How to Make Wood Steps Safer

Updated: Jun. 30, 2017

Make exterior stairs safer

FH11SEP_SLIPRO_01-2Family Handyman
Various types of grit added to paint will make wood steps slip-resistant. Use special plastic grit and you'll never see it, even as the paint wears away.

You might also like: TBD

Adding grit to paint

Sprinkle the grit on wet paint

Apply a fresh coat of paint to the steps. Then immediately sprinkle a generous coating of rubber grit to the surface. Allow it to dry. Then add a second coat to seal the grit.

Before winter hits, apply a coat of paint and traction grit on slippery wood steps. Sand and aluminum oxide grit are cheap, but both require constant stirring. And they show up as dark specks as soon as the paint starts to wear. Instead, try polymeric plastic grit (such as Seal-Krete Clear Grip), available at home centers and Polymeric grit stays suspended in the paint as you apply it, and because it’s clear plastic, it won’t show up as dark specks as the paint wears.

If you want grit that’s easier on bare feet, add rubber grit to the paint (such as Soft Sand Traction Grit; available from Use the broadcast method shown to apply it.

Required Tools for this Project

Grit additive for paint