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Removing graffiti

Options to Consider

Try the Community Paint Program - Thanks to a partnership with local paint companies, you can purchase discounted paint, chemical removers, brushes, rollers and other clean-up items. They are prepared to provide advice on the appropriate removal technique and products.

  • Cloverdale Paint
  • Dulux Paints
  • General Paint
  • RONA Home & Garden Regina
  • Sherwin-Williams

Recycled Paint Program – Free recycled paint can be picked up at any SARCAN location in Regina.

Call a Commercial Graffiti Remover - You can hire a professional to wipe out graffiti from your property. This is especially important when dealing with valuable or sensitive surfaces. Check the Yellow Pages of the phone book (under Graffiti Removal) for listings of commercial graffiti removers.


Graffiti Removal Techniques

Bricks, Cement, Concrete – Use extra strength paint remover applied with a wire brush to work into holes and pores of stone. Allow time to activate and rinse with a forceful stream of
water from a hose, pressure washer or sodablaster. 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.

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 and
then work on 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.

Fibreglass – Be aware that acetone-based solvents will soften plastics. Use full-strength
paint remover and rinse carefully. 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 pressure washer. Use stucco paint and go over the graffiti carefully. Consider using a sealer as a finish coat.

Glass or Plexiglass – Any 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 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 with the solvent list if the marks are new. Most thinners will remove
magic markers and acetone will remove day old spray paint. 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, proceed with regular paints, oil or
latex. Most oil base paints are more durable to solvents and 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.

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.

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.