It is difficult for many people to view graffiti as a form of art if they are a detriment to residential and commercial properties and occur without consent or permission. Cities that support art often refer to graffiti by its more friendly name—street art—and would have designated areas specifically for these artists to freely express their work, as long as they are relevant to the city’s values and representation, and/or have a significant message. These artists have received permission and even a commission for contributing to their city’s values.

However, anything that occurs without consent on private property and public property is a form of criminal vandalism. The cities of NoVA have joined together and created the Graffiti Removal Program and outlawed this detrimental practice that not only reduced property values, but also created unnecessary cleaning costs.

Whether you’re a commercial or private property owner, your local NoVA handyman at Mr. Handyman of Northern Virginia - Arlington to Haymarket offers fast and efficient graffiti removal services that will restore your building’s original looks. Our team of expert technicians has helped multiple building owners deal with unwanted graffiti incidents that have affected either their home’s value or the image of their business. Mr. Handyman is dedicated to keeping our communities safe and clean; therefore, you can put your trust in our expertise and experience in getting the job done effectively and efficiently.

A white brick wall with a large smear of yellow graffiti that must be removed with professional NoVA graffiti removal services

Graffiti Defined

We refer to graffiti as provocative words, drawings, and figures that clearly deface the exterior of a property, and, thus, people often condemn that affected part of the community for associations with criminal activities. Often, graffiti vandals use this form of vandalism to express a strong political opinion or prove a point, but the majority is mere hooliganism.

It’s also seen as a negative externality that contributes to environmental pollution because aerosol sprays emit at least 0.4 pounds of dangerous chemicals into the air. Although we need carbon dioxide to help trap heat in the atmosphere for our earth to stay warm, it is the excess amount of CO2 concentrations that create rising temperatures globally. Aside from burning fossil fuels, aerosols like hair spray or spray paint also contribute to creating greenhouse gasses and affect our environment.

Mr. Handyman offers effective NoVA graffiti removal services to quickly help restore your image and your building’s equilibrium.


While this problem occurs more frequently in urban areas, it’s not uncommon for people in suburban neighborhoods to fall victim to this criminal activity. Whether your garage door or little corner shop is affected, the first step you should take is to report it to the municipality and the police the same way you would with theft or robbery. This way, you raise awareness of graffiti, enabling the city and local authorities to keep a closer eye on further criminal activities.

Every municipality has a slightly different bylaw in terms of graffiti removal, but it is crucial that you immediately have it removed to show the troublemakers that you are in control and are now keeping a close watch to prevent it from happening again. Getting NoVA graffiti removal services within 72 hours of the occurrence is crucial if you want to send out that message. This also enables an easier clean before the spray paint properly cures and settles on the surface area.

NoVA Graffiti Removal Services: Affected Surfaces and Cleaning Solutions

The right graffiti removal method will depend on the materials of the affected surface areas. Most require different cleaning treatments in order not to suffer from any exterior and interior damage. The type of surface and its condition will typically determine how easy the cleaning will be and which removal method will do the best job.

Whether you choose to handle graffiti removal professionally or on your own, our NoVA handyman strongly recommends familiarizing yourself with the different types of graffiti removal products and methods. If dealt with incorrectly, you could worsen the damage.


Paint Over

Whether painting over graffiti is the best option will depend on your type of surface, but it is the most cost-effective method that will save you money and time. To do it right, it is important to apply high-quality primer before applying at least two layers of latex paint. Give the first layer a 24-hour window to dry before applying a second layer. Even though this is the easiest way of graffiti removal, it is not recommended if you have painted over it several times already. The results will get poorer each time you apply a new coat because the strength will cease. Oxidation will break down the paint due to exposure to heat and oxygen.

Remove Chemically

Nobody likes having to apply harmful chemicals, but often, there is no other way. Technically, it’s just as bad as applying the spray paint itself, if not worse sometimes. Since chemical products always pose a health and safety issue, it’s important to equip yourself accordingly by wearing goggles and respiratory protection.

When using aerosol solvents, your NoVA graffiti removal service specialist recommends that you always read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. If the material you attempt to clean is not listed, always seek further assistance. Upon purchase, perform a patching test first to confirm its effectiveness.

During graffiti removal, ensure the outside temperature works in your favor and is above 50°Fahrenheit. This is when molecules move faster, enabling a faster removal process.

Another important note includes securing the ground so that harmful chemicals won’t wash down the municipal storm drains. Always notify your municipality about an upcoming NoVA graffiti removal service and follow any guidelines and procedures.

Pressure Washing or Power Washing

One of NoVA graffiti removal services’ most effective methods is using a pressure washer to remove spray paint. Pressure washers are electric- or gas-powered machines that connect to pressurized water tanks. It’s attached to a spray handle with a concentrating nozzle through which pressurized water comes out. The water pressure level can reach as high as 4800 psi, which is strong enough to cut through materials. It’s a highly dangerous tool and should be left to experienced professionals who handle these units regularly. They’ll be able to determine the best level of psi or whether you need a power washer instead because they shoot heated water instead of cold.


Using a wire brush may be one of the most time-consuming methods; however, it works well on concrete if you combine it with a strong detergent.



As long as your wood material is protected and sealed, try using paint thinner to rub off the graffiti. However, if your wood has suffered from external damage and appears to be splintering, do not use chemicals. You’ll likely need to fix the damaged areas first by sanding the corners to repair any cracks.

If your wooden surface appears to be in decent health, the next step should include pressure or power washing at a low psi level. If these attempts are unsuccessful, painting over it might be the best solution.

Masonry (Brick or Concrete)

Unfortunately, this is one of the toughest situations, as you’re dealing with a fairly porous surface. Though we recommend using a power washer at 700 psi, it’s important to check your masonry system’s condition before you do that. Often, it’s hard to determine the state of the mortar, but your local NoVA graffiti removal service technician will be able to give it a proper check-up. If your masonry unit is made of concrete or naturally has a rough surface, using a wire brush might work.


If your garage door or shop shutters are affected, there are various paint thinners, penetrating fluids, and graffiti removal products available that you can try.

  • Pure acetone
  • WD-40
  • Goof Off

Otherwise, before moving on to pressure washing, try using wire brushes or steel wool pads. They work best on metallic poles, rough metal, and even metal doors. Chances are that you might brush off existing paint. As long as you don’t damage the metal material itself, you should be able to apply a fresh coat of paint once you’ve completed your graffiti removal.


If your vinyl siding is affected, NoVA graffiti removal is slightly trickier. As a type of PVC plastic, it is not recommended to use paint thinners as it could easily damage the surface area. Do a patch test using WD-40, but if it appears to cause more damage than good, try using steel or bronze wool to rub it off.


Thanks to the sleek, non-absorbent surface of the glass, you can remove spray paint easily with acetone or even use a razor blade to carefully scrape it off.


If you have experienced issues with graffiti before, you can protect your properties by applying graffiti protective coatings that will stop the spray paint from settling.

Installing security cameras outside your buildings is another way of protecting your property from this type of vandalism besides theft. You’ll receive an instant alert of an intruder and can report a graffiti attempt before it occurs.

Why Choose Mr. Handyman For NoVA Graffiti Removal Services?

Our local professionals at Mr. Handyman have helped many local businesses and homeowners maintain their properties, from the interior to the exterior. Not only do you need your property to be safe and comfortable for you to live and work in, but it also represents your personality, values, company brand, and property value. We know how important it is to restore these factors fast and effectively.

NoVA graffiti removal services are designed to protect our locals’ strong sense of community as well as reputation and building materials. As your locally-owned business and proud member of Neighborly’s home service professionals, we stand with our NoVA neighborhoods and will do our best to maintain and restore our values. Every member of our team is highly skilled, and insured, and brings an average of ten years of experience working in the trades. Known for our exceptional workmanship and customer care, our local clients have always relied on us for dependable home improvement services that include the removal of graffiti. Plus, we do more than just one job; we go above and beyond to detect underlying issues that no unlicensed contractor will care to do in this industry.

Our expert NoVA handyman team has a meticulous eye for detail which makes them perfect for inspections and running diagnoses. They will be able to determine how fresh the spray paint is or whether non-permanent or permanent markers were used to create the damage. Mr. Handyman doesn’t waste time; instead, we sense the urgency and will get to work immediately.

You can trust our uniformed technician to arrive on time in a marked company van, ready to assist you and recover your property’s original appearance.

Need Efficient NoVA Graffiti Removal Service?

Trust our graffiti removal technicians to act fast on your service request. We understand the urgency and will take prompt action to serve our communities in NoVA, including SpringfieldCliftonFairfax Station, or another nearby community. Count on the efficient NoVA graffiti removal service from Mr. Handyman of Northern Virginia - Arlington to Haymarket for a job done right. Our team invites you to find us online and give us a call today to learn more information about our popular handyman services throughout Northern Virginia for both residential and commercial property owners. Why not schedule a consultation for home improvement or remodeling services with our team of experts?

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