Graffiti Removal

  • It is the property owner's responsibility to remove graffiti.

    Report graffiti

    If your property was tagged with graffiti, you should file a police report:

    Use My Gresham to report graffiti on someone else's property, including public property.

    Graffiti removal kits

    Free graffiti removal kits are available through the Office of Neighborhoods and Community Engagement at City Hall. Each Kit contains small bottles of graffiti removal solution, gloves, goggles, a mask and a scrub pad. Call 503-618-2469 for more information.

    Graffiti removal tips

  • Metal

    Utility boxes and light poles

    Supplies
    • Graffiti removal solution
    • Scrub pad
    • Rag or paper towels

    Metal surfaces leave a better appearance when scrubbed. Painting metal is discouraged. It tends to build up with frequent tagging and may leave an off-color patch.

    Painted metal surfaces

    Supplies
    • Matching paint (light grey)
    • Paint pan
    • Roller
    • Roller nap

    Consider painting the entire tagged surface to ensure a color match. Avoid painting post office identification, key holes, hinges, and working parts of doors.

    Black decorative light poles

    Supplies
    • Flat black or shiny back spray paint. 

    Scrubbing with solution may dull the paint.

    Street signs

    Do not paint or clean the front of:

    • Stop signs
    • Traffic direction signs
    • Street barricades

    Traffic signs are coated with a reflective surface so they are easy to read at night. Graffiti removing solution can destroy their reflective surfaces, making the signs unsafe. 

    The backs, but not the fronts, of these signs may be cleaned with graffiti removal solution. 

    If the front of a sign has been tagged, take a picture and email it, along with the address, to TransOperations@GreshamOregon.gov.

    Or call 503-618-2626 to report the graffiti.

    Plastic

    Cable boxes and garbage cans

    Supplies
    • Graffiti removal solution
    • Scrub pad
    • Rag or paper towels

    Black pen graffiti may leave a stain on plastic surfaces, however, this will fade in time.

    Chain link fencing inserts

    Supplies
    • Paint
    • Paint pan
    • Roller
    • Roller nap

    Inserts can be cleaned but painting the entire fence is more efficient and effective.

    Wood

    Painted wood fencing

    Supplies
    • Paint
    • Paint Pan
    • Roller
    • Roller Nap

    If fencing is a uniform color, touch up over new graffiti can be quick and easy with paint.

    Natural wood fencing

    Supplies
    • Graffiti removal solution
    • Scrub pad
    • Rag or paper towels

    If ineffective, try power washing or scraping with a wire brush. The color of the fence will be somewhat changed.

    Telephone poles

    Supplies
    • Flat black spray paint

    Graffiti tends to show through a coat of spray paint; a layer of primer may be necessary.

    Concrete and masonry

    Rough walls, sidewalks, brick

    Supplies
    • Graffiti removal solution
    • Brush
    • Power washer and water source, or
    • Matching paint

    For best results, apply solution with brush, then let sit for five minutes before power washing. Paint will cover graffiti, but may leave surface discolored or patchy.

    Smooth walls

    Supplies
    • Paint
    • Paint pan
    • Roller
    • Roller nap

    Concrete walls with a smooth surface can be easily painted. Future tagging can be quickly covered with a matching color.

    Stickers
    Supplies
    • Graffiti removal solution
    • Putty knife or five-in-one tool
    • Scrub pad
    • Rag or paper towel

    Stickers on the front of traffic signs must not be removed and should be reported to TransOperations@GreshamOregon.gov or 503-618-2626. 

    Elsewhere, applying solution and allowing it to soak a few minutes before scraping off is effective.

  • Contact us

    For more information about graffiti removal, or to volunteer on the City's graffiti removal team, contact Lina Sizmin at 503-618-2469 or Lina.Sizmin@GreshamOregon.gov.