How to remove residual graffiti shadows from limestone, granite and marble

How to remove residual graffiti shadows from limestone, granite and marble

Firstly, dissolve as much as possible using Bare Brick Stone & Masonry Graffiti Remover (BBSM) as instructed.

Remember longer dwell times make a huge difference. Don’t be afraid to flood coat several times and leave the product on for an hour or more or even over night before rinsing the next day. If you have a hot water pressure washer this is the time to use it! Make sure its putting out steaming hot water before you start rinsing the wall.


Still, if a ‘graffiti shadow’ or stain persists follow the notes below.


If the graffiti was from inks, dyes, boot polish or ANY color spray paint with RED pigments in it (for example reds, browns, oranges, pinks, purples etc.) apply Feltpen Fadeout thickly and reapply if needed. You can also cover with black plastic so that it stays wetter longer. Once you see the stain begin to fade away it will disappear completely. Reapply until it appears that no more fading will occur. See Working with Feltpen Fadeout” and Feltpen Fadeout TDS sheet for further instructions and illustrated examples.


Use Feltpen Fadeout for the complete removal of red spray paints. Use it before or after rinsing Bare Brick Stone and Masonry Graffiti Remover.

For black and blue spray can paints that are threatening a shadow you should first apply several flood coats of BBSM, and consider a coat of Transgel on top, overnight. This will help keep it all wetter longer and dissolve graffiti more thoroughly. Only do this if it is safe from the general public. Consider wrapping a plastic sheeting, employ a guard if you have to.


 In the morning, use very hot water with a pressure washer. You may have to use the gun quite close to the surface so as to avoid prolonged time in gunning in one spot only. Keep the tip moving very fast around, over, below and above the graffiti shadow.


On limestone it is not uncommon to see a residual shadow, even after extended dwell times with BBSM.


This type of stain can be easily removed using a diluted muriatic solution. 


Use 4 parts water ; 1 part Muriatic (stronger dilutions can be utilized. Wet surface down thoroughly before applying)

Brush on acidic solution, agitate with brush and rinse off with pressure washer. 


Repeat as needed. 


This technique will ultimately fix the problem and you should be left with a perfect looking wall like this example below.


Graffiti Removal from Limestone, courtesy of NYC Power Wash

Please remover other people’s 'stuff ups’ can take a lot of time to fix. Don’t under quote or underestimate the job. Set an hourly rate and be sure to remove a small section first before quoting a large job so you can set expectations.


When removing shadows resulting from other removers being applied it can take many extra coats and longer dwell times to fully dissolve graffiti.


Hot Tip! Limestone, granite and marble are valuable substrates and ideally need to be protected when used in areas susceptible to graffiti. 4G Surface Guard and World's Best Graffiti Coating have been utilized for the protection of natural stone buildings from graffiti, grease, grime and pollution. 


After removing graffiti a rate of $1 per square ft. (supplied and applied) for World's Best Graffiti Coating can add great value to a job and will prevent any staining issues from occurring in the future. You may even consider guaranteeing a graffiti free building by including free removals for a period of time after.


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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