The myriad questions people ask me about graffiti removal really doesn’t surprise me. “Should I remove graffiti or is it a waste of time?”, “What’s the best way to remove it?” The list goes on.

Hopefully, this list will clear some of the mysteries and misconceptions in circulation. If it doesn’t, let me know and I’ll endeavour to answer your question the best I can.

What surfaces can graffiti be removed from?

The good news is that graffiti can be removed from almost any surface. These are the common surfaces from which we remove graffiti:

Bricks
Concrete
Timber
Render
Bitumen
Paving
Cladding
Plastic
Glass

Stone surfaces (sandstone, bluestone, granite etc.)
Stainless Steel
Aluminium
Colorbond
Painted Surfaces
Vehicles
Trees

There’s new graffiti in my street almost every week. Why bother removing it?

We get asked this question frequently and the answer surprises people. Vandals are more likely to return and graffiti your property if you don’t do anything! Vandals feel validated when they see their tags in public. Demonstrate that graffiti will be swiftly removed. They’ll look for somewhere else to vandalise.

Can I paint over it?

We don’t recommend this. Most graffiti comprises of dark-coloured aerosol paint which will remain visible under light paint. Even using a dark colour will still require several coats. This presents an even greater problem if the graffiti only covers a small section of the surface. The fresh paint will be a different shade as it won’t have the fading or weathering the existing paint had. You’ll need to paint the whole structure with several coats to hide it.

Can I remove graffiti by sanding, scrubbing it away or blasting it with a high pressure cleaner?

Abrasive measures are not recommended, as they usually add to your repair bill! The common misconception here is that the graffiti paint lies on the surface. Much like water soaking into a sponge, graffiti soaks deep beyond the surface.

You would have to sand/scrub/blast a substantial portion of the wall away to completely remove the graffiti. What would the consequences of this be? Crumbling of brick, render and stone. Mortar falling out. Timber rotting. Colorbond rusting.

Can I remove graffiti with paint stripper or a strong cleaning chemical such as bleach?

Another risky choice! Strong cleaning chemicals such as bleach will leave white ‘shadow’ stains, otherwise known as salt deposits. We’re often called in to clean up the mess left behind.
So what is the best way to remove graffiti?

To achieve the best finish and avoid causing staining or structural damage, the best way to remove graffiti is to draw it out to the surface. This is done by matching the right cleaning solution for the surface. This cleaning solution is used to break down the molecular structure of the graffiti, drawing the paint out to the surface. The surface is then carefully neutralised at the correct pH levels to ensure it is left completely clean. No abrasive measures required!

Can graffiti be removed in an environmentally friendly way?

Yes. Environmental damage is most likely to occur from waste runoff into sewerage drains. This can be prevented by using a vacuum recovery system which collects waste and converts it into grey water, which is safe enough to water plants with.

My local council will remove graffiti free of charge. Why should I pay someone to do it?

While we applaud the proactive stance that many councils take, it’s worth asking how your local council aims to remove the graffiti. The old saying “you get what you pay for” rings true. For example, one council lists their two primary methods of graffiti removal as pressure washing and painting out.

The council also includes ‘This may leave some shadow of original graffiti in/on porous or raw surfaces’, ‘We provide no guarantee the graffiti will be completely removed in such circumstances’ and ‘The colour selected by our authorised personnel, from a limited colour palette’.

The Graffiti Eaters are Australia’s first graffiti removal specialist. For over 40 years we have kept local government areas, shopping centres, retailers, banks, schools and residential properties graffiti-free.

Find out more about our graffiti removal services, or request a quote!