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What Is Anti-Climb Paint?

We are always looking for ways to protect things that are valuable to us, and most times, this includes turning our residences into impenetrable fortresses. 

Anti-climb paint goes by different names, including non-drying paint, anti-intruder paint, anti-vandal paint, and anti-scale paint. The product was first produced in the 1960s by Camrex Paints.

And just what is anti-climb paint? This type of paint is a thick, petroleum gel-based coating that looks smooth, wet, and slippery. It is commonly used on fences, walls, roofs, and lamp posts to prevent intruders from accessing your house.

Anti-climb paint comes in multiple colors and remains wet through all seasons. Because of its oil base, intruders who climb up barriers find it hard to gain a foothold. 

The good thing is that you can apply it on any building materials, including concrete, asbestos, wood, brick, and metal, and it will stick.

Using Anti-Climb Paint On Your Property

Anti-climb paint is usually available in hardware, home supply, and online stores. It can adhere to many different surface types. You’ll need a stiff brush or trowel to apply the paint; you can also apply the paint by hand, as long as you put on protective painting gloves.

Depending on the paint brand you choose, anti-climb paint can last for around 3-5 years without needing a new coat because of its weatherproofing nature. This paint has several advantages, but its primary advantage is its ability to protect your property.

Although seasoned burglars can use protective gear and still climb up greased surfaces, most are discouraged by the inconvenience of ugly anti-climb paint sticking to their clothes. Because the paint is slippery, climbing up any surface painted in it proves  to be very challenging.

Anti-climb paint leaves hard-to-remove marks, which can help you catch unsuspecting burglars. The paint looks dry but is quite sticky and will imprint on anyone that comes into contact with the paint. 

This is also something to consider, especially if you’re painting anti-vandal paint on surfaces near public walkways.

Manufacturers recommend using anti-climb paint high up on surfaces, so that innocent bystanders don’t get stained when they touch the paint. 

You can wash off regular paint, but anti-vandal grease is resistant to most solvents and will give burglars a hard time to remove. Painting just above the average person’s height will still protect your house without inconveniencing others.

How To Apply Anti-Climb Paint

Materials Needed:

  • Disposable Stiff brush/ Trowel/ lambswool mitt
  • Protective apron
  • Safety goggles
  • Primer
  • Anti-climb paint


Typically, using more paint on a small area would increase the durability of the paint. We recommend using one liter of paint on a one-square meter surface. Spreading the paint onto a bigger area reduces the time it takes for the surface to need a new coat. 

You’ll need at least a 2 to 3mm layer of anti-vandal paint for it to be effective. Anti-grease paint is usually available in 1 liter, 2.5, and 5-liter cans.

The surface will also determine how much paint you need to apply. Rough surfaces, for instance, will require more than one coat of paint for full coverage. 

If you’re applying anti-grease paint on a porous surface, use a primer to seal off the pores.

Remember that anti-climb paint is petroleum-gel based; when applied to porous materials, the gel will melt into the pores reducing the paint’s effectiveness. Ensure you paint at least two coats over the primer to curb this.

Anti-climb paint can adhere to a paintbrush, making it hard to clean the brush. We recommend using disposable brushes or gloves to paint your fence. This will save you the pain of throwing away a good long-lasting brush.

Repainting A Surface With Anti-Climbing Paint

Anti-vandal paint can last up to 5 years on a surface before needing a new coat, and you may need to remove the previous coating before applying a new one. 

To do this, you will need to scrape off most of the last layer before going in with the fresh coat. The paint’s oily surface may attract dirt and dust, making it necessary to scrape off.

Precautions To Take Before Applying Anti-Climb Paint

You’ll have to check into your area’s local laws before applying anti-climb paint. The Highways Act of 1980 protects people and animals from harm and injury, especially if your painted wall adjoins a public highway.

The Occupier’s Liability Act of 1984, for instance, makes a homeowner responsible for anyone injured when climbing an anti-grease painted wall, whether they’re authorized to be there or not unless you’ve placed enough visible warning signs to caution them. 

You can find these warning signs where you purchase anti-grease paint. The best way to protect yourself is to place the warning signs in 5-meter intervals to ensure that it’s visible.

Painting the wall at least 2 meters from the ground will prevent passers-by from accidentally getting stained by the paint.

Cats and other climbing animals are also affected by anti-climb paint; although they have the grip to climb up these walls, they will carry the stain to every surface they walk on, which can create quite a mess.

Anti-climb paint does have its disadvantages. Some of the chemicals that make the paint aren’t conducive for some wildlife. 

Some manufacturers care to make these paints non-toxic, but some animals prefer to remain camouflaged, and these paints do the opposite.

You shouldn’t use anti-climb paint near water environments, because the chemicals in the paint may kill aquatic animals. Consider alternative security measures if you’re near a body of water such as a garden pond or lake.

Health And Safety Considerations While Applying This Paint

Even though manufacturers make these products with non-hazardous ingredients, you may still need to protect yourself from the fumes. Wear a mask when applying anti-climb paint and remove yourself from the paint area if you feel light-headed or dizzy.

Keep anti-climb paint away from your eyes. If already exposed, wash your eyes with water while lifting the eyes. 

In case you have contact lenses on, remove them immediately after exposure and rinse your eyes for about 10 minutes.

If you accidentally ingest any paint, don’t induce vomiting. Instead, gargle your mouth with clean water and seek medical attention to prevent poisoning. 

Sometimes, anti-climb paint may get on your clothes and touch your skin. Clean the exposed area thoroughly with soapy water.

When storing this paint, keep it away from sparks and open flames. Paint is typically stored in cool, dry places and sealed containers.

Alternatives Ways Of Securing Your Surfaces

Anti-climb paint can be a bit of an inconvenience to homeowners, animals, and passers-by, you have to look for other options. Some of these include:

  • Putting spikes on the topmost part of your fence
  • Using a spinning barrier with rotating cups on the topmost part of your fence
  • Installing an electric fence

How To Remove Anti-Climb Paint From Surfaces

Because this kind of paint is oily, removing it can be a challenge. You can use different paint solvents to remove the stains.

Solvents such as turpentine are also a good way to dissolve the paint before using a detergent for a thorough wash.

The Best Anti-Climb Paints- Our Top Picks

1. Blackfriar Anti Climb And Anti Vandal Paint

what is anti climb paint

Blackfriar is suitable for most surfaces, including pipes, gutters, and window sills to protect intruders from getting into your house. 

The paint’s chemical formula gives it a slippery, non-drying finish. Its black color is visible and sets innocent passers-by apart from intruders.

Blackfriar recommends using an application brush or painting mitten for better application. The company also suggests using one liter of anti-climb paint for every 2-squared meter.

2. New Venture Products Ltd Anti Climb Security Paint

what is anti climb paint

New Venture produces anti-climb paint in red, black, and grey with a semi-gloss finish, and you can choose a 1-liter or 2.5-liter can. Each can consists of 46% solids that provide a shiny, thick coat when painted, making it an easy deterrent. It’s smooth, making it easy to apply.

You can also include a plastic sign with pre-drilled holes and CCTV warning signs from New Ventures. 

The manufacturer recommends that you use 1 liter of their anti-climb paint for every one-square meter surface.

3. Coo-VAR Vandalene Anti-Climb Paint

what is anti climb paint

Coo-VAR’s anti-climb paint comes in green, black, grey, and tile red. It’s sold in various packages, including the 0.8kg, 2 kg, and 4kg cans. 

Most of these paints come in a glossy finish, but Coo-VAR’s come in a matte finish, making it hard for an intruder to identify that the paint is still wet. 

Coo-VAR has made its anti-vandal grease unique by adding a hidden identifier to it, which makes identifying intruders even easier. You can also use it as an aerosol paint, making it easier to apply.

4. GREAVES & CO. Anti-Climb Paint

Greaves and Co.’s anti-climb paint is quite economical, as you only require one liter for a 2.5m2 surface. The paint comes in black, in a 2.5 liter can, and keeps intruders out due to its slippery nature.

Final Thoughts On Anti-Climb Paint?

Many people aren’t aware of its existence, and wonder, “What is anti-climb paint??” While it’s not well known, anti-climb paint can be an efficient, cost-effective way of preventing intruders and errant pets from entering your premises. 

We have covered care and precautions when handling anti-climb paint, and the possible ways this substance can help secure your property. We’ve also provided you with a few of our top choices on the market to consider.

You will need to post warning signs in line with your local laws to avoid any legal issues. Some warning signs are self-adhering, while others need to be drilled into target surfaces so that innocent people aren’t exposed to the paint. 

Anti-vandal paint can permanently destroy clothes, so we recommend wearing old, disposable clothes when applying paint on surfaces. 

About Lisa Bohrer

Lisa is a native Texan who says she wears many hats. She is a wife, mother, grandmother, farmer, animal lover, fisherwoman, gardener, and college student. Lisa is a sophomore at Liberty University where she is taking classes to earn her Associates Degree in Creative Writing. She and her husband of 35 years fill their days with life on the farm raising goats and chickens, and then most evenings she can be found at the computer writing, or researching a topic that has piqued her interest.

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