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How to Remove Spray Paint

Updated on March 3, 2012

Graffiti removal isn't the most desirable task. It's aggravating when vandals spray paint your home or business. Defaced buildings stand out like a "sore thumb", so let's learn how to remove spray paint.

This can be a tedious job. Most people use pressurized washing techniques, which may result in visual damage. Others paint over artistic words or pictures. This really wouldn't be prudent because the new paint job will appear bumpy and have a tendency to flake.

Learning how to remove spray paint can be time and labor intensive.

Note: Inhaling fumes can be toxic. Use proper preventive equipment (PPE). Wear long sleeves, long pants, rubber gloves, face mask and goggles while working with hazardous materials.

How to Remove Spray Paint with Mild Detergent and/or Oven Cleaner

Make a preliminary test on an unobtrusive spot to ensure oven cleaner will not discolor surface. Protect your lawn by putting plastic drop cloths on the ground close to the building.

Do a preparatory cleaning, using a sprayer attachment on your garden hose. Next, prepare a mixture of one gallon water to ¼ cup mild detergent that contains no alkaline or bleach. Fill another container with clear, warm water.

Scrub the offensive area with mixture. Experts suggest a scrub brush with a long handle. Dip the brush in clean water as necessary to remove paint residue. After scrubbing, rinse with garden hose.

If preliminary steps of graffiti removal weren't completely effective, spray foaming oven cleaner on the remainders. Leave on surface according to manufacturer instructions. Scrub until stubborn remainders are gone. Do a final rinse.

How to Remove Spray Paint with Olive Oil

Graffiti is tacky, so give it a good dose of olive oil. Saturate a clean cloth with olive oil and rub gently on the afflicted area. Let it soak in a couple of minutes and scrub with steel wool pad. Rinse.

How to Remove Spray Paint with Goof Off® Graffiti Remover

The safest, easiest way of graffiti removal is attained with a commercial product. Unlike home grown methods, a commercial product, like Goof Off® Graffiti Remover can be applied to most surfaces, including metal, wood and glass.

Simply spread the graffiti remover on a cloth and rub it away. Then rinse the area.

Environmental Friendly Graffiti Removal

Chemtel has released a biodegradable product "Smart Green Graffiti Remover". It is water soluble and conforms to the clean air act. This low toxic product promises to work on masonry, brick and concrete.

Non-toxic "Rainguard Graffiti Remover Spray" dissolves spray paint, leaving a pleasant citrus scent. It is fast-acting and water neutralized. This biodegradable product advertises quick removal of the toughest spray paint. It works on wood, cement and brick or "other" surfaces.

graffiti can be an eyesore

Anti-Graffiti Products

Whatever graffiti removal product you choose, a constant diet of rubbing, scouring and rinsing is tiresome. The best way to tackle graffiti is by making a pre-emptive strike against noxious vandals!

The GPA-200 Graffiti Proofer Anti-Stick is touted as the "world's first graffiti deterrent". The hooligans will get a big surprise when spray paint runs right off the "canvas". As the anti-sticks contain hazardous chemicals, ensure you use PPE.


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