Slippery floors are an injury hazard. But they are easy to fix. Something as simple as adding sand to paint can work.

Yes, you can add sand to paint to make it anti-slip. Adding sand creates bumps that then increase the floor surface’s traction. Consequently, the more sand you add to the paint, the more anti-slip the floor will become.

Here is what you should know about adding sand to paint and the different ways you can make your floors less slippery.

Can I add sand to floor paint to make it anti slip

Here are the steps that you should follow if you want to make an anti-slip floor.

Step 1: Prepare your floor

Start off by cleaning the area. In most cases, cleaning the surface with soap and water is usually enough to get the job done.

However, if there is existing paint, then you should start by removing any flaking, cracked, or peeling paint with a stiff brush or a scraper. Sanding should follow. And thereafter, the surface should be rinsed.

Step 1 Prepare your floor

Step 2: Prepare the mix

Mix paint and sand in a 4:1 ratio in a large container. Stir the mix until it gains a uniform consistency.

Step 2 Prepare the mix

Step 3: Apply the primer

Apply a normal floor primer. And then let it dry. The primer will increase the bond that subsequent paint coats make with the floor.

Step 3 Apply the primer

Step 4: Apply the first coat

Stir the mix again to make sure that the sand hasn’t settled at the bottom. And then, using a brush, apply the mix onto the surface.

After you are done, give this coat enough time to dry. 24 hours is usually enough for most paints.

Apply the first coat

Step 5: Apply a second coat

After the first coat, which is made up of a mix of sand and paint, dries up, it is time to apply a second coat.

This coat will be free of sand. It is meant to make sand spots less obvious.

Essentially, it is a beautifying coat, designed to make the paintwork more aesthetically pleasing.

After you are done, give the floor enough time to dry. And you will now have a slip-resistant floor.

Step 5 Apply a second coat

How can you make your paint more slip-resistant?

You can create anti-slip floor paint by mixing it with anti-slip additives or sand.

 

Mixing paint with sand

A mixture of sand and paint creates a slip-resistant coating that increases the traction of the floor on which it is applied. The sand creates bumps. These bumps increase friction. And this results in a less slippery surface.

 

Mixing paint with anti-slip additives

There are anti-slip additives that are specifically formulated to increase the traction on painted surfaces.

Unlike sand, these additives come in a range of sizes. This makes it easier to pinpoint the right amount of traction that you want for your floors.

They also tend to be impurity-free and come with a set of specific instructions. Both of these things usually remove the trial-and-error element from the process of reducing the slipperiness of your floors.

What type of sand do you put in paint?

Pure coarse sand that is free of any impurities, is the type of sand that you should put in paint. You can also use play sand as it typically doesn’t have any impurities.

However, you should avoid using sand from the yard or the beach because this sand is impure. And so any impurities that the sand contains can compromise the stick-ability of your paint. This could then lead to peeling and chalking.

Things you should consider when mixing sand with paint

When mixing sand with paint, there are a few things that you should keep in mind.

The size of the sand particles

Large sand particles create better surface traction. However, they also make the surface rougher and uncomfortable to walk on with bare feet.

On the other hand, while finer particles create less traction, they are more comfortable walking barefoot.

Therefore, you should choose the sand particle size, and hence sand texture, appropriately depending on the location of the surface and whether or not you will be walking on it barefoot.

For example, if you are planning on using the paint on an outdoor concrete walkway, you can get away with using coarser sand particles as you are unlikely to walk on such a surface barefoot. But if you are planning on using it indoors, then finer particles will be more appropriate.

The ratio of paint and sand in the mix

Adding more silica sand in a gallon of floor paint will translate to a paint mix that will create a rougher surface. However, beyond a given point, the sand will start compromising the ability of paint to adhere to the floor.

Impurities

If the sand that you are using has impurities, it will interfere with the ability of paint to bond with your floor. This will lead to premature peeling and an uneven finish.

To keep sand from interfering with the paint’s integrity, you should ensure that you only spray sand texture that is free of impurities. It is for this reason that one is always advised to avoid using yard sand or beach sand.

How do you make a floor slip-resistant?

Making your floors slip-resistant is an effective way of reducing accidents around the home. While you can always hire a painter to do it for you, it is something that you can pull off on your own. All you need is a few simple techniques.

The following are techniques that you can use to make your home safer.

Brooming concrete

An easy way of making concrete floors safer is by increasing their texture. With brooming, you create marks on concrete that is either soft or partially dry. This is done by using specialized concrete brooms

The marks that you create as a result usually increase traction by interrupting the smoothness of the concrete floor. And by doing so, makes it less slippery and hence safer.

Use non-slip tape

Taping your floor with non-slip tape is another easy way of making a floor less slippery.

These tapes have an abrasive surface. When taped to the floor, this surface provides the traction necessary to reduce the slipperiness of the floor.

Taping is a quick fix that works instantly. It will also provide you with the freedom to choose the exact level of coarseness that will be perfect for your needs.

Mixing paint with sand

A cost-effective way of turning slippery floors into non-slip surfaces is to paint them with a mixture of silica sand and paint.

The sand will provide a coarser surface that will generate enough traction to reduce the odds of slipping. And the paint will provide enough adhesion to make the mix stick onto the floor.

When using this technique, it is always important to remember to use pure sand. Any impurities in the sand will interfere with the ability of the paint to bond with your floor, and this will cause problems.

You should also keep in mind that while more sand usually means better traction, too much sand will reduce the effectiveness of the mix.

Adding grit

Go to your local home improvement store and purchase a grit additive like aluminum oxide grit. You will have the option of choosing fine grit or coarse grit additives — make your choice depending on how much traction you want to create on the floor surface.

Start by pouring your paint of choice into a container that is large enough to hold more than a gallon of paint and the additive. Add then simply mix grit additive into the container according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Keep in mind that the more paint and traction grit additives that you use, the rougher the surface will feel.

Stir it constantly, until you get a consistent mix. Get the slippery concrete primed and then paint it with the mixture as you would normally. Thereafter, apply a final top coat, and you will have a reliable anti-slip surface.

If you don’t want to add grit on your own, you also have the option of using textured paint. Simply purchase textured paint from a local store and then apply it as you would any other concrete paint.

Etching

Acid etching is an effective way of improving traction on concrete floors.

With this method, you dilute muriatic acid with water in a 1:4 ratio. You then pour it onto the surface and then give the acid time to react with the surface. Thereafter, when you rinse off the acid, you will end up with a less slippery concrete surface.

Using anti-slip rugs

To make your floors less slippery doesn’t have to always involve renovating your floor. You can easily get rid of the problem by covering your floor with non-slip rugs. These rugs will provide enough traction to prevent accidental slips. Therefore, they will make your floors safer.

Use safety mats

Safety mats are perfect for making bathtubs and shower floors less slippery.

When they are placed on a smooth, flat, and clean surface, their suction cups hold them in place. As a result, they don’t slide as easily, something that allows them to provide loved ones with enough traction to avoid accidental slips.

Installing non-slip tiles

If your budget allows it, you can opt to make your home’s floors safer for your loved ones by covering them with non-slip floor tiles. While this is an expensive option, it offers a more permanent solution when compared to using tape or painting.

Using anti-slip solutions

There are anti-slip products in the market that can be applied directly onto the floor. After cleaning your floor, you simply apply the product and then give it enough time to dry. And once it does, it makes the floor less slippery.

Can you sprinkle sand on wet paint?

Yes, you can sprinkle sand on wet paint. To do so effectively, start by preparing the surface for painting by cleaning it and priming it. Apply the first coat of paint, give it enough time to dry. And only then should you apply a final top coat of paint.

Doing so will give the surface a textured feel. It will make the surface less slippery, and consequently, safer for you and your loved ones.

What can you add to paint to add texture?

The following are the things that you can add to paint to make it textured.

  • Powdered joint compound
  • Paint additives
  • Fine silica sand
  • Crushed minerals
  • Coffee grounds — sugar-free
  • Drywall mud

Can you add sand to a primer?

No, you shouldn’t add it to a primer.

The primer is meant to make it easier for the paint to stick onto the surface. Any sand you add to it will diminish its ability to do so. And so you should instead add sand to the paint.

FAQ's

Yes, you can add sand to paint for texture.

In fact, it is a technique that has been used over the years especially as a way to texture ceilings. And it is definitely preferable over using paint that is already textured mainly because of cost considerations.

You add it to the paint and not the primer.

For the best results, you should sandwich the sand, mixed with paint, between two coats of paint. This way, you will end up with an aesthetically pleasing finish that is long-lasting, and which has the textured feel that you are looking for.

Yes, you can mix sand with acrylic paint. Therefore, creating such a mix, of sand and acrylic gel or paint, is a great way of making a slippery floor less slippery.

Yes, you can put sand in garage paint. Mixing sand and floor paint creates a special coating that will increase the traction of the garage floor. It will make it less slippery. This will reduce the odds of accidental slipping. And it will essentially make your garage safer.

The most popular options for making painted concrete less slippery include the following.

  • Acid etching
  • Adopting the use of slip-resistant mats
  • Applying special tape that creates a slip-resistant surface
  • Adding sand to an additional paint coating
  • Diamond grinding the concrete surface.
Ben McInerney
Author: Ben McInerney - is a qualified arborist with 15 plus years of industry experience in Arboriculture. He ran a successful tree service before turning to writing and publishing. Ben is dedicated to providing users with the most accurate up-to-date information on everything trees.