How to Fix Slippery Stairs

Danny Lipford on slippery wood steps.

To improve traction and reduce the chance of slips and falls on outdoor wood steps, start by cleaning the steps thoroughly with a deck cleaner or brightener to remove any dirt, mold, or mildew.

Once the steps are clean and dry, you might want to consider installing peel-and-stick abrasive strips on the front edge of each tread.

Another option is to apply an anti-slip spray coating, such as Rust-Oleum EpoxyShield Anti-Slip spray (model# 268652), to the steps.

Watch this video to find out more.

Further Information

Danny Lipford: Melissa says, “Our wood steps get very slippery. What can I do to keep them safe for my family?”

Anytime you have wood outside—whether it’s a set of steps like this, or a wood deck, or a walkway—sooner or later it’s going to get dirty and that means it’s going to get slick and dangerous.

So the first step in preventing any slip and fall is to clean it thoroughly with a deck cleaner or a deck brightener. That’ll open up the pores of the wood and naturally will make it have a little more traction and keep it from being so slippery.

But you can also add some of these peel and stick abrasive strips that go right along the front of the steps. That’ll help quite a bit. Or you can use some of the larger sizes that are available, too, some even with a little fluorescent strip.

But I’m also seeing a lot of manufacturers creating an anti-slip, slip-resistant coating that’s perfectly clear. And after everything’s nice and clean, you spray this over the treads. And that’s a very inexpensive way to make your stairs a lot safer.


  1. We have steps leading to the sound. The bottom two stay slippery. We have limited amount of time to clean / let dry due to the tides. Any suggestions?

  2. We put anti-slip strips on outdoor steps. Some are lifting after one month. What can we use to make them adhere better?
    Thank you.

  3. I put non-slip strips on my outdoor stairs last Oct. and they’re already coming off. My steps are redwood and I cleaned them well and let them dry before I put them on. Is there a better solution?
    Should I have stapled them into my steps?

    Thank you,

    • Hi, Kathy!
      If peel-and-stick, non-slip strips have not worked at your home, yep, it’s time to ‘step’ it up with alternatives!
      You can find some that screw into the step at the home center.
      Good luck!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here