We may never know exactly why some people feel the need to write their names all over other people's property, but at least there are ways to deal with this form of painting.
The two parts you'll have to consider when you're looking to remove or cover someone else's unwanted artwork is the type of paint or materials used in the act, and the surface on which it has been applied.
Many materials, such as the high-polymer technology found in spray bombs, have incredibly durable pigments which are not easily shifted.
Looking at the basics, the smoother the surface, the easier you will be able to clean off any graffiti. This means that if you tend to regularly see the effects of the graffiti fairies who come in the night, one way to make the clean up easier on yourself is to paint the entire surface with a high-gloss exterior paint.
These coatings must be able to resist the strong cleaning products that are used to remove the graffiti, without breaking down themselves.
This calls for very hard, cross-linked coatings like two-pot epoxies or polyurethanes with solvent resistance. Resene Uracryl Graffitishield is a clear finish that can go over your existing paint to help protect it against graffiti.
On the other hand, unsealed porous surfaces like brick, concrete, masonry and unpolished stone can virtually soak up the graffiti materials, making it nigh on impossible to remove the unsightly artworks completely.
When it gets to that point, only serious measures like removing a layer from the surface with sandblasting can totally eradicate the graffiti.
When you're looking at solvents to clean the graffiti off, find one that doesn't have a very fast evaporation rate, as this can smear the paint over the surface and redry before the solvent evaporates. Ideally, your solvent will stay wet long enough for the surface to be wiped clean. Be aware that the solvents in graffiti removers, such as Resene Graffiti Cleaner can be very harsh on normal paint finishes – it may pay to try it on an inconspicuous area first.
If you are finding graffiti an ongoing problem, it's worth considering actions such as installing extra lighting, adding plants so there aren't large expanses of unbroken wall space and making access more difficult so it deters would be taggers.
March 14, 2014
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