The National Paint and Coatings Association has explored the problem of removing graffiti. It found that although commercial paint removers will dissolve or at least soften most of the enamels used in aerosol paints, the substrate largely determines the degree of success in removing graffiti. Paints of all varieties are formulated with a number of different resins, solvents and pigments therefore not all dried coatings are susceptible to any one removal method. Good results may be achieved with a water washable paint remover containing methylene chloride. Protective plastic or synthetic rubber gloves (previously tested for solvent action) and goggles must be worn by workers. The removal procedure is outlined. If the work is on a light-colored surface, application of bleach may be necessary to eliminate traces of paint. Graffiti removal may also remove the original coating and repainting may be necessary. If commerical removers are ineffective, a more involved system consisting of solvents, detergent and bleach must be used. The first step is to identify the solvent that will dissolve or soften the resin in the sprayed coating. All of the following solvent materials should be on hand: Denatured ehtyl alcohol; xylol; MEK (methyl ethyl ketone); or MIBK (methyl isobutyl ketone). Xylol, MEK and MIBK will dissolve most enamel coatings packed in aerosol. Alcohol is sometimes useful if the coating is based on shellac or some other alcohol-soluble resin. Test the alcohol, xylol and MEK and MIBK or a small portion of the surface to, see which one most readily dissolves the paint. Sometimes a mixture of xylol and MEK works best. This system has been found to be successful in removing most aerosol paint products. Ventilation of the working area, elimination of fire hazards, and the prevention of excessive inhalation by workers must be assured.

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  • Corporate Authors:

    Public Works Journal Corporation

    P.O. Box 688
    Ridgewood, NJ  United States  07451
  • Authors:
    • Roland, R A
  • Publication Date: 1973-5

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00262488
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Nov 12 1974 12:00AM