How to Get Spray Paint or Graffiti off a Parking Lot/Driveway?

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Be it in ancient Rome or modern los angeles, graffiti done without consent is vandalism. If you don't remove it fast, it can devalue your property and cause further attacks.

But graffiti removal is not a ‘spray-it-and-wipe-it’ affair. It can thieve your time and energy, and leave you exhausted and angry. You can, however, save yourself from the trouble if you know how to go about it. And, this article gives you a start. Let’s dive in, shall we?

  1. Using soap, water and brush

If your driveway is asphalt-made, then you are in luck. Since asphalt comes from petroleum, it makes a poor surface for graffiti. You might be able to remove them yourself using soapy water and a brush.

Scrub it when it's fresh!

You should, however, act fast and remove the paint before it dries. The more you delay, the more you have to scrub, remember that.

Before you go at it, thoroughly clean the affected area. Use a wire brush to scrub the surface. Wash the resulting debris off and scrub again. Repeat the process until the paint is fully removed (or you get tired).

You can use this method on a concrete surface as well. The scrubbed area might stand out for a few days. But, weathering will take care of it. If this doesn't work, then it's time to up the game!

  1. Using water jet to strip away paint

The faster you try to remove the graffiti, the better. This way you prevent the paint from seeping into the substrate and leave a mark.

Pressure washing is an effective way to remove paint from asphalt, concrete, or stone. An electric pressure washer of around 3,000 psi capacity will do for this task.

Procedure to remove graffiti:

A) Apply a good paint stripper to the area

B) Wait for the solvent to react with the paint

C) Scrub with an iron or bronze wool if needed

D) Wash and rinse the affected area with the water jet

Make time to read this!

a) Be careful while choosing the paint remover. Use biodegradable or natural substances that do not harm the flora and fauna around the area.

  1. Pressure washer can injure you! A typical consumer-grade machine produces a jet with a pressure of up to 1,000 psi. In comparison, your average garden hose gives you a pressure of 40 psi.
  1. Using the good old steam power

Steam-cleaning is an effective graffiti removal method in los angeles. It can dislodge spray paint that has seeped deep into porous surfaces. A cost-effective method, it neither damages the substrate nor loosens any fillers. Done right, it can even make the surface look new.

Roping in machines

Special machines to produce the steam and apply it to the affected area are available.

The typical paint stripper in these machines is detergent. If, however, the paint shows no sign of coming loose, you may use a chemical solvent.

Do not, however, fill the detergent tank with this chemical. Apply it directly to the surface and then use the steam. Once the paint rises to the surface, you can scrape them off. Remember to use the necessary safety gear before the work starts.

4) Chemical solvents for tougher stains

Variety among aerosol paints has proliferated in recent decades. While makers market it for graffiti artists, thousands of cans end up with vandals. These paints are difficult to remove from any surface.

Patented formulas

Graffiti removal chemicals that react at a molecular level are available. These patented formulas can loosen spray paint on parking lots or driveway.

If the paint has dried, you may have to apply the removal agent more than once. Once the solvent starts acting, you wouldn't even need to scrub the surface. The paint would peel off in flakes.

Solvents and absorbents

If you don't know which paint remover to buy, try the paint thinner you have in your garage. Acetone or turpentine would do fine. Apply a coat of this on the graffiti or spray paint and let it break down the paint.

You may also mix the solvent with an absorbent like clay. The absorbent will pull the paint off the surface as the solvent starts evaporating.

  1. Contracting a company to clean your property

If you face frequent vandalism on your property in los angeles, it is better to contract a company to do the task.

This gives you three benefits:

#First, you don't have to slog away your life removing graffiti every time it appears.

#Second, you can get it removed as soon as it appears. This will send a signal to the vandals that you will not entertain their 'art'.

#Third, you will not end up damaging your property while trying to remove graffiti!

How companies remove them

Vandals use a variety of materials to create graffiti. These include aerosol paint, ink, shoe polish, lipstick, and permanent markers. Each warrants a different method for its removal from a defaced surface.

Companies have experience removing these from all surfaces, including parking lots and driveway. They will have the equipment and labour to get the task done quickly and thoroughly.

  1. Abrasive blasting for stubborn graffiti

Abrasive blasting is an aggressive but proven method of dealing with graffiti. It shoots a jet of compressed air and abrasive material to rip the graffiti off a surface.

The most common abrasive in this method is sand. It can also use materials like coal slag, crushed glass, or walnut shells. If you must choose sandblasting for graffiti removal, hire someone to do the task.

There is another method called wet abrasive blasting. This method uses wet sand or other materials to increase their abrasive properties. It does not produce dust as much as sandblasting.

Use of baking soda as abrasive

A safer but effective abrasive is baking soda. It’s environmental-friendly and water-soluble, making the after-blast cleaning much easier. Soda blasting can clean any place, be it parking, driveway or walls.

Extra: In 1986, maintenance teams cleaned the Statue of Liberty using soda blasting. It proved effective in scrubbing off layer after layer of paint and patina on the statue.

  1. Painting over defaced surface

If the graffiti is large and has dried, removal can be tricky. In such cases, the easiest way forward is to repaint the whole surface.

Repainting is cheaper than other graffiti removal techniques. It can also make future removal easy by sealing the pores and crevices of the surface.

Sometimes, you might have to repaint the surface after you remove the graffiti. Incomplete removal or damage done to the surface might necessitate this process.

Depending on where the graffiti was -- parking lot or driveway -- you may choose the colour. For example: Choose the right shade of black (for asphalt surfaces) or grey (concrete, block, or stone). You might have to apply more than one coat to prevent shadowing.

Professionals can help

Be careful with repainting. Done improperly, it might leave a blot as much an eyesore as the graffiti. So, if you are unsure about how to paint, contact a graffiti fighter for advice or expertise.

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