Are there too many paint brands nowadays?

Updated Feb 11, 2024 | Posted Jul 29, 2023 | Professional insight, Product Advice | 4 comments

As a Painter and Decorator of over 20 years, I can tell you things have changed dramatically over the past couple of decades. Up until about 10 years ago, the only paint brands you really heard of were Crown, Dulux, and Johnstone’s. Nowadays there are loads of brands!!

Brands like Tikkurila. Teknos, WRX Trade, and several others have made their way from overseas and established themselves in the UK. This, coupled with new developments from new British brands such as Bedec and LickPro, have really spiced things up! But, why the change? And are there just too many paint brands nowadays? I thought I’d take a little bit of time to sit down and give my views.


The Innovation of Paint by Modern Brands


Paint has changed dramatically over recent years because of the growing number of brands and the competition between each. Water-based trim paint is one of the biggest changes: Legislation was put forward in 2010 which restricted the number of VOCs manufacturers could use in oil-based paint. This meant the paint didn’t perform as well as it once did, and coupled with a more environmentally friendly attitude from consumers meant there was a big drive towards water-based alternatives.

Unfortunately, for some reason, some of the brands from overseas had better products than the UK paint brands. Benjamin Moore Scuff X offered a premium option at a time when there were no other quality water-based trim paints available. This ultimately, gave Benjamin Moore a foothold in the UK.

There were other brands too. Mythic looked like it was going to take over in the UK until its playboy owners took the company under. WRX Trade is another brand that became popular because it offered a great quality water-based satinwood.


The Ceiling Paint Revolution


Another example of paint innovation leaving the door open for new paint brands is ceiling paint. There was once a time when it didn’t really matter what paint you used on a ceiling, but as with trim paint, things changed.

Paint formulations for emulsion changed to adjust to a changes made to modern plaster. This meant a lot of emulsion products started showing defects like flashing and picture framing. Coupled with the change in peoples’ tastes; suddenly homeowners wanted large open plan spaces with loads of light. This made the defects more visible.

UK brands seemed slow to catch on, which again, invited brands from overseas to offer a solution. Tikkurila UK came along with it’s Anti-Reflex, which soon became a revelation! An exciting and modern paint brand that offered a low-cost, low-sheen white emulsion that showed absolutely no defects. It was a sensation, and Tikkurila took a huge portion of the trade paint market almost overnight.


So, Are There Too Many Paint Brands Nowadays?


Well, as far as I’m concerned, no there isn’t! The more the merrier for me (although I am a bit of a product geek). The influx of paint brands has driven the industry forward and the rise of social media has meant these paint brands have been given a platform. Good products become popular overnight.

As a Decorator, it also gives me the tools I need to up my game. I can use the best water-based gloss and know it will perform well, or a specialist ceiling paint, and know the finish will be flawless.

Are there too many paint brands nowadays? – by Mike Gregory

Updated Feb 11, 2024 | Posted Jul 29, 2023 | 4 comments


  1. Alastair Thompson

    When i started serving my time it was Leyland the paint the painters use, and basically it was matt ,silk eggshell and gloss. Then the trade centres started to make an appearance in my areait was Crown so that was the brand that was easier to get. I know choice is good but just look how many matt emulsions there are, all different levels of sheen, its mind bliwing

  2. David Crossman

    Whilst at school, my “Saturday” job was in a builder’s merchants. As a small family owned shop we carried quite few brands of paint. The most popular was Dulux (ICI then) followed by Brolac, Carsons, Starline and odd speciality paints.
    What we didn’t have then were inflated price “designer” paints. Customers relied on store staff recommendations rather than internet influencers.

  3. john Duplock

    I first started in 1974 the company i worked for use Permaglaze Brolac PEP and Leyland.

  4. Des cass

    What we are all being bluffed by is that most of these so called Designer Paints are made by 2 manufacturers to very similar formulae’s,mostly inferior,then the tins are badged up in their livery at daylight robbery prices.What mugs we are.


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