How to remove spray paint from walls

Need to know how to remove spray paint from your wall? Whether it's brick, metal or plastic, our tips and tricks will help you shift the splatter.

Updated 15 September 2023


AuthorBy Cleanipedia Team

Reading Time5 minutes

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Key steps

  • For brick walls: use paint thinner or a porous graffiti remover.

  • For metal: try heat, a baking soda paste or commercial cleaner.

  • For plastic: vegetable oil or nail polish remover should work.

  • Don’t forget to clean down the surface after you’ve removed the spray paint.

Spray paint on garage doors or walls can seem tricky to shift, but with the right products and some elbow grease, it's not hard to scrub off paint marks. This article will explain how to remove spray paint from wall surfaces made from a range of materials, from brick walls to metal or plastic surfaces.

If you’re taking steps to learn how to remove spray paint from wall surfaces indoors, don’t forget to always keep the area well ventilated; especially when using chemical cleaners.

How to remove graffiti from brick walls: the simplest method

Need an easy method for getting rid of pesky spray paint on your brick wall? Here’s how to remove graffiti from your brickwork.

  1. 1

    Use paint thinner or a porous graffiti remover. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions found on the label.

  2. 2

    Decant your chosen product into a clean spray bottle.

  3. 3

    Spray over the area of brick wall you wish to remove spray paint from.

  4. 4

    Leave for 15–20 minutes. On a colder day you may need to leave it for a little longer.

  5. 5

    Rinse the wall using warm water. If it is a larger area, try using a pressure washer.

  6. 6

    If you have any stubborn, leftover marks, repeat steps 2–5.

  7. 7

    Never use acids, as these could erode your brickwork.

  8. 8

    For more advice on the general cleaning of your walls, check out our guide for how to clean a brick wall.

How to remove spray paint from metal: tips and tricks for graffiti removal

Don’t panic if your metal is looking worse for wear thanks to spray paint. Here are some simple hacks to help you remove it.

  1. 1

    Try a commercial cleaner. These come in a number of forms including:

    • Pastes

    • Aerosols

    • Liquids

    • Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions found on the label of the product.

  2. 2

    Heat it up.

    • Taking care, run power outside to where the metal surface is.

    • Using a hairdryer heat the area of spray paint.

    • Use soapy water to clean the area down.

    • For stubborn spray paint, scrub the area with a nylon brush after heating.

  3. 3

    Want a solution using household products? Baking soda will do the trick.

    • Create a paste of hot water and baking soda.

    • Cover the spray paint in your paste.

    • Leave for around 15 minutes.

    • The paint should now just peel off!

    • Repeat the above steps if needed.

How to remove spray paint from plastic: an easy step-by-step guide

Read on for our step-by-step guide to how to remove spray paint if you've spotted it on plastic surfaces.

  1. 1

    Remove as much as you can using a paint scraper. A putty knife or razor blade works best.

  2. 2

    Rub vegetable oil over the affected area. Continue to rub until the paint starts to peel away. If this doesn’t work, try something stronger.

  3. 3

    Nail polish remover is a good option to try if the vegetable oil hasn’t done the trick.

    • Rub a good amount of nail polish remover over the affected area.

    • Leave it for 5-10 minutes.

    • Rub again to remove any remnants of spray paint.

  4. 4

    Once you have removed as much as possible using steps 1-3, use warm water mixed with a detergent such as Persil and scrub the area with a sponge. This will remove all traces of paint, oil and nail polish remover.

Preventing Future Spray Paint Incidents

Preventing future spray paint incidents is vital for maintaining the appearance and integrity of your property. Here are some proactive measures to deter graffiti and unwanted spray paint:

  1. 1

    Enhanced Lighting: Install motion-activated or well-lit areas around your property. Good lighting can discourage vandals as they prefer to operate in the shadows.

  2. 2

    Surveillance Cameras: Install visible security cameras to deter potential vandals. The presence of cameras can act as a powerful deterrent.

  3. 3

    Anti-Graffiti Coatings: Apply anti-graffiti coatings to vulnerable surfaces. These clear coatings make it easier to remove spray paint and graffiti without damaging the underlying material.

  4. 4

    Community Involvement: Engage with your community or neighborhood watch programs to raise awareness about graffiti prevention and reporting suspicious activity promptly.

  5. 5

    Quick Removal: If you notice graffiti or spray paint, remove it promptly. Rapid removal discourages vandals, as their work is less likely to be seen or celebrated.

  6. 6

    Landscaping: Plant bushes or thorny plants near walls to create a physical barrier, making it more difficult for vandals to access surfaces.

By implementing these preventive strategies, you can reduce the likelihood of future spray paint incidents and help maintain the aesthetics of your property.

With our simple guide, you now know how to get rid of spray paint with ease from a variety of surfaces! It’s not just annoying when walls are covered in paint! Check out our guide for how to get paint off clothes for further tips and tricks.

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