Graffiti is a scourge in many different parts of the nation including urban, suburban, and rural areas. It is most often caused by teenagers, but some younger adults will also paint graffiti. It’s not cheap to deal with getting cleaned up. In Germany, for example, they spent over USD $700 million a year removing graffiti.
Some enterprising businesses came up with an Anti-Graffiti Paint. As detailed on this Wikipedia page, it’s a special type of coating that can be painted onto a surface which prevents graffiti paint from sticking to it. This coating has been used on both public and private property around the world and can pay for itself on surfaces that are often hit by graffiti painters.
This coating can be painted onto an untreated surface. It can also be applied over a painted surface which it won’t harm. It is transparent and so doesn’t disturb whatever it is painted over. As billions of dollars are spent each year cleaning up graffiti this coating can save a lot of money that otherwise would be spent by the government or private property owners.
There are two main types of paint that are in use today around the world. The first is those that are water-based. This includes both acrylic and latex paints. The other type of paint that is commonly used is oil-based paints. Both types of paints have the same three features. They have a pigment which is the color you see. They have a binder which acts as the glue that holds the paint together. Paint is mainly made up of solvent which makes paint wet and so easy to work with.
Unlike what most people think paint does not chemically bond with whatever surface it is applied to. It’s actually physical forces such as Van der Waals that makes paint stay put where it is applied. The anti-graffiti coatings keep the paint from taking advantage of physical forces and so it can’t stick to the wall or other surfaces.
There are three types of anti-graffiti coating. The first is called a sacrificial coating as when you remove the graffiti it takes the coating with it which must then be applied again. Semi sacrificial coatings must be applied every other time graffiti is removed. Permanent coatings are quite a bit more expensive to apply but they only have to be painted on just once regardless of how much graffiti is drawn on the surface.
An example of anti-graffiti coating being used to great effect can be found in this article. The students who live in Moe and Newborough, Victoria, Australia, painted 26 murals. This was a year-long project and the murals were placed throughout the area. The murals pay homage to the past of this part of Australia.
In order to protect the murals from graffiti, each of them had permanent anti-graffiti coatings applied to them. This protects the work of kids who drew these murals, ranging from first graders to students in their senior year at secondary school. The community is rightfully proud of these murals and how they are being kept graffiti-free.