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Anti-Climb Paint Vs Anti-Climb Fencing

7 May 2020

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Harrow Fencing Supplies

Protecting your home from intruders begins with choosing the most effective outdoor security measures. Popular choices include anti-climb paint and anti-climb fencing, both designed to make climbing into or around your premises more difficult. However, you may be wondering which is more effective and whether you should invest in paint or fencing to deter would-be criminals. 

In this article, we explain the difference between these two techniques and explore the pros and cons of each. 

What Is Anti-climb Paint?

  • Simply put, anti-climb paint creates a slippery surface when applied that makes it near-impossible to achieve a grip on the said surface. As the name suggests, this results in the surface being highly difficult to climb. Other names for this paint include anti-intruder paint and non-drying paint. 

Pros of Anti-climb Paint

  • Cost-effective: Anti-climb paint is generally cheaper than erecting fences, making it a more cost-effective choice for those with limited budget. 
  • Highly difficult to climb: Due to the slippery, oily nature of anti-climb paint, intruders will find it highly difficult to climb on the surface it’s applied to. 
  • Can do it yourself: Like with any paint, you can apply the coats yourself – as long as you take relevant precautions (as anti-climb paint stains clothing and skin). 

Cons of Anti-climb Paint

  • Legal Restrictions: There are a few legal restrictions to be mindful of. Premises owners have a duty of care to those on their property, whether or not those persons have a legal right to be there. When using anti-climb paint, you must provide warning signs that can be seen from all angles of approach to highlight the hazard. If you have not provided adequate warning signs, you are liable to be sued for anyone suffering injury on your property – even if they were there illegally. You must also avoid using the paint on surfaces that join onto a public highway. Always ask for advice from the local crime prevention team if you’re unsure about the legality of using anti-climb paint. 
  • Can cause issues for pet-owners: Animals cannot read warning signs, and therefore may come into contact with the non-drying paint on your property, bringing it into the household and potentially causing a mess to the interiors. It is also not recommended for households near aquatic life or with ponds. 
  • Care must be taken when applying: The paint shouldn’t be used for surfaces that receive regular contact from visitors or those dwelling/working at a site. It should also be applied high up so that the general public remains unaffected. Therefore the paint is only recommended for window ledges, guttering and other areas that criminals may target for climbing. It also stains clothes and skin, so take care when applying. 

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What is anti-climb fencing? 

  • Anti-climb fencing is a strong, durable type of security fencing designed to make climbing difficult through the use of spikes or mesh. This fencing can come in different types and systems, the most popular being mesh fencing and palisade fencing. The mere presence of a fence can sometimes be enough to deter intruders. 

What Is Anti-climb Fencing?

  • Strong: Typically, security fencing is made from the strongest and most durable materials, such as steel, to resist against forced entry. 
  • Difficult to climb: Security fencing is designed to be difficult to climb. Mesh fencing, for example, has very small holes that don’t provide adequate foot and handholds, while palisade fencing has pointed panels and limited grip points. 
  • Can cover the entire perimeter: Fences are able to encircle the entire perimeter of a premises, making for better access control. Unlike anti-climb paint, this ensures that intruders aren’t able to get too close to the building itself. 
  • Still has aesthetic value: Although it’s primary purpose is to deter intruders, many security fencing types, such as mesh and palisade, can still boast a certain level of aesthetic value, and are often available in a range of colours to complement any exterior. 
  • Long-lasting: If properly maintained, metal fencing can last for decades. 

Cons of Anti-climb Fencing

  • Costs more than paint: Naturally, a security fence will cost more than anti-slip paint. However, the advanced security that fencing offers when compared to paint is likely to make it worth the extra cost – especially considering the longevity of metal fencing. 
  • May not suit your home aesthetic: While offering superior strength and security to businesses and commercial premises, the look of metal fencing may not be homey enough for some domestic customers. It’s worth noting, though, that most anti-climb fencing can be painted a variety of colours to give it a warmer appearance, or one that complements your home. 

In summary

While paint is a cheaper, quicker option, it doesn’t have the same level of security that security fences offer. It can also come with a few bothersome legal restrictions and other drawbacks that don’t always make it plain sailing to use. Fences are an investment in premises security that act as a strong barrier around the entirety of your premises, and give out a clear warning to anyone attempting to breach. Ultimately the choice depends on the application, along with your personal needs and budget. 


Established in 1960, Harrow Fencing is one of London’s largest fencing suppliers and installers for trade, retail and homeowners. We stock a wide array of fencing types and styles, ranging from traditional garden fence panels to sturdy metal and security fencing. To discover more about our wide choice of products, or to arrange same-day delivery, please contact our friendly team today to discuss your project. 

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