Graffiti on Fence


Last night some punks tagged my side fence next to the driveway.  I noticed this morning when I got up.  Great, just what I wanted to deal with.

Today I helped my friends Nate and Yuki move, so I didn’t get a chance to even start dealing with the graffiti until late evening.

I went to Home Depot and bought a can of graffiti removal spray.  I got all the way home, went out there, shook the can, popped the lid… only to discover that there was no spray nozzle.  Got to be kidding me.

So I drove all the way back to Home Depot, went to the refunds station, then went back and picked up the last can they had.  This time I popped the lid off at the store to make sure it had the nozzle thing.

The directions said to spray a thick even layer and then let it sit for 15–30 minutes.  So I sprayed it on and then let it sit for almost half an hour, before going out with a scrub brush.

Well… that was a waste of about five dollars.  A little bit of the spraypaint came off, but it just smudged around on the rough cedar fence boards.  It hardly made a difference at all.

I hosed it all down to wash off the foam and what little paint I was able to scrub off.

I didn’t really know what to do next, but I decided to try my belt sander and see if I could sand the wood down enough to get the spraypaint off.

So I got the long extension cord and my belt sander, and went to work.  Unfortunately, the belt I had on it was 120 grit, which is really too fine for this type of thing.  So a lot of work only got me minimal results.  But more than the bogus graffiti removal spray from Home Depot, which, as you can tell, I wouldn’t recommend to anyone.

Still really haven’t made much progress, but I was losing daylight and it was raining, so I didn’t stay out there long with the belt sander.  Maybe a more coarse grit would be more effective.  Perhaps some kind of heavy-duty paint stripper.  I don’t know.  Maybe replacing ten boards at $2 or $3 each.


This morning I went to Home Depot with Nate and Dorsha, and picked up some new cedar fence boards, for a little under $2 each, and some deck screws.  After they left, I started pulling off the tagged fence boards.  I was worried that this might be quite a chore, but actually it didn’t take too long.  I’m sure they used the cheapest nails possible.

I hammered out all the nails and stored the old boards in the garage… might come in handy sometime.

Then it was time to put up the new fence boards.  I had decided to use screws, figuring if I have to replace them again, it will be easier.  Besides, the screws should hold a little better, and the drill does most of the work, rather than me swinging a hammer.  This went pretty quickly.  I left a small gap inbetween each board to allow for expansion… until I got to the last four boards or so and realized there wouldn’t be enough room if I left gaps, so I squeezed them all in there.  Since it was about 75° today, I’m hoping they’ve expanded as much as they’re going to.  Otherwise, they are going to warp this summer… a nice fluted look.