Armstead Satin Review – Oil-Based Satinwood

Updated Jan 31, 2023 | Posted Jan 2, 2021 | Product Reviews, Paints | 1 comment

Armstead oil-based satin is manufactured by Akzo Nobel, which is the same company behind Dulux. Armstead Trade paint is generally cheaper than Dulux, but quality runs through the entire range. In particular, some of the Armstead emulsion products perform very well and represent great value for money.

Armstead Satin is a mid-sheen solvent-based product available online by clicking here, or any Dulux Decorating Centre, as well as a few other merchants. 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 blog contains my honest 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 still 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. Click here to see current prices.


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. Click here to see current prices.


Final Thoughts


Armstead satin is a good quality trade product at a reasonable price. Opacity might not be as good as it could be, but it’s easy to use and leaves a great finish. For this reason, I would highly recommend it. Click here for more info.

The Armstead quick dry satin is also a good product in its price range. Just use an adhesion primer and you’re good to go.

Armstead Satin Review – by Mike Gregory

Updated Jan 31, 2023 | Posted Jan 2, 2021 | 1 comment

About the Author

About the Author

Mike Cupit has been in the decorating industry since 2002 and has mostly worked as a Trade Decorator in the domestic sector (peoples’ homes). Self-proclaimed “product geek”, Mike has a passion for paint and decorating tools. Mike now spends most of his time testing paint products and tools, comparing them to similar products on the market, and blogging about the industry in general.

1 Comment

  1. richard

    Excellent detailed review Mike.
    I do find the Johnstone water Aqua satin covers a bit better than the Armstead.
    Johnstones coverage per m2 is around 20 % less.
    In cases where woodwork not too dirty/ old 1 coat is just possible with a bit of luck.
    New surfaces are demanding with most water based.
    l like a coat johnstones Aqua undercoat do find any top coats then glide on like a dream.


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