This page will be about the issue of cleaning or painting over graffiti.
Problems with Cleaning
One of the reasons people give up on cleaning and want to paint is that it is much harder than it looks. Household cleaners generally don’t work, there are many kinds of commercial solvents that often don’t work - and people just don’t know what to do. Even if you have the right kind of solvent, most people don’t have the knowledge of how to do the cleaning.
Therefore, they think they should paint.
Problems with Painting
Painting seems like the simple solution. But there are problems. First, few people have colors on hand that are even close, and eyeballing something for the right color often doesn’t work out. Even when you have the right color, you might have something glossy when the surface is actually flat.
So what you see out there are a lot of ugly paint jobs and a lot of ugly smears of graffiti paint and marker from someone who tried to do something.
Here is what I recommend:
1. Always start with cleaning. Cleaning is always legal (unless you’re trespassing) and anything you get off will make painting easier - and perhaps only one coat. If you can get or rent a pressure washer, this works very well.
2. If you’re going to paint, try to use the right color. Look at the target pages on this blog for advice on color matching. Some popular targets have exact off-the-shelf paints available. Some do not.