How to remove graffiti?

The Best Methods to Remove Graffiti

Any sort of graffiti whether it’s on your own property or in a public place is unsightly and so we’ve put together some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) and solutions on the best methods for removing graffiti to help you quickly, safely and efficiently remove graffiti from almost any surface.

It is best to remove graffiti as quickly as you can and if possible within 24-48 hours as studies have shown that this is the best prevention strategy for any budding vandals.

How can you prevent Graffiti?

  1. Report any graffiti immediately to your local police (Call 101)
  2. Remove any graffiti quickly as this shows you care about your property, and discourages them from doing it again as it doesn’t give them the recognition they are looking for
  3. Choose darker paint colours for walls and fences as this makes their graffiti stand out less and doesn’t give them the quick and easy recognition they are looking for
  4. Install motion active lights as these are a real deterrent
  5. Install motion active cameras, again these are a positive deterrent
  6. Plant thorny plants and vegetation in front of walls and surfaces that are likely to be easy for people to graffiti, or vine plants that attach to walls or fences
  7. Install gates, locks and fences wherever possible to prevent graffiti vandals from accessing your property
  8. Work with the local community, police, local authorities and schools to see how graffiti can be prevented in your area
  9. Ask the local schools to talk to their pupils about graffiti and the negative impacts it has on homeowners and the local community
  10. Get involved with, or start a neighbourhood watch scheme for your area and work to come up with ideas to highlight graffiti and the impact it has on home, business owners and the community

How to remove Graffiti from a brick wall

Having Graffiti sprayed or drawn on a brick wall at your home or business is extremely frustrating and it is very difficult to remove unless you have the right products and know-how to remove it.

Brick is porous so the paint absorbs into the uneven brick surface making it difficult to just scrape or wipe off. It isn’t possible to scrape paint off a brick wall compared to wood or metal as the surface is uneven.

Chemical and gel masonry strippers can remove paint from an inside brick wall but it takes time, a lot of applications and lots of scrubbing and elbow grease. To make the job easier you can use “Graffiti Go!” which will remove the graffiti easily and quickly.

If the paint is still wet then you should soak it up using an absorbent cloth but try not to wipe the paint as it will spread. When you have removed as much as you can with the absorbent cloth you can use a solvent like white spirit to remove the rest. White spirit will leave a residue and will smell so you will then need to use a de-greasing solvent to remove it. This removal process is very time consuming and instead, you can use Graffiti Go! which will do the job perfectly and quickly without multiple treatments. Graffiti Go is a water-based, non-toxic solution and so is safer to use.

If the paint has dried then scrape as much of it off as you can and then traditionally you would use a paint remover or stripper to remove anything remaining. Most paint removers and strippers contain strong chemicals which remove the paint and varnish from surfaces. These harsh chemicals can pose a significant risk to your health as well as your safety when using them. They can cause skin and eye irritation, they can burn the skin as well as causing headaches, drowsiness, nausea, dizziness and loss of coordination. Because of this, we recommend that you use Graffiti Go which is a safer graffiti remover which has been formulated from the most advanced, innovative water-based technology and not solvents, as well as being better for the environment than most other hazardous solvents.

Graffiti Go! Demonstration of removing graffiti from brick

A lot of people think that jet washing a wall will remove graffiti, however, we advise against it as it can quickly erode the surface of the bricks. Also, be aware that some caustic chemical solutions can cause surface failures or can change the colour of your bricks resulting in long term damage.

How to get spray paint or remove Graffiti off a car

It really is shocking if you ever come out to your car and it has been vandalised with paint or graffiti. There are lots of traditional methods of removing graffiti from a car like using acetone or nail varnish remover. The higher the percentage of acetone the better and the aim is to remove the paint like the acetone is formulated to take the top enamel layer from nails. Wear gloves when you are doing this as the acetone will dry your hands out. Use a microfiber cloth with the acetone on and use small circular motions over the paint damage. The removed paint should then transfer to the cloth. Wash the car immediately after with warm soapy water. Be careful not to over rub or use too much acetone when you are using this method of removal as it can remove the top protective layer of your cars paint.

An alternative and safer way to remove the graffiti or paint from your cars paintwork is to use Graffiti Go so you are safe in the knowledge that your cars paintwork won’t get damaged during removal.

How to remove Graffiti from metal

There are a couple of options to try when you are trying to remove graffiti from a metal surface and here are some of the more traditional methods.

Try using a common paint thinner, WD40, lacquer thinner or acetone or even a light penetrating oil with a microfiber cloth. If this doesn’t work you can try rubbing it gently with steel or bronze brush or light sandpaper. If you try to remove it this way always be aware that the metals surface may get damaged in the process leaving it looking dull, scratched or discoloured. If none of these work, then you can try removing it by jet washing the graffiti or paint off but be aware this isn’t always a successful method of removal.

However, your best solution in any of these situations when you have been unfortunate enough to have your property vandalised with paint or graffiti is Graffiti Go. The non-toxic, water-based graffiti remover does not require sanding nor will it discolour the mtal surface.

How to remove Graffiti from wood?

If the wood the graffiti is on is sealed with paint, stain or a sealer then you can try removing it by wiping it with mineral spirits. If the wood is weathered or doesn’t have paint, stain or a sealer then doing this drives the chemicals and the paint further into the wood. If the wood has no top protective layer and it is bare wood then you can try lightly sanding the surface, following the grain of the wood. Power washing can sometimes remove it, however, if it is soft wood then it can take the top surface off, damaging it and can splinter. If none of these methods work then you can try giving a couple of coats of paint or stain to cover it up.

Or simply apply Graffiti Go! which removes paint from all types of wood and makes the job quick and efficient.

How to remove Graffiti from plastic

You can try wiping the plastic with a light penetrating oil. We advise you not to use paint thinners on plastic as it can soften it, causing it to misshape, discolour or can result in a permanent stickiness on the surface. You can try painting over the plastic if neither of these options work, however, the best way to remove graffiti from plastic is by using Graffiti Go. Apply, wait and wash off!

How to remove Graffiti from masonry

You can try using a pressure washer to remove graffiti from masonry but don’t ever use a narrow or small tip as it can etch the surface of the masonry leaving an outline where the graffiti was. Sand-blasting is another option; however, this is something you would need a professional to do and it can be costly. You can try painting over the masonry but be aware you may think a couple of coats have covered it but if it is a light colour it may being to show through over time, or in certain lights. You would also need to repaint the whole surface rather than just where the graffiti was to ensure you don’t end up with patchy colours all over the surface.

Graffiti Go removes graffiti safely and easily from masonry leaving no uneven surfaces behind. Spray on, lightly brush, wash off with water and wipe clean with a cloth.

How to remove spray paint from skin

Sometimes home improvement projects go wrong and you end up with spray paint or paint in places you wish you hadn’t but there are ways of removing it. If you wipe the paint when it is still wet you can sometimes remove it but you need to be quick and try to do it so you don’t spread the paint further and then wash with warm soapy water. Quite often you don’t realise you have paint on your skin so it is usual to have dried by the time you have seen it. Before you try to remove any paint always check the can to see if it is water or oil based paint as this will determine how, and what products you should use to remove it.

Water based spray paints can be loosened with washing up liquid and we are told that green washing up liquid is the best. Work it into the skin and if you think it needs it, use an old soft toothbrush to lift the paint with the washing up liquid. Wash your hands with warm soapy water after.

Oil based paints can be loosened and removed with pure essential oil which dissolves the oil based paint. Again, rub it into the skin in circular movements and use an old soft toothbrush for those stubborn stains then wash with warm soapy water.

You may need to use these techniques a couple of times but they will almost always lift and remove the paint from your skin.

How to remove spray paint from concrete

Here is a more traditional way of removing spray paint from concrete: Scrape off the excess paint and wash the area down with washing soda and water or a strong detergent, scrub it with a soft bristled brush and then rinse with clean warm water. Some people try pressure washing paint from concrete, however, you should be careful as if you spray too close or the washer is too powerful it can lift and chip the concrete.

A more efficient and safer method is to use Graffiti Go! which will almost always remove the spray paint from any concrete.

How to remove spray paint from rock

Apply a commercial paint remover and allow it to dry, always wear protective gloves and goggles when you are using any paint stripper or remover as they can irritate your skin and eyes or cause burns. Use a wire brush to remove the paint and then wash the area clean.

For a safer and better way, try using Graffiti Go to remove the paint as it doesn’t damage the rock and it is safer to use than most paint strippers or removers on the market.

How to remove paint from a garage door

The appearance of your garage door can say a lot about you and your home so having paint on your garage door or graffiti is something you want to remove quickly, alternatively you may want to remove the top layer so you can give it a new lick of paint to freshen it up.

First try using some diluted bleach to wash over the door, this doesn’t always work and it depends on the type of on the door if it will work or not. If this doesn’t work then wipe a paint remover over the paint or graffiti you want to remove and use small circular motions, remember to always wear protective gloves and goggles when using these industrial strength chemicals. When the paint has lifted, you can wash down with warm soapy water. Using a paint remover will mean you will need to give your garage door a couple of coats of paint after to ensure it has an even colour, however, if you use Graffiti Go it will lift the grafitti paint leaving your door looking as good as new.

These hints and tips are the more traditional way of removing graffiti or paint from surfaces, however, we advise you to try Graffiti Go as it lifts and removes all types of paints including car spray paint, graffiti shadow, leather dye, marker pen, crayons, fly posters and can you believe it chewing gum.

About Graffiti Go

Graffiti Go was researched, developed and is manufactured in the UK. It is a safer graffiti remover formulated by Eco Solutions from the most advanced, innovative water-based technology using” science not solvents”.

The product is being used safely by an increasing number of consumers and professionals to remove unwanted paint and graffiti from many types of surfaces.

Why Use Graffiti Go?

It is safer to use and safer for the environment compared to conventional hazardous solvents and it is ideal for use in sensitive and occupied premises such as; homes, hospitals and schools.

Graffiti Go is a ‘one product does all’ solution, with no before or after treatments needed. It is non-hazardous, non-toxic, non-caustic and doesn’t cause skin burns. It is PH neutral, water based, “Tough not toxic” and there are No H (hazard) or P (precautionary) statements or warnings on the label.

Trade and Home Use Graffiti Go Removes

All paints including car spray paints – Graffiti shadow – Leather dye – Marker pen – Crayons – Fly posters – Chewing gum.

Trade and Home Use Graffiti Go Works On

All woods – All metals (including Aluminium) – Stone (including soft and porous stones) – Brick – Marble – Concrete – Most plastics (may etch certain types of Perspex and polycarbonate).

Give it a go today, it is a brilliant go to product to have in your garage for those expectant needs in the home or any business.

How to Remove Spray Paint from Exterior Brick and Cement

Table of Contents:

  1. You Will Need
  2. Steps to Remove the Paint
  3. Additional Tips and Advice


Neal asked: How do I remove white spray paint from the exterior brick and cement floor of our house? It has been on for about two months. My 15 year old daughter used our house to hold up a mirror that she sprayed white. Due to overspray and not asking me first, we now have a line of paint on the brick and on the concrete floor. It has been there two months. We have used mineral spirits, Goof Off, Goo Gone and MEK to no avail. Please help. Thank you!

Spray paint is notoriously difficult to remove from porous surfaces like brick, mortar, and concrete. The fix usually depends on what kind of masonry you’re cleaning and the type of paint used, but when you use a product specifically designed to remove graffiti things get much easier.

You Will Need:

  • Wipe Out Porous Graffiti Remover
  • Pressure washer
  • Clean spray bottle

Steps to Remove the Paint:

  1. Pour Wipe Out Porous Graffiti Remover into a clean spray bottle. To ensure you do not inadvertently mix chemicals, make sure the bottle is clean.
  2. Spray Wipe Out over the paint to be removed.
  3. Wait 15-20 minutes in warm weather, longer in cold. The paint will begin to dissolve on contact with the Wipe Out.
  4. Pressure wash the area at 1500-2000 psi. For best results, use hot water.
  5. Repeat if needed.


Additional Tips and Advice

  • One quart of Wipe Out will clean approximately 25 square feet of graffiti, depending on how thick the paint layers are.
  • Another option is to use paint thinner. Be sure to wear safety gear, eye protection in particular, and scrub with a nylon bristled brush until clean. This option will be labor intensive.
  • Do not use acids or a metal bristled brush for this job. Either one may etch the brick, and the metal bristles could leave rust stains behind. If you intend to etch the brick, be prepared to do the entire wall (or building) so it will match, then apply a sealer to protect stripped/etched brick or concrete.

How to Remove Graffiti From Metal, Wood, Plastic, and Masonry Surfaces

When graffiti strikes it is best to remove it within in 24-48 hours. Studies show that the best graffiti prevention strategy is immediate removal. Leaving it up also gives vandals the wrong message. Below are some tried and true approaches to getting rid of graffiti but we are very partial to using graffiti removers such as TAGAWAY® and TAGINATOR® and a pressure sprayer. These products are preferred by School Districts, Municipalities, Public Works Departments, Parcel Post Companies, Housing Authorities, Highway Authorities, Mass Transit Authorities, Trucking Companies and Contractors.

Graffiti on Metal Surfaces

  • Try wiping graffiti with any common paint thinner (ie. mineral spirits such as WD40, lacquer thinner, acetone), or try graffiti removal products or wiping graffiti with a light penetrating oil.
  • 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 3000psi pressure washer.
  • If these methods do not work, paint over the graffiti.

Graffiti on 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 use this technique as the chemicals will be absorbed by the wood, driving the paint further down into the wood.
  • Power-washing with a 3000psi pressure washer can be used but be careful not to drive the paint deeper into the wood.
  • If these methods do not work, paint over the graffiti.

Graffiti on Plastic Surfaces

  • Try wiping graffiti with a light, penetrating oil. Do not use paint thinners as they can soften the plastic and can cause clouding or permanent tackiness of the surface.
  • Use an ultra-fine steel or bronze wool and lightly rub the paint.
  • If these methods do not work, paint over the graffiti.

Graffiti on Masonry Surfaces

  • Use a 3000psi pressure washer (do not use a narrow tip as it will etch the masonry surface leaving an outline of the graffiti).
  • Sand-blasting is another option. Keep the tip moving over the graffiti-painted area to avoid permanently marking the surface.
  • If these methods do not work, paint over the graffiti.

See the video below from TAGINATOR®

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Graffiti Paint Removal: Tips For Getting Graffiti Off A Tree

We’ve all seen it on the sides of buildings, railcars, fences and other vertical flat services, but what about trees? Graffiti paint removal on non-living surfaces requires some serious elbow grease and some fairly caustic chemicals, but it can be accomplished. When graffiti “artists” hit your trees, getting the paint off can be a bit more challenging. We’ll give you some tips on how to remove graffiti paint from trees without damaging the plant or the environment.

Methods of Graffiti Paint Removal

Freedom of speech is an inalienable right, but does it have to occur on your trees? When graffiti taggers hit your trees, the result is not only unsightly but it can convey unsavory messages. Additionally, some paints can cause toxic damage to trees and clog the lenticels which are necessary for tree respiration. Getting graffiti off a tree safely requires some scrubbing and careful monitoring of the plant’s health.

There are many graffiti removers on the market, but some of them pose respiratory and even cancerous issues to you, and toxic or chemical problems with the tree. Removing graffiti paint on trees requires a more deft touch than simply blasting it off a building. You must be careful of the bark and outer tissue of the plant.

Traditional graffiti removers have caustic ingredients which cannot only burn the skin and respiratory system of the user, but can also cause damage to the tree. One that is deemed safe enough on most trees is Graffiti Gone. It claims to remove spray paint, marker, pen and other surface marring items without damage to you or the tree.

Methods such as scrubbing or pressure washing can be used on trees with caution. Smaller trees will need to be hand scrubbed while a pressure washer on low setting can be used to remove graffiti paint on trees with large trunk girth.

Mechanically Getting Graffiti off a Tree

It may take some practice to use a pressure washing tool to remove paint on trees. Step well away from the tree initially to make sure that each spray stroke is not doing any damage. The general rule is to use the washer on medium to low and step at least 3 feet (.91 m.) away from the trunk. If necessary, gradually step in towards the plant, always assessing for any bark or cambium damage. Only use a pressure washer on trees with thick bark such as hornbeam, chestnut, locust, oak and cottonwood.

Other than pressure washing and good old-fashioned scrubbing, another method to try is sanding. Use a light sandpaper, such as a 400 grit, and hand sand the painted area. Do not use a power sander, as more bark and wood will be removed than necessary. Use a polishing motion on the lettering until it fades or is removed completely.

How to Remove Graffiti Paint on Trees Naturally

Getting graffiti off a tree without doing harm to it or the environment is possible. Use a citrus based graffiti remover or degreaser which is widely available at hardware stores and some supermarkets. These have active ingredients which are completely natural, such as orange oil.

For recent graffiti, apply the remover and let it sit on the area for up to an hour before rubbing and rinsing. Older graffiti will need a longer soak and possibly several treatments to fade the letters completely. The treatment will work best if it is agitated with a nylon or other soft bristle brush.

GRAFFITI is the scourge of modern life, covering every inch of space in some place but even worse some people’s homes are targeted by spray can vandalism.

Should this happen to you this is how to rid the unsightly tags from your walls.

1 Some graffiti is of a high standard, but most resemble a toddler’s scribble with the ‘artist’ having a similar mental ageCredit: Alamy

What do you need to remove graffiti from brick, glass or wood?

First thing you need to know is that you need to keep safe as solvents and cleaners you will be using are pretty potent and should be handled with care.

So you will need tough rubber gloves, safety glasses and a respirator.

Then to apply the solvent or cleaner you will need some cotton wool or a sponge along with paint brushes and rollers. Wire brush may be handy.

A power hose is required.

How to get rid of the graffiti?

First off test your cleaning fluid on the surface you wish to clean to make sure you will not damage it.

It may be the case you can clean with it soap and water.

Paint the solvent on the painted areas and leave it to soak in as recommended,

Preferably use a sponge.

But if that doesn’t work use a bit elbow grease and scrub it with a wire brush.

Then let loose with a power hose.


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What happens if none of it works?

Think about painting over it.

But before this you may want to call in a professional graffiti remover who may be able to use their experience.

House insurance may well cover this.

Aussie vigilante catches graffiti vandals on train

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