One staple of DIY build climbing walls is CooVar Paints product, SureGrip. Â Originally developed for Hull’s marine industry it was soon ‘borrowed’ by DIY self build projects. Â The first to do so was probably Undercover Rock in Bristol in 1992. Â Reading a small press feature in the Hull Daily Mail, the local paper of both Coo-Var paints and Rockcity (us) we got in touch and used it at Rockcity Climbing Centre in Hull in 1994. Â We used this textured floor paint for the next 15+ years. Â We last used it in our bouldering room, La Cantina in 2010.
Over the last 20 years it has been used extensively all over the UK and has probably been the No. 1 textured paint used on indoor climbing walls across the country.
The benefits of SureGrip are that its fairly easy to apply. Â Its an oil based, single pack paint that air drys. Â Applied with a paint brush and roller and its thick enough to cut in different colours whilst smooth enough to get a reasonably neat edge.
There are a good range of basic colours (custom colours can be added at extra cost).
There are some drawbacks using Sure Grip compared to more modern systems and techniques for texturing climbing wall surfaces, (seeÂ Rockcity Pro Wall textured system).
Apply it thickly and it takes a long time to go completely hard. Â We applied multiple layers with extra sand into La Cantina and it took 2-3 months to fully cure. Â Normally two thin coats is fine but we like to play around with products at Rockcity HQ.
Also it lasts a long time but does wear a bit, especially on corners, as its only a paint and not a resin. Â In addition it ‘ghosts’ a bit where shoes rub around the holds, nothing too bad and a lot better than just smooth painted walls but it does mark a bit as the paint isn’t repellent to climbing shoe Â rubber.
All things considered its probably just us wall geeks that are obsessed by the differences int heÂ paints and resins we use. Â CooVar SureGrip is a great product thatÂ wont break the bank and can be used by anyone who can drive a paintbrush and roller.
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