For more information call
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Community Building, Kent – Stormdry AG Coat Protects Public Art from Graffiti

Background

Stormdry AG-Coat protects walls from vandalism and graffiti

This outdoor pool/lido area in Gillingham, Kent is an important and much-valued part of the local community. One area was used quite heavily for parking, loading/unloading and boat launching. The concrete and blockwork structure alongside this area was starting to look very tired and unappealing.

The council wanted to rejuvenate this area and bring back its visual appeal for the community. They asked Creatabot, a local organisation known for promoting creative community art projects, to redecorate the wall of the structure.

A group of local artists was chosen to redecorate the walls of the structure with an aquatic-themed mural. The mural would make use of the natural colour of the cement rendered portions of the wall to look like the sea bed and the rest would be painted.

The Problem

Creatabot were quick to start work on creating their mural. On previous similar jobs, this kind of artwork had quickly been damaged with graffiti. It was decided that an anti-graffiti coating was required in order to allow the project to go ahead.

A popular anti-graffiti solution was tested but it did not allow for jet-wash cleaning. This meant that cleaning had to be carried out by manually scrubbing the wall using water and detergent. Something that was deemed unacceptable by the council’s maintenance contractor due to their time and equipment constraints.

Creatabot needed to find a solution that would not significantly alter the artwork, would be able to be cleaned using a simple jet-washer and would be hard-wearing enough to not require replacement or maintenance for a long time. We were contacted and asked to find an appropriate solution.

The Solution

Stormdry AG-Coat anti-graffiti protection coating was chosen as the ideal solution. It was chosen because it is a clear and permanent silicone-based coating which repels graffiti by forming a tough hydrophobic film on the substrate surface. Once cured, this coating stops paints and adhesives from being able to properly adhere to the surface and enables easy cleaning.

When graffiti is sprayed on the wall it can be easily washed off using a standard pressure washer with cold water and no detergents to remove the graffiti. The hard-wearing Stormdry AG-Coat is able to withstand up to 15 pressure washing cycles before needing a top-up application.

Once the Stormdry AG-Coat was specified, the concrete wall was scrubbed clean with wire brushes to remove old paint and debris. A masonry paint was applied as a backing coat, with various different emulsion paints used to paint the mural over the top. Stormdry AG-Coat was then applied in a single coat over the mural. It was applied by roller to achieve a smooth finish.

Creatabot was happy with the application and aesthetics of Stormdry AG-Coat. It will protect the mural underneath from future graffiti and any graffiti can be quickly removed with a pressure washer.

Interview with Natasha Steer – founder of Creatabot

What building was the mural painted on and why was it painted?

The wall is on the exterior wall of an outdoor pool/river lido in a local park. This wall, in particular, is right next to a slipway that is regularly used by the local community to mount small boats and jet skis into the River Medway. It was looking very tired and un-appealing and, as it is in such a busy area, the council asked me to improve it!

Why did you need to consider using an anti-graffiti coating?

My friend and fellow artist Wendy Daws had created artwork on a great deal of the other exterior pool walls. Unfortunately, some of this had been quickly damaged with graffiti and the only way to remove it was to scrub it off physically with warm water due to the type of varnish that had been used. This had meant that Wendy had to keep returning to do this herself!

What factors influenced your decision to overcoat the mural with Stormdry AG-Coat?

I was asked to find a coating that could be jet-washed off. This was a requirement from Medway Council’s maintenance contractor, who need to clean surfaces in this way. They are unable to physically scrub off graffiti by hand due to time limitations.

Was the area cleaned up before being painted? If so what did you do?

The concrete wall had remains of paint on so we scrubbed this off with wire brushes as well as scraped it off with metal scrapers. It was then painted with masonry paint before we created the mural with emulsion paint over the top. Once the paint had dried, we overcoating the entire mural with Stormdry AG-Coat.

What factors influenced your decision to overcoat the mural with Stormdry AG-Coat?

My friend and fellow artist Wendy Daws had created artwork on a great deal of the other exterior pool walls. Unfortunately, some of this had been quickly damaged with graffiti and the only way to remove it was to scrub it off physically with warm water due to the type of varnish that had been used. This had meant that Wendy had to keep returning to do this herself! I was asked to find a coating that could be jet-washed off. This was a requirement from Medway Council’s maintenance contractor, who need to clean surfaces in this way. They are unable to physically scrub off graffiti by hand due to time limitations.

How did you apply the Stormdry AG-Coat?

It was applied by roller, as the surface was smooth enough to do this with.

What features of Stormdry AG-Coat do you find most useful or noteworthy?

Artists and local authorities are always worrying about public artwork being damaged and they really need to be able to just jet-wash any graffiti – which isn’t possible with most varnishes without causing damage. I think most people trying to damage the work would be able to visibly see it is coated – which we believe acts as a deterrent in itself!

For more information call
01403 210204