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
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;
vlfradio.com, the funds will reach me & be greatly appreciated!
$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
You can also donate via regular mail.
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
Curb / Sidewalk cement
Metal pole (generic)
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
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
should be removed.
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
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
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
the sticker, the adhesive left over can be removed with the solvent.
There are four types of lamp posts that I know of in Fresno; metal, fiberglass, stone cemet and plastic.