The Climb-Guard™ Story

The Climb-Guard™ Anti-Climb Paint Story

Climb-Guard began its development in 2014 when the need for a hard-drying, non-greasy, long-lasting anti-climb paint coating was recognized to deter climbing attacks at vulnerable US Embassies around the world.  The process of discovery was initiated by the US Department of State, Bureau of Diplomatic Security (DS), in conjunction with Sandia National Labs (SNL), who together evaluated the effectiveness of commercially available anti-climb paints and other coatings.  The evaluation found the available anti-climb paint coating products degraded very quickly and lost their beneficial effects in as little as a week after outdoor exposure; they were typically greasy products that provided only a temporary slippery surface that eroded or dried out quickly.  A product that was much more environmentally durable was needed to meet DS’s needs.

In November of 2016, DS undertook a program with a Private Research Partner (PRP) to develop a new type of anti-climb coating, one that would have long lasting efficacy and hold up under environmental exposure.  DS’s goal was to develop a commercially viable product that would delay the time it would take for a would-be climb attacker to scale a vertical surface; the product had to be easily applied to a variety of surface, including metal, concrete, stucco and other typical construction surfaces.  The SNL and PRP programs utilized a “skid resistor tester”, which measured skid resistance in British Pendulum Number (BPN) units, with a lower number being an indication of reduced friction.  PRP ultimately developed two variant prototype products:  a very slippery “dark variant” matte paint with graphite mineral powder, with colors limited to black and dark gray; and a “light variant” paint with tack mineral powder, with the ability to accommodate any color tint.  The light variant was only slightly less effective but much more affordable for wide-scale use in the marketplace.

PRP had used one of Watson Coatings’ acrylic-based binder for its testing and development; due to unique properties and performance characteristics it was found that using Watson’s binder created a better paint than other commercially available binders.  In February of 2019, PRP partnered with Watson Coatings, Inc. of St. Louis, Missouri for pilot scale production and formula optimization.  The end result of this extensive project and innovative technological design is Watson Climb-Guard™, which was immediately made available for use at US embassies around the world, and to the general market in 2019.

Watson Coatings is proud to be a part of this incredible US designed and manufactured product and is continuously ramping up production to meet demand.  As the only affordable anti-climb paint coating that hardens dry to the touch but incredibly slippery, Climb-Guard™ is destined to revolutionize the anti-climb paint industry, replacing the demand for the temporary, petroleum jelly like anti-climb products that have short efficacy periods and far higher short and long-term costs.