What Surfaces Can Graffiti Be Removed From?

by | Dec 15, 2022 | graffiti removal

Removing graffiti is possible on most surfaces, but the type of surface will determine the best method to clean it properly. Continue reading and find out how to remove graffiti on unwanted surfaces.

First, know your surface

It matters to know whether the surface we are about to clean is porous or non-porous, as this guides what materials or chemical solutions you should use.

Porous surfaces allow the natural flow of air, water, and other liquids on its cell structure. Some examples are wood, carpet, cardboard, and drapes. On the other hand, non-porous surfaces are more compact and prevent air or liquid from penetrating the material. This means it’s easier to clean as the solutions stay on the surface.


Since wood is a porous surface, removing graffiti can be tedious and challenging. Before you dive into applying chemical solutions, ensure to check the condition of the timber first. Checking its condition will save you from the frustrating and expensive situation of ruining the entire structure. Remember that you might have sprayed a good amount of paint on a wood surface with lacquer or any other wood preserver chemical.

Once done checking its condition, you may proceed to remove the graffiti. You may use soap, water and a brush to complete the removal. Or if the graffiti is too stubborn to clean, you may use the following:

  • Denatured alcohol
  • Mineral spirits
  • Petroleum solvents

Using a clean rag, put a generous amount of any of these solutions and apply it directly to the affected surface. Ensure that once all of the paint vanishes, you rinse it thoroughly with water to remove the harsh smell of the solvent. Don’t forget to apply lacquer paint after the wood dries to ensure it stays in its quality state.


It is easier to wipe off a graffiti paint mark on a glass surface. You can use a razor to shave off unwanted graffiti images on any glass surfaces. Ensure to prep the glass first by wiping the surface with warm soapy water using a clean cloth. Let it sit for a good two to three minutes before shaving the paint.

If this method didn’t work, you could rely on other solutions like mineral spirits, denatured alcohol and other solvents to ease the process. Just don’t forget to rinse it after applying these chemicals. If doing this yourself is too overwhelming, you can always turn to your trusted professional graffiti removal company to do the job.


Metal is another favourite surface graffiti artists use as an art medium. Just like glass, metal is also easier to clean because of its nonporous character. But before anything else, check if the metal surface you are about to clean is free from existing paint. If there’s paint on it, you may use warm water with soap and a microfibre cloth. Gently remove the unwanted pattern from it. Be careful not to put much pressure to avoid scratching the surface. Take note that this process is effective if the graffiti is still fresh.

However, if it takes too long for you to act and the paint dries off already on the surface, you need to use a water-based graffiti remover to get rid of it. This type of solution is safe on surfaces that have paint on them, and you don’t want to damage them. For metal surfaces free from paint, try a lacquer thinner, acetone, white spirit, or any other paint remover available.

Plastic surface

From one porous material to another. Plastic surfaces are also manageable to clean. However, removing graffiti on plastic surfaces with solvents is not acceptable. Chemical solutions like mineral spirits or denatured alcohol will melt your material. For instance, if the paint is still fresh, you may use vegetable oil to remove it. Let it sit for 15 to 20 minutes after application, then wipe it away with a clean rug. Avoid scraping the stubborn paint with sandpaper, as it will damage the plastic’s surfaces. You may use extra-fine wire wool to remove it.

On the other hand, if using this cleaning process is not suitable for you, you can utilise acetone or a nail polish remover. Removing graffiti from a plastic surface can be challenging if you lack the materials to do it. It is best to seek help from a professional graffiti remover to do this complicated job. It will assure you that they use the right tools and solutions on the appropriate surfaces.


Keep in mind that brick is a porous material – this makes it harder to clean. So, if you want to restore the original look of a brick surface you painted unwanted graffiti on, you may use a graffiti remover paste or gel. You may apply it for 30 minutes before rinsing it off using a water compressor or hosing it down. Using sandpaper to scratch off stubborn pain is advisable for this. But, you have to be gentle when using it so you’ll not damage the integrity of the brick’s surface. Once done, apply a sealer to restore the brick’s texture.

Can’t remove graffiti? Call Bye Bye Graffiti

Graffiti adds colour to a street or even a city, but if artists don’t know their boundaries, it may cause problems for establishments where they leave their mark.

We understand the pains of removing unwanted patterns on your walls. At Bye Bye Graffiti, we use tools that are safe and environmentally friendly to clean these surfaces. Our team are trained professionals who know their duties and can give you valuable information about the job.

Contact us today to find out more about our services, including graffiti removal in Melbourne, and how we can help you protect your property.