Introduction: Graffiti Abatement Paint Can

This instructable my be slightly niche and I hope it is helpful to those that could use it! I live in a residential building in San Francisco on a very busy intersection in front of a bus stop and our building constantly gets tagged with graffiti. The DPW will cite us as a blight property and we have 30 days to abate the graffiti. Our building has formed a committee of volunteers to handle this task.

Personally I don't mind painting the building BUT I am extremely lazy when it comes to going to the garage, getting the paint cans, pouring into the tray, carrying the roller and tray to the wall, doing the task, pouring paint back into the can, washing all the rollers and cans and damn the building got hit up again 12 hours later.

I wanted to come up with a way to quickly abate the graf without all the prep and cleanup (which is my main enemy with getting this task done). Behold the GAP Can!!


  • Any can, jar, or tupperware you have around the house
  • A paintbrush that fits inside the container
  • duct tape

Step 1: Gather Your Supplies

Here you can see my simple setup of an old coffee can and paint brush from the dollar store.

You can use any container that is relatively air tight. Keep in mind that my use case is there is new graffiti to paint on a weekly basis so I am not super concerned about the paint drying out inside the can.

Step 2: Prep the Lid

Using an X-acto blade I cut an X into the lid large enough to slide over the handle of the paintbrush.

Step 3: Assemble

The lid should fit over the handle enough to allow you to put the brush inside the paint can. With the bristles dipped in paint they will not dry and will not need to be cleaned.

Step 4: Seal Everything Together

I considered using hot glue or epoxy here and in the end decided on duct tape. There is good flex and movement for the brush and the lid which feels like this will be a resilient setup. I added enough tape to keep the brush stable and restrict air from getting in or out of the can.

Step 5: Add Paint!

I really wanted the GAP can to be small enough to easily hold in my hand. Just add the paint from the gallon can about half way. Enough to get the job done and keep the bristles under paint so they do not dry out between jobs.

Step 6: Paint and Prosper!

Taggers hit up buildings quickly and move on. I take my inspiration from them- I also want to quickly hit up the wall, cover the graffiti and move on! It took about 5 minutes to cover this tag, put the lid on the can, and relax!