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Graffiti Abatement Program

Download the Together Against Graffiti brochure (PDF)

Here's the Plan: Put Down the Can!

"Put down the can", the City of Auburn’s new pro-active anti-graffiti campaign, encourages the public to report graffiti, abate it quickly, and volunteer for the City’s anti-graffiti efforts.

Graffiti is a serious problem in communities. Graffiti degrades the neighborhood, reducing property values and ruining the appearance of the neighborhood.

It destroys the sense of security in the place that we live, affecting both neighborhood pride and the willingness of property owners to maintain their homes and the quality of life in the neighborhood.

Even more importantly, graffiti can be a sign that gangs are moving into the neighborhood, trying to establish their "turf".

In Auburn, it is illegal to possess graffiti producing items with the intention of using it to deface public or private property. (City of Auburn, Ordinance No. 9.54.020)

An Alternate Approach

Graffiti is an ongoing problem for property owners and neighborhoods. But now, property owners have some help thanks to the City of Auburn and AgriShop Ace Hardware (308 West Main ST, Auburn, WA 98001).

The best way to address graffiti is to remove it, quickly and effectively whenever and wherever it occurs.

In most communities the property owner is required to remove the graffiti, at their own expense.

To encourage property owners to take action; the City of Auburn and AgriShop Ace Hardware have come up with a different idea, one that lets the property owner, government and private business work together to address the problem and help keep Auburn neighborhoods vibrant and graffiti-free.

Auburn City Code Section 8.13 requires elimination of graffiti within 3 days of the date of notice.

To assist you in this effort, you will receive one (1) gallon of AgriShop Ace Hardware Paint to paint over graffiti. In some cases AgriShop Ace Hardware may offer to provide paint remover or stain rather than paint.

AgriShop Ace Hardware will endeavor to match the paint obtained to that covering the surface to be painted but will need 24 hours and a chip or sample of the existing paint. Because of differences in types of paint, brands and fading, a perfect match may not be possible.

Persons selecting a type of paint other than that offered will need to purchase their own paint.

No reimbursements, refunds or credits will be made to property owners through this program. Program limited to one (1) gallon of paint per property owner per six (6) month period.

The best course of action is to cover the graffiti with paint. Before painting put a coat of primer over the graffiti. Follow up with a coat of exterior paint.

Repaint the entire wall or paint a neat square shape with a color that matches the surface you are removing graffiti from.

HELPFUL TIP: Check neighborhood stores for discounted prices on mismatched paint.

For people with limited means, the City of Auburn will provide Graffiti Removal Kits upon request. These kits come with basic materials to help remove graffiti.

For more information on Auburn's Graffiti Abatement Program or to obtain a Graffiti Removal Kit, contact Code Enforcement at 253-931-3020 Ext. 4, or [email protected].

How you can help

The City of Auburn is seeking partners to join the City and local retailers, businesses and other organizations to prevent graffiti, provide resources, and help stop graffiti in the Auburn community.

Graffiti can have a serious negative impact on our community. It gives the appearance that neighborhoods are unsafe and can significantly reduce property value.

The City of Auburn has created a comprehensive plan to remove and prevent graffiti and vandalism in the city.

As a business, you can help by:

  • Donating products for graffiti removal kits to help those who have been victimized by graffiti and do not have the means to remove it.
  • Participating in "Put Down the Can," a proactive anti-graffiti education campaign to encourage the public to report graffiti, abate it quickly and volunteer for the city’s anti-graffiti efforts.
  • Sponsor volunteer opportunities for your employees and customers to help seniors and other residents with limited resources who are victims of graffiti.
  • Do not sell graffiti producing items (spray paint, permanent markers, etc.) to minors.

Kits will be given to individuals who have become a victim of graffiti, but have limited means to deal with removing it. These kits will be made available at no charge.

The following items are needed for each Graffiti Removal Kit:

  • Paint trim tray
  • Disposable heavy duty towels
  • One 3" paint brush
  • One 4" paint brush
  • One roll masking tape
  • Medium duty scrubbing sponge (eg. Scotch-Brite no. 74)
  • Sand paper (#15)
  • Three sets of disposable latex gloves
  • Certificates for discounts from your store for additional items for graffiti removal, including paint, brushes or paint removal products