Non Slip Paint for Timber

Non slip paint for timber reduces slips and falls on wooden surfaces

Wooden surfaces are extremely slippery when wet; slipping on wet wood like stairs, bridges, or floors is one of the most common reasons for injuries in the workplace and at home. Australia is a country of wooden decking, jetties, verandas, and more, and all of these surfaces are made safer with the right coating. Fortunately, the slipperiness of wood can be reduced by applying a non slip paint for timber (also known as nonslip paint or anti slip paint). This coating increases slip resistance by providing the surface with rougher texture.

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In this article we take a look at the different types of non slip paint for timber, the Australian regulations regarding required slip resistance and provide you with a brief overview of anti slip wood coatings available in Australia.

Buy timber coating with slip resistance to make your deck slip-proof

Sikkens Cetol Deck Slip Resistant – for slip resistant timber

  • Basis: oil based
  • Suitable for: exterior decking and walkways
  • Coverage: 9m² per litre, depending upon porosity
  • Water reducible, solvent free
  • Slip resistant, UV resistant

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non slip paint for timber

The 3 types of  non slip paint for timber

Non slip paint is needed there where the surfaces may get dangerously slippery. The slip resistance can be increased with three types of coatings: a premixed ready-to-use non slip paint for timber, a nanotechnology-based coating for wood and any coating mixed with non slip additives.

1. Premixed non slip paint for timber

The easiest to apply in all Australia: premixed products literally only require spreading with a roller or brush; at least in most cases. This type of non slip paint for timber exists as one and two component systems (2K is considered more durable). They come in water and oil based variations and are either epoxies or polyurethanes depending on the application.

Premixed non slip paint for timber is applicable to every kind of wood, as long as the product is carefully chosen. It can be applied on interior and exterior floors, as non slip paint for stairs, decking paint, and in both residential and commercial environments.

non slip paint for timber transparent coating

A nano based non slip paint for timber is always a transparent solution.

2. Nano empowered non slip wood paint

Nano non slip paint for timber is one of the newer inventions, but it certainly works. Such a coating provides the wooden surface with a transparent layer which contains tiny  glass-like pearls that increase slip resistance. The beauty of these coatings is that the wetter the surface, the more slip resistant they become.

Nanocoatings are suitable for all wood types and they can be applied to low traffic areas for they lack abrasion resistance.

3. Any coating + non slip additives

The most versatile non slip paint for timber is the one you can mix yourself. There are different types of non slip additives depending on the required slip resistance. The coating to mix them with is up to you: just make sure the coating you choose is suitable for the substrate and its environment.

As any coating can be combined with the additive, the mixture can be applied on any substrate – though larger aggregate is less effective as a non slip coating for timber stairs.

Which one do you need? – Australian slip resistance legislation

The Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) includes design regulations for increasing safety. Applying non slip paint for timber and other substrates is included into the regulations. There are three main aspects of the legislation:

  • Commercial buildings are obliged to provide non slip surfaces in areas of emergency access and egress.
  • In general, pedestrian ramps, stair treads and landings are to be made anti slip
  • Disability access: all parts of buildings that must be accessible comply to Design for access and mobility Part 1 general requirements for access- Buildings. This means that all these travel ways should have slip resistant surface.

Clear non slip paint for wood to preserve its natural beauty

Wood is a popular flooring and decking material due to its appealing, natural appearance. Most non slip coatings for timber are opaque or include visible roughening particles, which changes the natural appearance of timber. Nobody wants a non slip decking that feels rough underfoot. Therefore, there are also special clear coats, oils and waxes for timber with anti slip function.

To retain the natural appearance of the wooden surface, it is better to choose a non slip oil or wax. Below you can find examples of both types of non slip coating for wood, available in Australia.

BrandNon slip Paint for timberPrice (AUD)Benefits
OsmoAnti slip decking oil: clear, oil based coating for exterior timber170.00 AUD /2.5 LitreIncreases durability; protects against mould, algae and fungal attacks; reduces risk of slipping; surface becomes water-, weathering and UV resistant
Whittle WaxesSolvent free anti slip micro structure solution for wood and mineral surfacesOn requestAnti slip properties; non toxic; algae, moss and dampness resistant

Applying non slip paint for timber

When an anti slip system is applied on new, untreated timber, the surface must be appropriately prepared. Before applying non slip paint for timber, it is crucial to fill small cracks, voids and joints on the surface with a crack filler. When the surface is free from cracks and other inequalities, it is time to apply a primer if the non slip paint requires it. The surface is ready for the slip resistant coating when the primer is dry.

However, if the anti slip application takes place on an already painted timber surface, first remove all the loose material and sand the glossy areas to make sure that the (optional) primer and anti slip coating adhere properly.

The following steps help with application of two component non slip paint for timber.

  1. First, prepare the surface appropriately: apply crack filler on untreated timber; remove loose material and sand glossy areas when applying on treated wood.
  2. Make sure the surface is completely dry and free from dust.
  3. Mix the two components (particle aggregate and resins) together and stir well.
  4. Apply the anti slip mixture onto the edges of the area with a mini roller (or paint brush).
  5. Use a bigger roller for coating the rest of the area.
  6. Apply another layer of anti slip solution if need be. Do not apply before the first layer is completely dry.

Where to find non slip paint for timber in Australia

Whether you are a building manager, employer, or homeowner, a non slip paint for timber can protect you and others from the dangers of a slippery wooden surface. In Australia there are many well-known brands and companies who provide anti slip paint for wood or timber surfaces, including Seton, Tredgrip, and Osmo.

If you would like more information about anti slip paint for wood, or have a nonslip paint project, get in touch! Our experts are here to help. Simply use the button below this article to take advantage of our 100% free quote service and let us, in collaboration with our coating partners, connect you with the coating solution for your needs.

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Looking to buy paint for the best online price anywhere in Australia?

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6 replies
  1. Gamal Beshara
    Gamal Beshara says:

    Hi, i am using Osmo product as non slip paint for timber stairs,Whate is slip resistance rating?

    • Ayold
      Ayold says:

      Dear Gamal,

      It is recommended that slip resistance ratings for internal stairs are R10 or R11 (the Australian Standard is R10 in these circumstances), and this is a good guide for exterior surfaces too. Osmo wood coating oils come in anti slip varieties which will provide you with these ratings. Without further information it is hard to be more specific, but we recommend you always read the manufacturer’s instructions and guide before applying any kind of coating. Good luck with your project!

      Best regards,

      Rhiannon –

  2. Jeff Buchan
    Jeff Buchan says:

    We have a newly built treated pine ramp for wheelchair and walking frame access. Which non slip finish would you recommend? Cheers Jeff

    • Ayold
      Ayold says:

      Dear Jeff,

      First off, some more general advice: You need to make sure that your non slip finish is traversable by both wheelchairs and on foot with a walking frame. The non slip aggregate in the coating will need to be resistant enough for wheels but also not so rough that it is uncomfortable to walk on. It is possible to get non slip coatings in transparent and opaque finishes for both interior and exterior surfaces.
      Secondly, and importantly: The standards relating to slip resistance for ramps specify a rating based on the steepness of the ramp. These ratings range from R10-R12 and vary in wet or dry conditions. We recommend you consult with a local professional who can give advice based on a more accurate understanding of the ramp and standards in question.
      Good luck with your project.

      Rhiannon –

  3. John Barton
    John Barton says:

    I have an internal wooden staircase; fully varnished and maintained for 13 years. As it is a prime feature in our home I don’t want it to look ‘commercial’ with anti slip. What suggestions can you offer me?
    John B

    • Ayold
      Ayold says:

      Dear John,

      Thank you for your enquiry. Luckily for you and your staircase, there are a number of anti slip wood varnish options that will increase the slip resistance of your stairs without compromising on appearance. Products like Duragrip PLUS are clear coatings that provide anti slip properties without damaging the look and feel of the timber. We recommend hiring professionals to apply these coatings. Good luck with your project!
      Best regards,

      Jasmin –


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