Salem residents have five business days to remove graffiti. If you need help removing graffiti from your property, please contact the Graffiti Abatement Team at 503-371-4264.
Remove with paint
Generally used for walls and buildings.
- Cover the entire surface. Match your new paint to the original color if possible. If not possible, repaint the entire surface or square area. For example, paint the entire fence board(s) rather than just cover the graffiti.
- Prepare the surface by cleaning, drying, and sanding if necessary. If several coats of paint have already been applied, sanding may be necessary to remove old paint.
- Select the right paint for your surface. Acrylic latex is best for wood, concrete, block walls, and brick. Call your local paint specialist for advice if you are unsure.
Reuse your paint brushes. If you are working on a continual problem, you can put the roller or brush in a plastic bag, or wrap it in plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator. It will last for months. If you are using a 5 gallon bucket and the roller will fit, leave the roller in the bucket and reseal it.
Remove with sand or water blasting and pressure washing
Generally used for unpainted concrete surfaces like curbs and cinderblock walls.
- Start with the gentlest setting first because damage can easily occur.
- Follow the recommendations for historical buildings (call 503-588-6173 for information).
Remove with chemical products
Generally used for metal and aluminum poles, boxes, and signs.
- Make sure the cleaner is appropriate for the graffiti agent and affected surfaces.
- The solution should not leave residue or film that will damage the affected surfaces.
Follow manufacturer's specifications to avoid dangers to your health and affected surfaces.
Removal tips for trees, sidewalks and vehicles
Wash the tree with a garden hose. Do not use lacquer thinner or paint. You might apply mineral spirits and let it sit for five to 10 minutes, and then wash with water. Contact a nursery for other suggestions.
Use a wire brush. If that doesn't work, try lacquer thinner or pressure washing. Clean one square at a time.
Use a solvent based cleaner that can be obtained from hardware or home improvement stores. Be aware that these cleaners are likely to remove the wax from your vehicle's paint as well as the graffiti.