Graffiti scratching or etching, is a form of graffiti using a sharp object to scratch metal, plastic and most commonly glass. Unlike graffiti using paint and marker pens, etching, often referred to as 'scratchitti' or 'tagging' can not be cleaned off using traditional methods. Its results are intended to be permanent.
In the UK, most graffiti scratching is in the form of 'tagging' where the 'artist' as they like to think of themselves, scratch their tag into the glass. A tag is supposed to be unique to the tagger and serves as calling card, or a form of marking territory.
A few words of caution; A very common reaction to finding scratch graffiti on your shop front is to think 'Why bother getting it repaired, it will only happen again!'
This is understandable, but consider this. A tag is a calling card, which to another tagger, represents a challenge to be bigger and better than the original. This results in two tags on your glass, two calling cards, two challenges and so on. This might sound extreme, but unfortunately this is how it works. We have seen countless examples of shop fronts damaged by one small tag and within a couple of weeks the entire shop front has been covered with tags, completely ruining the image of the business and deterring custom.
Be careful - if you see someone scratching your glass, please think about what they are using to scratch it. Very often it is a knife, screwdriver, box cutter or set of keys and with today's knife culture, attempting to apprehend the culprits may not be the safest course of action.
Repair Solutions: for large areas or multiple units
If you have a large area or multiple units to repair, our advice would be to call a professional glass polisher. As they say, time is money and this includes your time.
It would be misleading to try and give a general cost of repair on a website as each scratched glass situation is different, but for large areas of scratched glass or for multiple units, services of a qualified glass polisher offer genuine savings, often in excess of 80%, on the cost of replacing scratched windows and doors.
For areas greater than 50 sheets of A4 we would recommend you ask for a senior technician to visit your site to assess the works required and provide a written quote.
The Cost Effective Option. On paper, professional glass polishers are not the cheapest glass polishers on the market, but the reality is that a Guild qualified glass polisher will repair a least twice the area than that advertised by most others othering scratched glass repair services. This makes our members extremely cost effective and our members are still the only glass polishers able to guarantee distortion free repairs.
Repair Solutions: for small areas or single units
For smaller areas or for single unit repairs, employing a professional glass polisher may not be the most cost effective option. You might find that a D.I.Y Scratched Glass Repair Kit would be a more cost effective option for you.
A quick note about D.I.Y Kits. There are a number of kits on the internet that claim to remove scratches from glass. Please be careful. Kits with just a felt pad and polishing compound will not remove anything other than very, very fine hairline scratches. The same can be said for kits containing 'Jewlers Rouge', polishing powder, usually pink, which you mix with water.