Non skid with bright finish wood stairs

tiz

Member
224
10
Milford ct
I want to coat my companionway stair treads (teak) with west 105 and 207 clear  and then coat that with varnish to provide uv protection.

1) in which layer do I add nonskid component?

2) is any particular nonskid media preferred (I want good grip but bare-footable)?

I am expecting 3 layers epoxy and 3 layers varnish.   Any particular varnish good for this high traffic use?

--Kevin

PS yes I did search.....

 

Diarmuid

Super Anarchist
3,378
1,383
Laramie, WY, USA
There is a certain degree of trade-off between quality of a bright finish and anti-skid properties. The smooth surface &  lack of suspended junk in a lovely, warm varnish are at odds with the light-scattering surface rugosities of a durable, gritty tread. You can make a clear coat less slippery, but doing so in a way that really lasts is somewhat more challenging than with paint. This company has some products. You might also consider anti-slip tapes, which are available in cool options like clear & glow-in-the-dark. Benefits of a surface tape: stands proud of varnish, preventing 'hydroplaning'; easy to refresh or add more as needed; rest of varnish can be conventional & pretty. 

Just finished working on a new house where the owners put in a gorgeous winding stair with varnished hardwood treads; they wanted it to showcase the beauty of the wood grain. Now they're talking about stair runners because two people have already tumbled on the smooth, hard varnish (which was supposedly non-slip). So I guess I'd save the perfect varnish job for vertical surfaces &  emphasize traction on something as dangerous as stairs.

 

SloopJonB

Super Anarchist
65,150
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Great Wet North
I'm always puzzled by the concern for the non-skid properties of a varnished sole or stair tread. I've walked on lots of them in deck shoes, running shoes and bare feet and have never had a problem with them being slippery, even when wet.

Am I exceptionally sticky or something?

 

longy

Overlord of Anarchy
6,077
813
San Diego
  Silica sand becomes almost clear when under varnish. I have done stairs with 1/2" wide strips of sand at edge of stair & 2 - 3 more strips across flat that worked & looked great.

 

silent bob

Super Anarchist
8,355
1,096
New Jersey
I did my teak and holy floorboards this way.  I sanded the bare wood, cleared it of sawdust, and applied two coats of West 105 resin with 207 clear hardener,  sanding with 320 between coats.  Sanded with 320 after an preventative amine blush wash.  Then two coats of Epifanes high gloss, sanding 320 between coats.  Another good dust wash.  Masked off the teak, leaving the holy exposed. Wet out the holy stripes with varnish, then sprinkled on Epsom Salt, let it set up for about 90 minutes, then carefully peeled the masking tape and dusted.  A couple of hours later, applied the final top coat of varnish. THe Epsom Salt washes away with water, and doesn’t scratch the glossy varnish. Four years of good use and it’s showing a little age, but it still looks good.  As SloopJonB states, the varnish is still pretty grippy without the nonskid, even when wet. 

 

silent bob

Super Anarchist
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New Jersey
Yes, veneer over ply.  Got a nice piece for a great price.  My composite floorboards were delaminating and falling apart.  The wood does add a little “warmth” to the racing interior. It added 3 pounds of weight, so I leave a couple bottles of water in the dock box, and then throw a couple bottles of Rum and mixers into the cooler!  

 
owners put in a gorgeous winding stair with varnished hardwood treads; they wanted it to showcase the beauty of the wood grain.
My previous owner did a beautiful Epithanes mirror finish on the companionway stairs.  Nobody has busted anything yet, but I did completely lose my footing once already in the wet - the hand-holds saved me.

 

Ishmael

≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈
48,390
9,525
Fuctifino
I did the previous boat similar to Bob's method, but skipped the salting. It looked great, was reasonably non-skid and durable.

C0hDJWq.jpg


The current boat has a sole that isn't quite ugly enough to redo yet, but the stairs were bad. I stripped them and did 5 coats of satin Varathane with non-skid tape. The tape keeps feet off the varnish just enough that I'm not seeing any wear yet on the finish.

hGDoTnI.jpg


 
>The tape keeps feet off the varnish just enough that I'm not seeing any wear yet on the finish.

Around here, it's not foot or shoe contact that wears on varnish, it's the sand that's stuck to the feet and shoes.  The longer the sand sticks around the faster the finish wears off.

 

Ishmael

≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈
48,390
9,525
Fuctifino
>The tape keeps feet off the varnish just enough that I'm not seeing any wear yet on the finish.

Around here, it's not foot or shoe contact that wears on varnish, it's the sand that's stuck to the feet and shoes.  The longer the sand sticks around the faster the finish wears off.
We wipe our feet to get rid of any lumps of basalt, it's not an issue here.

starfish.jpg


 

tiz

Member
224
10
Milford ct
I'm not looking for a perfect fine varnish finish.   Looking to protect the wood from black water spots and provide traction in wet.   They have been varnished in the past and are occasionally slick in the wet.  

I considered non-skid tapes but could not find one that didn't have comments of adhesive problems.   

Whoever it was that washed the epoxy after using 105/207 - you use 207 because it is clear AND because there is no amine blush.  Allows you to laminate without washing/sanding.....

So, since my original question can't be answered, are there any 3/4 - 1" non skid tapes that are highly recommended?   Black would be ok.

--Kevin

 
THere are clear(ish) nonskid tapes that work adequately and don’t look bad.  I recollect from 3M.  Amazon has another brand.  When it’s time to re-varnish, peel the tape off.

I’d forget the epoxy and apply 6 coats of varnish.  Epoxy as coating just adds cost and labor.

 

Bristol-Cruiser

Super Anarchist
4,481
1,138
Great Lakes
I'm not looking for a perfect fine varnish finish.   Looking to protect the wood from black water spots and provide traction in wet.   They have been varnished in the past and are occasionally slick in the wet.  

I considered non-skid tapes but could not find one that didn't have comments of adhesive problems.   

Whoever it was that washed the epoxy after using 105/207 - you use 207 because it is clear AND because there is no amine blush.  Allows you to laminate without washing/sanding.....

So, since my original question can't be answered, are there any 3/4 - 1" non skid tapes that are highly recommended?   Black would be ok.

--Kevin
I did ours with strips of non-skid tape from Home Depot followed by Epifanes. Looked good and lasted for 20k miles before another coat of varnish was added. Seemed to give just the right amount of traction and was fine with bare feet which is my boat shoe of choice.

Re the previous post we did not take the  tape off when it was time to redcoat.

 
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Zonker

Super Anarchist
8,904
4,822
Canada
I used some generic non skid tape that held up for 3+ years of full time living aboard.

Steve Dashew used to put non skid on alternating stripes of teak. Used walnut shells. It was a nice look.

Beo_JW_101.jpg


 

s/v Jedi

New member
1
0
Florida
I used some generic non skid tape that held up for 3+ years of full time living aboard.

Steve Dashew used to put non skid on alternating stripes of teak. Used walnut shells. It was a nice look.

Beo_JW_101.jpg
yeah but it busts up my feet so we'll change it. Like someone said above: silica sand in varnish is beautiful when taped neatly.

 

crashdog

Anarchist
538
181
Honestly, for a companionway ladder, just use the clear tape.  Its a lot easier.  

If you are keen on the work, then...

I have used H&C Shark Grip for that stripe effect.  It is lighter than silica sand so it floats more uniformly in the medium.  It is not as hard as the sand, but my experience was that it lasted just fine and had a more uniform distribution, so it actually worked better.  It is pretty cheap, so easy to try out as a test.  Be sure to use a very short nap mini-roller when applying, then do a finish coat over the non-skid and bright sections uniformly.  

It looks a ton better than the tape...

 
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