How To Remove Graffiti From Most Surfaces

Graffiti, from the Italian word “graffito” meaning “scratched”, has existed since ancient times. Whether it’s art or a nuisance is another discussion, but once you have graffiti on your property that you would like to remove, you have a few options. In this piece, we’ll look at how to remove graffiti from the most common surfaces.

Remove Graffiti ASAP

Once you have noticed that your home or other property has been “tagged” with graffiti, your best chance at removing it completely is to act quickly. If possible, don’t let graffiti remain for more than a day or two. The more time passes, the more difficult it will be to remove the paint.

How to Remove Graffiti From Plastic

Start by seeing if an industrial-strength soap will remove the paint. If this doesn’t work, use an old rag and a plastic-safe penetrating oil to try to remove the paint. This penetrating oil is the same used by mechanics to loosen stubborn bolts. It is not recommended to use paint thinners as these may weaken the plastic. If penetrating oil and soap do not work, using fine steel wool or bronze wool scrubber may work. If these techniques do not work, you may need to paint over the graffiti.

How to Remove Graffiti from Wood

Trying to remove painted graffiti from wood can be difficult as any solvent that would remove the paint will also likely strip the wood of paint and stain previous applied. First, attempt to remove the paint with a finish-safe soap. If the wood is weathered, many attempts will only cause the paint to further sink into the wood. Use mineral spirits, power washing, and scrubbing with caution. You may need to paint over graffiti.

How to Remove Graffiti from Masonry

When it comes to brick or other masonry surfaces, power washing the area at 3000psi is probably your best shot at removing graffiti paint. If power washing is not effective, sandblasting the area can also be effective. Make sure to keep the sand applicator continuously moving to avoid damaging the masonry surface. If power washing or sandblasting prove ineffective or would cause too much damage to the masonry, you may need to paint over the area.

How to Remove Graffiti from Metal Surfaces

The first step would be the lightest — trying to remove the graffiti with an industrial soap or penetrating oil. Keeping any existing paint or finishes in mind, use an appropriate paint thinner to attempt to remove the painted graffiti. The next step would be to try using light steel wool or extremely fine sandpaper on the painted areas. After this, power washing the area at 3000psi may work. If none of these techniques are effective, you may need to paint over the area.


We hope that these techniques are helpful in your attempt to remove graffiti. If you have questions about any other demolition project you need to be done, feel free to consult your friend’s at Oklahoma’s trusted source for quality demolition — DT Specialized Services.