Talking About Fence Materials

How To Remove Grafitti From A Fence

Graffiti is a common problem in many areas, and fences are tempting "canvasses" for those who enjoy spray painting their "art" in public places. If your business or organization's fence has been vandalized by graffiti, then you should know how to clean it. Methods for removing graffiti vary depending upon the type of material used for the fence. Below is how to remove graffiti from unfinished wood, vinyl and brick fences and walls:

How to remove graffiti from unfinished wood fences

Fences constructed from wood like cedar or other rot-resistant wood, are often left unfinished. This can make removal easier, since it doesn't damage paint or other exterior finishes. However, as with all surfaces, it is important to begin cleaning graffiti as soon as possible after it is discovered. The longer the paint sits on the wood, the deeper it will be absorbed into the grain.

To clean graffiti from an unfinished fence, begin by spraying it down with a soft stream of water spray from a garden hose. The object is to wet the wood and allow the water to begin the process of dissolving the paint. Once it has been soaked, equip a power washer spray wand with a medium-angle nozzle and begin to make several passes across the graffiti to strip away the paint. Be sure to keep the spray pattern moving to avoid creating uneven marks on the fence. In addition, don't hold the spray wand too close to the fence, as you may gouge or cut the wood.

If the medium-angle nozzle isn't cutting away the paint, then you can transition to a narrow-angle nozzle to gain increased effectiveness. However, once again be careful to move the spray pattern constantly and allow for several inches of space between the end of the nozzle and the fence. After you have finished spraying the fence, allow the wood to dry slightly, then use a medium-grit sandpaper to remove scarring or any remaining traces of paint. Sand until you obtain an even, clear appearance.

How to remove graffiti from vinyl fences

If your graffiti-covered fence is made from vinyl, the first step is to address the damage with water and liquid dish washing soap. Apply a soapy solution to the fence using a large sponge and scrub it to attempt to remove the graffiti; you may find soapy water sufficient to eliminate the graffiti before attempting to use any other solvents.

However, should the soapy water fail to handle the graffiti, then you will need to use another solvent to help loosen and remove the paint. There are commercially available graffiti-removal products, but you can also use other general-purpose, petroleum solvents such as mineral spirits. Be careful to read the manufacturer cautions about whichever solvent you choose to use, as some may cause damage to the vinyl by softening it or permanently scarring its surface. Apply the solvent to the graffiti using shop towels or heavy paper towels, and wipe it down to remove any excess liquid. Keep wiping until the paint marks disappear, and periodically check during cleaning to make sure it isn't damaging the surface of the vinyl.

How to remove graffiti from a brick wall

Brick is perhaps the most difficult material when it comes to graffiti removal. The porous nature of brick makes fast removal necessary for best results. However, aggressive removal using power washers can cause highly visible etching or scarring of the brick, and wire brushes can leave rust stains. That is why the use of a commercial graffiti removal product is recommended in situations where brick has been painted. These products are designed to penetrate the brick and "loosen" the paint from the inside-out. To apply graffiti removal solvents, fill a shallow container with the solvent and soak the bristles of a nylon brush in the liquid. Next, apply the solvent to the brick wall with the brush and scrub vigorously to work the solvent into the brick. After allowing the solvent to break down the paint, use a spray nozzle and garden hose to wash away the loosened paint and chemical residue.

If there is too much damage and your fence needs to be replaced, contact a company like Phoenix Fence, Co.