Thursday, September 1, 2011

How to Clean Graffiti From PVC/Plastic Fence

I live on a corner lot. When we moved in there was no fence in the backyard. I'm not the kind of girl who likes to have an audience when I'm hanging out in my backyard.  The following spring, we installed a beautiful privacy fence.  We sprung for the PVC kind so we didnt have to do any maintenance on it.
Little more than a week ago, I came home to find this....
My beautiful fence, defaced by some punk kids with no respect for others and their property. I cannot begin to describe the rage.
The icing on my graffiti cake came a few days later when the City sent me a letter. The letter stated that my home had been reported and photographed as having graffiti and I had 7 days to remove it or they would fine me $300 along with sending a city crew to remove it.  The city crew would bill me at $245/hour.
Its not that we didnt try to remove it, we did. I did my googling and learned that Goof Off should take off any graffiti on most surfaces.  I made the trek to Menards and was handed a spray bottle of Goof Off and told it should do the trick.  I sprayed it on my fence and wiped it away.  It took the black off, but left a gray shadow.
According to the letter from the city, any residue shadow also had to be removed.
Now I'll be damned if Im going to paint my "maintenance free" fence, so we tried everything! Mineral spirits, laquer thinner, bleach, vinegar, even toothpaste. Nothing worked.
Then I stopped in at Ace Hardware. I dont usually go there because the "big box" stores have what I need in one trip. Well its a good thing I stopped. The gentlemen there told me he had the perfect solution. He came back with a bottle of Goof Off Spray....
Turns out Goof Off makes several products. If you have graffiti on your fence, dont listen to the 16 year old kid at Menards. Talk to the seasoned professional at your local non-big box hardware store!
Goof Off Graffiti Remover Spray is what you need, along with a kitchen sponge.  Follow these simple steps to a clean fence!
Step 1: Resist the urge to choke every tween or teenager that walks by you.

Step 2: Repeat step 1. (No seriously, violence is not the answer). Repeat again, as necessary.

Step 3: Resist the urge to go down to City Hall and deface their property with spray paint when they threaten to fine you. They will not think this is funny. Nor will they respond well to your letters asking them to remove the paint from their property.

Step 4: No seriously. Repeat steps 1-3 until you reach a place of zen and can focus on the task at hand.

Step 5: Go to Ace Hardware. Do not waste your time at Menards or Home Depot.

Step 6: Ask for Goof Off Graffiti Remover Spray (see photo). If a 16 year old who just got his first job at the hardware store hands you the bottle marked with an X in the photo, hand it back and ask to speak to his father. Hell, even his mother. One of them has to know the difference.

Step 7: Return home with the correct version of Goof Off.

Step 8: Take a kitchen sponge, the kind with the blue scrubby side, hose, and Goof Off to the fence.

Step 9: Spray a light coating of Goof Off over painted area. Work in small sections. Using the scrubby side of your sponge, work in small circular motions until the paint comes off.

*Note: it is ALWAYS a good idea to test a hidden spot to make sure it does not cause discoloration or other ugly things*

Step 10: Promptly spray off with hose, and move on to next section.
**This step is important. Goof Off will begin to corrode your fence if left on too long. Too long is more than 2 minutes. Seriously.**

***Note for the ladies: Wear gloves if you have acrylic nails and/or a fresh manicure. This will remove your polish.***

Repeat Steps 9 and 10 until all graffiti is removed.

Step 11: Stand back and admire your work. The punk ass kids and pompous ass City did not get the best of you my friend. You're welcome.

4 comments:

  1. Do tell what city you live in so we don't ever move there!!!! Glad the goof off spray worked, too bad it doesn't work on getting rid of the mean person who defaced your fence. Really it sounds like a set up, kids usually write names and such, not just one little line. Hope you don't have enemies there, they will do it again. Hope the city workers don't do this to get extra work too. Ooh. Lack of trust on my part.

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  2. Ha ha! Oh come on, it happens in every city. Although I dont know if every city sends out letters like that!
    The one "comforting" thing though is that it wasnt just our house. 3 of our neighbors were tagged as well, and actually, they all had words on their home. Nothing that made any sense though. One said "gooba booba" on the siding! So I guess we are "lucky" it was just a line.
    Thanks for the comment! =D

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  3. Thanks for the tip Jessy! Nice blog.. :)

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  4. It's really annoying when someone vandalizes any part of your residence, and even more hilarious that the city was going to fine you if you didn't clean up their vandalism. I'm glad you managed to remove it in time. But there should have been a public service from the city to remove graffiti-stained walls from private residences. With the use of industrial pressure washers, dirt such as graffiti from walls and pavements can be easily removed. Not only that, they can also be used to clean driveways and sidewalks.

    Total Clean Equipment

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