Armstead Satin (oil-based) and Quick Dry satin (water-based) review

Armstead Satin Review

By Mike Gregory


Armstead oil-based satin is manufactured by Akzo Nobel, which is the same company behind Dulux. Armstead are their budget brand and Dulux their premium. That said, even though Armstead are cheaper, the Armstead Vs Dulux debate is quite interesting as a lot of the Armstead products are much better quality.


Armstead Satin is a mid-sheen solvent-based product available online or at any Dulux Decorating Centre. It’s known as “self-undercoating”, which basically means you don’t need an undercoat on previously painted surfaces. You can use Armstead Satin on interior wood and metal and although the most popular colour is white, you can get it tinted into most colours from the Armstead range. Drying time is around 16 hours, so it’s one coat per day really. Darker colours seem to take an age to dry. This is my Armstead Satin review. I hope you find it useful.


The Performance


Armstead Satin has a fairly nice viscosity to begin with. You can dilute the product a little bit to make it quicker to apply, but ease of use is bang on really. You’ll find it flies off your brush or roller without issue. Opacity is ok, if there’s a strong colour change then you may need to apply either an additional coat, or start off with a coat of oil-based undercoat. You’re looking at 2 coats of satin for white on white, or a subtle colour change, which is all you can ask for really.


The Finish


Armstead Satin leaves a very nice finish.  Brush marks are easily hidden with a quick lay off and the product sits nicely on a surface. It takes a couple of weeks or so for the sheen level of the product to drop and you see the overall effect. Best of all, Armstead Satin seems to last a long time before it starts to yellow.




I’m a professional decorator and I choose to use Armstead Satin on a regular basis. I’ll be honest, the Dulux Satinwood is probably slightly better, but pound for pound, Armstead is one of the best trade satin products on the market. It gets a strong 8/10 from me and I’d recommend it to anyone.


Armstead Quick Dry Satin


OK, still Armstead Satin, but this is the water-based version. In fact, Armstead QD is full water-based, meaning there is no alkyd in there at all. Again, this is used on interior wood and metal, however the re-coat time is around 4 – 6 hours. The most popular colour is white, but you can get it tinted into most Armstead colours.


The finish on Armstead QD satin is brilliant, but you can tell it’s a budget product. For a start you will need a separate adhesion primer when going over an old oil-based paint. It doesn’t stand up very well in a room with humid conditions such as a bathroom. In fact, it can stay sticky for days after you’ve applied it.


That said, I’d describe this product as good, but not great, which reflects it’s price brilliantly. It is still a trade product, but you get what you pay for. I’d happily give Armstead Quick Dry Satin a 6 / 10

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Armstead Satin Review  (Oil-Based Satinwood) and Armstead Quick Dry Satin Review (water-based satinwood)