Graffiti Removal Tips

Graffiti is a constant problem. One vandal can damage dozens of structures in a short period of time. The Hopkins City Code (see Section 615.02) requires property owners to remove graffiti from structures or equipment.hand with spray can

Cleaning Up Graffiti

Graffiti breeds more graffiti. Immediate clean-up is recommended.

General Tip

If you want to paint over graffiti, first prepare the surface with a stain blocker like KILZ, which comes in spray can or brush form. This will seal the graffiti and keep it from bleeding through the new paint. If the area is small, use KILZ first, then spray the small area with a color closely matching the original.


Apply extra strength paint remover. Seal area with KILZ and paint using stucco paint. Sand blasters can be rented for under $100 per day to clean large areas.

Aluminum Siding

GOOF OFF works well on latex paint but not oil-based. KLEAN STRIP or STRIP X clean oil-based aluminum surfaces. Use small amounts and test areas before attempting to clean entire area!


On painted surfaces, use KILZ to seal and follow with paint in a color closely matching the original color. Use KLEAN STRIP or STRIP X for removing graffiti from stained or varnished surfaces.


Use paint removers such as OOPS or STRIPEEZE—full strength. Rinse completely.

Glass or Plexiglas

Carburetor cleaner and cloth rag.


Try carburetor cleaner first. If that doesn’t work, use STRIPEEZE or OOPS.

Brick, Cement, or Concrete:

Use extra strength paint remover. Apply with a wire brush and scrub. Allow to dry. Process may have to be repeated before the area is ready to paint.


Why can't the guilty pay for the clean up?

The Police Department arrests people for vandalism each year. There is no crime lab analysis that can match damage from one structure to a suspect arrested at another scene. Almost all persons arrested are juveniles and are adjudicated through the Juvenile Justice System rather than criminal court. The Juvenile Justice System does not provide for repayment of costs as an automatic part of decisions.

In cases where it is possible, the police try to link past graffiti acts to a suspect. The Police Department always notifies the Juvenile Prosecutor of the estimated damage amount and asks for damages as part of any decision.


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