Do Murals Prevent Graffiti?

Tuesday 6th February 2024

Joanna Grimbley-Smith

No comments, yet!

Someone painting some street art CONTENTS


Aside from being a visual blight, graffiti can have a number of impacts on the community including putting off visitors to local businesses and even attracting more crime. One solution regularly recommended for this problem is covering at-risk surfaces in murals created by professional - and local amateur - artists.

Here at ICE Cleaning, we offer our graffiti removal services nationwide. Our specialist cleaners can remove all traces of the vandalism without damaging the surface underneath or the surrounding areas. We can also apply an anti-graffiti coating to protect your property against future attacks. 

Keep reading to find out more about how to prevent graffiti.

What are the effects of graffiti on the community?

Graffiti can be a polarising topic, with its impact on communities sparking much debate. On one hand, it's seen as an art form by some, giving voice to those who feel unheard and adding colour to urban landscapes. Yet for others, it's nothing short of vandalism.

The presence of graffiti often leads people to believe crime rates are higher in the area; this perception alone can cause significant distress among residents and even encourage further crimes.

Beyond perceptions, there is also the financial strain. Local councils spend millions each year cleaning up unwanted spray paint. 

Graffiti has been known to dampen community spirit when locals see their neighbourhoods defaced without consideration of public opinion, too. You can find out more about how graffiti affects the community in this blog

How do murals prevent graffiti?

Murals can transform blank walls into a canvas that deters would-be vandals. Street artists often honour their peers' creations, opting not to deface them with graffiti.

Research shows that murals can significantly reduce instances of vandalism. One reason might be the community involvement in mural projects, which fosters local pride and ownership feelings over public spaces. People are less likely to spoil what they have had a hand in creating or feel connected to.

Another aspect is the "broken windows theory", suggesting well-maintained environments prevent petty crime because they signal order and lawfulness. Murals contribute to this by indicating active care for an area, thus discouraging destructive behaviours like tagging.

Commissioned street art has also proven beneficial in reviving areas by attracting tourists and fostering cultural hubs, such as London’s Shoreditch or Bristol’s Stokes Croft. Murals have transformed once-dilapidated areas into vibrant artistic quarters loved by both locals and visitors alike.

Art can have real-world implications on human psychology and social conduct, too. When you replace grey concrete or a simple brick wall with vibrant images telling local stories or showcasing artistic talent, it changes how people interact with space. It turns from an anonymous backdrop for transgression into a shared cultural asset worth preserving.

Many muralists now incorporate anti-graffiti coatings into their work which makes it easy to remove unwanted graffiti without damaging the underlying image, as well.

Other graffiti prevention methods

Despite how effective murals can be, they might not necessarily stop graffiti. But there are lots of other ways to keep vandalism at bay.

Anti-graffiti coatings

These protective layers come in two forms: sacrificial and non-sacrificial. Sacrificial coatings form a clear barrier over surfaces; when tagged, they can simply be washed away along with the graffiti. Non-sacrificial options create a more permanent shield that allows for multiple cleanings without reapplication. The choice between them often comes down to budget and the expected frequency of vandalism.

Landscape design as defence

Clever landscaping plays its part, too. Thorny bushes or climbing plants like ivy make walls less accessible for vandals. Additionally, the strategic placement of fences or railings adds another layer of difficulty for those looking to deface property.

Light up crime hotspots

Bright lighting serves as an excellent crime prevention tool because it increases visibility at night - when most graffiti attacks occur - and discourages covert activities by increasing the chance offenders will be seen and reported.

How to remove graffiti

Spray paint is very stubborn and difficult to remove, requiring more than a tough brush and some detergent. Without the right chemicals and know-how, you could fail to remove the unsightly marks and may even damage the original surface. You can find out more about the challenges of removing graffiti from brick in this blog

Graffiti removal can be dangerous, too. Some removal agents contain harsh chemicals that can cause skin burns or respiratory issues if not handled correctly or used without personal protective equipment.

You should always bring in graffiti removal professionals. They have access to specialised equipment and products designed specifically for safe and effective graffiti removal. They are trained in identifying different surface types and know exactly which solution will lift away graffiti without leaving any behind or damaging the surface underneath.

Get in touch

We have a 100% graffiti removal success rate on all services. Our technicians are available nationwide, day and night, 365 days a year. In an emergency, they can be on site within several hours. 

You can book our technicians for graffiti removal today by calling 0208 066 0360 or sending an email to

Zoe Dunning

Zoe Dunning

Sales Representative

Add to contacts

Speak with me today,
I’m here to help

By asking you a few questions either via phone or email I can immediately provide a realistic estimation of the cost.

You’re in good company. We’ve cleaned for the following commercial clients… View all

Customer reviews

Our happy customers have rated our service as
Excellent on Trustpilot.

View All Reviews

Why choose us

Why choose us?

  • Cater to a wide variety of cleaning situations
  • Nationwide coverage, available 24/7
  • Cater to commercial and domestic clients
  • Free survey provided prior to quotation 
  • Emergency response team
  • Offer a bespoke service designed to suit all your needs 
  • All technicians hold professional health and safety qualifications, including BICSc, IOSH, Dewpoint Professional & Safe Contractor 

We’re fully accredited

We place best practise, professional expertise and health and safety at the core of our business. We’re fully compliant with all legal obligations. You can view a list of our accreditations below, or visit our Health & Safety page for more information.

Dewpoint® Professional Corporate Membership
0208 066 0360Open 24/7

We use cookies

If you continue without changing your settings we'll assume you're happy to receive our cookies.
If you'd like to change this just update your browser settings. Find out more.

Okay. I got it.