Is Removing Graffiti A Useless Waste Of Effort?

Anti Graffiti Protection for Murals - The Right Type and Amount of Varnish

Anti Graffiti Protection for Murals - The Right Type and Amount of Varnish

I had this dialog about the Jim Morphesis Monument mural by Kent Twitchell. We have just completed the graffiti removal, conservation/preservation and restoration this last week. Good questions and straight answers:

Laura: I love that piece, and it breaks my heart when it gets tagged.

Mario: great piece when its not tagged, question is, when isn’t it?

Scott M. Haskins Answer to future tagging: We’ve been hired to maintain the mural and keep it clean. Making good progress on Jim Morphesis Monument. New photo posted

Mario: as a long time resident of LA I would guess that in the last 15 years or so this and other murals have spent more tagged up than not, I remember when this wasn’t the case, sadly the tagging quickly turns some of these beautiful murals into huge eyesores that some of us are subjected to on a daily basis.. good luck with maintaining the mural, unless your planning to occupy the site, you’ll need it.. btw, how many more strategically placed murals could be painted with all of the money spent on restoring those that are poorly located? A close friend expressed his frustration that more is spent every time his mural is restored than he was paid to paint it… really?

Kent Twitchell Some people have given up (with the idea of having murals in our community and keeping them nice). Some others haven’t.

Scott M. Haskins: Mario, maintenance is the key. If a mural gets tagged Caltrans requires that the graffiti get removed (or painted out with their gray paint) within 10 days or even 48 hours if the tagging is obscene. We are planning to remove any tagging within 48 hours of the tag occurring… but that depends also on if we are notified right away. Small graffiti initials/name can be removed for a couple of hundred dollars. A tag that is more thickly applied and bigger, maybe a few hundred. An enormous repainting type of graffiti can still be /removed for, lets say, maybe about $1,500- $2,000… hardly the cost or payment for painting a mural. The key to a maintenance program working is to be organized, follow through, the coordination of, Caltrans, Public Works and about 4 other entities… and of course, there has to be funding… which there is.

Finally, consider other nice things you appreciate. They often require maintenance/upkeep over a continued basis. To see all the videos on the treatments and more go to

About Scott M. Haskins

Scott Haskins has been in professional art conservation since 1975, specializing in the conservation/restoration of easel paintings, murals and art on paper. FACL, Inc. is known nationally for doing A+ work no matter the size or difficulty of the project. We are happy to do a quick cleaning on a family heirloom. Our client list and resume is also full of very satisfied clients of large, difficult/complicated projects at remote locations. Excellent services are also available as an Expert Witness/Legal Testimony in art related matters. Consultation on art related projects occur regularly including extensive insurance evaluations for insured or insurer. Services are offered worldwide. Scott M. Haskins is also author of the "Save Your Stuff" series, educational information, materials and supplies to help people protect and save their treasured family heirlooms and collectibles at home and office. He can be reached at 805 564 3438. Video and written testimonials at
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4 Responses to Is Removing Graffiti A Useless Waste Of Effort?

  1. Ryan Eastbourne says:

    I do love these murals. They are so interesting. I guess public art has to be maintained like everything else so stay with it and congrats for knowing how to help.

  2. Jorge Novak says:

    If you have a mural and it gets tagged, I think you owe it to the artist to keep it clean. If you are not going to do that, then take the mural down. It’s not fair to have the piece of art tagged.

  3. Francesca says:

    I admire those whom have the desire and drive to keep these murals looking as they did when they were first paintined. Scott Haskins and his crew did an amazing job!!! I can’t wait to see what they do next!!!

  4. Ray Canonbury says:

    Very interesting note about murals and their constant struggle to maintain equilibrium in the space.

Comments are closed.