Paint over graffiti

We offer tips and resources to paint over graffiti.


If graffiti is on a painted surface, the best solution is to cover it with paint.

For the best results, follow these tips:

  • Paint over the graffiti as soon as possible
  • Put a primer coat over the graffiti and under the new paint
  • Use matching exterior paint

The City will provide paint to cover graffiti on some public property. Sign up for the Graffiti Paint-Over Program to cover graffiti on:

  • Traffic signal poles
  • Control boxes
  • Fire hydrants

Read more about the Graffiti Paint-Over Program

Best practices

We do not recommend painting on unpainted surfaces. Painting over surfaces like stucco or brick can make them difficult to maintain. Always try to remove graffiti from unpainted surfaces rather than painting over them.

Read about removing graffiti

Do not "picture frame" graffiti. If you cover graffiti with a block of paint in a different color from the original exterior paint, you will create a "picture frame" noticeable by vandals. This could make your property a target for future tagging.

Paint entirely over the graffiti. Do not just trace over the letters or symbols with paint. Apply matching paint in a square or rectangle larger than the tag and blend the edges.

Ideal painting weather

Painting over graffiti is more successful in dry weather. Rain, snow and high humidity can cause problems including uneven drying.

We recommend following these temperature guidelines:

Acrylic paint

32 degrees or higher

Enamel paint

22 degrees or higher

Latex paint

50 degrees or higher1

 1. Some paint stores sell paint additives that allow for painting in temperatures of 32 degrees or lower.

Report graffiti

Report graffiti online or call 311. If possible, take pictures of the graffiti and send them with your report.

Contact us

Clean City Coordinator

Public Works - Solid Waste & Recycling




Eastside Maintenance Facility
2635 University Ave NE
Minneapolis, MN 55418

Office hours

8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Monday – Friday

This building is closed to the public.