Craig Hunt, 57, was so disgusted at the graffiti which had been scrawled over the slide at his local park he took matters into his own hands.
He covered the graffiti – which featured obscene pictures – in black emulsion at the park near his home in Studley, Warwickshire.
But he was stunned when days later he was slapped with a bill for £277.50 from the council who told him he had no right to take action because it was public property.
Mr Hunt, a retired bank worker, said: “When I got the knock on my door I thought it was a police officer to see me about a break-in at my 94-year-old mother’s home.
“When he told me I was the one in the wrong because I’d painted over the graffiti at the park I was gobsmacked. It’s totally illogical.
“The graffiti was disgusting, certainly not what you’d want your children to see, and had been there for three weeks.
“I’ve done the parish council a favour and they’ve sent me a bill for it.
“They said I didn’t use anti-slip paint, which is true, but the surface of the park is worn smooth, so the paint I used is grippier than what is there.”
Studley Parish Council’s finance committee ruled that Mr Hunt used the wrong paint and acted without permission so billed him for the cost of repairing the slide.
Mr Hunt, who regularly volunteers for litter picking, Studley in Bloom and Studley Nature Reserve, was handed the bill on Tuesday.
Councillor Paul Beaman said: “The parish clerk is under strict instructions if we have any damage to council property then it goes straight to the police and it’s up to the police how the deal with it.
“If Craig had telephoned the clerk, told her what he wanted to do we would have said fine, go ahead, and made sure he had the correct paint.
“But no call was made.”