Answer Man: Can Barn Bluff go back to the buff?

October 11, 2018

Answer Man, I know the city of Red Wing is planning to paint over the graffiti on Barn Bluff. But with years of paint painted over paint ad nauseam, wouldn’t it be better if they removed the paint by, say, sandblasting it off? — Sheila

Red Wing Public Works Director Rick Moskwa, something of an expert on the bluff, said people have been painting on the north face of Barn Bluff — or He Mni Can, as it’s known by the Dakota people — for about as long as people have been putting paint in aerosol cans. Needless to say, there’s a fairly significant build-up of paint on the spot where people have been painting everything from wedding proposals to “Class of ’85 Rules” for more than 60 years.

One of the problems with sandblasting the paint off — and this problem applies to removing the paint chemically as well — is a containment system would have to be built to contain and collect all the waste that accompanies removing all the “Go Wild” and Prince tributes. And in the case of sandblasting, the equipment to do the job would have to be hauled up and down to the paint site, no easy feat, even for the sure-footed, Moskwa said.

So, painting would seem to be the answer. One last bluff-colored coat of paint to give the Barn Bluff that in-the-buff natural look.

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