anti slip decking paint reviews

Anti Slip Decking Paint Reviews – 2023 Edition (UK Buying Guide)

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Decking quickly becomes dull and worn when left untreated, and anti slip paint represents a colourful alternative to varnishing or staining. While the latter simply adds a clear coat of protection, pastel colours can dramatically enhance the appearance of your decking.

Moreover, anti slip properties are vital because painted and varnished/stained surfaces can be treacherous underfoot, especially in poor conditions.

While there’s no perfect product on the market, we highly recommend Cuprinol’s anti slip decking paint. During our extensive anti slip decking paint reviews, Cuprinol’s paint consistently scored top marks in all areas. The only downside is its limited colour choice.

And we’re not the only ones recommending this paint! Users praise Cuprinol’s Anti Slip Decking paint for its quality and durability.

Anti Slip Decking Paint Reviews – The UK’s Top 3 in 2023

These are our picks as the best anti-slip decking paints currently on sale in the UK, starting with a product from one of the time-served masters of garden maintenance…

Our Top Pick
1. Cuprinol Anti Slip Decking Stain

1. Cuprinol Anti Slip Decking Stain

  • Long lasting weather protection
  • Anti-slip finish

Cuprinol does the best job of balancing disparate and often competing attributes. This product offers the best coverage at 16 square metres per litre  – or eight square metres with a second coat. 

We especially liked Cuprinol’s honesty in recommending that a second coat must be applied to bare or previously stained wood, as well as admitting that roughly sawn timber or grooved decking will reduce coverage. Competitors are less forthcoming, yet two coats appear to be the industry standard for a hard-wearing, weather-resistant finish.

Cuprinol is keen to highlight the invisible anti-slip microbeads incorporated into their paint, which helps to reduce slippage. 

This product also contains an algicide to prevent green algae or mould growth – the mortal enemy of decking.

However, there are drawbacks to this product. It’s not the cheapest, and the colour range is severely limited (you can have it in any colour you want as long as it’s grey or natural oak). It also has safety warnings relating to sensitising substances and the allergic properties of benzisothiazolone.

The best coverage we testedIt comes with allergy warnings
Dries in a couple of hoursLimited colour choice
Uses algicide to prevent mould growth 

Runner Up
2. Ronseal Ultimate Decking Stain

2. Ronseal Ultimate Decking Stain

  • Protects against scuffs, scratches, foot traffic and winter weather
  • Showcases the woodgrain
  • Slip-resistant
  • Available in 13 different colours

As one of the most recognisable outdoor timber treatment brands, Ronseal’s place on this list is hardly surprising. 

With thirteen colours on offer, you’re likely to find a shade that ties into your garden, from warm stone to green sage. 

Coverage of 13 square metres per litre is respectable, though hardly market-leading. This coverage makes Ronseal marginally cheaper than an equivalent quantity of Cuprinol paint and significantly more affordable than Trade Paints’ offering.

Ronseal claims their product lasts twice as long as a standard decking stain, which suggests it offers durability. It doesn’t receive high praise from people who’ve given it long-term testing on their decking, but there are fewer concerns about peeling and flaking than its competitors.

Good colour choiceNot the best coverage
The cheapest paint we testedNo primary colour shades
Highly regarded 

Also Great
3. Trade Paints Garden Timber Decking

3. Trade Paints Garden Timber Decking

  • Micro-aggregates give increased grip
  • Provides a slip-resistant surface in wet conditions

This British brand has been around for a quarter of a century, manufacturing a variety of vehicle cleaners and primers, but it’s best known for its paint range. From reflective road markings to telephone box paints, their range also includes 14 colours of anti-slip decking paint.

Coverage of 13 square metres per litre is identical to Ronseal but down on Cuprinol, while a drying time of two to four hours is also industry standard. 

There’s no talk of algae resistance or microbeads here, though there is in-built UV protection, and the satin finish is slightly glossier than our other tested products. Indeed, some users have compared its consistency to gloss paint, with several reviews reporting dripping.

Trade Paints recommend application by a roller and brush, so pouring this into a square tray may be advisable rather than extracting it from a circular tin where drips would be less predictable.

The main drawback to this product is its cost. It’s around 50% more expensive than its competitors, yet it doesn’t appear to offer any benefits in composition, durability or coverage.

The best range of coloursFar more expensive
Dries within a couple of hoursQuestion marks over durability
UV protection built-in 

Anti Slip Decking Paint Reviews – Comparison Table

Cuprinol UTDSUS25L Urban Slate2.5l16 m2/l4££8
Ronseal Ultimate Decking Slate5l13 m2/l10££8
Trade Paints Battleship Grey BS18B255l13 m2/l14£££7

Anti Slip Decking Paint Buying Guide

Like all paints, decking paint is marketed with its coverage in square metres per litre. However, it’s advisable to halve this ratio since decking usually needs two coats of paint to avoid peeling in poor weather. This issue is something Cuprinol explicitly acknowledges, marketing their anti-slip decking paint as covering up to eight square metres per litre with two coats of application. 

Ronseal and Garden Timber simply claim their products offer coverage of 13 square metres per litre, presuming a single application will be sufficient.

Reviews of all three of our shortlisted products indicate a degree of subsequent peeling. However, it may be the case that the reviewers had only applied one layer. 

As with internal redecoration, two coats provide greater resilience against the inevitable wear and tear experienced by decking. From patio furniture being dragged around to pets running across it, horizontal decking panels tend to lead a tough life. 

Pro Tip: You can often save time using a roller to cover decking rather than a brush. This YouTube tutorial guides you through the roller approach from three minutes into the video. However, deeper ridges may necessitate a brush to reach the bottom of each channel and the corners therein. We recently reviewed the best rollers on the UK market if you’re going down the roller road.

Colour Options

All three of our chosen products come in various colours — a huge advantage of choosing anti-slip decking paint over varnish or wood stain. 

Cuprinol keeps the choice simple with the following five neutral colours: 

  1. Natural Oak
  2. Urban Slate
  3. Black Ash 
  4. City Stone
  5. Silver Birch 

Ronseal’s range includes the following thirteen colours: 

  1. Cedar 
  2. Charcoal 
  3. Country Oak 
  4. Dark Oak 
  5. Medium Oak
  6. Mahogany 
  7. Teak 
  8. Slate 
  9. Stone Grey 
  10. Walnut
  11. Willow 
  12. Sage
  13. Blackcurrant

If a choice of colours is vital, then Trade Paints slightly edges out Ronseal with the following fourteen shades, including three shades of green.

  1. Anthracite Grey
  2. British Racing Green
  3. Lizard Grey
  4. Mid Blue
  5. Mid Green
  6. Moorland
  7. Royal Blue
  8. Sky Blue
  9. White
  10. Battleship Grey
  11. Black
  12. Coffee 
  13. Oxford Blue
  14. Plant Green

It might seem counterintuitive to paint decking green given its propensity to develop mould, but green garden timber has become hugely popular in recent years. It blends in alongside lawns and trees, reducing the visual impact of fencing or decking.

Pro Tip: If you’re struggling for inspiration in terms of colour, this in-depth YouTube guide gives you an overview of how different shades combine with (or contrast against) other garden elements.

Anti Slip Decking Paint Reviews – Final Thoughts

With little to split these three products, Trade Paints ultimately loses based on its price tag. It costs 50% more than its competitors, without offering anything different or significantly better. It has the widest choice of colours, but that alone doesn’t justify its premium.

Splitting Ronseal and Cuprinol is more complicated. Both companies are synonymous with patios and decking, but we reckon Cuprinol’s anti-algae formulation and superior coverage earn it top billing in our test. Just be sure you’re happy with grey decking before taking the plunge since it lacks the colour choices of its competitor brands. 

Since any decking finish is only as good as its application, our in-depth test of the nine best paint brushes on sale in the UK could be a perfect companion to your chosen anti-slip decking paint.