Imagine this situation. It’s the middle of the night, and you suddenly wake up because you hear some commotion outside. You take your baseball bat that you keep near your bed, as you never know when you’ll need it, and go outside, only to find your garage door completely covered in graffiti and no sign of the culprit.
Or you simply wake up in the morning and discover this on your way to work.
Now, you might think that you are left with only two options – either leave it as it is or deals with the garage door repair cost. However, there’s one more thing that you might not even be aware of – you can always remove the graffiti yourself.
Since we understand that it’s not something that people do on a daily basis, we decided to create this guide that will tell you everything you need to know about removing graffiti from your garage doors. So, let’s just get started.
Examine the Paint
Not every graffiti artist uses the same paint – some of them are oil-based, while others can be water-based. In most cases, they use cheaper paints, which, luckily for you, are a lot easier to remove.
If they used a marking pen with permanent ink, the ‘piece of art’ might be very hard to remove, meaning that you should just consider painting the whole door.
Examine the Door
The type of paint is not the only thing that will determine how easy it will be to remove the paint – the type of garage door you have also played a major part.
If your garage door has baked-on paint (usually polyester based), then you are lucky, as the surface is tougher, meaning it can withstand scrubbing and cleaning without getting damaged.
If the door you own was repainted in the shop you bought it from, you should contact them to find out what type of paint they used, and how they applied it – once you tell them why you need such information, they shouldn’t have a problem with providing it.
Finally, if you painted the door yourself, then you probably have the can somewhere, or at least you remember which paint you used.
One more thing worth taking into consideration when it comes to the garage door is its age. Even if the door has paint baked-on, its resistance is probably lower than it used to be due to the exposure to the elements.
Ideally, you want to remove the paint within 24 hours, as during this time, removing the graffiti is the easiest. However, even doing it within 48 hours should be fine – as long as the paint doesn’t dry, you’re good to go.
Don’t start with the most powerful products you can find on the market, as it might turn out that the ones you have in your bathroom cupboard are enough.
Start with a liquid cleaner you have lying around the house. Use it on a small area, and see how the graffiti will act. Use a firm sponge or a soft cloth – avoid anything that is used for scouring.
If it doesn’t work, try the abrasive powder. Scrub softly so that you won’t damage the underlying surface.
Another product that you can use is nail polish remover (acetone), although the use of this product is slightly controversial. When using it, remember to put thick rubber gloves on to protect your hands.
And last but not least, you can use a mixture of white vinegar and lemon juice to try to remove the graffiti – people who don’t buy cleaning products from the supermarket use it to clean everything literally so that it might work for the spray paint as well.
Go for Professional Products
If none of the products we mentioned above work, it’s time to go for a stronger one – paint remover. It usually takes around 25 to 30 minutes to work.
Public works departments often use it to clean the graffiti painted around the city, for instance, on-road signs, mailboxes, etc. What’s more, companies that specialize in the removal of graffiti recommend this type of product.
Keep in mind that no matter what product you use, the chances are the surface of the door will get damaged, which is why you should consider completely repainting the door.
To Paint or Not To Paint – That’s the Question
Now, this is a decision that people often struggle with – should they just DIY it or choose one of the simpler options.
After all, who wants to spend the whole weekend painting the garage door, when there are thousands of other, more interesting things one would like to do in their free time?
However, if your garage door is old, repainting it might be a great idea, as it will give it a fresh look – almost as if it was a brand new one.
What’s more, if, in the end, you decide to repaint your garage door, you might go even a step further and paint your front door as well.
Although many people prefer both of them to be in the same color, they don’t have to match perfectly – as long as both are in the same color temperature (either warm or cool), you should be just fine.
If you don’t really know what color you want to use to paint your garage and front door, you can always look for inspiration on Pinterest.
The Bottom Line
Finding graffiti on your garage door is not unusual – it happens more often than you can imagine. It doesn’t mean that you have to change the garage door completely.
There are actually several options that you can choose from – you can either leave it as it is (who knows, maybe you actually like the graffiti and think it adds character to your house), you can remove the decoration using either home or professional products, you can repaint the garage door, or you can replace it with a completely new one.
The final decision is up to you. Whatever you choose to do with it, we wish you good luck!