How To Remove Graffiti

Spray paint and graffiti removal methods vary based on the surface. Smaller projects can be accomplished with certain products and manual methods, but it may be faster and more efficient to use power tools for larger projects. We’ve prepared this guide to help you decide what method is best for you.


There are a wide variety of inexpensive ways to remove graffiti. The approach that’s best for you will depend on the surface you’re cleaning. We recommend these methods for smaller projects, as they often involve a combination of products and a good bit of elbow grease. 

  • PAINT THINNER - Mineral spirits, acetone, or other paint thinners will remove spray paint from metal and wood. Be careful using it on wood, however. If the wood surface is in poor condition, paint thinner may actually end up staining it further. Paint thinner is not recommended for plastic, as it can cause permanent damage to the surface.
  • PENETRATING OIL - You can remove graffiti with WD-40 or any penetrating oil you would use to clean and loosen up your machinery. Apply a small amount, wait a bit, then wipe off with water and cloth. This method will work on metal, plastic, and glass.
  • ABRASIVES - Very fine steel wool, bronze wool, or a very light sandpaper can remove graffiti from most surfaces. Just be very gentle, so as not to cause damage. In the case of glass, we recommend chipping the majority of the spraypaint off with a razor blade before attempting to use abrasives.
  • PAINT OVER - If the spray paint is minimal or the methods above did not completely remove all spray paint, simply painting over what remains should suffice. 
  • PRESSURE WASHER - A pressure washer can help clean spray paint from a variety of surfaces including wood, metal, brick and stone. 


Some projects are just too big to tackle with a can of WD-40 and a rag. For those projects, we recommend sand blasting. This method is fast, efficient, and safe for you and for the environment. 

  • SAND BLASTER - Sandblasting is the best method of removing graffiti. The added abrasive power makes the process all that faster and easier. We recommend the Typhoon Sand Blaster. It’s airless, dustless, and intuitive to use- designed so that you can easily swap back and forth between pressure washing and sandblasting as the situation demands.