Armstead Vs Dulux Trade Paint – Which is Better?

Updated May 24, 2024 | Posted Sep 1, 2019 | Professional insight, Product Advice | 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. You can buy any of the below products at The Decorating Centre Online.


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 like 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


Armstead Durable Matt is a good product. The opacity in light colours is a bit of a pain, but it’s reasonably priced, easy to use, and leaves you with a nice finish.

Dulux diamond Matt is a different animal! It’s a very low-sheen durable matt emulsion that leaves a gorgeous finish with a lovely depth to it. This paint is expensive, but it really is good. No roller or brush marks either. I wholeheartedly recommend Dulux Diamond Matt, but I’m happy to use either.

Dulux 1 – Armstead 1


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, so I recommend that one.

Dulux 1 – Armstead 2


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 water-based). You do get ninja runs, so go back to and check your work as it’s drying to knock them out with a dry brush. 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 2 – 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 also good stuff. It isn’t as good as Dulux Supermatt, but it’s less than half the price. It doesn’t flash, has good opacity, and is great on bare plaster.

Dulux 3 – Armstead 2


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, 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. But again, there isn’t much difference between that and Armstead Satinwood.

Oil-based gloss is something that should never be used in this day and age!! I don’t even know why I mentioned it.

Dulux 3 – Armstead 3


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 than Dulux.

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 be cheaper to buy these products online. Plus, by buying online, you can have Dulux colours mixed into Armstead products and vice versa. The best website I have found for both Dulux and Armstead is The Decorating Centre Online.

Click here to see Armstead Prices.

Click here to see Dulux prices.




What is the difference between Dulux Trade and Armstead?

About £3 a litre!! Joking aside, they’re both manufactured by the same company in the same factory. There is a difference in formulas between the two, but they’re both good trade brands that Professional Decorators know and love.


Is Armstead paint good quality?

Armstead paint is very good quality. I challenge anyone to find a brand that delivers better value for money than Armstead.


Is Armstead owned by Dulux?

Both Armstead and Dulux are owned and manufactured by AkzoNobel.


Can you get Dulux Colours mixed into Armstead Paint?

Strangely enough, Dulux Decorating Centre seem to struggle to put Dulux colours into Armstead Paint, but several online merchants can do it without issue. I recommend Decorating Centre Online, where colour matching is made very easy.


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


Professional Painter and Decorator

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

Professional Painter and Decorator

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. It’s strange to think that Armstead Vs Dulux Trade Paint is even a discussion.

John Thom

Professional Painter and Decorator

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

Professional Painter and Decorator

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

Professional Painter and Decorator

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

Professional Painter and Decorator

Blog written by Mike Gregory– Professional Painter, Decorator and Blogger

Updated May 24, 2024 | Posted Sep 1, 2019 | 4 comments

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.
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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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