How to Remove Graffiti on Asphalt

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Graffiti is a common sight in larger cities.
Graffiti is a common sight in larger cities. (Image: Photos.com/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Regardless of whether graffiti was placed by rebellious teenagers or talented artists, removing it can be a bit of a hassle. Typically created with spray paint, graffiti can turn sidewalks and walls into an unsightly mess. Normal cleaners do little to remove the paint, which quickly adheres to the asphalt. However, not all hope is lost. With the proper chemical and cleaning tools, you can remove the graffiti and restore the asphalt to the way it was before.

Things You'll Need

  • Absorbent mats
  • Safety goggles
  • Rubber gloves
  • Power washer
  • Plastic paint tray
  • Water-based paint stripper
  • Paint brush
  • Brush broom

Cover nearby storm drains with absorbent mats to prevent the cleaning chemical from entering drain lines. If the cleaning chemicals enter into the storm drains it can pollute nearby creeks and rivers.

Wear a pair of safety goggles and rubber gloves. Stand 3 feet away from the asphalt and spray the graffiti with a power washer set on low pressure. Continue spraying until the asphalt is damp.

Fill a small, plastic paint tray with a water-based paint stripper. Submerge the bristles of a clean paintbrush in the paint stripper. Brush the paint stripper on the graffiti until completely covered.

Leave the paint stripper on the graffiti-stained asphalt for 10 minutes. Scrub the asphalt with a brush broom and rinse clean with the power washer. Substitute a scrub brush if a brush broom is not available.

Apply more paint stripper in the same manner as before if the graffiti remains on the asphalt. Let the paint stripper sit for 10 minutes before scrubbing it with a brush broom and rinsing clean with the power washer.

Tips & Warnings

  • Read and follow all warnings and directions on both the power washer and paint stripper.
  • You can purchase or rent power washers at home improvement stores and tool rental centers.

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