Graffiti: Top tips for removal and prevention

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Graffiti: Top tips for removal and prevention Articles

Graffiti: Top tips for removal and prevention

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When done right, and with permission, a graffiti mural can add life and character to a building.  Colourful and bright graffiti murals are becoming increasingly popular, with the artistic form being recognised as effective ways to liven up city streets, and even being commissioned to convey messages to an audience.

Offensive and distasteful graffiti, however, is an eyesore to businesses and residences that have had their fences and walls “tagged”.  Read the below tips to help remove and prevent any graffiti that may have become an unwelcome addition to your property.

Top 5 tips to remove and prevent graffiti


1.      Graffiti Removal products

Removing graffiti from a painted substrate like a wall or fence can be easy with the use of dedicated Graffiti Removal Products, such as Watch Dog, Selley’s Muck Off Graffiti Remover, Rust-Oleum Graffiti Remover Gel, Goof Off Graffiti Remover and Mostenbocker’s Lift Off*.

For painted and coated surfaces such as road signs, mailboxes, glass and garage doors; use Watch Dog All Purpose Remover. Suitable on delicate surfaces, All Purpose Remover is a safe, non-toxic and easy product to use. Simply spray over the graffitied area, wait one to two minutes or until you see the graffiti starting to break down, and wipe away with a clean cloth. For tough graffiti marks, re-spray the area a second time. (Fun fact – this product is handy to keep around the home as it also removes permanent marker, crayons and glue … so a very handy product to clean up after an art and craft project!)

For smooth, non-porous surfaces such as glass and metal, use Watch Dog Lift Away Smooth Surface Graffiti Remover.  Simply spray the solution onto the graffitied area and leave for a minute or two or until the graffiti starts to break away. Using a soft cloth or soft scrubbing brush, agitate the product on the surface to assist the breakdown of the graffiti, and reapply if necessary.  Ensure the surface is thoroughly cleaned after using the Lift Away to stop additional surface coating being removed.

If the surface you need to remove the graffiti from is unpainted and porous, including brick, cement, pavers, granite, sandstone, etc; use Watch Dog Wipe Out Porous Surface Graffiti Remover. This product is designed to remove graffiti from porous surfaces without creating a ghosting or shadowing effect on the final result. Apply the product by brushing, rolling or spraying the Wipe Out to the affected surface, wait between 15 and 30 minutes, and use a scrubbing brush or high pressure hose to agitate the product on the surface. Wash away product residue with water after completing the removal process.

* Not all products are available across all Inspirations Paint stores. Chat to your local Inspirations Paint store for product availability.

2.      High Pressure or Sand Blasting

If the graffiti is quite large in size and on a porous, unpainted substrate, you may find the job requires a more heavy-duty removal technique than what Tip 1 offers.  Employing the use of a high-pressure water or sand blaster may be the most effective method of removing this type of graffiti damage, and we recommend chatting to our in store experts for professional advice for this removal method.

3.      Paint over the graffiti

Painting over the graffiti with the colour of the damaged substrate is an effective cover up method in a range of different situations that works best on previously painted surfaces. If the surface is dark in colour, you may choose to just paint over the graffiti to cover it up.  To ensure all traces of graffiti are no longer visible, you may want to follow the steps in Tip 1 to remove the graffiti first before painting over the surface.  If your substrate is lighter in colour, we don’t recommended just painting over the graffiti as there is a high chance the graffiti will still show through, so we suggest removing the graffiti first before painting. 

If your ColorBond fence has been tagged, head into your local Inspirations Paint store to chat with the team about using a touch up spray paint to cover over graffiti.

If you are not sure or cannot remember what colour you originally used on your surface, click here for some great tips on how to Colour Match!

4.      Preventative Measures

After you have removed or covered up the graffiti, you may want to consider applying a protective coating onto your substrate to help the surface area to resist future graffiti-ing. These protective coats will not make your surface completely immune to graffiti in the future; however, it will aid the removal of any future graffiti.  Dulux sell a variety of graffiti preventative coatings, but it is best to head into your local Inspirations Paint store to discuss which product is best for your surface type and colour. 

5.      Talk to your Inspirations Paint local experts!

We love paint projects, and can feel your frustration at having the appearance of your home or business tarnished with graffiti.  We are on hand to chat to you about the best way to treat your damaged area; however, it is also important to note that not all graffiti can be completely removed.  It is important to try to remove the graffiti as soon as it is discovered, as the longer it is left the more it will adhere to the surface making it harder to remove. The type of material that was used to graffiti will affect the results, as well as the colours used.  It is always important to provide as much information as possible when chatting to you Inspirations Paint expert to discover the best technique and product for removal, and provide photos if you can!

Graffiti Removal Day

It is time to love where we live! October 29, 2017 is Graffiti Removal Day in New South Wales. For more information on how you can volunteer to help remove and prevent graffiti across NSW, or to nominate a site that you feel needs a clean-up, follow this link for more information! 

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