anti graffiti paint in a tunnel makes removing graffiti easy

Anti graffiti paint helps combat vandalism & protects the value of your property

In South Africa graffiti has long roots deep in the country’s history; it is a way to express an opinion, a tool towards social change and a form of public art. However, graffiti is also a form of vandalism, a practise that encourages further crime and a sign of deterioration of a neighbourhood. Graffiti is nowadays widely applied as public art, yet there are places where it does not belong; graffiti can decrease area and property value, increase crime and negatively affect retail sales in the area. Therefore, unwanted graffiti should be removed as soon as it is noticed while it is freshest. However, graffiti cleaning is not an easy job, nor is it cheap. Fortunately, anti graffiti paint makes removing graffiti easier and more affordable.

This article will provide you with what you need to know to determine whether anti graffiti paint is the solution you are looking for, and which product best solves your problem. We will also take a look at South African companies that provide graffiti cleaning services and look into products available in the market.

The 2 Types of anti graffiti paint – Choose the best for your project

Anti graffiti paint is a coating which form a protective layer on a substrate where graffiti is likely to appear. Thanks to the coating, the graffiti never reaches the substrate but remains on the coating layer instead. Anti graffiti paint solutions have properties which make it easy to wash the graffiti off with high pressure, hot water and soap.

Anti graffiti coating comes in two forms which are suitable for almost any substrate. Which form you choose depends upon the likelihood of your property suffering with graffiti vandalism.

1. Low to medium graffiti risk – Sacrificial anti graffiti paint

Recommended when the surface is at low to middle risk of graffiti or requires a large volume of anti graffiti coating.

Sacrificial or temporary anti graffiti paint is usually a silicone wax which washes off together with the graffiti. It forms a protective film to which the graffiti can adhere without reaching the underlying substrate. As the coating is sacrificial, it needs to be reapplied after removing graffiti.

The temporary anti graffiti paint systems are generally the cheapest option, but by far not the most durable. Washing off graffiti removes also the wax layer from the surface; therefore, this coating should be applied when the risk for graffiti is low or medium.

2. High graffiti risk – Permanent anti graffiti coating

graffiti applied on a surface without anti graffiti paint

Permanent anti graffiti paint should be applied to high graffiti risk areas.

Recommended when the surface is likely to experience graffiti frequently or is difficult to reach.

Most permanent anti graffiti coatings (non-sacrificial) make use of nanotechnology, which allows the coating to become one with the substrate. These coatings form a water repellent surface (also used in anti urine coatings) where the graffiti spray paint, permanent markers, or ink cannot properly adhere.  The permanent anti graffiti paint remains functional for 5 to 8 years and endures some 70 graffiti removals. The permanent systems also include polyurethane based graffiti free paint solutions which are chemical resistant (not affected by frequent cleaning) and form a non-porous film.

When it comes to the anti graffiti paint prices, the permanent systems are the most expensive, and the most durable. These systems are applied to high graffiti risk areas, like Newtown in Johannesburg, due to the likelihood of frequent graffiti removal. Removing graffiti does not affect the coating.

Anti graffiti paint for wood, metal and concrete – what’s possible?

Graffiti artists are not particular as to substrate, so anti graffiti coatings have been developed for multiple materials. There are transparent and opaque systems, and suitability for substrates varies per coating – always check the specific instructions. There are, however, some general guidelines for choosing the anti graffiti paint based on the substrate:

Anti graffiti paint coating for wood

There are waxes and permanent systems for hard and soft wood. A clear anti graffiti paint system is chosen when the appearance of the wood must not be affected by the coating. However, anti graffiti paint for wood does not prevent natural greying. When the greying should not be visible, an opaque system is a better choice.

Applications: doors, facades, street furniture, fences and gates

Anti graffiti paint for metal

Metal surfaces are most often coated with a permanent opaque or transparent system. Some wax based anti graffiti coatings exist also for metal, yet they are not common. Depending on the shape of the surface nano anti graffiti paint for metal can be applied; flat, vertical substrates benefit the most. Another option is permanent polyurethane coating which is chemical resistant and forms an impermeable film. Polyurethane exists also as anti graffiti powder coating which is common on street furniture and surfaces alike.

Applications: exteriors of trains, tubes and buses as well as metal doors and sidings as well as street furniture, street lights

Anti graffiti paint for concrete

The most common choice of anti graffiti paint for concrete is clear permanent anti graffiti coating based on nanotechnology. These coatings are usually not applied on bare concrete, therefore, the clear systems are chosen to retain the looks of the surface. There are also sacrificial anti graffiti paints for concrete, yet they are far less common than the permanent systems.

Applications: bridges, facades, walls, fences and underground tunnels and stations

South African rules and regulations regarding graffiti paint

Applying graffiti is not directly prohibited by any national laws, however, some cities do have by-laws which aim at forbidding unwanted graffiti. For example the Province of Western Cape has such by-law under the name City of Cape Town Graffiti By-Law, 2010.  This by-law encourages the use of anti graffiti paint due to the fact that it requires property owners to remove graffiti within 10 days from noticing it. The city of Cape Town also works with neighbourhood watches and provides them with means to remove or cover graffiti.

Even though Cape Town has prohibited applying graffiti, it is possible to obtain a public art permit, which allows for graffiti art. This also encourages graffiti artists to improve their skills and switch from illegal ‘bombing’ to creating enjoyable public art.

Find an anti graffiti coating service in South Africa

Protecting small surfaces from graffiti is often a DIY-job, but as the surface area gets larger, the graffiti prevention coating application requires more expertise. Therefore we have compiled a brief overview of anti graffiti coating service companies in South Africa.

Anti Graffiti coating serviceAddress (South Africa)Services
Graffiti Removal Services

  • 15 Rogaly Rd, Brighton Beach, Durban, 4052
  • Bromhof, Johannesburg

Graffiti removal, blasting, high pressure washing, application of anti graffiti coatings across South Africa
Shaeda’s CLeaning Services49 Leeuwkop Road, Sunninghill, 2191Graffiti removal, application of anti graffiti paint (sacrificial and permanent)
Andrew Africa Coatings16 Electron Close, Kya Sand, JohannesburgAnti graffiti coating application

If you require further information about anti graffiti paint or are looking for a contractor to coat a surface, do not hesitate to contact us. Our experts, together with specialised coating partners will make sure you find the anti graffiti coating system that best suits the substrates’s needs. Get in touch by clicking the request a quote button below or send us an email!



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