How to cover up graffiti

This article was co-authored by Archie Guerrero. Archie Guerrero is a Commercial and Residential Painting Specialist and the Operations Manager for DGP Painting in Austin, Texas. With a decade of experience, Archie specializes in interior and exterior painting and staining, cabinet refinishing, and wallpaper and popcorn removal. DGP Painting offers clients environmentally friendly paint materials and top-of-the-line paint products. DGP Painting has an A+ rating with the BBB and has been in Austin’s “Best of the Best.”

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Graffiti can be a real nuisance, especially if your business or building gets tagged. Property owners deal with this kind of vandalism all the time, so lots of people know what you’re going through. Fortunately, you can cover this eyesore without too much trouble. There are many ways to strip or remove graffiti entirely, but generally the easiest and cheapest method is simply painting over it. By choosing the right paint and prepping the surface correctly, you can cover graffiti entirely for a fresh start.

How to cover up graffiti

Archie Guerrero
Commercial & Residential Painting Specialist Expert Interview. 17 June 2021. You can find this primer type at standard hardware and paint stores. [2] X Research source

  • While using the right primer is always important, this is especially important if you’re using a lighter color like tan to cover the graffiti.
  • Light paint colors like white or baby blue probably won’t cover the graffiti well. If you do want to repaint the wall with a light color, then you’ll probably have to remove the graffiti completely first. You can either power wash it off or use chemical removers to strip the paint.

Recently some graffiti appeared on the side of my house. I knew I should have done something right away but I didn’t, and now there is more. Here is a picture:

I read this article. I think I just want to paint over it. Someone told me to use dry lock. Is this the best thing to use for this, or might there be an easier way?

EDIT: I finally painted over it with stucco paint. Here it is now:

3 Answers 3

It is never nice to see that someone has chosen to vandalize your property. I see main options here.

  • Leave it alone. (Already ruled out, since you wish to deal with it.)
  • Remove the paint.
  • Paint over it.

If you do choose to remove the paint, a paint stripper is a good start. I like the citrus based ones, as they seem less toxic than the old solvent based strippers. Brush the stripper on, let it stand for the indicated time, then wash off, probably with a good stiff brush as an aid. An issue here is you will essentially end up cleaning the surface where you just worked, so this action will tend to leave a negative of painted region. The wall will be lighter in those spots, because it is cleaner. So you will then want to wash down the entire wall. A pressure washer will help, and you can get mild cleaners to help in this part.

The final choice on my list is to paint over it. A good exterior paint will cover the graffiti well enough. (Of course, a downside to paint is that once you paint that wall once, you will be forced to paint it again in the future when the paint gets old.)

An alternative to a blank white wall here is to do it as a mural if you have an artistic bent. (My wife surprised me one day with her artistic talent, when I came home to find she had painted the block wall on our house with a field of cat tail reeds under a bright yellow sun.) How about a nice field of sunflowers against a blue sky? Or, perhaps you might paint the wall to look like a brick wall, but add several fake stained glass windows on this facade?

If you do decide to paint the wall, you might still want to wash it down first to remove any crud that will prevent good paint adhesion. Give it a couple of days to dry before applying paint, especially if it is oil based paint.

Zinsser Cover Stain® makes light work of unwanted graffiti – it primes and seals the affected substrate in one, preventing stains from resurfacing.

What you will need:

  • Zinsser Mould Killer
  • Zinsser Universal Cleaner & Degreaser
  • Cover Stain® Primer Sealer
  • AllCoat® Exterior Satin
  • Or
  • AllCoat® Exterior Gloss


1. Surface Preparation

All surfaces must be clean, dry and free from anything that will interfere with the adhesion of the materials to be applied. Remove loose and failing material by scraping or brushing with a stiff bristle brush to a sound edge. Feather sound edges with a fine grade abrasive paper. Prior to painting, the moisture content should not exceed 18%. Remove all dust. Remove all visible signs of organic growth and treat the areas with Zinsser Mould Killer in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. In areas with sound paint clean down with Zinsser Universal Cleaner & Degreaser to remove any contaminants. Rinse thoroughly with clean water to remove all residues. Allow to dry. Fill any cracks and small surface defects with a suitable filler in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Allow to dry. Rub down with a fine grade abrasive paper. Remove all dust.

2. Priming

Prime all areas of graffiti with one full coat of Cover Stain® Primer Sealer in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Allow a minimum drying time of two hours in normal drying conditions.

3. Decoration

Decorate with two full coats of AllCoat® Exterior Satin or Gloss in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Allow a minimum of 1 hour between coats.
Note: graffiti can be water soluble or solvent soluble therefore some areas may need a coat of Bulls Eye® 1-2-3 Primer Sealer if graffiti bleeds through Zinsser Cover Stain Primer Sealer.

Authorities must paint over unsightly scenes and residents must remain vigilant

How to cover up graffiti

Graffiti is a common sight on building walls in Deira, Dubai according to Gulf News reader Zainab Das. Image Credit: Gulf News reader Zainab Das

While walking along the clean streets of Dubai, one may suddenly come across a disturbing sight. Vulgar graffiti is often scrawled all over building walls — specifically in Community 124, 13th Street, in the Muraqqabat area of Deira.

It has unfortunately become a common sight — graffiti defacing walls across the city. Families staying in such areas are often embarrassed when they go for a walk and come across such messages.

This is a product of anti-social behaviour by people who enjoy marring the city’s clean image. Many a time such messages are not restricted to exterior walls but also to elevators in some residential buildings.

The same people also take absurd pleasure in scribbling crude messages on dusty cars.

These sights are an eyesore and set a bad example for young children in the neighbourhood. It also puts parents in an awkward position when children ask them what certain obscene messages mean.

I request Dubai Municipality and building owners to take action and cover up graffiti. I also request residents to get in touch with the authorities if they spot anyone defacing walls with crude messages.

— The reader is a student of Manipal University, Dubai

An amorphous shape-shifting consortium of Berlin-based aerosol hooligans named 1UP is one of those graffiti crews who eventually make the entry into graffiti street lore because of the scope and daring of their travails.

Primarily Berlin-based, you’ll find their almost-commercial sounding name on roofs, walls, abandoned factories, and in tunnels in many cities around the globe. Without a clear idea of the exact number in their association nor precise membership these daredevils are most often described as white men in their 20s and early 30s, reveling in the athleticism and sport of graffiti, in addition to style. The tag itself appears to be rather “open source” at times, with only insiders able to keep track of the distinct hand styles forming the ubiquitous name on thousands of surfaces.

How to cover up graffiti 1UP. Berlin 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

We spent a few days in Berlin recently and easily collected a handful of images here to share, but it the actual number one could capture would fill a bulky tome.

“1Up Crew. ‘All City’ doesn’t even begin to cover it, these guys smash walls like sledgehammers,” says Roland Henry, managing editor and a journalist for VNA (Very Nearly Almost), the UK-based independent magazine that has featured interviews with some of the world’s top artists, illustrators and photographers from the urban art scene over the last 10 years. Living in Berlin this spring and summer after calling London home for many years, Mr. Henry says he still hasn’t stopped seeing new 1UPs.

In a city famously permissive, even celebratory, toward graffiti culture like Berlin, once you notice one 1UP tag on a wall you can’t stop seeing them — like the time your brother started dating that Mexican girl in high school and suddenly you realized that there were hot tamales everywhere! — In the hallways, at the laundromat, in the park, at the corner grocery.

How to cover up graffiti 1UP in progress. Berlin 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“Spend any time in Berlin and one thing is immediately glaringly obvious: 1UP have their hometown on lockdown,” says photographer and graffiti expert Luna Park, whose forthcoming New York contemporary graffiti book (UN)Sanctioned will be released on Carpet Bombing Culture books in October.

“Take the time and dedication that your average all city bomber expends in getting their name out — now multiply that by 20. Maybe you’ll come close to grasping 1UP’s prodigious output. If there were an Olympic sport for team graffiti, surely 1UP would be gold medal contenders. Not only do they excel at all graffiti disciplines, they take what it means to push a crew to the most logical extreme.”

How to cover up graffiti 1UP. Berlin 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Park’s point about disciplines is well taken, as not one discernible specific style or medium is used by this one united power – throwies, bubble tags, wildstyle, rollers, juicy markers, sculptures, extinguisher tags.

But it is working as an organized crew covering multiple cars on trains that they are perhaps most well known for – covering cars top to bottom, end to end – in a few short minutes.

“Look up their legendary and brazen daytime whole-car missions on YouTube and you’ll begin to understand this is a crew that seriously rolls deep,” says Ms. Park. “Better yet, get your hands on their “One United Power” film and prepare to be inspired by their global exploits.”

How to cover up graffiti 1UP. Berlin 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Now in their 13th year, at this point 1UP is a brand (sort of like its older cousin 7UP) – and it probably shows up on scatter charts in PowerPoint slides in advertising and marketing conference rooms – desired psychographics and demographics analyzed, sought after, targeted.

But keep the numbers in perspective – they can’t rival the millions of illegal logos plastered across our cities in violation of numerous regulations. You think graffiti is lawless? Hell, try advertising – it’s nearly completely unregulated in cities like New York and the very few laws that exist are rarely enforced. That Coke crew, for example, they are seriously worldwide with their bombing and tagging – taking over hectares of public space and millions of atoms of mindshare.

How to cover up graffiti 1UP. Berlin 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

World-traveling superstar urban art photographer Martha Cooper, who has been tracking graffiti since trains were first plastered with aerosol paint in the late 1970s and whose first namesake library will open next year with the inauguration of the Urban Nation Museum for Urban Contemporary Art in Berlin, says she’s had some time to observe 1UP, and she acknowledges their status.

“This very active crew has sprayed the world with an impressive assortment of carefully-planned, well-executed tags, throwies and pieces above and below ground,” says Cooper. “Big Up to 1Up for helping to keep the original outlaw spirit of graffiti alive.”

How to cover up graffiti 1UP. Berlin 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

How to cover up graffiti 1UP. Berlin 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

How to cover up graffiti 1UP. Berlin 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

How to cover up graffiti 1UP. Berlin 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Please note: All content including images and text are ©, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!

This article is also posted on Brooklyn Street Art.

Read all posts by Steven P. Harrington and Jaime Rojo on The Huffington Post HERE.

How to cover up graffiti

We’ve all seen it on the sides of buildings, railcars, fences, and other vertical flat services, but what about trees? Graffiti paint removal on non-living surfaces requires some serious elbow grease and some fairly caustic chemicals, but it can be accomplished. When graffiti “artists” hit your trees, getting the paint off can be a bit more challenging. We’ll give you some tips on how to remove graffiti paint from trees without damaging the plant or the environment.

Methods of Graffiti Paint Removal

Freedom of speech is an inalienable right, but does it have to occur on your trees? When graffiti taggers hit your trees, the result is not only unsightly but it can convey unsavory messages. Additionally, some paints can cause toxic damage to trees and clog the lenticels which are necessary for tree respiration. Getting graffiti off a tree safely requires some scrubbing and careful monitoring of the plant’s health.

There are many graffiti removers on the market, but some of them pose respiratory and even cancerous issues to you, and toxic or chemical problems with the tree. Removing graffiti paint on trees requires a more deft touch than simply blasting it off a building. You must be careful of the bark and outer tissue of the plant.

Traditional graffiti removers have caustic ingredients which cannot only burn the skin and respiratory system of the user, but can also cause damage to the tree. One that is deemed safe enough on most trees is Graffiti Gone. It claims to remove spray paint, marker, pen and other surface marring items without damage to you or the tree.

Methods such as scrubbing or pressure washing can be used on trees with caution. Smaller trees will need to be hand scrubbed while a pressure washer on low setting can be used to remove graffiti paint on trees with large trunk girth.

Mechanically Getting Graffiti off a Tree

It may take some practice to use a pressure washing tool to remove paint on trees. Step well away from the tree initially to make sure that each spray stroke is not doing any damage. The general rule is to use the washer on medium to low and step at least 3 feet (1 m.) away from the trunk. If necessary, gradually step in towards the plant, always assessing for any bark or cambium damage. Only use a pressure washer on trees with thick bark such as hornbeam, chestnut, locust, oak, and cottonwood.

Other than pressure washing and good old-fashioned scrubbing, another method to try is sanding. Use a light sandpaper, such as a 400 grit, and hand sand the painted area. Do not use a power sander, as more bark and wood will be removed than necessary. Use a polishing motion on the lettering until it fades or is removed completely.

How to Remove Graffiti Paint on Trees Naturally

Getting graffiti off a tree without doing harm to it or the environment is possible. Use a citrus based graffiti remover or degreaser which is widely available at hardware stores and some supermarkets. These have active ingredients which are completely natural, such as orange oil.

For recent graffiti, apply the remover and let it sit on the area for up to an hour before rubbing and rinsing. Older graffiti will need a longer soak and possibly several treatments to fade the letters completely. The treatment will work best if it is agitated with a nylon or other soft bristle brush.

Would you turn a blind eye if you happen to see a racist graffiti? Or would you be like this mysterious hero who keeps covering up insulting graffiti with cat stickers? Society has been gradually embracing graffiti as a form of artistic expression in the recent years. While it is still mostly illegal, people are rather fascinated by meaningful murals and eye-catching street arts. However, not all graffiti art conveys a positive message. Sadly, some people are misusing street art to express hateful messages, racial slurs, and insulting symbols that are meant to malign certain social groups.

Manchester, just like any major cities, has its fair share of graffiti, both the good and the bad. But recently, citizens have been noticing more and more racist graffitis posted around the city. The derogatory graffitis contain provocative messages about immigration and race. However, an unknown hero had enough and decided to simply cover-up these racist graffitis with cat stickers. Along with an adorable image of a cat, the message on the sticker reads ‘There was some racist rubbish here but I covered it up with this picture of a cat.’

Someone in Manchester uses funny cat stickers to save the city from hateful, racist graffiti

How to cover up graffiti

Apparently, passers-by would rather see a photo of a lovely cat over a hateful graffiti. Although technically, putting stickers on public spaces is still an act of vandalism, this is definitely something that the citizens could get behind. Hilariously, the cat stickers aren’t shy to point out what they are intended for. Even people outside Manchester applaud the idea of using cover-up stickers, especially with a photo of kitty involved.

How to cover up graffiti

It turned out that the cat stickers were made by Cracks Appearing Distro, an Australian anti-fascist group that offers a wide range of cover-up stickers. Each sticker is printed on white gloss paper measuring 7 inches by 3.5 inches. These stickers are intended to cover up racist propaganda and other hateful scribbles on public surfaces. If your city is also laden with hateful graffitis, these cover-up stickers are a great way to erase all the negativity.

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Graffiti techniques and tricks and have grown tremendously over the years, and from its underground roots on the gritty streets, they’ve been past on and developed through word of mouth for years. But here at Bombing Science, we want to share our experience and knowledge of graffiti with you. We came up with some in depth analysis and some of the fundamentals of the graff game in this graffiti tutorial, all to help you master the craft. Nothing can bring you those super sharp outlines and flawless colour schemes quite like going out there and getting your hands messy, but in the next few pages we explore the theory and some tips behind the essentials of graffiti. You’ll learn how to paint a graffiti piece from start to finish.

We start off breaking down the basics of graffiti tools, from can control to cap selection these are the essentials that everything else will be based off. Once that’s wrapped up, we jump into letter structure, the foundation of any graff piece, which resonates from tags to burners. Once letter structure is established, style is then explored creating a sense of originality to a piece or throwie. From there we delve into the intricacies of the trade, by exploring all the extra features when painting, from extensions to cut backs we cover them all so you can get a feel for when to use what, and why. Finally we jump into little tricks that often go overlooked but can come in handy in a big way.

So get ready to get schooled in our Bombing Science graffiti tutorials and be sure to check out our tutorial videos as well!

How to cover up graffiti

In disputed Kashmir, the government is covering up protest graffiti with cultural messages in a beautification project. RIFAT MOHIDIN reports.

The government in Srinagar, the summer capital of Indian-administered Kashmir, has started painting murals depicting the culture and traditions of the conflict-torn region on walls across the city to cover up angry slogans and graffiti decrying what street artists see as the oppression of India in the disputed south-Asian territory.

Over the last few years, spray paint and marker pens have become the medium of choice for the anonymous artists who paint the walls of Srinagar with political messages during the dead of the night and then disappear.

Many people in Kashmir see the emergence of graffiti for communicating resistance to the Indian occupation as an import from Palestine. In many parts of Kashmir, particularly Srinagar, one can read messages like “Go India, go back”, “Revolution is Loading”, and “Police state” on walls and hoarding.

How to cover up graffiti

Security agencies in Kashmir keep an eye on the unknown graffiti artists, who have put up anti-India street art in many places across the city. Earlier, a controversial piece of graffiti appeared on the walls of historic Hariparbat – a hillock overlooking Srinagar, the largest city in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. “Welcome Taliban, Go India Go Back” said the words scrawled across the walls of the Fort, which is overseen by a Indian security camp.

But now Srinagar’s local government is trying to clamp down on the dissident messaging. Their chosen method involves having young people cover up the graffitti with something a bit more palatable to the authorities – murals depicting the culture and traditions of the area.

Six young artists have been hired by the Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) and directed to beautify the walls with the non–controversial messages. Saqib Bhat (22) and his friends Sumaira Majeed (22), Maria Shamiri (22), Zaid Bhat (21) and Suhail Sofi (21), who work together on each of the state-sanctioned murals, are all students of  the Fine Art School in Kashmir.

The group say they have nothing controversial to write and just want to use the opportunity to showcase their talent.

How to cover up graffiti“It is aimed at beautification and the walls are the canvas, and we are giving our best to make the best murals. People appreciate us for the paintings. They come to see this different concept. Even artists visit us,” said Shamiri.

SMCÂ commissioner Tufail Mattoo, who started the project, said the aim was to give the current generation an insight into Kashmir’s past.

“This is just to beautify Srinagar, so that the youngsters as well as tourists who come here from different countries can get an insight about the culture and history of this place through art,” he said.

Some see nothing sinister in the project and believe it is merely a way for government to engage and employ young people while at the same time giving the official brush-off to the city’s graffiti artists and their anti-Indian messages. But for others the mural painting project is nothing more than colorful censorship.

How to cover up graffiti

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As graffiti continue to pop up here and there across Burlington, some residents have taken to reaching out to city officials to figure out how they can cover or remove it.

David Beckett, a local real-estate agent and Burlington resident, has routinely spotted graffiti on a retaining wall nearby Smalley Park, and took to Twitter to highlight the issue Tuesday.

There’s been an increase of ugly graffiti this Spring in #btv #vt
I’ve adopted one retaining wall at a park and cover graffiti immediately.

The city will give you your very own pail of lovely battleship grey paint if you’d like to do the same. !

“A number of years ago I contacted the city and they gave me some paint,” Beckett said. More recently, as the snow melted and spring arrived, he reached out again and was able to get more paint.

“I wouldn’t have correlated it to the pandemic,” Beckett said of the recent uptick of graffiti he has seen on walks around the city. But he does believe that more residents grabbing their own pail of paint and covering their own property couldn’t hurt.

“It’s just easier and cheaper for me to do than someone else to do it on the taxpayer’s money,” Beckett said.

Case-by-case basis

For residents hoping to reaching out to the city for paint to cover graffiti, city officials say they’re considering the requests on a case-by-case basis.

“It’s not a standard practice but it’s true in his case,” said Bill Ward, director of Permitting and Inspections for the city of Burlington, in regards to Beckett’s call out to the city for assistance.

So far a few residents have reached out to city departments. When they do, Ward has worked with them to instruct them how to cover or remove graffiti on their personal property.

“If folks volunteer and they’re capable of it, I’m more than happy to help,” Ward said, although he was cautious about making it seem like it was a citywide endeavor.

“We’re not in the position to supply paint across the entire city.”

City responds to numerous graffiti sightings

There have been numerous reports of graffiti on private property and street signs over the two months, according to posts on SeeClickFix. City residents regularly use the website to alert city officials about municipal issues and repairs such as potholes and illegal dumping.

When residents put in a SeeClickFix request, they receive an automated message that they can contact the Burlington Police Department if their personal property was tagged. Removing graffiti from private property, however, requires permission from a property owner before a city official can do the job.

For Ward, the increased attention on graffiti by local residents the last couple months has been good news. The more people are paying attention, the more likely he believes city officials can promptly respond.

“By getting it covered, we’re able to know the timeframe more closely around when these things are happening and let the police department know,” Ward said.

For those looking to cover graffiti themselves, Ward said city officials regularly use Vermont-based latex paint Local Color to handle tags around the city.

Contact Ethan Bakuli at (802) 556-1804 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @BakuliEthan.

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March 18, 2020, 11:18 am*

An anonymous hero, or perhaps heroes, are covering up racist graffiti in the city of Machester with the most amazing stickers. The U.K. city has recently been plagued with fake posters claiming to be from the climate activist group Extinction Rebellion that promote racist and xenophobic messages. To combat this, someone is putting up large stickers featuring a handsome cat and some simple explanation text: “There was some racist rubbish here but I covered it up with this picture of a cat.”

Some hero is covering up racist graffiti with cat stickers in Manchester

Photos have emerged of someone’s ingenious way to combat racist graffiti and posters in Manchester . . #CatsHateNazis

The people of Machester started noticing these stickers and tweeting photos of them in early March, and the images have been spreading ever since. was able to find the source of the stickers themselves—a website belonging to an Australian anarchist group called Cracks Appearing Distro.

How to cover up graffitivia Imgur

They sell a wide range of anarchist, anti-fascist, and anti-racist products, including pins that say “love beer, hate fascism” and warning stickers saying “this is sexist” and “these beauty standards are unrealistic and unattainable.” Packs of the cat stickers can be purchased for $6 for 10 or $14 for 30.

I got some nice badges from cracks appearing distro. They also have stickers, posters and patches so you can show people at a glance your not part of the problem.#badge #pin #activism #antifacist #consent #buttons #fucknazis #survivor #notsponsored

Pretty much everyone in Manchester, and now the world, loves this method of combating racist posters, stickers, and graffiti. It’s definitely easier to slap a sticker over something than remove it, and attempting to remove racist stickers and posters can be dangerous. Racist dirtbags have been known to put razor blades up behind their posters and stickers to injure those who attempt to take them down.

Instead, consider becoming a local hero with anti-racist cat stickers.

To the person using cat stickers to cover racism in Manchester, we salute you.

— Chris Kubecka . ✈️ #BLM @MiddleEastInst (@SecEvangelism) March 3, 2020

Be the anti racist puppy sticker creator you want to see in the world

Can’t we just replace racists with cats! At least they know how to cover their shit.

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How to cover up graffiti

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It is a never-ending battle to scrub away the presence of graffiti from Los Angeles’ walls, and last year alone the city removed over one square mile of tagging.Using paints such as “L.A. Bridge Brown,” “Lamppost Gray,” and “Hydrant Yellow” to cover it up, along with removal methods like chemical washing and pressure blasting, the Office of Community Beautification is the organizing force behind the effort. It naturally a daunting task for those tasked with the job, and as much as most residents want to see the graffiti gone it’s also a challenge to make sure the job is done right. If the covering paint doesn’t match the original surface well enough, it can look worse than before. “You didn’t ruin the wall, the gangster did, but you get blamed for it,” said Carlos Guerra of the Gang Alternatives Program (GAP). “Most of the time, we have the standards: beige, tan, brown, and white.”

“As much as possible, we want to make it look like the original surface,” Paul Racs, director of the Office Community Beautification told Medium’s reForm. The department has set a “zero tolerance” policy, with all due apologies to aspiring street artists throughout the city.

GAP is among 13 non-profit community-based organizations that Community Beautification contracts to take care of the vandalism across the entire city. In all, 80 individual crews are spread out over all of Los Angeles on any given day. Citizens can submit any graffiti they see in their neighborhood with the City’s own Anti-Graffiti Request System, which handled 118,000 requests last year. According to Racs they handled the requests rather efficiently, taking care of 85% of all submissions within 72 hours.

The rest of the reForm pieces handles larger, more philosophical questions regarding graffiti removal in the urban space, especially focusing on what the author calls “The Abstraction Line.” It’s what the author defines as that line where the original surface ends and the painted-over portion covering the graffiti begins; comparing it to the intertidal zone of the beach or the high-water mark of a dry reservoir. Because of our own unique perceptions of color (remember The Dress?), these splotches can be subtle for some and jarring for others.

Instead of scrubbing spray-painted tags, many places are now encouraging murals and other colorful street art.

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How to cover up graffiti

Once upon a time at this magazine, we had an intern who badly wanted to write about cities and graffiti. We talked for a while and it seemed like a good idea, so I asked him to do some initial reporting. But when he came back, it was clear that he and I had dramatically different ideas of what the story should say. I felt that cities were finally learning how to get rid of a criminal eyesore that was stifling their efforts at revitalization. He felt that the same cities were cruelly snuffing out the legitimate desires of an entire youthful generation to express itself.

As you might guess, I didn’t let him do the story. If the same issue came up now, I probably still wouldn’t. But over the years, I’ve come to realize that this is a subject with many gray areas. And cities are beginning to look at it the same way. They are trying to accommodate what they used to denounce as an urban scourge, and are looking for means to tempt graffiti writers away from vandalism and toward art.

This is happening as graffiti is on the verge of obtaining legal protection, something that it has never possessed. In April, a federal judge in New York City awarded $6.75 million to 21 graffiti artists in Queens whose works had been painted over without warning on a cluster of buildings being prepared for development. The works were part of a site called 5Pointz that had evolved over the years into an open-air graffiti museum. By 2014, the paintings had become something of a tourist attraction. The property owner had never hidden his desire to develop the site, but a jury and later a judge found that the unannounced removal of the work violated a 1990 federal law known as VARA, the Visual Artists Rights Act.

In six weeks, 119 sites have been abated by HPD, Brays Oaks

Graffiti covered the back of the strip mall at 11400 Roark Road near U.S. 59 in southwest Houston on May 22, but this is one battle the Houston Police Department and the new Brays Oaks Management District say gangs and street artists won’t win.

District officials went to the site for the second time May 22 to paint over new graffiti bearing the name of the Mexican gang Sureños. The district cleaned the same building on May 16, but the gang retagged it during the weekend.

“It’s a never-ending battle, but if you keep abating it, they’ll come back one or two more times, but eventually they’ll stop coming back here,” said James Myers, director of community services for the management district.

The district contracts the Greater East End Management District’s graffiti abatement crew, headed by Martin Chavez, to clear tagged buildings within Brays Oaks’ boundaries.

Chavez, who has abated graffiti for five years with the East End Management District, worked with two other members of his crew to clear the Roark Road strip mall.

“We spent six hours cleaning this place and it cost a lot of money,” Chavez said of the strip mall. “They can come out here in one night and in a few hours do so much damage.”

Chavez said it took about 20 gallons of paint at a cost of $20 per gallon plus labor to cover up graffiti at the Roark Road strip mall the first time.

Since the Brays Oaks Management District began its graffiti abatement program April 12, Myers said it has cleaned 119 sites at a cost of about $7,500.

The district is working with HPD’s Fondren Division, which has been fighting graffiti for about three years through its volunteer Neighborhood Protection program. The two groups work off of a joint list of graffiti sites and use their separate methods to cover the taggers’ work.

“It’s been such a tremendous help,” said HPD Officer D.A. Lorance, graffiti liaison for the Fondren division.

Her group of 12 volunteers has been using the city’s recycled gray paint to cover graffiti.

“The recycled gray paint is not the prettiest, but they know we’re at least trying to get the graffiti covered up as soon as possible because the gangs are using it as a bulletin board to get their message across,” Lorance said.

The district’s team uses different techniques to cover graffiti. It power washes, chemically treats and paints over graffiti in a matching color.

Lorance will attend a meeting on Wednesday with other graffiti liaisons from HPD stations, where Houston Police Assistant Chief Brian Lumpkin is expected to talk about changing methods for graffiti removal to allow for pressure washing, chemical treatment and color matching.

HPD and management district officials say covering up graffiti is more than beautification — it’s crime prevention, and ultimately they hope to drive the gangs and street artists away.

“If you leave it on here too long you’ll see another gang come and cross it out,” Chavez said.

Chavez said two Mexican gangs, Sureños and La Primera, tag sites in southwest Houston in a rivalry to make their message the most prominent.

“With our program, we want to try to eliminate graffiti so there’s no conflict between those gangs and hopefully the crime rate will go down with that,” Chavez added.

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Myers and Chavez said they believe they have covered up all major graffiti on commercial buildings in the district within the six weeks of the program.

“If you drive the district right now, you’re going to find very little graffiti, if any,” Chavez said. “Graffiti is on the rise and I think it’s here to stay, but if you’re going to maintain an area and clean it up, they (taggers) are going to move to another area.”

Lorance also has noticed the improvement.

“Some locations they have hit several times, but we stay on top of it. I drive to work everyday and I keep checking these same locations and they have been clean for a while now.”

She said they would keep up the effort to remove the graffiti because, unfortunately, catching the perpetrators is too costly.

“There’s no way the city can provide the money for cameras and officers, and there are so many locations you don’t know where or what time they’re going to hit. So we’re doing the next best thing, which is continuing to get rid of it,” she said.

Myers said the district would continue its efforts for as long as needed to rid the area of graffiti permanently.

“By coming back and doing it a second and a third time, we’re showing them we’re watching,” he said.

The district also plans to start painting over HPD’s gray paint with color that matches the buildings.

In addition, in more visible sites such as Roark Road, Myers said the district would work with HPD to get a patrol car to drive by at night to see if the gangs are at work again.

How do I remove graffiti (spray paint and permanent marker) from a wall previously painted with oil-base paint (or perhaps nitro paint – not sure) without damaging the original paint?

I’ve seen a variety of removal substances on the market, but not sure if they leave the original paint intact. So far I’ve tried acetone and white spirit – they are more or less effective, but removal process is extremely slow and looks more like an uphill battle than an efficient process.

What ways to remove graffiti from a painted wall are there?

6 Answers 6

I think your best bet is to just paint over it/re-paint the wall. On exterior concrete/brick walls it is easy to power wash or sandblast it – the goal is to remove everything. However neither of these will work inside – aside from the mess they’d create, they’d probably take more then just the paint off your walls!

You might find some chemicals to help remove it, but because spray paint is paint afterall, you will undoubtedly damage the paint underneeth it. Permanent Markers can often be removed with Isopropyl alcohol if the markings are relatively new – you might have some luck with this on the spray paint too. However, with markers, generally speaking, the longer you leave it, the more difficult it is to remove.

By the time you get this stuff off, fix the wall, re-paint the parts that need it, you’d probably would have spent more time then just repainting.

Steven’s answer is pretty much the correct one.

In the past, I’ve used the 3M magic eraser products. But that, like most chemical/mechanical removal ends up leaving a damaged area that looks just like the original graffiti.

Your best bet is to repaint.

When you do repaint, you can consider looking at anti graffiti coatings:

Or. consider landscaping. rose bushes or some other similar shrubbery that make the wall less appealing to paint.

I’m rather disappointed to find almost no useful information on how to remove a specific painting substance from a specific type of painted wall. That’s surprising since graffiti is a widespread problem and I guess millions of people face it every year. The typical answer indeed seems to be “repaint and get over it” yet repainting would be a lot of hassle in my scenario – even sub-optimally removed graffiti would be beneficial.

So I’ll describe my findings here. Fact is one has to find an appropriate chemical which is usually some organic solvent like acetone. Each solvent will have two key parameters. Parameter one is whether it dissolves the painting. Parameter two is whether it dissolves the original paint. Obviously you’re only interested in solvents that do dissolve the painting and don’t dissolve the original paint too much and the don’t dissolve the original paint more that they dissolve the painting.

So I was combatting spray paint and permanent marker used over some kind of oil-based or maybe nitro original paint.

The “white spirit” solvent would dissolve the spray paint very well and wouldn’t dissolve the original paint at all. So I wasted something like a half roll of paper towels to have about one square meter of surface cleaned and the spray paint was removed. However this solvent would have no effect on permanent marker.

Acetone would dissolve the permanent marker and also it would mildly dissolve the original paint. I wouldn’t mind having a thin layer of the original paint removed, but the problem was that dissolved marker would mix with dissolved paint and that would leave ugly stains in the upper layer of the paint.

Also I tried windscreen washer concentrate which is water plus isopropyl alcohol plus some unrelated chemistry. It would dissolve the marker and have no effect on the paint but the dissolved marker would burr and immediately adhere to the surrounding paint so I had to wipe the burrs immediately and still would have minor low-contrast stains.

Then I figured out how to combine acetone and isopropil alcohol. The deal is that the marker trace is rather thick – the lower layer is in direct contact with the base and the upper layer is not in contact with the base, it is separated with the lower layer. The alcohol wouldn’t remove the lower layer because of it good adhesion to the base, but it would dissolve the upper layer. The acetone would dissolve everything and mix it int ugly mess, most of which was the marker ink upper layer. So I used alcohol to remove the upper layer, and then acetone to remove the lower layer together with some original paint. That did some damage to the original paint, but it looks minor especially compared to the high-contrast graffiti drawing removed. In my opinion that was a win, but not an epic one.

CRESTVIEW — In Crestview’s historic downtown distract, native Floridian wildflowers are sprouting on the side of a popular bakery café.

The mural on Back Home Bakery Café’s rear side wall is a collaborative effort between building owner Kimberley Howard, bakery owner (and Kimberley’s mom) Dorene Howard, local State Farm Insurance agent Tiffany Woodham, and muralist Christina Donahon.

Inspiration for the mural began when Police Chief Stephen McCosker, City Manager Tim Bolduc and Community Development Services staff began the current ongoing effort to address blight, including graffiti, a scourge that had hit the Bake Home Bakery rear side wall.

“It started with graffiti we had to cover up,” Dorene Howard said. “Tiffany came to us awhile back and asked if she could help.”

“I felt we should do a downtown beautification project of some sort,” Woodham said. “I want to help make downtown pretty. Kimberley and I met and we discussed what the design should be and Florida wildflowers came up. We wanted to do something that people would like and would want to take their pictures in front of.”

While the Howards painted out the graffiti, Woodham, who funded the project, engaged Donahon’s talents to realize their concept of a Florida wildflowers motif. One of her main challenges, Donahon said, is the irregular brick surface she’s working on.

“I didn’t realize how much texture there is to this wall,” she said, indicating chinks in the mortar between bricks, plastered repairs, and utilities boxes and cables on the 1920s wall.

But those flaws haven’t stopped admirers of the mural from pausing to watch the artist at work.

“It’s amazing how many people have stopped by to say how much they like having some color downtown,” Donahon said.

“We wanted to do something to help beautify Crestview,” Dorene Howard said. “We’re doing our part to make Crestview look good.”

Woodham said she hopes the idea of transforming blank walls into works of art catches on.

“We should all get together with other businesses and create murals,” she said. “It would bring everybody downtown to look at them.”

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How to cover up graffiti

How to cover up graffiti

How to cover up graffiti

How to cover up graffiti

PALM HARBOR — An average of 250,000 people bike, walk or jog the Pinellas Trail every month. However, those in charge of the 70-mile-path say they want it to be more than just a place of exercise but an overall cultural experience.

So they are giving cyclists a reason to pump the brakes and take a picture along the Pinellas Trail this week.

“Its like a stamp of approval from the community saying that my work is valuable and that I’m an asset and that’s nice, I love it,” said artist Yhali Ilan.

Ilan said it was an honor to be one of four local artists chosen to paint two overpasses along the trail, one in Palm Harbor and the other in Tarpon Springs. Each one has a different Florida theme.

“I wanted to portray part of the landscape which is not visited by a lot of people and kind of put it on blast and say, ‘check it out we got islands,’” said Ilan.

On the other side of the tunnel, artist Taylor Smith is working on two giant herons.

“Ever since I moved here four years ago I see them all the time,” said Smith with Dreamweaver Designs. “I love being able to give back and make people smile through my work.”

Not only are the murals majestic, but they also cover up what was becoming a growing problem, graffiti.

“Our parks department will go and paint over in plain gray paint and the next day they’ll come back and they’ll be graffiti on the tunnels,” said Alexis Ferguson with Pinellas County Public Works.

Ferguson is not only a public works employee but she rides the trail all the time. She said it’s been proven these murals detract from crime.

“There is a respect among graffiti artists and our local artists here painting murals that they don’t tag the art murals and that’s been seen throughout the county,” said Ferguson.

While Creative Pinellas CEO Barbara St. Clair believes these murals escalate the trail from a bike path to a bike destination.

“If something is beautiful, if something has great design, if something is vibrant, people feel very comfortable and they want to be a part of it,” said St. Clair.

The plan is to continue to add more art to the trail every year.

Julia Parrish Web Reporter, CTV Edmonton


An Edmonton man is receiving messages of support, after he covered up anti-Muslim graffiti sprayed on a restroom in Jasper National Park Wednesday morning.

Tyler Johnstone noticed the graffiti just off the Yellowhead Highway in Jasper – the word Mosque spray painted in yellow on the wall of a public outhouse.

“I drove past it and I drove for about five minutes and I thought about it and I had to turn around and come back,” Johnstone said. “It’s just disgusting.”

The 28-year-old decided to do what he could to remove the word from the wall – eventually using venting tape he kept in his van to cover it up instead, he also alerted Parks Canada.

Johnstone posted a video showing what he did on Facebook; the video had been viewed thousands of times by Wednesday evening.

Dozens of supportive comments have been posted in response to the video.

“Somebody from Calgary messaged me and said as a Muslim they appreciate that I did that and said thanks, and I said sorry to them,” Johnstone said.

Parks Canada told CTV News Johnstone didn’t get all of the graffiti, officials found a second washroom with the same message nearby.

Officials said both would be re-painted by Thursday.

With files from Dan Grummett

How to cover up graffiti

Tyler Johnstone posted video on Facebook showing the graffiti before, and after he covered it up.

How to cover up graffiti

Tyler Johnstone speaks to CTV Edmonton via Skype about covering up anti-Muslim graffiti in Jasper National Park Wednesday, April 19.

Step 1: Choose a Graffiti Font

How to cover up graffiti How to cover up graffiti How to cover up graffiti How to cover up graffiti How to cover up graffiti How to cover up graffiti How to cover up graffiti

Step 2: Enter a Word/Name

Step 3: Style the Graffiti

Change Colors:

Show/Hide Layers of the Letters

Change Background

Brick Wall

How to cover up graffiti

Rusty Wagon with Graffiti

How to cover up graffiti


How to cover up graffiti

Red rusty wagon

How to cover up graffiti

“Hello, my name is”

How to cover up graffiti

Brick Wall 2

How to cover up graffiti


How to cover up graffiti

Stone Wall

Graffiti Generator – Manual

We created this free graffiti generator web app to help you easily to create and draw your graffiti name or your first graffiti.

Now also available as Android app!
How to cover up graffiti

Type your name or a word in the text box above and click the Create Graffiti button.

If the layers (fill-in, highlight, outline, shadow, backgrounds etc.) of the graffiti are not in the correct order, just click the Repair Graffiti Layers button. Most likely, an issue with loading occurred.

To move single letters or the whole graffiti, select the required part in the Select box below the drawing area.

Click the colors of the different parts of the graffiti below the drawing area to change them with the color picker.

I hope you enjoy using our graffiti generator!

Are there any features missing for you or is there something you did not quite understand?

I am always happy to receive feedback.

Just drop a comment below.

To learn more about how to draw graffiti and how to get started, be sure to check out this post about the concept of how to draw a graffiti.

You can also visit our step-by-step tutorial section or download our app for step-by-step tutorials of specific graffiti words and letters.

Which supplies do I use for digital graffiti sketching?

  • Apple iPad 32GB space gray
  • Apple Pencil 1
  • Procreate: drawing app

Which supplies do I use for sketching on paper?

  • Stylefile brush markers for fill-ins
  • Posca markers PC 1MR 0.7mm for highlights and outlines
  • A black Stylefile marker for handstyles
  • Standard multipurpose copy printer paper or a blackbook (e.g. Montana)


All rights reserved. You may not use the graffiti generator for commercial purposes.

Rate if you like

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Graffiti is usually appeared as graphics or lettering scratched, scrawled, painted or marked in any manner on property. Graffiti has existed since very ancient times in Ancient Greece and the Roman Empire. In ancient Rome, people don’t have a photocopier or a fax machine or newspaper, and when you have a written message to let other people know, you scratched it on a wall. In modern times, however, graffiti is considered illegal in a lot of countries. But a country that with significant tradition in graffiti is Brazil and Sao Paulo, one of the largest cities in Brazil, is considered to be the current center of inspiration for graffiti artists.

How to cover up graffiti

Image courtesy of

Graffiti can have different styles. Tagging is the simplest type of graffiti, usually done quickly in spray paint, markers or pens and lacking artistic form; A throw-up involves more work than tagging, usually having two or three colors and done in bubble letters; Stenciling can be a quick way to produce more complicated graffiti designs and by using two or more layers, you can produce color-rich designs; Wildstyle is a form of graffiti that was made popular by graffiti artists like Tracy 168, Zephyr in NYC. Graffiti in Wildstyle is relatively more complicated and artistic. There are other forms of styles such as blockbuster, hip-hop, heaven, stickers, wheat pasting, etc. So there are a lot of styles of graffiti, hence, graffiti fonts.

Depending on your preferences, there are many fonts that can be used for graffiti purposes such as bubble fonts, stencil fonts, outline fonts etc. However, for complicated graffiti styles, they can never be achieved by fonts. Graffiti fonts can be a good way to study graffiti letters or graffiti alphabet, but you really should learn to express in your style. Get inspired and check out our collection of free graffiti fonts here, or use our graffiti text generator below.

The following tool will transform your desired text into graphics using various graffiti fonts. Simply enter your text, select your desired color and size, and hit GENERATE button. You can save your image by right-clicking on the image, or get codes to embed your images on the web by clicking on the EMBED button.

When it comes to dealing with graffiti vandalism, prevention is always more cost effective than repair. Rather than having to constantly replace windows and paint over graffiti, homes and businesses can take advantage of preventative methods to avoid being targeted by vandals.

Preventing graffiti vandalism can take several different approaches, from discouragement to protective measures. Preparing vulnerable areas such as windows with graffiti-resistant film and movement sensing lighting can help to stop graffiti vandalism before it starts.

Whether you’ve been the target of vandalism before or want to secure a vulnerable area of your property, consider the following approaches to help stop graffiti vandalism.

Security measures

Motion sensing lights are one of the most affordable and powerful deterrents for vandals. These lights will only turn on if they detect motion, exposing vandals and alerting authorities. Potential vandals won’t like being caught in the light, and the fear of being seen is often enough to deter them from the area.

If your property is located in an area where lighting won’t be as effective, other security measures such as roller doors and reinforced glass can slow down vandals and make their lives harder. Even small security measures that discourage vandalism can still benefit property owners, as vandals usually seek easy to access and unsecured properties to damage.

False CCTV cameras are another inexpensive way to discourage vandals. These cameras look realistic enough to be believable, with some models even moving back and forth. False CCTV cameras should be placed in areas where they can be easily seen, as this will lead vandals to believe they’re being monitored. It’s also important that the cameras are properly protected so they can’t be targeted or broken.

Scratch-proof glass

Glass windows are one of the more frequently targeted sites of vandalism. As many everyday items can be used to scratch or ‘etch’ graffiti onto the surface, glass and windows are vulnerable. Scratch-proofing windows by putting a film onto the glass can provide a ‘sacrificial layer’ of protection, which is easily disposed of and replaced, leaving the glass in good condition.

Preventing graffiti with a protective film can be much cheaper than removing and replacing glass. If damage has already occurred then property owners can choose to polish out scratches and apply a new film, which is still cheaper than replacing the glass.

Building design

Protecting vulnerabilities in your building design can be a good way to discourage vandals. Large blank surfaces which are out of view encourage graffiti as they’re unlikely to have passing pedestrians or cars interrupting vandals. Similarly, windows which are lower down and within reach can be easily broken or vandalised.

Designing so that graffiti prone areas are highly visible or hard to reach can help to prevent vandalism by making vandals activity more difficult. Planting shrubs or trees against walls and other surfaces can also help to discourage vandals or cover up their previous graffiti.

If your property has been graffitied at a height higher than six feet, the vandals may have used material in the area to climb up. Check to see if furniture or other materials that you have around your property could have been used. If they are out of position you may want to consider removing them or bolting them down.

Discourage vandals

Best practice to discourage vandalism is to remove or cover up graffiti as soon as possible. This not only negates the work of the vandals, but also sends a message to them that their ‘artwork’ won’t be visible for long.

Property owners that have already been targeted by vandals should not attempt to address them directly, such as with a sign threatening repercussions. This has been shown to encourage further vandalism of the property.

Instead, clearing graffiti and adopting effective non-confrontational methods can make vandalism less likely. This can ultimately lead to vandals being discouraged from targeting certain properties. With the right outlook and approach, property owners can protect against vandalism and help to discourage graffiti.

How to cover up graffiti

Daniel is an avid writer and blogger from Perth, Western Australia. When not writing about diverse topics such as home improvements, business and industry, you can find him relaxing with a good book. You can catch Daniel on Google+ or Twitter.

How to cover up graffiti

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Diese Wand braucht ein Cover-up

Wir, einige Lehrpersonen und Schulleitung der Sekundarschule Watt in Effretikon, wollen im Rahmen unserer Projektwoche zum Thema «Kontraste» in einer Gruppe mit ca. 80 Lernenden den Aussen- und Innenbereich unserer Schule umgestalten unter dem Motto «Wir machen watt Neues» .

Das Cover-up der Betonmauer ist Teil der Umgestaltung. Die Wände, welche den Pausenplatz von der Strasse und dem Velokeller abgrenzen, wurden vor langer Zeit mit Graffitis versprüht. Diese sind nicht mehr zeitgemäss und bieten unseren Lernenden und Lehrpersonen wenig Identifikationsmöglichkeiten.

How to cover up graffiti

Dafür brauchen wir deine Unterstützung

Für das neue Wandbild / Graffiti wollen wir für einen Tag mehrere Graffitikünstler engagieren, die mit unseren Lernenden die Betonmauer umgestalten.

Deine Unterstützung hilft uns:

  • authentische Kunst zu erschaffen, welche an die Lebenswelt unserer Lernenden anknüpft.
  • unsere Schule nach aussen hin positiv zu präsentieren.
  • eine attraktive Lernsituation und Lernumgebung für unsere Lernenden zu schaffen.
  • mit einem renommierten Künstlerkollektiv zusammezuarbeiten.
  • einzigartige Erlebnisse für unsere Lernenden zu kreieren.

How to cover up graffitiHow to cover up graffiti

Wer wir sind

Wir sind mehrere engagierte Lehrpersonen, die im Rahmen der Projektwoche «Kontraste» das Thema «Wir machen watt Neues» angehen. Hierbei geht es um die Gestaltung des Aussenbereichs und der Innenbereiche der beiden Schulhäuser.

Weitere Themen im Rahmen der Projektwoche sind «Leben wie zu Omas und Opas Zeiten», «Süss & Bitter», «Performance», «Sportspiel / Sporttag erfinden», «Pimp your clothes», «The magic show», «Watt’s up» (Reportageteam).