah, you’ll need denatured alcohol for that. Get to Home Depot, denatured alcohol, that’ll get it out”.
Dear Internet. You failed me!! I put out a shout out to you all, I posted on forums, asked on blogs and pleaded on Facebook, and NONE of you came up with that little gem. Rubbing alchohol, vodka, nail polish remover, hairspray….all very enthusiastically promised results, but none of them delivered. But here was a man in shorts. In February. Holding my piano aloft, whilst offering pearls of wisdom. Sod it, why not, let’s give it a go!
Of course, as always happens, I got to Home Depot and was thrown into confusion by the gazillion products available, but finally came away with what (I hoped) I needed:
Goof Off promised it removed graffiti, so I figured that must be the jobby for me. And then I got the guilts about rejecting the earnest advice from Man in Shorts, and picked up the denatured alcohol as well. I figured, if nothing else, I could use it to clean the windows.
So, are we ready, boots? Here is the before:
Shudder. How could I have stopped noticing that!?
And here, dear readers, is what it looks like now, after half an hour this afternoon with a load of chemicals and a wad of kitchen paper:
It’s a flamin’ miracle, I tell ya. 18 months later, and it still came off!? I have to say, the Goof Off can bog off, it just ran down the walls, taking streaks of permanent marker solution with it. Yes, it faded the blackness of the “artwork”, but it also spread it around and made a right old mess. But the denatured alcohol? Why, that stuff is God’s gift to parents everywhere! Yes, we will still have to paint that wall eventually – if you look closely, you can still see the faded remains of our little vandal’s contribution to interior design – but it’s definitely a pretty amazing improvement. And I’m 99.9% sure that if we had only had a little bottle of purest booze in the cupboard immediately to hand at the time of this act of mindless vandalism, it would have come right off like whiteboard marker in a boardroom.
So, my fellow weary parents and jailkeepers of errant toddlers, if I can offer you only one piece of advice for the future…..alcohol would be it.