Make a Wooden Slide Slippery? Best Techniques

How to Make a Wooden Slide Slippery? (Best Techniques)

I think it goes without saying that there is not much use of a slide that doesn’t, well, slide. When your kids climb up to the top and sit down, they expect to slide smoothly to the bottom. Now, if you’ve built a wooden slide, it won’t just magically become slippery. So, you might wonder how to make a wooden slide slippery. 

There are multiple ways to make a wooden slide slippery. The most traditional way is to rub a decent amount of olive oil on the slides. Other methods include manual sanding of wood using sandpaper, replacing laminate, or simply rubbing wax over the slide.

These various ways to make a wooden slide slippery have their unique takeaways that will require further discussion. It’s natural for parents to be worried about their children’s safety as well as the enjoyment factor of their backyard slide. Hence, I’ll take some time out of my way to help fellow parents figure out the best ways to deal with this issue.

Why Should You Make your Wooden Slide Slippery?

A general answer to this question would be to make sliding a lot more fun and smoother. However, for parents, it’s a lot more than just that. It’s not only important to make sure that your kids are having fun with the slide you have bought or perhaps made on your own but also to ensure their safety.

Besides, your time, money, and efforts will surely all waste if you realize that the wooden slide that your kids play with isn’t doing exactly what it needs to. Slippery slides not only make the cycle of climbing and sliding down more fun but also encourages your kids to play outside in the backyard.

This is healthy for them both physically and mentally as it’ll encourage them to get off from their iPads and spend some time the traditional old-fashioned way. Exposure to the sun will also give them sufficient Vitamin D to keep them in good shape.

On the other hand, wooden slides are prone to get rough, slow, and unsafe as they age and are constantly used. You wouldn’t want your kids to come running to you about their burned bum after sliding down a rough wooden slide now, would you? In easy words, it’s in any parent’s best interests to make sure their kid’s wooden slides are always slippery!

What are the Best Materials to Make a Wooden Slide Slippery?

If you’re planning to pull off a DIY slide project for your kids, then your first concern would be about choosing the right materials. The most appropriate materials needed to make a proper wooden slide would be to use pre-sanded plywood.

Plywood provides rigid and strong support and is lamination friendly as well. This helps ensure the safety of your kids when it comes to sliding. To further compliment the strong wooden base for the slide, I recommend adding lamination, probably high-glossed ones.

The best choice for laminate would be stainless steel, as they can be waxed and will stay durable and slick at all times. Stainless steel in combination with plywood will provide a very safe and smooth sliding experience. Stainless steel will also reject any static build-up along the way.

Cleaning the slides with dish soap, scrubber, and water will keep it stay clean and well prepared to face off harsh weather conditions. Waxing the laminate from time to time will help retain its slipperiness. With these materials, expect a fully functional slide that will need no major repairs in years.

With these tools, your kids can enjoy a full-on fun time in their backyard. They wouldn’t even want to leave as long as your slide is made the right way.

How to Make Your Wooden Slide Slippery?

Now that you know why it’s necessary let’s move to how it’s done. To make your wooden slides slippery, you can resort to various methods. Whatever method seems easier to you should be the way you do it.

Whether it’s a DIY wooden slide or perhaps one bought from a kid’s store, wooden slides all function pretty much the same way. Here’s a list of various ways that this can be done.

  • Applying Olive Oil

The most natural and common way of making wood slippery is by applying olive oil. Olive oil will get the job done and are quite environmentally friendly as well. However, if your slide is made out of unvarnished plywood, then the olive oil will get soaked up, and the roughness of the wood will persist.

The grain of the plywood is responsible for absorbing the olive oil and continuing to make the slide feel rough. Even when you add Olive oil, there are still chances of your kid’s clothes getting a little stained.
Unless you have varnished, pre-sanded plywood, expect quite a messy experience when dealing slipperiness with olive oil.


How slippery your wooden slide is by default depends on the fine quality of its existing laminate.

If your wooden slide has a laminate finish, it is crucial to apply wax to your laminate to make it smoother. If your slide doesn’t have a laminate, then you need to install one on it.

  • Replacing Laminate

Laminates can also be the cause of your slide becoming slower and losing its slipperiness. Hence, it would be best to replace your rough laminate with a higher quality laminate to regain the slipperiness.

Although the best option for a laminate would be stainless steel to add on a plywood slide as it’ll be slick and durable enough to last for a long time. A cheaper alternative to stainless steel will be Formica. Stainless steel will provide anti-static properties, but the same can’t be said for Formica laminates.

Sanding and waxing

These options are a lot less viable as they need to be done regularly and need constant monitoring. However, they can stay effective for the time being if your kids are ever nagging you to fix their slides.

A quick fix can be simply sanding the wooden slide with sandpaper and then rubbing the appropriate amount of wax to keep it slippery.

 Fixing the angle of inclination of the Slide

In terms of science, slides are fun because of the phenomena of gravity. How fast and smoothly your kid will slide from the top to bottom will depend on the slide’s angle. Even the most lubed up to slide will fail to provide a decent slide for your kids if they lack the proper angle.

Hence, how to build and fix the position of the slide, the slide should have a steep slope rather than a low slope to make the sliding process go faster and smoother. A slide can be slow due to its angle of inclination, as constant usage can make it sink, which is why it’s important to adjust the sloping from time to time.


Now, you know how to make a wooden slide slippery. A parent always should try to know best when providing the best experience for their kids. Hence, if you were a worried parent seeking answers, I hope this article provided the information you sought.

For further details about DIY slide making, check this article out. For any queries regarding backyard activities and kids, check out our website.

I wish you and your kids all the best, and thanks a ton for staying with me till the end of this article! Have fun with your slide.

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