Correlating the Effectiveness of Commercial Graffiti Removers with Their Analytically Investigated Components

  • Panayota Pitsiri
  • Stamatis C. Boyatzis
  • Nikolaos-Alexis Stefanis
  • Georgios Batis


The need for removing graffiti, as it would be expected, brought a whole range of products under the moniker graffiti removers from suppliers of conservation materials. The fact that often the graffitied surfaces are ancient marbles or sometimes parts of fortification walls contribute to additional complication to the entire issue because of the often poor condition of the surface of the monuments and the difficult accessibility.

We faced the need for identifying the chemical substances existing in various graffiti removers, which are typically supplied by several conservation material vendors and for testing their effectiveness on the various types of colored spray paints on variable types of surfaces with infrared spectroscopy.

Five different products were tested on different types of surfaces and colors, and their effectiveness on removing the graffiti was documented. Mock-up samples were constructed of marble. They were accordingly spray-painted with the most usual colors encountered in graffiti (black, blue, red, and yellow), which were also analyzed through FTIR. The surfaces were then cleaned with five different graffiti-removing products. The effectiveness of cleaning was visually evaluated and then colorimetry-measured to assess the effectiveness of each remover. The effectiveness of the investigated commercial products was generally summarized.


Graffiti removers Effectiveness correlation FTIR analysis 



The authors wish to thank the TEI of Athens, the Ephorate of Antiquities of Athens, and Acropolis Restoration Service.

Conservators Dimitris Pillalis and Panagiota Christopoulou who helped in the removing of graffiti in Kutsuk Tzami during their conservation practice.

Papadopoulos Bros Al, Kanigos, 10682, Athens, retail commerce of paints, spray paints, varnishes, lacquers and other chemicals, for sharing valuable information from their archives.

Special thanks to Pavlidis P. George, Ananiadis K., Marathonomachon, 10441, Athens, Commerce of Antiquities and Works of Art Conservation Materials and Dimitrius A. Kollaros, SkylitsiOmiridou 2, Athens, Diamond Cutting Tools – Electric Pneumatic Tools Sculpture – Pantograph, for the sponsorships.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Panayota Pitsiri
    • 1
  • Stamatis C. Boyatzis
    • 2
  • Nikolaos-Alexis Stefanis
    • 2
  • Georgios Batis
    • 3
  1. 1.Ephorate of Antiquities of Athens, Ministry of CultureNational Technical University of AthensAthinaGreece
  2. 2.Department of Conservation of Antiquities and Works of ArtTechnological Educational Institute of AthensEgaleoGreece
  3. 3.Department of Chemical EngineersNational Technical University of AthensAthinaGreece

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