Graffiti management for small business

Graffiti has significant social and financial impacts for local businesses. Rapid removal is recommended to discourage further occurrences. Small business owners can access support for graffiti prevention and removal with the Graffiti Small Business Assist program, a joint initiative of Brisbane City Council and the Queensland Government.

As a part of the program, Council’s graffiti liaison officers are available to provide advice and assistance including: 

  • an individual graffiti assessment on your property
  • graffiti prevention advice and removal method instructions
  • working with you to develop effective graffiti management techniques for your property
  • supply of a graffiti management toolkit for on-going graffiti mitigation. 

Small business owners can contact Council to request a toolkit which includes a 12-page booklet detailing strategies to reduce the risk of graffiti, tips on removing existing graffiti and a removal kit. Three types of graffiti removal kits are available dependant on the type of surface defaced such as cement or glass.

For more information on the Graffiti Small Business Assist program or to request a removal toolkit, phone Council on 07 3403 8888.

Graffiti prevention

While graffiti can be a common problem for small businesses, there are things you can do to help prevent graffiti from occurring on your property. 

Make your property visible

  • Try to make the view to your property as clear as possible. If vandals can hide behind something while doing graffiti they will.
  • Ensure lighting is working in public areas as it can reduce the risk of graffiti attacks.
  • Consider surveillance cameras to watch over high-risk areas.

Control access to your property

  • Deny natural ladders by removing items that may be used to gain access to higher areas. For example, bins that may be used to get onto awnings or rooftops.
  • Incorporate plants to restrict access to walls, fences and other graffiti targets.
  • Install fixtures such as bollards or fencing to limit access to graffiti-prone areas.

Create clear boundaries

  • Make sure it is clear who owns the property as this makes intruders more easily spotted.
  • Consider using fences, landscaping, signs, lighting or changes in surfaces to define public, semi-public and private spaces.
  • Maintain premises and grounds so it demonstrates that you are operating a business in the space.

Remove existing graffiti quickly

As a deterrent, it is important to remove graffiti as soon as possible. The longer it remains the more difficult it is to remove and likely that more graffiti will appear.

Useful resources

Graffiti management for small business video

You can also watch this video and other related videos on Council's YouTube channel.

Graffiti prevention and removal guide

The graffiti prevention and removal booklet provides easy strategies for reducing the risk of graffiti and tips on removing existing graffiti from your property. When you are removing graffiti it is important to take precautions to ensure your safety and the safety of others. 

Download the:

You can also download the quick reference guide, outlining the best removal methods for different surfaces:

Staying safe when removing graffiti

When you are using any kind of chemical products or paints it is important to take precautions to ensure your safety and the safety of those around you. 

Always take the following precautions when using paints:

  • wear protective equipment including eye protection and follow the product manufacturers’ instructions
  • do not allow paint run off to enter the stormwater or waterways as this damages the environment
  • try to wipe/squeeze excess paint from rollers and brushes back into the paint tin for future use
  • paint out brushes and rollers onto newspaper and then dispose of with normal household rubbish after it has dried
  • use two containers to clean your brush. The first one to clean the brush and another to use for a final clean
  • use newspaper to clean out the remainder from your cleaning buckets as it can be disposed of in your normal rubbish once dry.

Always take the following precautions when using chemicals:

  • always wear protective equipment including gloves, eye protection and follow the product manufacturers’ instructions
  • keep away from children and animals
  • do not allow paint (chemical) run off to enter the stormwater or waterways as this damages the environment.
  • dispose of safely - Council waste transfer stations have chemical disposal facilities 
  • chemicals rely on a reaction with paint. When the surface is warm a better reaction occurs. A wall that has been in the sun for a while will be easier to remove graffiti from than one that has been in the shade.

More information

For more information, read about Council's graffiti prevention strategies and community liaison services.

Phone Council on 07 3403 8888 if you would like further information or to request assistance for your small business.

Anyone who witnesses an act of graffiti should report the offence to Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Last updated:29 July 2019