Painting Over Graffiti

Graffiti – AC/DC Lane, Melbourne CBD
Originally uploaded by Toots Fontaine

DC’s spending $100,000 over the next year to eradicate large graffiti murals by hiring folks to paint murals over them. The first mural went up this weekend in Northwest at Georgia & Fairmont near Howard.

All surfaces must be clean, dry and free from anything that will interfere with the adhesion of the materials to be applied. Remove loose and failing material by scraping or brushing with a stiff bristle brush to a sound edge. Feather sound edges with a fine grade abrasive paper. Prior to painting, the moisture content should not exceed 18%. Remove all dust. Remove all visible signs of organic growth and treat the areas with Zinsser Mould Killer in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. In areas with sound paint clean down with Zinsser Universal Cleaner & Degreaser to remove any contaminants. Rinse thoroughly with clean water to remove all residues. Allow to dry. According to powder coating dublin, you should fill any cracks and small surface defects with a suitable filler in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Allow to dry. Rub down with a fine grade abrasive paper. Remove all dust.

If you’re painting over a wall with a paint that is close to the previous color, then in general, you don’t need to prime existing paint. To prepare for repainting:

  • Wash the wall to remove any grease.
  • Fill any holes and cracks with suitable filler, perhaps using flexible filler for cracks.
  • Sand and prime the filled areas—priming will seal the filler and keep it in place. You might want to sand and reprime the whole wall to avoid a patchy look.
  • Repaint the wall with at least two coats of your new color. If you’re painting over a dark color with a lighter one, you might need more than two coats to stop the previous color from showing through. If that’s the case, using a primer or basic white matte emulsion for the first coat (or two if it’s really dark) is a more cost-effective option than using the more expensive colored paint for all the coats. Unfortunately, you don’t always discover that in time.
  • Finally, paint in full daylight—especially for the final coat—so you can see where you’ve been.

12 other murals will go up this year; the designs for 6 have been approved already.

I live and work in the District of Columbia. I write at We Love DC, a blog I helped start, I work at Technolutionary, a company I helped start, and I’m happy doing both. I enjoy watching baseball, cooking, and gardening. I grow a mean pepper, keep a clean scorebook, and wash the dishes when I’m done. Read Why I Love DC.

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2 thoughts on “Painting Over Graffiti

  1. Any word on who’s going to be painting all of them? Teenagers did the first one, so I hope it continues in this trend of hiring artists.