Why Bother with Anti-Graffiti Paint? Advice for Australian Business Owners

18 April 2016
 Categories: Industrial & Manufacturing, Articles

While some people believe that street art can boost a neighbourhood's appearance, mindless graffiti is still a big issue across Australian cities and suburbs. In fact, graffiti costs Australian communities around $200 million per year. Anti-graffiti paint is an increasingly popular weapon against vandalism that can protect walls and other surfaces. Learn how anti-graffiti paint works and find out more about how this protective coating could save you money on costly repair bills.

The problem with graffiti

For many people, graffiti is an unsightly addition to a wall. While some artists are unquestionably talented, the fact is that it is an offence to spray graffiti on a wall without permission from the property owner. What's more, if the text or image is offensive, you won't want the art to remain visible to children and members of the public for long. There are also other antisocial effects. One study showed that 21 percent of people feel unsafe around graffiti, as they see the art as a sign of social disorder in the neighbourhood.

Graffiti artists generally use spray paints because they're easy to apply, and artists can now choose from a massive range of colours. Unfortunately, spray paints often soak into porous surfaces like brick and concrete, making it tricky to remove graffiti art. To make matters worse, the chemical content in spray paint means that you need to use a chemical that contains strong solvents to remove the finished art, and these chemicals can also damage brick walls and concrete surfaces.

Because of this, it's not hard to see why many people just paint over the art, but this often simply encourages more artists to spray the newly cleaned wall.

Types of anti-graffiti paint

Business owners who want to protect their walls can now choose from two types of protective coating.

Sacrificial coatings form a clear coat over the wall that acts as a barrier if somebody else applies anything to it. If a graffiti artist sprays paint on the wall, you can easily remove the coating with a high-pressure water cleaner, leaving the original surface of the wall underneath unharmed. Products that act as sacrificial coatings generally use acrylates and waxes. These products only form a weak bond with the wall surface, which makes them easy to remove. However, this type of coating only works once, and you'll need to replace it every time there is vandalism.

Permanent coatings create a permanent protective surface that spray paint cannot easily bond to. If a graffiti artist sprays these surfaces, the paint will often smear, run or fail to dry properly. All the property owner then needs to do is use a simple solvent to clean off the remaining paint. Both the underlying surface of the wall and the protective coating remain undamaged, so if another graffiti artist vandalises the wall, the same thing happens.

There are many types of permanent protective coating on the market. What's more, these products use different chemicals to protect the surface underneath, including polyurethanes and siloxanes. Some protective coatings now also use silicon as an ingredient, which repels water and paint.

Is anti-graffiti paint right for your property?

There are now lots of different protective coatings for you to choose from, but it's still a good idea to check with a local supplier whether anti-graffiti paint is suitable for your premises. For example, anti-graffiti paint can sometimes darken the colour of the brick to which you apply the protective coating, although you can apply a non-darkening sealer first to avoid this issue.

You can buy anti-graffiti paints that are suitable for timber, concrete, brickwork and sandstone. Some products don't adhere well to plastic or painted surfaces, so it's generally a good idea to test a small, unobtrusive area of the wall first. If you own an older building, anti-graffiti paint can change the original look and feel of the surface coating. If you own a listed historic property, you may even need permission from the local council before you can apply this type of protective surface.

Anti-graffiti paint can help you control vandalism of walls and other surfaces. Talk to a supplier in your area like Cormac Contracting Pty Ltd for more advice and information.