I built this wheelchair ramp in my mother's garage for her older friends and when she gets older. It's in NE Ohio and is inside an attached garage. Should only get water from wet or snowy shoes coming in from the car.

I'm trying to decide between a regular latex paint or something like a deck stain-solid color. I don't want to put a clear coat over latex and am unsure if it will wear after being walked on.

(the small vertical pieces are pressure treated and won't be painted until they absorb water, the rest of the wood is not pressure treated)

Suggestions appreciated, thanks!

EDIT: Thank you all. My mother wants it painted, will be a solid color either way, not a stain that shows grain through. I already bought a roll of thread/no slip tape like stuff to put down on the steps and every foot or two on the ramp after painting. The question is what kind of paint to use. Thanks!

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  • 3
    Is paint necessary? Wet painted surfaces can be very slippery. If you do paint it, add some grit to roughen up the surface and provide traction. You may be able to purchase paint with it premixed in, or you may want to contact a local paint supplier to get recommendations on what to use.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Oct 5, 2020 at 16:34
  • Also, "the small vertical pieces", you mean the balusters in the railing? Any particular reason those are made of PT while the rest isn't, or was that the only way to purchase them pre-cut? Also, you're waiting for PT to dry out before painting/staining/sealing, not for it to absorb water. The treatment helps prevent water absorption.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Oct 5, 2020 at 16:37
  • 2
    Likely paint is an appearance issue, which moms can see as *necessary. * But traction is extremely important - even bare wood can be slippery when wet.
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Oct 5, 2020 at 16:37
  • 1
    That looks like a nice job. I would want to paint the ramp and use anti slip grit so when snow gets on it, it won’t be slick. I found a silicon carbide powder mixes well with paint I think it was 50 micron it did not look like it would do any good but 1 cup mixed in the paint did not affect the look of the paint and made a previously slick surface non slip.
    – Ed Beal
    Commented Oct 5, 2020 at 18:54

2 Answers 2


It's pretty much a porch, despite being in the garage, so I'd use porch paint on it, at least for the floor/stair treads - with grit or traction aid of some sort. It will get water from foot traffic when it's wet out, to some extent.

I would not choose stain in part because you have a large expanse of plywood, and stained plywood is not a look I'm fond of. YMMV - and in this case the first M is Mother, not Milage.

If the paint wears, just as with a porch, easy to add another coat.


Beautiful Wood. I would stain and finish everything but the actual decking and stair treads.

For a surface that will last a very long time before it will need to be re-painted I would use an epoxy garage floor paint with an aggregate added for traction.

Or you could use truck bed liner, it is extremely tough and has the aggregate already in it. It might not pass the mom test but for me i put function over form.

  • You could paint the truck bed liner, that’s what our gang does ... Commented Oct 6, 2020 at 0:08

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