Dealing With Graffiti On A Vinyl Fence

It's a sinking feeling to walk outside and see graffiti scrawled across your vinyl fence. Unlike a wooden fence, you can't simply sand down and paint over the damage. Fortunately, graffiti isn't the end of the vinyl fence, since with a bit of elbow grease you can usually erase all signs of the vandalism. The following guide can help you get the paint off so your fence looks new again.

Prep Work

Before you can begin removing the paint, you first need to prepare the area. Begin by laying a tarp down over the ground in front of the fence. The cleansers used to remove paint can be harmful to plants, so it is vital that you protect them.

Next, gather your supplies. You need:

  • Lacquer or paint thinner

  • Old rags

  • Soft-bristled scrub brush

  • Liquid dish soap

  • Acetone

  • Waterproof gloves

  • Eye protection

Mix the soap with water in a bucket so you have some soapy water on hand as you work. Paint thinner can irritate or even burn your hands or eyes, so make sure you are wearing the recommended safety equipment throughout this procedure.

Removal Method

With the gloves on, dampen a rag with the lacquer thinner. Dab this over the paint until it is thoroughly coated. Allow it to set for five to ten minutes to loosen the paint. Then, rub it off with a rag dipped in the soapy water. Sometimes this is enough to remove the bulk of the paint. For stubborn paint, apply the lacquer thinner a second time and let it sit. This time, scrub it thoroughly with the soft-bristled brush to remove the majority of the paint. Don't resort to scrubbing with anything highly abrasive, though, since this can damage the fencing.

Once most of the paint is removed, rinse the area with the soapy water. If you can still see some faint paint stains, dampen a clean rag with the acetone and scrub off the remaining paint. Acetone can eat into the vinyl, so work quickly and only use it where necessary. Rinse it off with soapy water immediately so it doesn't cause damage. Finish by rinsing the fence with clear water to remove any thinner or acetone residue.

If the stains are stubborn or if the fence suffered more severe damage, you may need professional help to fix it. Or, you may need to consider purchasing a replacement panel from a fence contractor like one from Family Fence Company in your area.