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Removing Graffiti: A Panel Discussion
The science behind treatments

The science behind treatments

September 15, 2020

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Man in hard hhat using a spray wand to remove paint from surface.

Removing graffiti. (Photo Courtesy of Rosa Lowinger and Associates)

Join a panel of preservation professionals including scientists and conservators from the US National Park Service for a best practices program on removing paint and indelible markings. This webinar is part of the Traditional Building Conference Series. For more information and to register, see https://www.traditionalbuildingshow.com/online-education/removing-graffiti-a-panel-discussion

Learning Objectives:

  • Recognize how different kinds of paints and pigments applied to different kinds of substrate can affect the removal process.
  • Compare and contrast methods and techniques for removal based on the type of graffiti and substrate.
  • Document the vandalism adequately for reporting and potential historic significance.
  • Recognize when they need to get assistance with removal and who to contact.


Rachel Adler is the architectural conservator for the National Park Service Vanishing Treasures Program, which focuses on preservation in the Western US through the perpetuation of traditional building skills and promoting connections between cultural groups and places of their heritage. Rachel has an M.S. in Historic Preservation from the University of Pennsylvania and specializes in earthen architecture.

Jason Church is a conservator and the Chief of Technical Services at the NPS National Center for Preservation Technology and Training (NCPTT) from now on. Jason specializes in historic masonry, metal work, and cemeteries. He is a Professional Associate of the Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works and the current conservation chair of the Association for Gravestone Studies.

Lindy Gulick is the Architectural Conservator and Supervisor of the Preservation Crew at the National Mall and Memorial Parks, which we refer to as NAMA. Prior to joining NAMA, she was the Architectural Conservator for the National Capital Area from 2016-2019 and worked for six years for Evergreene Architectural Arts (formerly Conservation Solutions, Inc).   She is a Professional Associate of the American Institute for Conservation.

Mary F. Striegel is a conservation scientist and Chief of Materials Conservation with NPS National Center for Preservation Technology and Training (NCPTT). Mary has 32 years’ experience studying cultural resources. She specializes in how materials decay and treatments to preserve cultural heritage. She holds a Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry from Washington University in St. Louis.

Sarah Polzin is training manager at the Historic Preservation Training Center in Frederick, Maryland, which provides building preservation services and training to National Parks and other federal and state government agencies around the country. She started working there as an intern 20 years ago and has served in multiple roles including grunt labor, project management, and supervisor. She has recently become adept at virtual training.

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Traditional Building Conference<br /><small>The science behind treatments</small>
National Center for Preservation Technology and Training
645 University Parkway
Natchitoches, LA 71457

Email: ncptt[at]nps.gov
Phone: (318) 356-7444
Fax: (318) 356-9119