What is the best way to remove graffiti?

What is the best way to remove graffiti?

by Alfredo Mendoza, onGraffiti CoatingGraffiti Removal , July 30, 2021

The best way to remove graffiti depends on many variables. To achieve the best finish and avoid causing staining or structural damage, the best way to approach it is by finding out the materials of the surface and the properties of the graffiti paint.

If you’re like many property managers or homeowners, you have probably wondered what’s the best and more affordable way to remove graffiti.

Graffiti gained popularity in the last five years. Although many of these tags are considered by some street art and freedom of speech, it is only vandalism for business and property owners. We can give you a long list of reasons to act fast and remove the graffiti as soon as possible, being the more significant to prevent it from recurring. So what should you do when you need to remove graffiti from brick, concrete, or any other surface?

We’d like to think you’ll always think of Ablate when you’re wondering how to remove graffiti from your property, but the reality is, nothing we say will stop you from trying some lowkey chemical warfare on the vandalised wall. So we may as well offer some safe quick-fix home remedies.

There are different options when it comes to removing graffiti. Let’s take an in-depth look at the differences between removing graffiti from other kinds of surfaces.

How do you remove graffiti?

There are different kinds of surfaces (concrete, metal, wood, masonry, etc.) and several paints. Thus, the answer to the question may vary depending on all the variants. Each surface, or substrate, comprises different materials that interact differently with each paint ingredient. 

  • Usually, a graffiti removal specialist will start with a multi-surface paint remover. 
  • It is essential to use the right amount as the chemicals could damage the surface when wrong applied. 
  • This product can remove various graffiti types made with spray paints and markers. 
  • When used correctly, it can be used on practically any surface, always that it doesn’t contain halogenated solvents methanol or methylene chloride. 

When dealing with hard surfaces and high strength paints, a paint stripper is a better option. 

  • A paint stripper has a gel consistency and usually is spill-resistant, making the application easy.
  • It is very effective in oil-based alkyd paints, clear sealers, spray paints, acrylics, lacquers, wax buildup, marking pens and yellowed sealers. 
  • It doesn’t require surface neutralisation, and it can be rinsed with ease. 
  • It is best to hire a professional to apply it, as it can damage the surface more quickly than a paint remover. 

What to choose will vary depending on the complexity of the graffiti and the type of surface. 

brick wall vandalised

How to remove graffiti from brick?

Some graffiti has been baked on by the sun for a long time and need more potent methods like heavy-duty paint strippers. This is something that you don’t want to DIY. 

Heavy-duty paint strippers are best for:

  • Multi-layered graffiti and paint on masonry surfaces paint removal, 
  • Better used on sunny days as it needs to stay active on the surface for at least 24 hours, 
  •  On hard surfaces that will be repainted as soon as the graffiti is removed. The heavy-duty paint stripper will dissolve a heavy buildup of paint, including the original coating. 
  • For vertical surfaces as it adheres, reducing spillage of the chemicals in other areas, 
  • For users that know how to neutralise it after application.

As with any other chemicals, before applying it, you should find the regulations to treat the waste after removing the graffiti. Usually, heavy-duty paint strippers are not environment friendly. 

How to remove graffiti from metallic surfaces?

One of the most common targets of graffiti vandals is garage doors. A garage door frequently dominates the front facade of homes. The garage door’s appearance can say a lot about the house, and leaving graffiti for a long time there would invite the vandals to attack other areas of the property. It gives off a message to neglect.  

The best way to remove graffiti from your garage door is:

  • Remove it within 48 hours to prevent more graffiti attacks. Prevention is almost always the best way to deal with graffiti. 
  • If the door is made of aluminium, steel or another type of metal, use a solvent paint remover made explicitly for metallic surfaces. Using a multi-surface remover can change the original appearance of your door. 
  • Spray the solvent over the affected area. Allow the solvent to act for around 10 minutes. The reaction may vary depending on the brand, so follow the instruction on the product.
  • Use a brush with stiff bristles, preferable a nylon one, to scrape away the paint. Be gentle; you may remove the door’s original colour if you go too strong. Make sure you’re not using a brush with metal bristles!
  • Wipe the area with a rag or use a pressure washing machine with low PSI to finish the work. 
  • Rinse with clean water. 
  • Let it dry. 
Business door vandalised

Some additional tips you may be aware of. If the graffiti is large, make the suggested process above dividing the door into sections. Thus, you can control the timing and avoid damaging the original paint on the surface. 

Finally, the last option is to repaint the door completely. Nevertheless, the new paint can react to the graffitis’ paint, and you may end with a funny looking outcome. 

If you want to avoid the hassle, just call a specialist to solve the problem in hours. If you want more tips to try and DIY, we have some additional tips here

How to remove graffiti from concrete and other surfaces?

Although graffiti sometimes is considered art, it’s likely to be an annoying nuisance for you or your business. Suppose you need to remove graffiti from sidewalks, remove graffiti from stone, or practically any other type of surface. In that case, you can speak to your local graffiti removalist and get a varied suite of graffiti removal products. The reality is that using the generic products available in your supermarket can be helpful. Still, almost all the time are misused, and graffiti removal experts end up cleaning the mess.

Nobody should have to deal with vandalism for a second longer than they want to. If you don’t have time to DIY or simply lack expertise, Ablate graffiti removal services can help you solve your problem within 24 hours.
Act fast, prevent future attacks and restore your surface to its old glory!