Anti slip paint for metal

anti slip paint for metal

Anti slip paint for metal increases safety

Approximately 1 in 3 people aged 65-85 will fall at least once a year, and there are over a million non-fatal accidents each year, and thousands die as the result of a fall. Using anti slip coatings on surfaces can do more than just prevent accidents, it can save lives. Anti slip paint for metal is especially important as metal is a slippery surface when wet or icy, particularly for stairs.

Slip, trip and fall injuries cost the UK about 1 billion pounds per year.

You can make your floors, ramps, and stairs non slip by applying an anti slip paint for metal. This increases safety and reduces the number and risk of injuries caused by falling. These coatings are especially useful in working places, schools and public areas.

Types of anti slip paint for metal

Anti slip paint increases safety

Falls and trips cause over a million accidents a year, which is why we need anti slip paint

For every metal type, there is a suitable anti slip solution. There are a few methods for non slip paint application:

  • The most common anti slip paint for metal is a two component system where rubber beads or granular components are mixed with the resin prior to application.
  • You can also first apply a coating and afterwards add the roughening components.
  • Easier than the two component systems are the one pot systems, however they often require a primer.

Most of the anti slip metal paints are water-based systems with low VOC content, although there are also solvent-based anti slip coatings.

Flexible anti slip paint for metal

Hard anti slip coatings are often suitable for metal stairs, but some surfaces require a more flexible system. These systems are applicable when the surface is subject to constant movement or vibration. Such surfaces include:

  • Bridges
  • Floors around heavy machinery
  • Metal ramps and steps

Flexible anti slip paint for metal often has abrasion and chemical resistance, the ability to withstand heavy mechanical loads and impacts. Most importantly it bends or vibrates with the surface without cracking or flaking, while also retaining all its strength.

Anti slip paint for metal on stairs, ramps and more

A decorative application of anti slip paint for metal

A decorative application of anti slip paint for metal

Metal is a common building material of stairs for example in garages and factories. You might also have climbed  portable metal stairs when boarding to an airplane. Metal stairs and steps are often outside, exposed to rain and ice which makes the steps extremely slippery if they are not treated with an anti slip systems.In addition to its non slip properties, anti slip paint for metal also:

  • Prevents dirt from adhering to the surface making it easy to clean
  • Is chemical and abrasion resistant
  • Can withstand high mechanical loads and impacts
  • Is waterproof
  • Can be tinted for a decorative finish, or in some cases can be painted over

Anti slip paint for metal has a rather long drying time compared to other anti slip systems. For best results the surface needs to be completely dry; at a stable temperature of 20 degrees, the drying process takes approximately seven days.

Non slip ramps

Giving a ramp anti slip surface can save employees from many accidents for example in workshops and factories. For non slip ramps, a coating is usually the best option. Additionally the coating should be flexible and allow the movement of the ramp without damaging.

How to make anti slip stairs?

For stairs, it is an option to choose for pre-made anti slip material which is easy to glue or screw to stair steps or metal ramps in a matter of minutes. It is an easy solution for making non slip stairs. Applying anti slip grit coating leads to similar result, only the total application time is longer. However, on stairs the simple solutions are often more cost efficient, for the coating and strips tend to wear and tear with time due to the constant pressure on the steps. The coatings are the most expensive to remove and re-apply.

Metal stairs however, also benefit from coatings, especially regarding their appearance. The coatings also cover the stairs completely offering better protection from slipping.  Metal stairs can be coated with the same systems as any metal surfaces. As additional anti slip function metal stairs also often have rough texture on them. The anti slip effect can be increased with an anti slip paint for metal.

There are different non slip paint solutions for making anti slip stairs including one and two component paint systems and as well as epoxy strips.

BrandCoating typePriceIntended use
Watco Stepmarker Anti slip coating for lines and stair edges 1L £52.68Marking paint with anti slip function for metal, wood and concrete stair edges in exteriors and well ventilated interiors.
ProtectakoteAnti slip PU coating 4L £68.95 A PU anti slip system for metal surfaces such as stairs, steps, ramps and bridges.

DIY non slip stairs (metal stairs)

floor coating mixed with equipment

Applying a one pot anti slip coating for metal stairs may take up to 24 hours including necessary drying times.  Before application, make sure that you have the right equipment and protection (such as gloves and coveralls). The ideal application conditions are 20-25° C and 50% relative humidity.

  1. Prepare the surface prior to application by grit blasting or abrading it
  2. Apply a metal primer
  3. When the primer is dry, mark the area, you wish to paint, using painter’s tape
  4. Open the paint can and mix it well (preferable with a mixing blade) for 3-5 minutes
  5. pour the coating onto the surface (the structure is often thick)
  6. You can spread the coating using different tools. The choice of tool affect the coverage and texture of the layer.
  7.  Let the coating dry according to the product specific instructions.

The possible application tools for reaching the ideal structure of the coating include:

  • Smooth roller: maximum texture
  • Regular roller: moderate texture
  • Wide putty knife: fine texture

Alternatives to anti slip paint for metal

Metal surfaces such as stairs, steps and metal ramps can also receive a rougher structure by solutions other than coatings. Sometimes the need for anti slip surface is temporary or the budget is small. In that case, anti slip mats, strips and tapes may be considerable options. They can be easily installed and removed when needed. Furthermore, they are often less costly than anti slip coating for metal. Here are some price examples for anti slip mats and tapes.

BrandProduct typePriceIntended use
ApetapeSelf adhesive black anti slip tape 50mmx18m£7.30Suitable for stairs (wooden, metal concrete etc.), work areas, machinery, bathrooms etc.
Rubber Matting CompanyNon slip rubber for decking£15.00Non slip mat for decking for both dry and wet areas, all materials
Rubber Matting companyChecker plate non slip rubber flooring. 10mx1.2mx4mm £165.00 black
£295.00 grey
A rubber flooring for heavy duty areas.

Also non slip plates for floors and stairs are applicable. For example non slip plate company SlipNOT manufactures and distributes non slip metal plates for several purposes. The plates can be installed on metal surfaces but they are also suitable for other substrates such as concrete and wood. They provide the surface with a metallic look and feel, not forgetting the anti slip effect!

Nevertheless, anti slip coatings and paints are a better option when a large area must be made “anti-slip”. The coatings also have better chemical resistance and ability to withstand heavy mechanical loads.


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