By: J Rowe,
Auto paint takes three days to cure. Lightly wiping grafitti from a trailer with paint thinner within two days removes the new paint without the old. In a pinch gasoline or fuel may help. DO NOT FAIL TO WIPE/WASH CORROSIVE THINNER AWAY AFTERWARD.
Response from Vicki:
Thanks for sharing, J. You mentioned specifically removing “auto paint” from a “trailer.” We wonder if graffiti “artists” restrict themselves to painting vehicles with that type of paint or if they ever spray trucks (that is, tractors), too.
We would be interested in knowing if professional truck drivers in graffiti-prone areas have ever used your idea. How well does it work?
According to Wikipedia, paint thinner “is a solvent used to thin oil-based paints or clean up after their use.” We are familiar with mineral spirits being used as paint thinner, but according to the page, other solvents can also be used.
Yes, it is very important to wash off the solvent after applying it. And always make sure you apply any solvent in a well-ventilated area (which may probably be the case most of the time when dealing with graffiti on a large truck).
One of the common sense tips regarding removing paint after it has been freshly applied is doing regular pre-trip inspections on your truck. The faster you “catch” freshly applied paint, the better.
Although we don’t include it in our packing list, it might be a good idea for certain drivers (especially owner operators running in graffiti-prone areas) to carry some kind of rag or cloth that they don’t mind using for graffiti removal. Proper timely laundering or disposal of the rag is essential.
Removing paint from the exterior of a truck may prove a bit difficult in some cases. If the paint has been sprayed on a flat surface without any underlying logos, decals, ridges or seams underneath, perhaps it won’t be too difficult to remove. If it has been sprayed in other places, it could be almost impossible to remove.
A search on “large truck graffiti” revealed that some graffiti “artists” are seldom content to paint just a little. In some cases, the entire side of a trailer was vandalized. In cases like these, it may be easier (although certainly not inexpensive) to paint over the vehicle.
Be on your guard regarding stripping off too much paint and ruining the truck’s or trailer’s finish.
Thanks again for sharing. On behalf of Mike and me, we wish you safe travels and lots of money saving opportunities on the road.