Believe it or not, there is paint with the purpose of making it difficult for someone to climb on it. It’s known as anti-climb paint, but it’s also known as anti-intruder paint and anti-vandalism paint. Its use is simple. The paint is used to deter anyone who wants to try to be a vandal or gain illegal entry to a property. But how does it work?
Anti-climb paint is an oily coating that can be applied to almost any roof, wall, fence, or pole, and it ends up with a glossy finish. The paint remains slippery or sticky, making it very difficult or impossible to scale with a hand or foothold.
The paint also never dries and can be transferred to a would-be intruder’s hands, feet, or body. This makes the potential intruder easy to identify if they come in contact with the paint. The paint is usually only applied above a certain height, usually around 7 feet above the ground, where someone would be stopped from going any further.
The paint doesn’t seem to be available in the United States for some reason, but it is available in the United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada. It could be because the paint most likely doesn’t adhere to specific local, state, or federal laws. In the United Kingdom, for example, a homeowner could be liable for injuries from someone that gets hurt on their property from anti-climb paint. That is why it is recommended by manufacturers to have a deterrent sign that says the surface has anti-climb paint on it in places where it is applied.
A case in 2015 in the United Kingdom demonstrated there could be drawbacks to trying to protect your property with anti-climb paint. A pensioner in the United Kingdom applied anti-vandal, anti-climb paint to his garden fence because neighborhood kids were climbing it and throwing rocks at his window.
He was later shocked when the police showed up and took him into custody for criminal damage because it was alleged that his anti-climb paint had caused almost £4,000 ($5,126 US) of damage to the home of the mother of the children. The unemployed mother of six said that her kids had gotten the paint on them and brought it into her home, damaging carpets and furniture. She said the paint, which the homeowner had put on the top of his fence, had dripped on the kids.
The man was eventually taken to court three times over nine months. The case was dropped the day it was scheduled to go to trial. The Crown Prosecution Service said they had no evidence to take it to trial.