Remove Graffiti

Salem residents have five business days t​o remove graffiti. If you need help removing graffiti from your property, please contact the Graffiti Abatement Team​ at 503-371-4264.

​​Remove with paint

Paint is 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.

If you use paint to remove graffiti, be sure to select the right paint for the job, clean and prepare the surface thoroughly, and cover the entire area.

Remove with s​and or water blasting and pressure washing

Pressure washing is 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 historic buildings.

Remove with ​​che​​mical p​roducts​

Chemical products are 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 the manufacturer’s specifications to avoid dangers to your health and affected surfaces.​​​​​

Removal tips for t​​rees, 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.​​​

Additional information

Contact us

Graffiti Abatement TeamPolice Department
333 Division ST NE
Salem OR 97301
Email: [email protected] Attach a photo of the graffiti, if available.
503-371-4264Leave your name, your telephone number, and the location and description of the graffiti.
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Graffiti Busters provide product discounts

​​The Salem Police Department, Keizer Police Department, and Marion County Sheriff's Office have partnered with local businesses to form the Graffiti Busters program. ​ These businesses have agreed to provide discounts to victims of graffiti and assistance finding the best products for removal and prevention.​

  • ​​ACE Hardware (Madrona Hills)
    • ​706 Madrona Ave. SE, Salem​
  • Fred Meyer
    • ​3740 Market St. NE, Salem
    • 3450 Commercial St. SE, Salem
    • 2855 Broadway St. NE, Salem
  • The Home Depot
    • 3795 Hagers Grove Rd. SE, Salem
  • Industrial Supply
    • ​1270 Commercial St. NE, Salem
  • Kilgore Blackman Building Materials
    • ​5444 Commercial St. SE, Salem
  • ​Miller Paint Co.
    • ​390 Lancaster Dr. NE, Salem
  • Rodda Paint
    • ​3589 Fairview Industrial Dr. SE, Salem
  • Salem Paint
    • ​702 High St. NE, Salem
  • Sherwin-Williams
    • ​4669 River Road N, Keizer
    • 1805 Lancaster Dr. NE. Salem
    • 4596 Commercial St. SE, Salem
  • ​True Value
    • ​5014 River Rd. N, Keizer
  • ​Wal-mart
    • ​1940 Turner Rd. SE, Salem
    • 5250 Commercial St. SE, Salem
    • 3025 Lancaster Dr. NE, Salem​​​