Graffiti on Historic Buildings

Removal and Prevention

Buy printed version from bookshop

This publication provides guidance to building owners, conservation professionals, local authorities and estate managers responsible for dealing with graffiti on historic buildings and sites.

It describes the types of graffiti and historic materials affected, the legal context for reporting and prosecuting graffiti crime, general advice on removing graffiti, best technical practice expected of specialist graffiti-removal contractors, and prevention measures. It also addresses wider cultural developments, notably the increased public recognition and acceptance of ‘street art’, and the consequent need to define the boundaries between street art and unwanted graffiti.


  1. Introduction
  2. Impact of graffiti
    The nature of the problem
    Risks of inappropriate removal
  3. Graffiti media and historic materials
    Graffiti media and methods of application
    Historic materials affected by graffiti
  4. Responding to graffiti
    Actions to take after a graffiti incident
    Responsibility for removing graffiti
    Prosecuting graffiti crime
    Obtaining professional advice
  5. Removing graffiti
    Identifying materials, their significance and condition
    Assessing visual impact
    General approaches to removing graffiti
    Site protection
    Health and safety
    Principal methods of removing graffiti
    Removal trials and their evaluation
    Removing specific types of graffiti
    Over-painting as an alternative to removing graffiti
  6. Preventing graffiti
    Buildings and other assets at risk
    Physical graffiti prevention measures
    Social graffiti prevention measures
  7. References
  8. Where to get advice

Additional Information

  • Series: Guidance
  • Publication Status: Completed
  • Pages: 66
  • Product Code: HEAG288


If you require an alternative, accessible version of this document (for instance in audio, Braille or large print) please contact us:

Customer Service Department

Telephone: 0370 333 0607
Email: [email protected]