Oil-based gloss is a big talking point in the decorating industry nowadays. At one point it was the “must have” finish in most homes, but now a lot of homeowners tend to sway towards alternatives like satinwood. I put this down to the issue of “yellowing” which is caused by the colour of the oil bleeding through your paint finish. It never used to be a problem, but manufacturers are now heavily restricted on which chemicals they are allowed to use in paint and yellowing is more prolific.
Do not let this put you off though. Proud, brilliant white, or coloured glossy skirting boards and doorways can look amazing in your home. I personally think gloss is still a viable option and it is just a case of choosing your products carefully. A good gloss finish will look amazing for years to come, but which is the best oil-based gloss paint to buy? I’m going to take you through some of the products I have used over the years and give you my recommendations. I’ll stick to “trade” paint as it is far better quality than its retail counterpart. I know you will spend a few extra quid, but it’s well worth it.
Please note that you should always use the recommended undercoat for each of the products listed below. It is often cheaper to buy paint online, so I have linked in the best (cheapest) comprehensive trade paint website I know of under each review.
Dulux Trade Oil-Based gloss
Dulux do a proper “in your face” Pure Brilliant White gloss, as well as being able to tint it to just about any colour you could possibly wish for. Touch dry in 4 or 5 hours but as with any gloss on this list, it’ll take a couple of weeks to cure and go rock solid. The opacity of Dulux Trade gloss is good. It does drag a little bit as you apply the paint, which means it is a pain to use and takes a little bit of extra time. It creeps as well, say you cut a nice straight edge down the side of a doorframe, by the time it is dry, the gloss has seeped into your newly emulsioned walls in places and looks a mess. Not the end of the world, but you must go around and touch your emulsion up again afterwards.
Now for the yellowing and longevity of the product…. And it’s a difficult one to explain with Dulux Trade oil-based gloss. If your gloss gets a good amount of natural light as it cures, then it will stay white for years. If it doesn’t get any light in the first couple of weeks, then the change will be fast and dramatic!
I went back to a bedroom a year after I’d painted it and the back of the door (which remained open during the day and got no light) was a completely different colour to the front. More like magnolia! The rest of the woodwork in the room still looked brand new. It is the same for skirting board behind furniture and stuff like that. If you’re going to use Dulux Trade, then leave all your furniture in the middle of the room for a few days and the curtains open. Do that and your woodwork will look mint for a long time.
I buy most of my Dulux products online at the Paintshed, but you can also buy them directly from Dulux Decorating Centre or about a million other different places.
7/10 for Dulux Trade. It would be a lot lower, but longevity is good when you get everything right.
Armstead Oil-Based Gloss
Armstead is made by the same company as Dulux and it’s often sold side by side as a cheaper option. The flow is a little bit better than Dulux. Opacity isn’t quite as good, but you do get a good finish. I have never been back to a job after using Armstead oil-based gloss, so I can’t comment on the most important thing which is longevity. I will say this; if you’re going to use oil-based gloss then I wouldn’t scrimp on materials. Armstead is still a trade quality brand and will outperform retail paint without even breaking a sweat, but its still a budget trade brand. Buy something that is going to last.
I can’t grade Armstead because I don’t know about longevity, really sorry
Crown Next Generation Oil-Based Gloss
Time to break out the big guns!! Crown Next Generation gloss is by far the best product on this list! If you are going to use oil-based gloss then this is the one you should buy. Ease of use, opacity and overall finish are sublime!! You will find this gloss a joy to use.
The best thing about this product is the longevity. Of course, it will yellow eventually, but you’ll get a good few years out of it before it does!! By that time, you’ll be ready to redecorate anyway so yellowing isn’t really an issue. You can buy online at the Paintshed, any Crown Decorating Centre, or several other merchants. It isn’t as widely available as Dulux which is a real shame.
10/10 for me. This is the only oil-based gloss I tend to use now
Crown Trade Oil-Based Gloss
Crown Trade oil-based gloss has a party trick!! It goes on with a green tinge so you can spot any misses, then it dries brilliant white!! It looks patchy as it dries but don’t panic, have faith because it will look absolutely stunning a few hours later. Crown Trade gloss dries quick as well, which is very handy. Ease of use and opacity are bang on. You’ll find it a pleasure to use.
The longevity of the product is pants! Crown Trade gloss will start to yellow after 6-month or so and after a year will look completely different. It is such a shame really because it’s an amazing product to use.
You can buy this product directly from Crown Decorating Centre, but it is also available online at the Paintshed
Johnstone’s Trade Oil-Based Gloss
Johnstone’s Trade performs how any traditional gloss should when applying it. Opacity and ease of use are fine, finish is great etc. Unfortunately, this product will yellow faster than any other product on this list. For that reason, I think you should avoid it.
3/10 – avoid
Going water-based will avoid the issue of yellowing altogether in most cases (some hybrid products are labeled as “water-based” but still yellow over time). The problem you have is, although water-based technology has come a long way, it is still difficult to find a good water-based gloss. Durability, brush marks, overall finish, sheen level, ease of use and opacity can all be an issue. There are a few products worth looking at.
Teknos Futura Aqua 90 is probably the best water-based gloss I have used. You will need to apply the appropriate primer before the gloss, but you’ll find it easy to use, looks great and dries very durable. Available from TopDec, I would highly recommend.
Caparol PU gloss is good too. You need to use a “haftprimer” basecoat but the finish you get is bang on. You can get both products from the Paintshack.
I like the finish of oil-based gloss. I genuinely think you need to be a little careful about which product you use and understand the limitations of each. You don’t need to be a Master Decorator; just understand the paint and you’ll achieve a good finish that lasts for years.
I’ll leave you with one more tip before I give you the opinions of other decorators. Oil-based gloss will discolour faster in areas with low natural light. Hallways can be problematic for this reason, whereas most lounges, bedrooms and other rooms are fine.
Best Oil-Based Gloss – Review and Guide – by Mike Gregory
What do Other Decorators Think?
Crown Next Generation is the best oil-based gloss from what I’ve used. It’s the only one I’ve tried that doesn’t start to turn yellow within weeks. That said, hardly anyone uses oil-based gloss now. Gloss isn’t in fashion anymore, but even when someone does choose it, I just go for Teknos Futura 90, which is a hybrid.
A hybrid is better than water-based and oil-based in my opinion. You still get the glossy sheen, it’s still durable, the finish is still good, but it keeps its colour for years.
I think all oil-based gloss products are naff nowadays. There are some good water-based versions out there though. It might be worth checking out Hanford & Green or Benjamin Moore. If you insist on using oil-based, then go with satinwood or eggshell. Much nicer finish and they don’t yellow as badly as gloss does.
Crown Next Generation gloss is fantastic stuff. Easy to use, nice finish and stays white for ages! It’s not often I get asked to use gloss inside nowadays, but any time I do, I go with Crown.
The other trade products are cr*p. I used Dulux Trade a few weeks ago and it dragged like crazy. It was an absolute nightmare to use. Johnston’s starts to yellow before you’ve even packed your brush away!! It’s amazing these products are still sold because they’re not fit for purpose.
Am I the only decorator who still loves Dulux Trade oil-based gloss? Any oil-based gloss is sticky to apply, but Dulux looks amazing! Just keep the lights on in a room for a few days after you’ve painted, and it’ll look great for years.
There’s nothing wrong with Dulux Trade gloss!! I know it can drag a bit, but the finish looks great and it lasts for yonks. Why bother looking around for the best gloss when you have an old faithful.
I haven’t used oil-based gloss for over a year now. I know people are still using it because it’s on the shelves in all the paint counters, but I don’t know why. It’s an old-fashioned finish that just looks dated.
All of my customers go for satinwood now. I can get a great finish with WRX satin, which is fully water-based and doesn’t discolour at all. I don’t see the point in using oil-based gloss.