How to remove graffiti from a wood fence

How to remove graffiti from a wood fence

There are a number of ways to approach graffiti on a wooden fence. The best solution will mainly depend on the condition of the fence, and scale of the job.

The simplest and quickest option may be to color match and paint the fence. If necessary you can take a sample piece to your local paint store for an accurate color match. Remember to paint an entire section from top to bottom and end to end, as it will be far less conspicuous than leaving small patches of paint especially when it rains, which is likely to reveal even the best of color matches.

Alternatively, you may choose to remove the graffiti.

Bare Brick, Stone & Masonry Graffiti Remover can usually be used in conjunction with a pressure washer. Agitation, as you apply this product, can be of great assistance. Continued experience with the product will enable you to judge how many applications are necessary for varying surfaces and particular spray cans. On older/thicker graffiti, patience is the key. Keep the graffiti wet with the product, as long as possible before rinsing.

Wood is made of cellulose fibers and there are solvents and pigments in spray paints which can penetrate and stain wood like ink to blotting paper. Also, there are some timber fences such as western red cedar which may turn dark in the presence of alkaline cleaners, and while this darkening can normally be cleaned its important to know before embarking on full scale cleaning. Always test first and make sure you can clean a small area perfectly before coating up the entire fence.

Depending on the type of graffiti and wooden substrate Transgel may be the best remover, as it is PH neutral and totally nonreactive to any oils in the timber. It can also soak up inks and stains with a long enough dwell time.

Typically you will need to pressure wash the fence which can be intrinsically troublesome due to the softness and natural ageing of timber as well as the presence of growth and algae. If you're not careful with your gunning technique, you can easily leave distinct clean patches where you have been, and for this reason need to finish whole sections to even out the final appearance.

Gunning/rinsing too close with a pressure washer can result in a stringy fence, which might create a bigger job of sanding it down later, so be careful not to come in too close with your wand. Use a flat angled spray tip; never zero degrees or a turbo blaster. See before/after examples below which are typical removal jobs on a wooden fence.

If you have successfully removed 95% of the graffiti, you can pick a color paint and fog mist/spray with an HVLP paint gun to blend in the area with the surrounding fence.

All these techniques can be used to achieve the best results depending on the circumstances. However in the case of common pressure-treated pine fences we recommend two essential colors for citywide graffiti trucks; ‘Old’ aged wood fence color and ‘New’ wood fence color. That way you can spray them out and move on to cleaning higher profile jobs.

If you have a new unpainted wooden fence we highly recommend our World’s Best Graffiti Coating. It offers excellent protection to any natural wooden fence, especially cedar, and pre-stained oiled timber fences.

Products Mentioned

3 Golden Rules

1) If graffiti is not coming off easily, you're doing it wrong! You may require a change of tact or use of another product.

2) If you can't remove a little bit of graffiti, then you're not going to remove a lot! TEST FIRST before applying product to an entire job. This way you can determine if you’re on the right track before embarking on full scale removals.

3) If you're working hard, you're doing it wrong! Forget the scrubbing, blasting and any other abrasive measures. Put simply, either your products are working or they’re not. Any problems can be taken care of with the right technique.

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How to remove graffiti from a wood fence