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Graffiti Removal Options

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Graffiti is vandalism, not art. It's a crime.

The appearance of graffiti encourages further graffiti and other acts of vandalism. For graffiti management to be effective, graffiti needs to be wiped out quickly when it appears.

Graffiti Cleanup Options

You have a few options for removing graffiti. You can call a Commercial Graffiti Remover. The City can provide property owners with a list of companies that assist in removing graffiti. the other option is to remove it yourself. 

Removal Product Information

For specific information about graffiti removal and/or graffiti removal products that are available, please contact home and lumber stores or general contractors. Refer to the following table for product removal information:

Surface   Removal Information
Brick, Cement, Concrete  Use extra strength paint remover. Apply with a wire brush to work into holes and pores of stones. Allow time to activate and rinse with a forceful stream of water from a hose. Use of a pressure washer may be needed. If the surface is uniformly flat, a light grit (60) sand paper can remove paint, but will also scratch the surface. Consider using a sealer after removal to close pores and make future removal easier. For a list of companies that offer cleaning services, call 403.502.8019.
 Stucco  Due to the multi-faceted surface of stucco, it is impossible to sand off. Use paint remover and follow up with a high pressure water hose or better yet, a pressure washer. Use stucco paint and go over the graffiti carefully. Consider using a sealer as finish coat. Soda blasting has been known to remove graffiti from stucco.
Aluminum/Vinyl Siding
 Aluminum siding is usually coated or painted. Vinyl siding is made of plastic which can be marred by lacquer thinner-type cleaners. Solvents may work too aggressively and remove the coating as well. Experiment in a small inconspicuous area first and then tackle the more visible areas. Use paint remover sparingly and carefully. Use a clean rag and keep turning to a clean part of the rag before each wipe. The longer the solvent stays on the surface, the deeper it penetrates. In most cases, you will probably have to repaint.
Glass or Plexiglass
 A razor blade can scrape away cured paint on regular glass. For other marks, any solvent can be used. Use the clean rag technique and hold the rag over the graffiti for a moment to let the solvent work. On plexiglass, be careful of the lacquer thinner type solvents as they can attack the surface causing it to fog and smear. Make sure your product is compatible with the type of surface you are cleaning. Rinse thoroughly with water.
 Wood  Try working up the solvent list if the marks are new. Most thinners will remove magic marker and acetone will remove day old spray paint. You must use a clean rag and keep using a fresh part on each wipe. On latex or oil-based paint, use a stain-blocking primer for exterior use. After the stain blocker coat has dried, you can proceed with regular paints, oil or latex. Most oil base paints are more durable to solvents and hence could make future clean up easier. Consider a sealer coat after final finish. Avoid using flat paints as they readily absorb pigments from markers and spray paint.
 Fiberglass  Depending on the type of graffiti, work your way up the thinner list. Be aware that acetone-based solvents will soften plastics. Use full-strength paint remover and rinse carefully.
 Metal  On any unpainted metal (iron or stainless steel) surface, any solvent can be used. Some polished aluminum surfaces will cloud or oxidize with aggressive cleaners like lacquer thinner. Use the clean rag technique. If you are unsuccessful, try paint remover. The soda blaster is also a good tool to remove paint in order to return the surface to an unpainted metal finish.
 Etching  Surfaces scratched or scored with sharp objects can only be filled with fillers or the material will have to be replaced. Some new types of glass have replaceable covers or film layers that are cheaper to replace than the etched glass. Automotive body fillers can fill deep gouges and then be repainted. The only other recourse may be to replace the glass. You might deny the vandal visibility by etching over the vandal's mark, thus turning a "P" into a "B" and so on. It's a psychological solution, demonstrating that this area will not tolerate the vandal's message.