Keep supplies in a handy place for your maid or gardener to use to paint over or clean graffiti as soon as it appears. According to research, the biggest deterrent is to clean or paint over graffiti as soon as possible!
--OR WHY NOT Organize a Graffiti Wipe Out Party? Think about organizing a neighborhood project party as needed in your area. If you need assistance with this, or more advice than is contained below, e-mail Lee Carson at Jackbc3@gmail.com New Cleaning Products
Use new cleaning products available in Ajijic to easily wipe off any type of graffiti (enamel spray, acrylic paint, markers, etc.). Apply the product and wipe graffiti off with paper towels! No damage to original painted concrete, bricks, stone, painted metals, plastics, signs, car finishes, & more!
Jara Hardware, Ajijic, next to Telmex, Ajijic, on lateral sells: Goof-off Graffiti Remover in a Spray Can, and other products.
Home Depot sells one of the best rated products: Motsenbocker’s Lift Off # 4; 1 gal. for $19.97 US; water based & biodegradable; A Rating from US Consumer Testing Lab & 5 Star Consumer Rating.
Wal*Mart. Graffiti removal products (expensive sprays, but they last a long time).
Tested Blocker/Primer & Paints to Cover Graffiti
Jara Hardware, Ajijic, next to Telmex, Ajijic, on Carretera lateral sells: blocker/primer oil base paints. And Tonal Casta Acrylic Paint (cleans in water; graffiti needs 2 coats if using white paint) for final coat. Also, sells Cans of Spray Paint to use on small areas of graffiti. Keep a couple of cans of spray paint in the colors to match surface. For larger areas, use correct type cans of paint in color closest to surface you are covering. Jara donated to the Graffiti Project!
Prisa Paint Store, Ajijic, on Carretera just past Colon sells: Prometal, a blocker/primer oil base (does not clean in water) that dries in 15 minutes to give a base for final coat of paint to cover.
Old clothes for painters
Drop Cloth or cardboard to cover sidewalk or street
Inexpensive brushes for small areas
Roller pan & rollers for large areas
Bucket of water & rags for clean-up of acrylic paint on cement, brick & stone surfaces
Paint thinner & rags for clean-up of oil based paint used on metal surfaces
Paint over graffiti on cement, bricks & stone. Use acrylic paint so that hands and brushes can be washed in water. Use a color closest to surface color you are covering.
Metal surfaces require oil-based paints.
For painting out graffiti on painted walls-- As in any project, the hard part is just getting started. Having the correct paint colors on hand is the key to being able to act quickly. If you do have leftover paint you might want to put some into a jar with a good lid. When you need just a little those big cans can be inconvenient to open. If you don't have any of the exterior color, chip off a sample & take it into the paint store to be matched. Now you will be ready when the inevitable graffiti happens to you. Think about enrolling your gardener to help with this project. If the wall is white or any light color, use a primer type paint first. The purpose of this primer is to block the 'bleeding up' of the graffiti paint into the fresh paint that you apply over it. Prisa sells a product called Prometal for this purpose. Generally these blockers/primers are oil base and do not clean in water. Ask your paint dealer for their recommendation. Prometal dries in 15 minutes. You don't need more than one coat, but don't expect it to cover-- that is the job of the paint.
For natural brick and rock-- Paint can be acrylic house paint, acrylic craft paint, or acrylic artist paint that comes in tubes. Craft or artist paint is great for small jobs. All three types can be mixed with each other as they are water base. To “match” rocks-- You might buy a small can of medium gray acrylic house paint and then, have on hand some smaller units of other colors from the art store. Look at your wall and list some of the other colors. Frequently they will be beige, brown, black (or dark grey) and may even include a bit of rust and even a dirty gold. Next, make the color of the material that is between the rocks. All the rock painting can be done with small artist brushes or disposable brushes from the paint store. Experiment with sponges or pieces of old towel. (The pros use their bare hand). Use plenty of water as you paint to help feather out the hard edges. Don't use the colors in predictable patterns and don't paint more of the rock than necessary (but don't go over the graffiti shapes exactly or you will just be changing the color of the graffiti.) To “match” bricks-- The process is very much like the above. Start with a small can of your brick color. Some bricks are very monochromatic and others have shades of yellow, salmon, red or dark. It is very important to get close to the mortar color. Keep in mind that it is seldom pure white. However, if it's a light color, start with white and mix in some brown to make beige, and maybe add a little yellow. Let your wall be the guide. When assessing the colors you want to be sure to wait until the color dries before using much. The color can be quite different when it dries and you might not like it. It doesn't seem to matter if you paint between the bricks first or after the bricks have been painted. Having several people work on a project at the same time is more fun and produces a more random result (which is a good thing). The painting of rocks and bricks is easy in that your paint may be contained on a plastic plate or Styrofoam cup (so they are light to hold), and the brushes are small. The mixing of paint is very creative. Step away from your working area to see how it looks from several feet away. Don't obsess. The projects look much better the next day and most people see the walls from a distance. For metal doors and gates-- Remember, metal surfaces require oil based paints. Apply paint when the metal is not hot from the sun and use a drop cloth or cardboard to protect sidewalk or street. If you have a shiny metal door and the graffiti has not been there too long you may have great success with a spray product made for this purpose. Check for these products at the paint stores or Wal*mart. Metal is almost always painted with an oil base paint. If the door is black or dark you probably don't need a blocker. For small jobs you may be able to use a disposable brush or even a piece of foam or sponge. Be sure to have a cleaner for oil base paints handy.
Painting Tips --
Paint in patches. When it is not possible to paint the entire wall, use a closely matched color and paint over the graffiti in neat rectangles or squares. The closer the color match, the more effective it is in preventing further vandalism.
A trick to keep small amounts of canned paint from drying out is to float a 1/2" of water on the top.
Always clean brushes and equipment in a sink or drain in your home where it can go through a sewage treatment plant.
For small amounts of paint left in cans, leave uncovered (or mix in clean cat litter) in a safe place away from children and pets until paint dries and hardens. Dispose of dried paint cans (lids off) in the trash.