How To Remove Graffiti

While graffiti can be artistic and beautiful at times, when it’s done on your property without your permission, it can be a problem!

Graffiti tarnishes your property and fixing the same will be quite difficult if you don't have proper knowledge of graffiti removal. 

In this article, we will tell you how to remove graffiti from various surfaces easily and effectively. 

We should keep in mind that depending upon the nature of the surface, the removal process will vary. Factors like procedure, tools, time and cost depend upon the surface. 

Let's check out how to remove graffiti from various surfaces. 

How to remove graffiti from Wooden Surfaces

Before working on wooden surfaces, we should check whether the surface is weathered or not. This is because if the wood is weathered, then extra care has to be taken while removing it, otherwise the graffiti paint may drip down the wood causing more damage to the surface. 

For a non-weathered wooden surface, we can use mineral spirits to remove the stain. Gently wipe over the paint-sealed surface with cloth dipped in mineral spirits. However, if the surface is weathered then this method is not recommended. 

In the case of a weathered surface, the power washing method can be used. Power washing is a process where hot water under high pressure comes through a nozzle and this is used to remove dirt and stains from various surfaces. Here, in this case, we can apply hot water with a pressure of 3000psi to remove the paint - but make sure the paint is not driven deeper into the wood.

How to remove graffiti from Masonry Surfaces

Generally, we use two methods to remove graffiti from masonry surfaces. They are the power wash method and sandblasting method. 

Hot water with a pressure of 3000 psi is perfect for removing the graffiti but you should be careful about the kind of nozzle you use to deliver the high-pressure water. Nozzles used for power washing are of different kinds and they are differentiated based on a unit of measurement called 'degree'.  A nozzle with too narrow dips like 0 degrees can etch the surface and will leave a permanent outline of the removed graffiti.

Sand Blasting is a process similar to that of power washing. Also called Abrasive blasting, it is the process of applying a stream of specific minerals along with high compressed air against a hard or rough surface to remove any dirt or to smooth the surface. However, we should be careful to apply the blast evenly over the surface instead of focusing on one spot for a longer time. This is because, if we apply pressure over one for a long time, chances are there for that pot to get permanently etched.

How to remove graffiti from Glass Surfaces

You can remove the graffiti paint from the glass surface either with the help of chemicals or by manually using a razor blade. We recommend using razor blades as they are highly effective and environment friendly. You can scrape off the paint from the glass surface by gently shaving the surface by using a razor blade at a 30-degree angle. For final touches and a perfect finish, rub the surface gently with ultra-fine bronze wool dipped in water.

How to remove graffiti from Metal Surfaces

The easiest way to remove graffiti from metal surfaces is to wipe it with paint thinners or light penetrating oils. A major portion of the graffiti will be removed by this but it is recommended to rub the surface with sandpaper, or steel or bronze wool for finishing. 

How to remove graffiti from Plastic Surfaces

Try rubbing the surface gently with ultra-fine steel or bronze wool. Alternatively, you can initially wipe the surface with a coat of light penetrating oils and then rub it with the earlier mentioned tools. Paint thinners are not recommended to remove graffiti from the plastic surfaces as it will soften the surface. This will either cause clouding of the plastic or will leave a permanent tackiness on the surface. 

If none of the above-mentioned methods worked for you, then it is better to paint over the graffiti. However, it is suggested to chip off as much as a portion of the graffiti using the above-mentioned tools and apply a coat of sealer above the graffiti before painting over the same. Doing so will ensure that the graffiti paint will not bleed through the surface that we have painted afresh.

A few points to keep in mind before you remove the graffiti:

  1. It is always recommended to seek the advice of a trained professional in case you have reservations about the procedure or doubts about the surface itself. 
  2. Paint thinners, mineral spirits, and other chemicals are toxic in nature and can be harmful to your health. Make sure you take the necessary precautions before handling these materials.
  3. It is always good to do a trial of the process on a small area or an unimportant area, so you can check the feasibility of the process. 
Next time when you find that your property is vandalized with graffiti, there’s no need to worry, as now you know how to remove graffiti by yourself! Happy DIY!


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