How Nanoslic’s Anti-Graffiti Coating Helps Fight the Problem of Graffiti

Graffiti is a huge problem.

Local communities, property owners, law enforcement, transit officials, and others all have to deal with graffiti. This kind of vandalism spreads like a disease, frustrating residents and local business owners. And when it happens to your property, it feels even worse.

As chemists, we play a unique role in the effort to protect against and remove graffiti. After all, when you get down to the chemistry of it, graffiti is really just one coating applied to another. And here at NanoSlic, we know a thing or two about coatings.

NanoSlic’s permanent anti-graffiti coating prevents paint, marker pens, and more from permanently bonding to the underlying surface. This means graffiti is much easier to remove — and the anti-graffiti coating doesn’t need to be re-applied.

It’s the ultimate protection against graffiti.

NanoSlic is the most advanced defense available to protect against graffiti.

What is graffiti, exactly?

Graffiti is the unwanted and often unlawful painting on, writing on, or general defilement of surfaces owned by someone else. It usually falls beneath the umbrella of vandalism.

Graffiti appears for a number of reasons. According to Arizona State University’s Center for Problem-Oriented Policing, the major types of graffiti are:


Gang Graffiti

often used to mark turf or threaten violence


Conventional Graffiti

often done by youths looking for danger or excitement


Tagger Graffiti

which ranges from simple tags to street art


Ideological Graffiti

which targets particular groups of people or spreads a political message

But no matter the kind of graffiti or the motivation behind it, graffiti is vandalism and negatively affects its targets.

In modern times, paint (particularly spray paint) and marker pens are some of the most commonly used graffiti materials.

Graffiti-based vandalism is on the rise in the United States, costing an estimated $112 billion in annual cleanup expenses. (Think about what businesses and communities could do with that money instead!) Although urban areas face the most issues, graffiti is found in all areas of the country.

The challenge of graffiti

There are many different approaches to preventing, reducing, and removing graffiti. Efforts such as monitoring vulnerable areas, providing alternative youth activities, and boosting electronic surveillance have all shown some effectiveness against graffiti.

Studies have shown that quickly identifying and removing graffiti is key in preventing its spread. That’s because it reduces the reward for potential vandals; their tag or art is removed before it can be seen by many people.

However, graffiti is often hard to remove, which slows down the cleanup effort. Sometimes, the surface needs to be repainted, or the graffitied object replaced entirely.

It all comes down to chemistry.

As we said above, graffiti is really just one coating applied to another. Because paints and inks are designed to stick to the underlying surface, graffiti becomes permanent once the paint dries.

After the paint dries, graffiti becomes very difficult and costly to remove. Harsh chemicals and pressure washing are often used to remove graffiti. However, these tactics can damage the underlying paint. Additionally, they’re extremely labor intensive.

Anti-graffiti coatings combat the problem of graffiti

There are two main categories of anti-graffiti coatings. While NanoSlic focuses on one type, we’ll discuss both to give you an idea of how our permanent solutions differ from so-called “sacrificial” coatings.

How sacrificial anti-graffiti coatings work:

Sacrificial anti-graffiti coatings form a clear coat barrier over the wall or surface being protected. If the surface is vandalized, the coating can be removed (or “sacrificed”) using a high-pressure washer. The graffiti goes away with the coating. The coating must then be reapplied.

Materials used to make sacrificial coatings are usually inexpensive, optically clear polymers (such as acrylates, biopolymers, and waxes). These polymers form weak bonds with the substrate to allow for easy removal. They also often help protect against corrosion and certain types of environmental damage.

The drawback?

Sacrificial coatings need to be reapplied as often as they’re removed. (Hence “sacrificial:” you’re sacrificing the entire layer in order to remove the graffiti with it.)

anti graffiti coating

Image Source: Sherwin Williams

This can slow down clean-up. You need to be ready to re-apply the coating quickly after clean-up, before the unprotected surface is re-vandalized. Depending on how frequently vandalism happens, this can end up driving up the cost, especially in labor hours spent removing graffiti and re-applying the coating.

The advantage of permanent anti-graffiti coatings:


Image Source: Articles Web

Permanent anti-graffiti coatings are often more expensive than sacrificial coatings, but if used correctly, they only have to be applied once. In the long run, they’re often well worth it in terms of lower maintenance, upkeep, and re-application.

Permanent anti-graffiti coatings work by creating a protective surface that spray paint cannot bond to. After the surface has been vandalized, solvents or manufacturer-supplied cleaners are used to remove the graffiti. Clean-up is often just as easy as regular maintenance.

The underlying surface and the protective coating should remain undamaged. Some of the types of permanent coatings include those based on polyurethanes, nano-particles, fluorinated hydrocarbons, or siloxanes.

How NanoSlic’s permanent anti-graffiti coating works

NanoSlic is in the category of permanent anti-graffiti coatings. It uses a primary binder polymer that is ceramic, and largely composed of silica. As the coating cures, highly non-polar molecules align themselves in such a way to form the coating’s surface.

Watch the video above to see how NanoSlic resists spray paint, permanent marker, and more.

Unlike other anti-graffiti coatings, the surface is both hydrophobic and oleophobic, similar to polytetrafluoroethylene (Teflon). It’s completely resistant to all types of paints and inks. Any paint residue that does remain is easily washed away.

(If you’ve ever tried to use a marker on a waterproof surface, only for the ink to just bead up on the surface and wipe away easily, you’ve experienced the basic idea first-hand.)

Below this layer, the bulk of the coating polymerizes into an inert silica-based structure. At the substrate surface, the polymer chemically bonds to hydroxyl groups on the substrate.

The advantage of this approach is that a high degree of adhesion and abrasion resistance is achieved to almost any surface.

So what does this mean in practice?

Stop graffiti before it happens.

When vandals attempt to spray paint or use permanent markers on your NanoSlic-protected property, they’ll likely find that it just… won’t stick. The graffiti is completely prevented. Problem solved.

Clean up graffiti quickly, easily, and cheaply.

If any residue does remain, it should wipe off quickly and easily. That’s because the paint never had a chance to bond with the underlying coat. (Think of the difference between a dry erase marker used on paper versus a dry erase board; NanoSlic makes your surfaces work more like that erasable board.) Our anti-graffiti coating demonstration shows off how NanoSlic not only prevents graffiti but also makes cleaning up any residue an easy job.

Apply once and be done.

NanoSlic is an ultra-protective topcoat that offers a graffiti-proof surface. The coating will hold up under adverse conditions, including sunlight, humidity, chemicals, and abrasion. And because it’s available in clear gloss and matte versions, it will protect the underlying surface aesthetics… or even enhance them.

NanoSlic technology

NanoSlic nanocoatings combine hydrophobic and oleophobic nanotechnology to protect surfaces from all kinds of damage. They not only resist water- and oil-based substances, but also provide protection against scratches, chemicals, sun fading, and more.

Composed primarily of silica and structured with silica bonds, NanoSlic endures at a huge range of temperatures. It’s engineered to withstand all sorts of harsh conditions and keep the surface beneath safe from oil, water, chemicals, rust, and more. 9H pencil hardness guards against scratches, too.

Unlike other ceramic coatings on the market, NanoSlic does not require a complicated application process with high-temperature firing.


NanoSlic applications

Our ceramic coatings can be used to protect wide range of products and surfaces from graffiti, including:

  • Automotive paint and parts
  • Paint and architectural coatings
  • Industrial, marine, and telecommunications products
  • Almost any metal, ceramic, plastic, or polymer surface

Here’s our challenge to you:
Order a sample of NanoSlic’s anti-graffiti coating and test it out for yourself.

See how it resists efforts at graffiti and how easy cleanup can be!