DIY Anti-Slip Paint for a Stronger Grip

In a recent project, I assembled a pair of homemade thick bar handles for thick bar weight training. Thick bar training challenges the forearms much more than the regular 1-inch bar.

The homemade thick bar grips are mainly made of PVC pipes and, unfortunately, have a smooth outer surface.

The slick surface on the improvised fat bar grips poses a safety risk when the poundage increase. This is unlike the surface of the regular 1-inch thick barbell and dumbbell bars where the knurling provides traction for better gripping capability.

Here's a DIY project where you can make a homemade anti-slip (or slip-resistant) paint that can be used to coat the thick bar handles. This homemade slip-resistant paint can also be applied on any other suitable surface that requires additional traction.

  • Fine sand
  • Latex paint
  • Disposable plastic cup
  • Paintbrush

If you don't have fine sand that's readily available, sieve some ordinary sand on a piece of fine wire screen. Let the filtered fine sand fall in a small basin and discard the remaining particles left on the wire screen.

The photo below shows the fine sand in a small basin, some latex paint, a disposable cup with paint and an old paint brush.


You will need the following tools and other materials for this project:

  • ruler
  • masking tape
  • sandpaper
  • rag
  • acetone

  1. Cut the paint using masking tape

    Use masking tape to limit areas on the surface that will be painted. This is called "cutting". For the thick bar handle, you need to measure with a ruler and mark one inch from both ends of the handle.

    Block these areas from the paint because they need to be smooth (that's where the locking rings will slide). Apply masking tape at the measured marks from both ends.

  2. Prepare the surface

    With a coarse sandpaper, scour the surface to be painted. The thick bar handle uses PVC material which has a smooth surface.

    By making the surface a bit more abrasive, the paint will adhere better. Note, however, that the abrasion will only be on the middle areas of the surface.

    Shown below is a half of the thick bar grip. On the surface are random lines scoured with the sandpaper on the right.

  3. Apply acetone on the pvc surface

    Put a bit of acetone on a rag and wipe the rough surface of the pvc to be painted. Acetone makes the pvc more porous resulting in better adhesion. Allow to dry up to 30 minutes.

  4. Prepare the anti-slip paint

    Pour latex paint into a disposable plastic cup. Sprinkle a bit of fine sand into the paint. Put sparingly as too much will cause the fine sand to clump together.

    Mix thoroughly for an even application. It is better to put too little fine sand than too much because you can always apply additional coats if the first coating is too thin or has inadequate sand.

  5. Apply the slip-resistant paint

    With an old paint brush, begin painting the surface of the thick bar handles. Paint evenly, taking care to cover the sides of the masking tapes. Brush away and discard fine sand that has clumped together.

  6. Dry the painted surface

    Let the first coat of anti-slip paint dry under direct sunlight. Latex paint feels dry to the touch in about 2 hours of direct sunlight.

  7. Reapply the slip-resistant paint for a second coat

    When the paint feels dry to the touch, apply a second coat of the slip-resistant paint. This is your chance to fill-out the gaps, missed spots and even out the paint thickness. Again, brush away and discard clumped sand.

  8. Dry the second coat of the no-slip paint

    Very carefully remove the masking tapes form the thick bar handles and discard. Let the thick bar handles dry thoroughly in direct sunlight.

    The photo below shows the thick bar handles with the masking tapes removed and drying under direct sunlight. You'll notice the gritty surface as a result of mixing fine sand with paint.

    After a day, the thick bar handles are ready for your thick bar training. Here are the thick bar handles assembled on the dumbbells and ready for that forearm blasting workout.

    In summary, here's a video clip for your reference:

    Here's a list of links to my homemade gym and exercise equipment:
    (with photos and how-to instructions)

    This list is growing, so be sure to come back!

Go ahead, post your comment below!

Anonymous said...

I thinnk i like these grips so much they would be best utilized in a way at the gym on different equipment. :-)

Anonymous said...

I think i like these grips so much that they would be great to utilize in a way on different equipment at the gym as a quick process. :-)

Blackdove said...

Great. Thanx for dropping by.