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Armstead Vs Dulux Trade Paint – Which is Better?

Updated Dec 28, 2022 | Posted Sep 1, 2019 | Product Advice, Professional insight | 4 comments

Armstead Vs Dulux Trade Paint is an interesting comparison for a couple of reasons. Both brands are owned and manufactured by Akzo Nobel. Both are sold side by side at Dulux Decorating Centres. The Dulux Trade is Akzo’s premium brand, whereas Armstead is known as their value brand.

The interesting thing is some of the Armstead products are a lot better than their Dulux Trade counterparts!! In other instances, it is Dulux that outshines Armstead. This creates a lot of confusion amongst decorators. I’ll give you the comparisons of some of the products I use regularly so you can decide for yourself which is better.


Dulux Trade Vinyl Matt Vs Armstead Vinyl Matt


Here we go – Dulux Vinyl matt is expensive compared to similar products from different brands. It has a higher sheen level than you’d expect from a vinyl matt, which can lead to problems with flashing and picture framing. What I will say is opacity and ease of use is bang on. It’s also fairly durable for a vinyl matt.

Armstead vinyl matt on the other hand is very competitively priced. The sheen level is lower, leading to less problems and a much nicer finish. Opacity can be the only issue, but you only notice the difference when using very pale colours. Overall, a much better product than Dulux Trade.

Dulux 0 – Armstead 1


Dulux Trade Diamond Matt Vs Armstead Durable Matt


Dulux Trade Diamond Matt is a durable matt emulsion. The sheen level is ridiculous, it’s more like a softsheen than a matt. Roller marks and picture framing can be an absolute nightmare! Not just that but the price of this product doesn’t make it a viable option. Dulux Diamond matt costs an absolute fortune!!


Armstead Durable Matt is much the same as the vinyl matt. The sheen level is much lower than it’s Dulux counterpart, leading to a much nicer finish. Price is great too! Opacity is more of an issue, pale colours can take 3 coats at times. Overall a much better product.

Dulux 0 – Armstead 2


Dulux Trade Diamond Eggshell Vs Armstead Acrylic Eggshell


I’ll do Armstead and Dulux Trade in the same paragraph for the eggshell, as it’s a very similar product. The sheen level is roughly the same, as is the finish. The Armstead is lacking in opacity compared with Dulux Trade, but not by a noticeable amount. In fact, I don’t think I could tell the difference between the two if you swapped the labels on the tins. Armstead is much cheaper, go for that one.

no score for eggshell


Dulux Trade Diamond Satinwood Vs Armstead Quick Dry Satin


Dulux Trade Diamond Satinwood is a fully water-based paint. It used to be self-undercoating on previously painted surfaces, however you need a seperate adhesion primer now. Opacity is good, finish is good, and you get very few brush marks (which can be an issue with waterbased). You do get ninja runs, so go back to and check your work as it’s drying. It’s a great product compared to other trade rivals. In fact I think it’s just about the whitest “brilliant white” out of all the water-based products I’ve tried.

The Armstead Quick Dry Satin is also fully water-based. You definitely need to use a separate adhesion primer when painting on previously painted surfaces. Brush marks are a massive issue. To be honest the quality of this paint isn’t the best, but it is REALLY cheap for a water-based. The Dulux Diamond is in a different league compared to this.

Dulux 1 – Armstead 2


Dulux Trade Supermatt Vs Armstead Contract Matt


This is where things go back to how they should be!! Dulux Supermatt (the “premium” product) is amazing. Opacity is brilliant, in fact it easily covers bare plaster in two coats. Supermatt in white is brilliant on a ceiling. Little in the way of flashing and roller marks. It does everything a contract matt should do. It is expensive, but you don’t mind paying a higher price if the product is of better quality.

Armstead contract matt is horrible stuff!! Flashes like crazy!! The finish is atrocious!! Opacity is alright to be fair, but everything else about the product is negative I’m afraid. Avoid this product at all costs.

Dulux 2 – Armstead 2


Acrylic Primer, Undercoat, Satinwood and Gloss


It’s all pretty much the same in Dulux as it is in Armstead to be honest. I can’t tell the difference between the two acrylic primers. The Dulux undercoat comes condensed, but by the time you’ve diluted it, the Dulux undercoat is the same as Armstead. I love the Dulux Satinwood, there are a few negatives about it, but it’s still one of the best oil-based satinwoods around. Oil-based gloss is something that should never be used in this day and age!! I don’t even know why I mentioned it.


One thing I will say, if you’re using oil-based paint on trim then you shouldn’t be trying to save a few quid on the price of a tin of satinwood. Yellowing is a massive issue nowadays and cheap paint doesn’t last long. Go for Dulux every time, although they are both good.

Dulux 3 – Armstead 2


Value and Product Range


I personally feel like Armstead is better value for money by far. It is the same price as a lot of retail paint and a hell of a lot cheaper than Dulux Trade. As I’ve already said, some of the Armstead products are better by a country mile.

As far as product range goes, Dulux have much more to offer. In fact, they have a product for just about everything. Armstead are limited. If they were supermarkets, Dulux would be Sainsburys and Armstead would be Aldi. You can shop at Aldi all you want and you’ll always get better value, but you can’t get everything you need from there. Sainsburys may cost you an arm and a leg but at least you can get everything you need.


Where To Buy


As mentioned in the first paragraph, you can go directly to Dulux Decorating Centres and find both of these brands side-by-side on the shelves. Most independent trade counters also stock both brands, however you’ll see Dulux Trade in a lot more stores than you will Armstead.

If you don’t have a trade account, then it will probably be cheaper buying your paint online.

Armstead Vs Dulux Trade Paint – by Mike Gregory

What do other Decorators Think?

I would personally use Armstead emulsion on walls. The colour range isn’t as good and a lot of my customers haven’t heard of the brand, but the paint is cheap and it’s a better finish than Dulux.

Anything on an exterior or internal woodwork gets Dulux every time. I love the Dulux Satinwood, I think the undercoat is bang on, the gloss is amazing! The Dulux Weathershield range of products are probably the best on the market, certainly for the price

Dulux Trade do the best oil-based paints that are readily available off the shelf.

Armstead oil-based is a big no no in MY opinion

Kenny Robson

Armstead is better for walls especially their durable range. Wouldn’t touch their woodwork paints. Always use Dulux for that ,can’t beat their undercoats and oils for tops

John Wild - Armstead Vs Dulux Trade Paint - Which is Better?


Armstead should never be better than Dulux in any finish.

John Thom

I mostly prefer Armstead because most Armstead products out perform Dulux and are cheaper. There are a few exceptions such as diamond satin and oil gloss, which I would always go for Dulux.

Lee Thornton

I mostly prefer Armstead because most products out-perform Dulux and are cheaper. With a few exceptions such as diamond satin and oil gloss which I would always go for Dulux.

Andy Summers

Dulux Trade is brilliant, except from their emulsions, which are very expensive and low quality. In fact, everything seems to be expensive at Dulux!! The exterior paints are quality though!!

Armstead as a brand is the perfect balance between quality and price. I love Armstead emulsions and even oil-based trim paints. I just wish there was more products to choose from. Also, I don’t see why Akzo can’t mix Dulux colours into Armstead paint. Surly everything should be compatible?

Mike Jennings

Updated Dec 28, 2022 | Posted Sep 1, 2019 | 4 comments

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  1. Alan Williamson

    Armstead Durable Matt. Opacity shockingly bad! Over priced and over rated product.

  2. Rich M

    Had really bad problems with Armstead Durable. Opacity poor, roller marks – had to undercoat first. Its a 3 coat paint.

  3. Rich M

    Had really bad problems with Armstead Durable. Opacity poor, roller marks – had to undercoat first. Its a 3 coat paint. And Dulux Diamond Satin runs like Usain Bolt then after a few hours runs again…

  4. Will N

    Had to put the job on hold. Armstead coloured oil-based gloss is the worst paint that I have used in over 45 years in the Painting trade.


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