The best way to remove spray paint and graffiti depends on the type of paint that was used, how stuck-on the paint is, and whether the garage door is painted. Here are tips on how to remove spray paint from a garage door.
What You'll Learn Today
- 5 Ways To Remove Spray Paint and Graffiti From A Garage Door
- Can A Pressure Washer Remove Spray Paint From Garage Door?
- How Do You Remove Spray Paint Off a Vinyl Garage Door?
- How Do You Remove Spray Paint Off A Wooden Garage Door?
- How To Prevent Graffiti On Your Garage Door?
5 Ways To Remove Spray Paint and Graffiti From A Garage Door
1. Regular Detergent & Cleaners
The biggest challenge when removing spray paint from a garage door is damaging the coat of paint on the door.
Before you try strong paint-removal products that might strip the paint on your garage door, start with regular household cleaners.
Mix some laundry detergent or dish soap with water and apply it on the spray paint. Use a nylon brush or abrasive pad to scrub the paint. Do not use a wire brush or anything too abrasive to avoid scratching the garage door.
If that doesn’t work, try a household cleaner such as the oven cleaner or a general purpose spray cleaner. Spray the cleaner on a small part first to see if it works and make sure it doesn’t cause fading.
If it works, spray and scrub with a pad or nylon brush.
2. Household Products
In addition to household cleaners, there are several other household products you can use to remove spray paint from a garage door.
Be careful to apply these only on the graffit to avoid damaging the original paint on the door.
- Nail polish remover.
- Rubbing alcohol.
- Paint thinner.
- Vinegar is effective on both water and oil based spray paints. Mix vinegar and water in a spray bottle and apply it on the spray paint. Scrub with an abrasive pad.
- For small spots of spray paint, try a hand sanitizer. Squirt some sanitizer on a cloth then rub it over the spray paint.
- Washing soda. Mix washing soda and flour with water until you have a paste. Apply it on the spray paint and let it sit for a few minutes. Scrub with an abrasive pad or brush, then rinse with clean water.
3. Graffiti Remover
If you are having a hard time removing the paint, it’s time to try something stronger.
You can find a graffiti remover spray on Amazon or a local store. Check what kinds of paints the spray works on and the surfaces you can use it on.
One of the most popular graffiti removers on Amazon, the Sunnyside Corporation Graffiti Remover, works on all surfaces including metal and wood and can remove water and oil-based spray paints.
Goof Off also sells a graffiti remover that’s suitable for most types of aerosol paints and works on many different kinds of surfaces. You can see it in action in the video below.
The best way to use a graffiti remover is to spray it on the spray paint and let it sit for a few minutes. Then use a pressure washer and gently spray the spray paint off.
Note that if you have a painted garage door, a graffiti remover might take off some of the paint. You may need to touch up the faded areas after removing the spray paint.
4. Paint Remover
Paint removers or strippers work the same way as graffiti removers. They contain solvents that loosen adhesion of spray paint on the surface by making it swell up.
As with a graffiti remover, a paint stripper will remove the spray paint as well as the coat of paint underneath. If you have a painted garage door, you may need to repaint the faded spots.
When choosing a paint remover, check that it can remove all kinds of paint and that it’s suitable for the material your garage door is made from.
Apply the remover on the spray paint and give it time to work. You can then clean off the spray paint with a wet cloth or a pressure washer.
5. Mr Clean Magic Eraser
You probably already know about Mr Clean Magic Eraser, the magic cleaning pad that cleans just about anything.
The Mr Clean Magic Eraser is essentially a very fine sandpaper. It uses micro abrasion to clean surfaces, including removing spray paint on metal or wood.
You can use Magic Eraser to remove spray paint or graffiti from your garage door and other surfaces like the wall or fence.
The best part is that you can remove the spray paint without damaging the paint or surface underneath. You just need to be careful and scrub gently.
Mr Clean Magic Eraser is a good choice if you want to avoid using any kind of chemicals to remove the spray paint.
Can A Pressure Washer Remove Spray Paint From Garage Door?
A pressure washer can remove spray paint from a garage door, but it’ll be slow work. You’d also have to use a lot of pressure which could strip a painted door.
A pressure washer works best when used alongside a graffiti remover or paint stripper. Apply the remover, let it sit for about 10 minutes, then spray with a pressure washer (using the 25 or 40 degree nozzle) to wash the paint off.
A power washer, on the other hand, can remove spray paint unaided. The combination of high pressure and hot water is effective against spray paint.
The downside is that a power washer will remove large chunks of paint on a painted garage door. Only use it on an unpainted door.
How Do You Remove Spray Paint Off a Vinyl Garage Door?
Most of the spray paint removers sold in stores are safe for metal and wooden garage doors.
If you have a vinyl garage door, you need to be more cautious about what you use to avoid damaging the door.
For instance, the Sunnyside Corporation graffiti remover we mentioned earlier is not recommended for use on plastic. Vinyl is a type of plastic.
You’ll also want to stay away from anything with acetone including nail polish remover.
For a plastic garage door, first try household cleaners like laundry detergent, dish soap, vinegar, or baking soda.
If neither of those work, look for a graffiti and spray paint remover that is safe for plastic. One of the best ones we found is Motsenbocker’s Lift Off, which is safe for plastic as well as fiberglass and metal garage doors.
How Do You Remove Spray Paint Off A Wooden Garage Door?
Most graffiti removers and paint strippers are safe for use on wood. But to be sure, confirm by checking the label or product description.
Household cleaners and products like acetone and rubbing alcohol are also effective on wood.
The main concern with a wooden door is damaging the polish on the wood. Apply only a little amount of paint remover and only on the areas with graffiti.
Another option is to simply sand off the spray paint. This is suitable only on an unpainted and unfinished garage door. Otherwise you might sand off the coat of paint underneath or remove the polish on the wood.
Use a high-grit sandpaper to finely sand off the paint without eating too much into the wood.
How To Prevent Graffiti On Your Garage Door?
If your garage door keeps getting spray painted on, constantly removing the paint is tedious. Find some ways to prevent vandals from doing it in the first place. Here are a couple of ideas.
- Upgrade your security system to deter vandals. An outdoor security camera, security lights, a motion sensor alarm and other security measures can deter people with ill intentions. If they still manage to spray paint the garage door, at least you’ll have evidence from the camera.
- Consider getting an anti-graffiti coating. It forms an anti-stick coating that makes it easy to wash spray paint off a surface.