How to Make Outdoor Stairs Non-Slip

Painted steps can be slippery in the rain. Avoid spills by adding some slip-resistant stripes to any set of outdoor steps using leftover paint and sand. This trick is often used in theaters to prevent the crew from falling on stairs, but is a cost effective and elegant solution for the steps of your porch or patio.

The resulting stripes from this project should be very subtle, but still effective by creating a rough surface that will help prevent falls. While this tutorial recommends two stripes that are about 1 1/2 inches wide, the actual design, size, and width of the slip-resistant stripes are completely up to you.

Clean the Existing Steps

Remove any dust, sand, or grim from the steps. Sand away any imperfections in the existing paint, and fix any problems with the steps before beginning.

Paint the Treads of the Stairs

Cover the treads of the stairs with two fresh coats of outdoor paint. Be sure to allow for drying time between coats. Allow 24 hours to elapse so the paint will dry thoroughly before proceeding. If possible, avoid walking on the steps during this time.

Tape off the Stairs

Using painter’s tape, create three long strips that run the length of each stair tread. This will allow you to create two slip-resistant stripes on your steps to prevent falls.

Mix Paint and Sand

Combine 1 cup of sand with one-third cup of fine craft sand. Stir thoroughly.

Apply the Outdoor Paint Mixture to the Steps

Paint the stripes onto the steps, using the painter’s tape to create neat lines. Wait until the paint dries, then apply a second coat. Stir the paint mixture frequently while applying to avoid allowing all of the sand to settle to the bottom of the mixture.

Remove the Painter’s Tape

Pull the painter’s tape off of the steps. Work quickly to remove the tape before the paint mixture is completely dry. This will help you avoid chipping along the edges of the tape.

Let the Stairs Dry

Make sure the newly painted slip-resistant stripes on your stairs are completely dry before using them.


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