Anti-vandal paint is a paint product that deters climbing and graffiti, making it more difficult for vandals to damage property. It is also known as anti-climb or anti-scale paint, references to the slippery nature of surfaces treated with anti-vandal paint. The paint consists of a very thick, non-drying oil emulsion that remains slippery and wet long after application. It is available from hardware and home supply stores, along with signs warning of the use of anti-vandal paint for people to post near surfaces they have painted with this product.
When people attempt to climb walls and fences treated with anti-vandal paint, they will slip and fall. The paint will also stain their bodies and clothing, making them easy to identify. While it is possible to scale a fence covered in this product while wearing protective gear, it is challenging, and requires more work than many vandals are willing to invest. In addition, the slippery nature of the paint allows people to easily scrape or wipe graffiti off, keeping surfaces looking neat.
Anti-vandal paint can be applied with a stiff brush or painting glove. It is important to wear an apron while painting so any splashback will not damage clothing. Solvents are available to remove the paint from clothing in cases where people are stained with it while working. Harsh solvents may damage the skin, and several rounds of soap and water are recommended instead to remove paint on the skin if any splashes onto the arms or face.
Some municipalities have codes addressing anti-vandal paint. It may be necessary to apply it only above a certain height, to avoid situations where paint smears on the clothing of innocent pedestrians and to prevent slips and falls. People may also be required to post warning signs so people know about the paint. If a vandal tries to climb an unmarked fence and incurs an injury, it is possible the property owner may be taken to court for failing to exercise due care.
If a fence needs to be repainted, people can use solvents to strip the anti-vandal paint and prepare the surface for a new paint job. This process can be messy, and it is advisable to think carefully before applying anti-vandal paint in the first place to make sure it is appropriate for the task. A security consultant can provide advice on options for vandalism management and deterrence for a property owner uncertain about how to address a vandalism problem.