Etching or scratching graffiti involves marking a surface; typically glass, wood or plastic, with an object or acid. Etching is an increasing issue for asset owners due to the difficulty involved in removal. It is recommended that environmental prevention methods are implemented first to deter graffiti. Click here for more information about preventing graffiti. 


A protective film can be an effective method of preventing damage to glass and other smooth surfaces. 3M© have developed a film specifically for graffiti prevention – click here for more information about 3M© anti-graffiti films.

A protective film will be most effective when implemented in addition to other Designing out Graffiti principles. Click here to read more about Designing out Graffiti


The most effective method of removing etched graffiti will depend on the type of surface damaged.

For glass, if a protective film is present this can usually be peeled off and replaced. If no protective film is present, the glass may need to be treated with specialist grinding. There are various etching removal services and products available. Click here for an example of etching removal available from GlassRenu©.

If etching is present on a wood surface, the most effective method of removal will be to sand back the surface and re-treat.

If the etching is unable to be removed using the above methods, the surface may need to be replaced.