anti-slip decking paint reviews

Anti-Slip Decking Paint Reviews (2024 Buying Guide)

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As I found during my recent decking project, anti-slip paint represents a colourful and safer alternative to varnishing or staining.

In this buying guide, I share my #1 anti-slip decking paint for 2024 after many hours of rigorously testing and reviewing the most popular options. I also share the key features to look for and what to avoid when shopping around.

Anti-Slip Decking Paint Reviews — The Top 3 in 2024

These are my favourite anti-slip decking paints, starting with my top pick from the 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
  • Quick-drying
  • 16m2 per litre coverage

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 be applied to bare or previously stained wood and 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 highlights the invisible anti-slip microbeads incorporated into their paint, which helps 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 I 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 available, you’ll likely find a shade that ties into your garden, from warm stone to green sage. 

The 13m2 per litre coverage 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 I 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 the other tested products. Indeed, some users have compared its consistency to gloss paint, with several reviews reporting dripping.

Trade Paints recommends applying this paint with a roller and brush. Therefore, it’s advisable to pour it into a square tray rather than extracting it from a circular tin, where drips are less predictable.

The main drawback to this product is its cost. It’s around 50% more expensive than its competitors, yet it offers no composition, durability or coverage benefits.

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

Best Anti-Slip Decking Paint — 2024 Comparison Table

Cuprinol UTDSUS25L (Urban Slate)2.5l16 m2/l4££8
Ronseal Ultimate Protection (Slate)5l13 m2/l10££8
Trade Paints BS18B25 (Battleship Grey) 5l13 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, halving this ratio is advisable 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 claim their products offer coverage of 13 square metres per litre, presuming a single application will be sufficient.

Reviews of my 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 dragging around patio furniture to pets running across it, horizontal decking panels 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 require a brush to reach the bottom of each channel. We recently reviewed the best rollers on the UK market if you’re going down the roller road.

Colour Options

All three of my 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 wide range of colours is important to you, 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.

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 Cuprinol’s anti-algae formulation and superior coverage earn top billing in my tests. Just be sure you’re happy with grey decking before taking the plunge since it lacks the colour choices of its competitor brands.