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Graffiti is a major problem in Fresno. However there is hope! Everyone and anyone can and should help to remove it. This page will not address the cause of graffiti, only how to remove it after it appears. The why and how is a subject that I address on my community page.

Any surface is a target, in fact I have seen graffiti on a finely trimmed hedge! Most of the city-owned street signs are made of graffiti-resistant material, some are not. The easy way to remove graffiti is to remove it quickly! The longer it stays the harder it sticks. Also less chemicals are needed to break up the paint or whatever was used. Another phenomena is that graffiti mostly appears in multiples and can get out of hand if not removed promptly.

Removing graffiti unfortunetly requires dangerous chemicals in many cases. I cannot stress enough about SAFETY when working with highly flammable solvents; wear eye protection and chemical resistant gloves! 

Listed below is the most common types of surfaces that are prone to graffiti and ways to restore the surface back to normalcy.

If you feel a need to help but are unable to help out in person you can donate supplies and or funds. The link will take you to my radio hobby web site account;, the funds will reach me & be greatly appreciated! Thank You!

Donation amount

What it will buy:

  • $25 Donation -  One Gallon Motsenbocker's #4 (click here to view product)
  • $8 Donation  - Pack of Clean-up Rags
  • $2 Donation - One large 32oz gatorade; to keep me hydrated in the hot sun while working
  •  $4 Donation - Scrub brush
  • $1,000 Donation - a LONG vacation away from here!!!
You can also donate via regular mail.
Laurence Kramer
840 E Carmen Ave
Fresno, CA 93728

I will gladly accept donations of unused cotton terry cloth rags, solvent; graffiti remover, acetone, lacquer thinner. I don't use paint thinner, it is not a good product to use to remove graffiti. Motsenbockers Lift-off #4 works best and is available in Fresno at Home Depot stores.

  • Wood Telephone / power pole & anchor guy line
  • Street sign
  • Lamp post
  • Streelight pole
  • Wood fence
  • Cinderblock fence
  • Brick surface
  • Curb / Sidewalk cement
  • Metal pole (generic)
  • Window glass
  • Canvas awning


  Wood power pole
Here is spray paint graffiti on a wooden power pole. There are several methods removing or covering it. You can paint over it, or remove it. To maintain the natural color of the wood I prefer to remove it. To preserve the integrity of the pole it is wise to gently scrub the graffiti off. With an up and down motion of the brush, following the direction of the grain, most graffiti will come off. A side to side motion will go against the grain resulting in a much more aggressive and damaging scrub. 

The yellow safety reflectors are a popular target of graffiti. Most are made of graffiti resistant material. In this case use a liquid solvent to remove the graffiti. The little white sticker is also a form of graffiti, it should be removed.

  Street Sign

Most street signs are made of graffiti resistant material and are fairly easy to clean. In most cases liquid solvent will be used to clean the sign. A word of advice; windy days are not good days to clean signs.
In all cases with signs, be aware of using any solvents. Some street signs may have an anti-graffiti surface but with painted lettering. Be sure to test a small area of the sign with your solvent before going to work on it. NEVER paint over a graffiti-resistant sign, you will only make things worse by adding another layer of paint to be removed.

I have found that following directions on the label works best - spray on surface, wait one minute, wipe clean, repeat if neccessary. If the graffiti is of the marking pen type it should take very little solvent and time to remove. I always try to rub off marking pen graffiti with my bare fingers first because sometimes it WORKS! LOL! It looks much better on my fingers than on the sign:)

Sometimes the graffiti paint is thick (and hard if has been there a long time) and will require something called elbow grease. I find that using a lightweight scrubbing pad works well. Use ample amounts of solvent but not too much, don't press hard on the surface, be sure to have clean rags for the final touch-up. Some graffiti resistant signs can be damaged from the solvent, it would be wise to limit the use of solvent. I try to clean a sign as quick as possible using the least amount of solvent.   

Most stickers are super-easy to remove. As with paint, the longer it has been stuck there the harder it will stick. There are generally two types of stickers; Plastic(vinyl) and paper. Plastic stickers tend to stick better and paper stickers leave more of a mess when removed. All stickers are easy to remove if they are newly posted.

Plastic stickers are a bit tricky to remove. This situation calls for a razor blade scraper and a delicate touch. Using the scraper carefully lift the edge of the sticker and lift up just enough to grasp with your fingers then pull it off. If it breaks off the part you are pulling that means the sticker has been there a long time *arg!* With an even more precise touch with your razor blade, carfully separate the sticker from sign - GO SLOW! You do not want to ruin the sign's surface! Some stickers are so well bonded to the surface it is better to replace the sign then try to remove it.


Paper stickers can be removed using the power of your fingertips! New freshly planted paper stickers are hilariously E-Z to remove! The hardest part is reaching up to it HA!

Old paper stickers will require some effort. Paper stickers are made of paper, which can be broken down with water or better yet, solvent. It is most eviromentally smart (Green) to use water and a rag or soft scrubber to break down the paper part of the sticker, the adhesive left over can be removed with the solvent.



Lamp post

There are four types of lamp posts that I know of in Fresno; metal, fiberglass, stone cemet and plastic. 

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