GRAFFITI REMOVAL AND
following information is to be used as a guide only)
There are a number of
effective graffiti removal products available, which are designed to
work on a variety of wall surfaces. Before using any product to remove
graffiti, consult with your local paint store or professional contractor. Always be careful and follow the manufacturer’s
directions when using any graffiti removal product. Some products may be
toxic and will require gloves and masks be used.
Painting over graffiti:
If a large portion of a
property has been vandalizes, it may be cheaper to simply repaint. It
will also give you the opportunity to possibly change paints to a glossy
enamel which will resist future graffiti attacks better than a flat
finish. For added protection, an extra gallon of the same type of paint
will help ensure a quick and painless perfect match if graffiti returns. Before painting, try to
clean the surface of any dirt of grease (dull surface with graffiti
remover, primer or sanding). Certain marker pens and permanent markers
have the ability to absorb paint pigments. That’s what makes them
permanent so use a special paint called a stain blocker. Also, if the
base color is light and the graffiti a dark color, use a stain blocker
first. This special type of paint prevents the darker paint from seeping
through the fresh paint.
Oil base paint is tougher
than latex. Latex is less expensive and easier to clean up. Though not
recommended, oil base can be applied at below freezing temperatures if
needed. Oil base takes longer to dry, but can be used if light rain
threatens. Once the new paint is on, you might consider using a "sealer"
or "protectant". These types of products seal the small surface pores
and prevent graffiti’s ability to adhere. Once sealed, the new graffiti
is less work to remove.
cement and concrete:
Use extra strength paint
remover. Apply with a wire brush to work into holes and pores of stone.
Allow time to activate and rinse with a forceful stream of water from a
hose. Use or a pressure washer or soda-blaster may be needed. If the
surface is uniformly flat, a light grit (60) sand paper can remove
paint, but will also scratch the surface. Consider using a sealer after
removal to close pores and make future removal easier.
Due to the multi-faceted
surface of stucco, it is impossible to sand off. Use paint remover and
follow up with a high pressure water hose or better yet a pressure
washer. Use stucco paint and go over the graffiti carefully. Consider
using a sealer as a finish coat.
Aluminum siding is
usually coated or painted. Vinyl siding is made of plastic which can be
marred by lacquer thinner type cleaners. Solvents may work to
aggressively and remove the coating as well. Experiment in a small
inconspicuous area first and then tackle the more visible areas. Use
paint remover sparingly and carefully. Use a clean rag and keeping
turning to a clean part of the rag before each wipe. The longer the
solvent stays on the surface, the deeper it penetrates. In most cases,
you will probably have to repaint.
Try working up the
solvent list if the marks are new. Most thinners will remove magic
markers and acetone will remove day old spray paint. You must use a
clean rag and keep using a fresh part on each wipe. On latex or
oil-based paint, use a stain blocking primer for exterior use. After the
stain blocker coat has dried, you can proceed with regular paints, oil
or latex. Most oil baser paints are more durable to solvents and hence
could make future clean up easier. Consider a sealer coat after final
finish. Avoid using flat paints as they readily absorb pigments from
markers and spray paint.
Depending on the type of
graffiti, work your way up the thinner list. Be aware that acetone-based
solvents will soften plastics. Use full-strength paint remover and rinse
Any razor blade can
scrape away cured paint on regular glass. For other marks any solvent
can be used. Use the clean rag technique and hold the rag over the
graffiti for a moment to let solvent work. On plexi-glass be careful of
the lacquer thinner type solvents as they can attack the surface causing
it to fog and smear. Make sure your product is compatible with the type
of surface you are cleaning. Rinse thoroughly with water.
On any unpainted metal
(iron or stainless steel) surface, any solvent can be used. Some
polished aluminum surfaces will cloud or oxidize with aggressive
cleaners like lacquer thinner. Use the clean rag technique. If you are
unsuccessful, try paint remover.
Surfaces scratched or
scored with sharp objects can only be filled with fillers or the
material will have to be replaced. Some new types of glass have
replaceable covers or film layers that are cheaper to replace than the
etched glass. Automotive body fillers can fill deep gouges and then be
repainted. The only other recourse may be to replace the glass. You
might deny the vandal visibility by etching over the vandal’s mark, thus
turning a "P" into a "B" and so on. It’s a psychological solution,
demonstrating that this area will not tolerate the vandal’s message.
Please contact home and lumber stores or general contractors about
graffiti removal and/or graffiti removal products.