Removing Graffiti from Your Commercial Building

As citizens of the United States, we’re fortunate in that we are guaranteed our right to free speech and expression. However, as we all know, there are limits to this, especially when other people’s property becomes part of the equation. 

Graffiti, also known as street art, is an increasingly popular form of creative expression. It was once scoffed at, but thanks to people such as Banksy and others, it’s become more socially acceptable, with many people starting to consider it an official art form. 

However, if you own a business, you’re likely not up with this trend. Not because you’re square but rather because if your commercial property is “tagged” it could actually be really bad for business. 

If you’ve been struck by graffiti artists, don’t worry. As commercial painting experts, we at McClean Company know a thing or two about this. So, here’s everything you need to know about removing graffiti from your commercial building.

Why Removing Graffiti From Your Commercial Building is Important

Because of the rise of street art, if your business gets covered by graffiti, your first thought might be, “Oh well! It looks kind of cool” But, while it’s more accepted than ever, you still shouldn’t leave graffiti on your commercial building. 

There are a few reasons for this, such as: 

    • First impressions — Even though it’s less frowned upon, people are still likely to shy away from a business that is covered in graffiti, which will make it hard for you to recruit new customers. –
    • Tolerance to crime — If graffiti artists tag your building and you do nothing, the message you are sending is that you don’t care. Soon, more graffiti artists will arrive, and then who knows who will come after them. It won’t be too long until burglars give it a shot. 
  • Property value — Graffitti is difficult to get off of walls, and the longer you leave it the harder it will be to remove. If you rent your commercial space and leave graffiti alone, you will likely run into problems with your landlord and may lose your lease. If you own the property, you won’t get into trouble, but it may be more difficult to sell the space when the time comes to do so. 
  • Principle — No matter your standing on street art, preventing people from marking up your property is a matter of principle. If you allow it, you’re setting a dangerous precedent, and you may end up regretting it down the line. Best to remove it as soon as it appears and prevent future problems.  

Three Ways to Remove Graffiti from Your Commercial Building

If you do find yourself in the unfortunate situation of having to remove graffiti from your commercial building, don’t stress. It’s not all doom and gloom. There are ways to get rid of it that are relatively easy and not too expensive.

Which method you use will depend on several factors, such as the type of paint, the type of material that’s been painted, and how long the paint has been on the surface. 

Most graffiti artists use spray paint, which is difficult but not impossible to remove.


In general, it’s more difficult to remove graffiti from surfaces that are more porous. A good example is brick. But again, it’s not impossible. 

Your best bet is to hire a commercial painting company to assess the damage and determine the best path forward. They will be able to tell you the best way to get rid of the graffiti without causing too many headaches. But to prepare you, here are the main methods you can use for removing graffiti from your commercial building:

Power Washing

For less porous surfaces, or really fresh paint, sometimes all you need is a good power wash to get rid of the graffiti. You can rent this machine yourself from your local home improvement store, or you can hire a professional commercial painting company to do it for you. 

In either case, you’ll know pretty much right after you start if this method is going to work; the paint should start to come off almost immediately. If it doesn’t, then you’ll have to move onto the next method. 

Paint Thinner/Stripper

Just like you would do if you spilled paint on your floors or got it on a surface you didn’t want to, you can use paint thinner to remove some graffiti. This works best on recent paint jobs. So if the graffiti has been there for some time, you might not be able to get it off using this method. 

If you do want to try this method, your best bet is to hire a commercial painter to help you. Paint thinner is extremely toxic, and it can also do considerable damage to the rest of your property if you don’t handle it with care. Therefore, to avoid any potential catastrophes, work with people who know what they are doing. 


Lastly, if neither of these methods works, then it’s time to paint. This will work 100 percent of the time because all you are doing is covering over the graffiti. Of course, this is the most expensive and time-consuming of all the methods discussed, but it’s also the most effective. 

Once again, to do this, you’ll want to bring in the pros. You may need to treat the surface with special priming paint to make sure the spray paint doesn’t bleed through the new coat. Plus, if you’re only painting part of the building, then you will need to match the colors, something a commercial painting company is well-equipped to do. 

At McClean Company, we know commercial painting like the back of our hand. If you’ve been hit by graffiti, give us a call and we can help you figure out the best way to get rid of it, and then will do the job for you so that you can get your business back on track. 

Prevent Graffiti From Harming Your Business

Once you’ve removed the graffiti from your commercial building, you can relax a bit. But it’s normal to be a bit worried about when they will come back and put you in the exact same position. 

Fortunately, there are some things you can do to prevent this from happening: 

  • Install automatic lights — Motion-sensing lights that turn on whenever someone is in front of your building are often enough to scare away vandalists and other criminals. 
  • Use video cameras and alarms — If you want to go a step further than automatic lights, consider installing some cameras and alarms. This way, if someone does decide to tag your property, you can catch them. 
  • Engage your neighbors — Talk to other businesses and residents in the area and ask them to keep an eye out for anything suspicious. Sometimes this little reminder is enough to encourage someone to check, and they might just spot something happening before it becomes too serious. 

Hire McClean Company for Your Commercial Painting Needs

If your commercial building has been damaged by graffiti, or even if it’s just in need of updating, give us a call. Commercial painting is our thing. Get in touch and let us put our skills to work to help your business thrive.