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 roof tops
  • 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

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

Graffiti prevention and removal

The graffiti prevention and removal booklet provides easy strategies for reducing the risk of graffiti and tips on removing existing graffiti from your property.

Some documents on this page need Adobe Reader, Microsoft Word or Microsoft Word Viewer installed on your computer to view or print them. Some documents may also have a large file size and could take some time to download.

Graffiti removal quick reference guide

When you are removing graffiti it is important to take precautions to ensure your safety and the safety of others. To help you remove graffiti from your property, Council has developed a quick reference guide outlining the best removal methods for different surfaces.

Surface Step 1   Step 2 Step 3 Step 4 Step 5
Painted brick Paint over or Apply graffiti remover in small amounts Rub with a soft cloth or brush Wash off When dry repeat steps 2-4 until removed
Unpainted brick Apply graffiti remover   Wait the product-recommended time Rub with a stiff brush Wash off or water straight away When dry repeat steps 2-4 until removed
Colourbound fence Paint over or Apply graffiti remover in small amounts Rub with a soft brush Wash off straight away When dry repeat steps 2-4 until removed
Unpainted wooden fence Use sander, sand paper or scraper or Apply graffiti remover Rub off with a soft brush Wash or water straight away  When dry repeat steps 2-4 until removed
Painted wooden fence Paint over or Apply graffiti remover Rub off with a soft brush Wash or water straight away When dry repeat steps 2-4 until removed
Plastic rubbish bins Apply graffiti remover   Rub with a stiff brush Wash off When dry repeat steps 1-3 until removed  
Steel and aluminium Apply graffiti remover   Rub with a stiff brush Wash off When dry repeat steps 1-3 until removed  
Glass Use blade scraper for aerosol paint or Apply graffiti remover Rub with a soft cloth or brush Wash off When dry repeat steps 2-4 until removed
Pathways or driveways Apply graffiti remover   Wait the product-recommended time Rub with a stiff brush Wash off or water blast When dry repeat steps 1-4 until removed
Tiles Apply graffiti remover   Rub with a stiff brush or non-scratch scourer Wash off When dry repeat steps 1-3 until removed  
Signs Apply graffiti remover in small amounts   Rub with a soft brush Wash off straight away When dry repeat steps 1-3 until removed  
Vinyl siding Paint over or Apply graffiti remover in small amounts Rub off with a stiff brush Wash off straight away When dry repeat steps 2-4 until removed

Download the:

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 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 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 you can read about Council's graffiti prevention strategies and community liaison services.

You can also 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.

20 February 2015