Don’t Risk Life and Limb! Use Non Slip Paint on Stairs

Slipping, tripping, and falling on stairs can happen in an instant, but the consequences can last a lifetime. Over 1 million people visit emergency rooms annually for stair-related injuries, with hundreds of thousands needing hospitalization. From sprains and fractures to traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries, stair accidents take a massive physical, emotional, and financial toll.

Older adults are at highest risk, but young children and people with mobility challenges also suffer frequent stair injuries. The costs associated with treatment, recovery, and rehabilitation can easily run into the tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars per incident.

non slip paint stairs

Dangers of Slippery Stairs

What makes stairs so perilous? Hazards like worn, uneven treads, lack of handrails, poor lighting, and simple clutter can increase chances of an accident.

However, the leading cause of stair falls is slippery surfaces. Materials like wood, tile, and concrete become extremely slick when wet. Exterior stairs also accumulate moisture, snow, ice, fallen leaves, and other debris that diminishes traction.

High risk areas for slippery stairs include:

  • Outdoor steps and landings
  • Pool, patio, and basement access stairways
  • Bathroom and kitchen stairs
  • Stairwells in older homes
  • Public and commercial stairways

Those over age 65 have a much greater likelihood of falling on stairs, suffering severe fractures and head injuries. Young children are also prone to falls due to lack of hand strength and coordination. Individuals with mobility disabilities or impaired vision depend on solid traction and support when using stairs.

Tragic Consequences

Falls on stairs can cause:

  • Sprains, strains, bruises
  • Broken bones – wrists, elbows, hips, ankles
  • Head, neck, spinal cord injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries

Such injuries often require surgery, hospitalization, and extensive rehabilitation. Many victims suffer permanent loss of mobility and independence. The psychological impact of a disabling fall can also be devatating in terms of emotional health and quality of life.

Benefits of Non Slip Paint

Fortunately, there is an affordable, long-lasting solution to slippery stairs – non slip paint!

Specifically engineered to create traction, non slip paint contains coarse minerals, sand, or grit to provide an anti-slip grip. It can be rolled or brushed onto various surfaces.

Compared to slippery bare stairs, painted stairs provide:

  • Enhanced safety and stability
  • Reduced risk of falls and injuries
  • Better accessibility for seniors and disabled
  • A cost-effective and durable solution

Let’s examine these benefits in more detail:

Enhanced Safety

Non slip paint gives stairs a texture and friction that bare floors and stairs lack. This extra grip provides more confidence and stability for walking normally. Even on steps that are wet, icy, or covered with leaves, painted stairs maintain traction and reduce chances of slipping.

Research shows non slip paint can reduce stair accidents by over 50%. It’s a simple way to improve safety and allow worry-free use of stairs.

Reduced Risk of Falls

By preventing slips and loss of balance, non slip stair paint greatly reduces fall injuries. Studies across many settings – homes, businesses, transit systems – demonstrate fewer falls after applying non slip paint.

In one nursing home, non slip paint reduced stair falls by 75%. Given the high incidence of hip fractures among elderly falls, non slip paint can prevent much suffering and medical expense.

Better Accessibility

Non slip paint makes stairs easier to climb for those with disabilities, joint pain, age-related loss of balance, or poor vision. The improved grip gives confidence, stability, and independence for those who struggle with slippery stairs.

This paint can help seniors and those with physical challenges feel secure living in homes with stairs. It also improves accessibility in compliance with laws like the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Cost-Effective Solution

Compared to constantly re-applying anti-slip tape, replacing worn treads, or using abrasive coatings, non slip paint is very economical. Just one application can provide 5 or more years of improved traction and safety. With touch-up coats as needed, painted stairs provide long-term benefits without repeated costs.

SolutionInitial CostOngoing Cost
Non Slip PaintLowMinimal
Anti-Slip TapeMediumReplacement every 1-2 years
New Stair TreadsHighEventual replacement

As this comparison shows, non slip paint is the most economical solution over the long run. The initial paint job pays dividends for years with reduced risk of falls and injuries. This makes it well worth the modest upfront investment.

Types of Non Slip Paint

When selecting a non slip paint, consider the stair material, location, traffic, and your aesthetic preferences.

Common options include:

Acrylic-Based Paint

Water-based acrylic paints are ideal for indoor, residential stairs. They dry quickly, bond well, and provide good traction. Acrylic paints resist wear, scuffing, and cleaning chemicals. They come in various sheens and colors to suit any decor.

Epoxy-Based Paint

Two-part epoxy paints are extremely durable for both indoor and outdoor stairs. They bond tightly and resist damage from sun, water, snow, and heavy foot traffic. Epoxy coatings provide outstanding grip and typically last 5-7 years.

Polyaspartic Paint

Polyaspartic aliphatic paints work well for exterior concrete stairs, setting up quickly even in cool, damp conditions. They resist UV rays, chemicals, abrasion, and wear while providing strong traction.

Textured Paint

For maximum slip resistance, look for paints containing coarse mineral grit or sand particles. These create a rough texture with enhanced grip. Textured paint offers excellent traction for high risk stairs.

Paint + Grit Additives

Some paint brands allow adding anti-slip grit to a base paint. This lets you customize the texture and traction level. It also allows refreshing traction by reapplying just the grit additive after a few years.

With so many options available, you can find the perfect non slip paint for any type of stair material in any location. Consult with paint specialists to identify the best coating for your specific needs.

Choosing the Right Non Slip Paint

Selecting the optimal non slip paint for your stairs depends on several factors:

Stair Material

Consider what your stairs are made of – wood, concrete, metal, tile, fiberglass, etc. Some paint coatings adhere and perform better on specific materials. Manufacturers will indicate what surfaces their paints are formulated for.


Are your stairs indoors or outdoors? Exterior stairs need maximum durability and grit to withstand weather, sun, moisture, and debris. Interior paints focus more on appearance, ease of cleaning, and low odor and fumes.

Amount of Traffic

For high traffic stairs, longevity and wear-resistance are crucial. Commercial and public building codes may require certain traction levels based on usage. Heavily used stairs need tougher paint that maintains grip longer.


While traction is key, appearance also matters on stairs visible to visitors. Many non slip paints now offer attractive colors, sheens, and textures. They resist staining, scuffs, and dirt while providing both safety and looks.

Primer Needs

The stair material and current condition determine primer requirements. Bare wood needs sealing, while worn treads may need filler or resurfacing first. Always use the recommended primer for best adhesion and performance.

Environmental Factors

Consider exposure to sun, moisture, chemicals, extreme temperatures, and other elements. Durability is especially vital for exterior stairs. Check that paint is rated for the expected environmental conditions.

Accessibility Standards

Public, commercial, and apartment stairs must meet accessibility guidelines like the ADA. Non slip paints can help meet required traction levels for stairs used by the elderly and disabled.

Discuss your criteria with knowledgeable paint retailers. They can recommend appropriate products for your unique situation.

Proper Application for Best Results

While high quality non slip paint improves traction, proper application is also essential. Follow these tips:

Clean and Prepare Surface

Thoroughly clean stairs to remove all dirt, grease, wax, oil, and debris. Repair any damaged areas. Proper preparation ensures maximum paint adhesion.

Use Recommended Primer

Apply the specific primer made for your stair surface, allowing complete drying between coats. Priming enhances paint bonding and durability.

Apply Paint Correctly

Use a brush, roller, or sprayer to apply thin, even coats of non slip paint according to manufacturer directions. Allow proper drying time between coats.

Add Extra Grit if Needed

For extremely slick or hazardous stairs, consider adding additional anti-slip grit for extra traction. Press the grit into the final paint coat before it dries.

Etch Concrete First

For a superior bond on concrete, etch the surface with an acidic solution before priming. This opens pores in the concrete for gripping the paint.

Patient surface prep and careful application results in long-lasting traction and reduced risk of falls. Don’t cut corners with the preparation or painting steps.

Maintaining Non Slip Paint

Non slip paint lasts longer than any other stair treatment. But eventually high traffic areas may require renewal. Here are some tips for keeping painted stairs in top condition:

  • Follow reapplication timeframe estimates from the manufacturer based on usage.
  • Periodically test traction and recoating if any slipping occurs.
  • Lightly sand and reapply paint on treads showing heaviest wear.
  • Repair any damage like chips, cracks, or peeling promptly.
  • Sweep and mop painted stairs regularly to prevent buildup.

With occasional minor touch-ups, non slip paint provides many years of reliable traction. Check stairs annually for any need of renewal to maintain safety.

Choosing Quality Non Slip Paint Brands

For the best results, choose top-rated brands engineered for maximum traction and durability. Here are some quality options to consider:

Wooster Anti-Slip Paint

This textured acrylic paint contains traction grit to reduce slips. It bonds well, resists wear, and cleans easily. The low-sheen finish is ideal for indoor stairs.

Rust-Oleum Safety Step

This durable epoxy acrylic paint provides excellent traction for up to 5 years, inside or out. It soaks into porous concrete for a tight grip and is safe for asphalt.

INSL-X Sure Step

Formulated with embedded grit, this acrylic paint adheres well to concrete, wood, and metal. It dries quickly and creates a textured, skid-resistant surface.

Research top brands’ quality, durability, and slip-resistance. Consult paint experts for recommendations specific to your stairs.


What surfaces can you use non slip paint on?

Non slip paints are formulated for most stair surfaces including concrete, wood, metal, tile, fiberglass, laminate, and asphalt. Always check that the paint is rated for your specific material.

How long does non slip paint last?

With proper surface prep and application, quality non slip paints provide excellent traction for 3-5 years or longer on stairs. Outdoor or very high traffic stairs may require renewal after 1-2 years.

Does non slip paint come in different colors?

Yes, many non slip paint options are available in popular neutrals like gray, tan, and beige. Some brands offer custom colors as well. Ask your paint retailer about color options.

Can you use non slip paint on outdoor stairs?

Non slip paint formulated for exterior use provides durable traction on outdoor concrete, brick, wood, or metal steps. Be sure to select an outdoor-rated product that can withstand sun, rain, snow, and temperature extremes.

Is non slip paint hard to apply?

Non slip paints apply much like regular paint using rollers, brushes, or spray equipment. Properly preparing the surface takes the most time and care. Always follow manufacturer’s application instructions.

Slippery stairs put everyone at risk for painful, debilitating falls. Thankfully, non slip paint provides an affordable, long-lasting solution to enhance traction and safety.

Improving grip, stability, and accessibility, non slip stair paint is a wise investment. Take proactive measures to reduce stair accidents in your home or business. Don’t learn the hard way how dangerous slippery stairs can be!

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