Graffiti Removal Tips

Professional consultation is advised before attempting to remove graffiti. Most products available to the consumer are ineffective and can actually push the graffiti further into the substrate. Other than paint, the most efficient anti-graffiti removers are not available at local home improvement, hardware, or paint stores. They are specialty industrial products often sold in bulk to cities, counties, or professional graffiti removal companies. Graffiti removers sold in retail outlets are likely to be for small clean up tasks.

Rapid Removal

Studies show that graffiti vandals move on when their “work” isn’t allowed to stay on display. Rapid removal is the key to effective graffiti abatement. Before you begin scrubbing, however, there are some things to consider. Graffiti is notoriously difficult to get out of porous masonries like concrete, limestone, and soft brick. The wrong cleaning method can damage walls or permanently lock in the stains.

Turn to Experience

You can save time, expense, and frustration by contacting a professional cleaning company that knows how to remove graffiti. Please contact us, and we’ll send a field expert to help determine the proper course of action.

Oftentimes, it takes professional-strength products to undo graffiti attacks. These chemicals must be professionally applied. A quick, professional examination can determine the best method of graffiti removal.

Chicagoland Graffiti Removal can help you rid your property of graffiti and restore it to its original condition with a combination of chemical treatment and pressure washing. We can completely remove graffiti from porous masonry like brick, limestone, and concrete, as well as metal and aluminum siding.

Use a Graffiti Barrier Coating

If your site has been hit, it may be hit again. With each rapid removal, however, chances decrease. Once the surface is clean, a graffiti barrier coating should be applied to make it easier to clean the next time.

A graffiti barrier coating is a transparent layer that prevents paint from being absorbed by porous materials like brick, limestone, and concrete. This layer keeps graffiti at the surface where the cleaning solvents can easily reach it.

Graffiti is a crime. You should report graffiti to local law enforcement as soon as you find it. It’s a good idea to take pictures before and after the cleaning process. Chicagoland Graffiti Removal can supply before and after photos, free of charge.

Graffiti Removal Tips Chart

Surface Type Removal of Spray Paint and Similar Materials (markers, shoe polish, lip stick, stencils, etc.)
Glass Etching Recent advances in methods have allowed glass to be repaired (refer to etched glass page)
Adhesives Scrape away as much of the adhesive as possible; use nail polish remover or acetone-based cleaner to remove remaining residue. Be aware that acetone-based solvents can soften plastics.
Aluminum Siding
Fiberglass
Paint remover (sparingly); rinse with water
Glass Razor blade to scrape off; can also use paint thinner
Masonry (includes brick, marble, stone, tile, granite, and concrete) Power washing with low pressure; sand or soda blasting (may create a shadow); paint remover or chemical graffiti remover/solvent applied with brush and rinse with water; paint over
Historic Masonry or Other Valuable Structures Seek out a professional as these surfaces are very delicate
Metal Paint thinner or chemical graffiti remover/solvent and rub with steel wool or sandpaper and rinse; power washing; paint over
Pavement Chemical remover and power washing; soda blasting
Street Signs Chemical remover (make sure it does not remove reflective coating)
Stucco Paint remover/chemical remover and rinse with pressure wash; paint over
Utility Boxes Chemical remover with cloth or scrubber
Vinyl Siding Chemical solvents sparingly as they may remove the vinyl coating; repaint with primer first
Wood On painted, unweathered wood can try mineral spirits; power washing with low pressure; sanding; repainting

Chart Information Courtesy of Sherwin-Williams.