Visit our Coronavirus page to stay up-to-date on the latest information and resources. ALL IN-PERSON CITY PROGRAMS AND EVENTS ARE CANCELLED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. See current closure details.

Información sobre la enfermedad del Covid-19



Graffiti Removal Strategies

Press Enter to show all options, press Tab go to next option


General Tips

Before you begin, please read this cautionary information:

  • The City does not endorse specific brands of products, but rather uses brand names to help the consumer identify these graffiti removal materials and supplies. 
  • Use caution when using dangerous and toxic chemicals.
  • Test your removal methods and materials on a small, unimportant area to be sure they work without causing damage. 
  • Hire a trained professional for valuable surfaces, historic buildings or unstable materials. 
  • Remember: Always read product labels and follow all manufacturer instructions and recommendations. Most of the products identified above are flammable - use caution and follow safety directions when using these products. Always use proper safety clothing and equipment (including gloves, safety glasses, etc.). It is recommended that a small "test" area be done prior to a full application of any product. 
The following are tips for removing graffiti from various types of surfaces:

Metal Surfaces

  • Try wiping with any common paint thinner (ex: mineral spirits, lacquer thinner, acetone). 
  • Try graffiti removal products such as “Goof Off”.
  • Sometimes wiping the graffiti with light penetrating oil such as “WD-40” or “Three-in-One” will remove it.
  • If graffiti remains, try to remove it by rubbing with steel or bronze wool, or light sandpaper.
  • If graffiti still remains, try power-washing it with a pressure washer.
  • If none of these methods work, paint over the graffiti.

Wood Surfaces

  • If the wood is not weathered and is sealed with paint, stain or sealer, try to remove it by wiping it with mineral spirits.
  • If the wood is weathered, do not sue this technique, as the mineral spirits will be absorbed by the wood – driving the paint further down into the wood.
  • Power washing with low pressure can be used, however, observe carefully to make sure the pressure is not driving the paint deeper into the wood grain. It is not recommended to exceed 700 psi.
  • If these methods do not work, sand the wood and re-paint or simply apply paint over the graffiti.

Plastic Surfaces

  • Try wiping graffiti with a light, penetrating oil such as “WD-40” or “Three-in-One”.
  • Do not use paint thinners as they can soften the plastic and can cause clouding (if clear plastic) or permanent tackiness of the surface.
  • Sometimes a light rubbing with ultra-fine steel or bronze wool will remove the paint. If these methods do not remove the graffiti, paint over it.

Glass Surfaces

  • The best method for removing painted graffiti from glass is to use a razor blade to carefully scrape it off. This method is 99% effective. Use the razor blade in a holder and scrape at a 30-degree angle to the glass.
  • If the paint does not come off completely after using the razor blade, use ultra-fine bronze wool with water to gently rub the remaining paint off.
  • You can use paint thinners on glass, however, the razor blade method is much quicker and more environmentally friendly.

Masonry Surfaces

  • The best option for this type off surface is to power-wash the graffiti with low pressure. It is not recommended to exceed 700 psi. Be careful in selecting the type of tip you use in the pressure wand. Too narrow of a tip (such as 0 degree) will etch the masonry surface leaving a perfect outline of the graffiti removed.
  • Sand-blasting is another removal option. As with pressure washing, be careful not to allow the sandblasting tip to remain in one spot too long as it can permanently etch the surface. Keep the tip moving over the painted area and the surrounding area so as to blend in the surface
  • If power-washing or sand-blasting does not remove the graffiti, the next best option is to paint over the graffiti.

 For additional information on graffiti, please submit a request online through ServiceWorks or call the graffiti hotline at (303) 774-4327.

View Full Site