Many people have asked why property owners are only given five days to respond to the notice for graffiti removal. One of the main reasons is that studies from other cities across the nation have revealed that by removing the graffiti before the sun can shine on it, so-to-speak, lessens the chance of the property being targeted a second time. The studies also show that once a property has been hit three times and the graffiti thrice removed – taggers tend to abandon their efforts in that area.

If your property has been damaged by graffiti, please be aware that many graffiti removal and restoration efforts can leave surfaces looking as bad, or worse, than before the work began. To help ensure successful removal and protect surfaces from further graffiti:

  • Identify the surface type and substance to be removed.
  • Select the appropriate removal method.
  • Apply a protective coating.


Brick, stone, concrete, aluminum siding, utility boxes and poles, street signs, bus shelters, pavement, wood and glass are just some of the materials that can be defaced with graffiti. These surfaces can be smooth or textured. Some are painted while others are unprotected.

While most graffiti is applied with spray paint, graffiti vandals also use markers, adhesives (stickers), shoe polish, lip stick, stencils and etching products. The length of time graffiti has been on a surface usually impacts how easily it can be removed — the longer, the more difficult.

Depending on the substance to be removed, each surface requires or responds better to a particular method.

Removal Method
Except for paint, most anti-graffiti removers are not available at local home improvement, hardware or paint stores. Common removal methods include:

  • Paint-out – Paint is used to cover over graffiti on smooth, painted surfaces. It is fairly low cost and paint is a relatively safe product compared to removing graffiti with some chemical solvents.
  • Chemical Removers – Chemical removers vary, but typically the stronger the solvent, the faster it will dissolve or remove paint. In some cases, stronger solvents may require more safety consideration or personal protection. A solvent or cleaner that is poorly matched to a particular construction material, however, may create aesthetically unappealing results.
  • Pressure Washing – Pressure washing equipment uses water or water in combination with a solvent to remove graffiti from a surface. A solvent may first be applied and then the surface is washed with pressurized water. Sometimes a blasting media, such as baking soda, is used to remove graffiti. Pressure washing is effective, but keep in mind that it can wear down the surface being treated.

Once the graffiti has been removed and the area resurfaced, consider applying a sacrificial or non-sacrificial/permanent protective coating. Sacrificial coatings are protective, but come off when graffiti is removed and must be reapplied. Non-sacrificial or permanent anti-graffiti coatings are unaffected by the graffiti removal process and remain on the surface.

On Roads
According to the Texas Department of Transportation, the following manufacturers for anti-graffiti coatings have complied with DMS-8111, “Anti-Graffiti Coatings,” which describes the pre-approval procedure. These manufacturers are pre-approved to supply the following products for use on department projects and requisitions under DMS-8111. The materials will require sampling and testing before use. Tex-736-I, “Sampling Structural Coatings,” describes the sampling method.

Anti-Graffiti Coatings



MU 87

Myriad Utile, Inc.

Sacrificial Graffiti Gard

Textured Coatings of America, Inc.


Genesis Coatings, Inc.


Visual Pollution Technologies

Monochem Permashield D.O.T. Sacrificial

Monopole Inc.