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How Good Is INSL-X Paint by Benjamin Moore? A Tested Review 

This high-quality indoor/outdoor floor paint creates a strong bond and provides traction to prevent slips and falls.
Glenda Taylor Avatar
A gallon can of Benjamin Moore INSL-X paint next to a cement block during testing.
Photo: Glenda Taylor for Bob Vila

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Painting a patio or deck can protect it from weathering and add to its aesthetic appeal, but using the wrong paint can result in a slippery surface—or one that doesn’t hold up to heavy foot traffic. As part of a larger undertaking to determine the best concrete paints, I tested INSL-X Sure Step paint. Thanks to its uniform coverage, moisture resistance, and durability, it took top honors. It also creates a nonslip surface.

INSL-X paints are made by Benjamin Moore, one of North America’s most tested and recognized paint brands. I applied the paint to concrete pavers and then subjected them to water, stains, and abrasives. INSL-X Sure Step excelled in the tests, and after all the abuse, the pavers came out looking as good as when they were freshly painted. Is this a perfect paint? No, but it’s way up on the list. Keep reading to find out more about what happened when I put Sure Step to the test. 

INSL-X Sure Step by Benjamin Moore: At a Glance

Benjamin Moore Concrete paint review
Photo: Glenda Taylor for Bob Vila

Rating: 4.75/5

SPECS

  • Type: Acrylic
  • Finish: Matte
  • Coverage area: 80 to 120 square feet per gallon
  • Drying time: 24 hours to 4 to 5 days 

PROS

  • Durable, nonslip paint for reducing slips and falls on painted walkways
  • Can be applied to a variety of surfaces, including asphalt, wood, metal, and concrete
  • Self-priming on untreated concrete and other masonry surfaces
  • Abrasion-resistant formula holds up to high traffic and everyday wear and tear
  • Available in 6 colors plus white to suit most indoor or outdoor design themes

CONS

  • Not suitable for use on garage floors or driveways with vehicle traffic

Get the INSL-X Sure Step concrete paint at:

What is INSL-X Sure Step by Benjamin Moore?

INSL-X Sure Step is an acrylic paint for various indoor and outdoor surfaces, including concrete, asphalt, wood, and metal. While it can be applied to walls, it’s best suited for floors and walking areas. It provides a durable, nonslip coating that’s ideal for high-traffic areas such as steps, patios, and pool decks. 

This paint comes in six colors plus white, although not all retailers carry all colors. If you can’t find the one you want, check with your local Benjamin Moore paint store. If it’s not in stock, they can order it for you. 

Sure Step not only provides traction to reduce the risk of slipping but is also made to be abrasion-resistant. I tested the abrasion aspect by putting sand and gravel on the surface of the painted concrete pavers and walking over them several times. After washing the sand away, I was impressed by how well the Sure Step coating held up. I didn’t find any scuffs or scratches, so I was impressed.

Benjamin Moore Concrete paint review
Photo: Glenda Taylor for Bob Vila

How easy is it to apply this Benjamin Moore paint? 

I applied INSL-X to concrete pavers using both a roller and a brush. You’d probably want to use a squeegee for large areas like a tennis court. The coating went on equally well with both the brush and the roller—it self-levels and didn’t leave any brush marks. Like any paint, however, if you’re applying it to a large area, be sure to keep a “wet edge,” which just means maintaining a continuous set line of paint to prevent overlap marks that might show up when the coating is dry.

I applied two coats to the pavers, allowing the paint to dry 24 hours in between, although the paint was dry to the touch in under 2 hours. I waited 5 days to start testing as the manufacturer recommends a 4 to 5 day cure period before subjecting the painted surface to heavy traffic. 

The other thing I really liked about this Benjamin Moore paint is that it’s self-priming. I didn’t have to purchase or apply a separate primer before applying Sure Step. 

Benjamin Moore Concrete paint review
Photo: Glenda Taylor for Bob Vila

Suitable Surfaces

INSL-X Sure Step is suitable for a variety of surfaces, both indoors and out. I tested it outdoors on concrete pavers to mimic how it would perform on a user’s patio or walkway, but it would also be a good pick for coating a concrete basement floor. However, it’s not designed for use on garage floors or driveway surfaces if automobiles will be driven on those areas. 

Sure Step is also a good pick for painting wood decks, but in that instance, you may need to apply a primer designed for walking surfaces that will increase the paint’s adhesion factor. 

When applying this INSL-X paint to metal surfaces, such as fire escape steps or metal ramps, Benjamin Moore suggests using its Super Spec HP Primer to ensure a strong bond. No primer is necessary on unpainted concrete or stucco. 

Sure Step’s Grit Factor 

INSL-X Sure Step’s grit factor refers to tiny textured aggregate mixed into the paint to help create a nonslip surface. I found it to be well dispersed and virtually uniform throughout the formula. When the paint dried, I was able to run my hand across the surface and feel the grit easily. It’s very noticeable. 

Other types of paint for flooring and walkways may not contain grit, but in many cases, a clear, gritty aggregate can be stirred into those paints to help create traction on the walking surface. 

Benjamin Moore Concrete paint review
Photo: Glenda Taylor for Bob Vila

Is INSL-X Sure Step by Benjamin Moore right for you?

If you want to update the appearance of a concrete patio, walkway, steps, or interior concrete floor, INSL-X Sure Step is an excellent option. This concrete floor paint is durable, easy to apply, and it provides a nonslip safety factor. When used on bare concrete surfaces, it doesn’t require the application of a separate primer. 

However, it’s not suitable for concrete surfaces with vehicular traffic—it’s just not designed to withstand that heavy of a load. If you’re looking for garage floor paint that will hold up to the weight of a car, check out Rust-Oleum EpoxyShield Garage Floor Coating Kit. I also tested this product, and it’s durable enough for garage floors. 

Benjamin Moore’s Sure Step is also great for decks and metal stairways, but on those, you’ll want to apply a primer first to ensure the paint forms a strong bond. 

Where to Buy INSL-X Sure Step

Get the INSL-X Sure Step concrete paint at:

Meet the Tester

Glenda Taylor is a product tester and writer specializing in the construction, remodeling, and real estate industries. She and her husband own a general contracting company, and Taylor is experienced in residential and commercial building applications. She tests a wide range of power tools and other home improvement, household, and lawn-and-garden products.

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Glenda Taylor

Staff Writer

Glenda Taylor is a BobVila.com staff writer with a background in the residential remodeling, home building, and home improvement industries. She started writing for BobVila.com in 2016 and covers a range of topics, including construction methods, code compliance, tool use, and the latest news in the housing and real estate industries. 

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