Tips to to remove graffiti

Tips to Remove Graffiti From Your Property

by Jo Charnock, onGraffiti CoatingGraffiti RemovalNewsPressure Washing , October 12, 2020

Are you a victim of graffiti? In this article we give tips about how to remove graffiti and the benefits of using an anti graffiti coating.

Have you become a recent victim of a graffiti attack on your property? In this article, we give our top tips to remove graffiti without damaging your property. Plus we touch on the benefits of using an anti-graffiti coating.

Graffiti is such a nuisance for homeowners or business owners who are affected by this pointless act of vandalism. Most agree that you need to remove the graffiti as soon as possible, or even consider an anti-graffiti coating. However, removing the graffiti will depend on the materials the tagger used, and the material of the underlying surface. But first:

Identify the problem!

Knowing how to remove graffiti depends on what type of graffiti it is, and what type of surface it is on. Graffiti artists may use a variety of different materials such as spray paint, markers, oil paints and crayons. Depending on the surface and just how ‘fresh’ the graffiti is, some can be scrubbed off with soap and water. However, there will be times that this approach will just not work and special cleaning chemicals are required.

Using a high-pressure system might seem the most logical way to remove graffiti, but it can cause damage to certain materials. Knowing the type of paint used and the material it is on is the key to helping you remove the graffiti.

Unfortunately, there is no ‘one-size-fix-all’ method of cleaning graffiti, as some chemicals are too harsh and may end up damaging your property. It’s always best to consult with anti-graffiti services to get the best advice. If you are the target of repeated attacks it may be time to consider an anti-graffiti coating.

Limit Irritants:

Harsh solvents such as mineral spirits and paint thinners are often used to remove graffiti. However, some of these chemicals can produce noxious fumes and can be very dangerous to your personal health. This is especially true when working in areas that cannot be well ventilated. Look for low VOC (volatile organic compound) formulas to reduce exposure to irritants that can produce respiratory problems, watery eyes, and headaches.

Your safety is critical, so if you do have to use strong chemicals, make sure you have rubber gloves and safety goggles at the ready.

Account for Surfaces:

Depending on what kind of surface (masonry, concrete, metal, wood, etc.) and what kind of paint you’re dealing with, the answer to the question of how to remove graffiti can have multiple answers. That’s because each surface, or substrate, is made up of various components that interact with graffiti differently. So the most effective method to remove graffiti will vary as well.

Using harsh chemicals can often cause more damage to your property than the actual graffiti.

Use the appropriate products for the surface

Consider the surface of your property. Porous surfaces like brick, concrete or stone will require a different approach than painted or polished surfaces with a high finish. Before attempting to remove graffiti assess the nature of the surface you’ll be working on. Is it delicate or porous? Is there paint or a finish beneath that will require special care? Make sure you use the appropriate product for the surface.

You can use the following guide as an indication of which products to use on which surface:

tips to remove graffiti

NB: Always test products on a small area first to make sure they will not damage the surface of your property


Consider the Surrounding Area:

Many graffiti removal products are toxic, flammable and damaging to the environment. So when removing graffiti outdoors please take into account your surrounding area. How are you going to contain the chemicals? What are you going to do with any flakes of paint and other debris? Safe removal of the byproducts of graffiti removal is equally important as the graffiti removal itself.

What supplies you’ll need:

For DIY graffiti removal you will need the following:

  • Clean cotton cloths,
  • Scouring pad or stiff bristle brush,
  • Rubber gloves,
  • Bucket with soap and water,
  • Plastic wrap or sheeting – optional,
  • High-pressure water system – optional,
  • PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) such as gloves, face masks, and goggles.

Make sure the surface is dry and clean from dirt before beginning the graffiti removal process. Work your way down from the top of the surface and finish at the bottom.

Tips to remove graffiti from vehicles:

  • Firstly, move the vehicle out of direct sunlight before starting the graffiti removal process. The heat of the sun can intensify the graffiti removal products and you may risk damage to underlying paintwork.
  • Avoid using abrasive materials to wipe away graffiti as they may scratch the surface. A soft cotton cloth works well.
  • After removing the graffiti you should completely rinse any graffiti removal products off the vehicle. Do not allow graffiti removal products to sit on the vehicle for more than 60 seconds as it may affect the clear coat.
  • Although we are providing some tips to remove graffiti, we highly recommend you to hire a professional to get the job done.

Tips to remove graffiti from porous surfaces:

  • Thoroughly spray the area with graffiti remover and allow it to sit for 3 minutes to soak into the surface. You can use plastic wrapping to cover vertical areas, such as walls. This will help the graffiti removal product to stay in place longer.
  • Scrub with a stiff brush. For best results remove paint with a high-pressure water system.
  • Repeat as necessary.
  • Spray paint and graffiti will ‘soak’ into porous surfaces such as brick, concrete and stone and will often require several applications. The graffiti may reappear after a period of time as it is pulled from deep within the surface. If this happens repeat the steps above.

Anti-graffiti coating? Prevention is better than cure:

There are a number of simple and cost-effective ways to help prevent graffiti attacks happening on your property. The following are our favourite tips to remove graffiti:

  • Consider using anti-graffiti coatings on surfaces that are repeatedly attacked. This will speed up the graffiti removal process and cost less in the long run.
  • Choose textured, rough or non-solid surfaces for fences or walls. Stuff like mesh, grills or lattice make these surfaces more difficult to apply graffiti.
  • Paint solid surfaces in strong or dark colours as these are less attractive to taggers.
  • Plant shrubs or trees in front of graffiti prone areas. The use of vines or spiky plants like bougainvillea is particularly effective.
  • Keep areas well lit.
  • Quickly remove any acts of graffiti – this will help to deter any repeated attacks.
  • Maintain your property – poorly maintained properties are more likely to attract other graffiti attacks.

As you can tell it is not an easy job. Graffiti removal can be time-consuming and sometimes more destructive than the actual graffiti itself. So if you are in Melbourne and you are looking for anti-graffiti services near me, you can call us 24/7 and let us fix your problem today! Ablate offers anti-graffiti services and can provide you with an anti-graffiti coating solution in Melbourne and the surrounding areas. For more tips to remove graffiti and other useful content, keep tuned! We publish new content every week.


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