Best Place to buy Trade Paint – online and in store

Updated Apr 30, 2024 | Posted Apr 27, 2020 | Professional insight, Miscellaneous | 1 comment

I have been a professional decorator for the past 21 years and I’ve had my own decorating business for 10 of those. In that time, I have trialled many different brands and suppliers. I thought I’d put pen to paper and explain not only the best place to buy trade paint, but a little bit about each supplier.

Notice I used the word “trade”. That’s because trade paint is much better quality than retail and it’s the only paint I use. Just because a tin of paint has “Dulux” on the front, don’t assume it is good quality. Even though it may cost you a little bit more, always buy trade paint. Oh, one more thing to remember, I’m going to be completely honest in my blog, but it is only my opinion. You can take it or leave it.

There are three different types of paint supplier you should look at when deciding where to buy your paint. If you know which brand you want, you could go directly to the source. So, for Dulux, you could go to a Dulux Decorating Centre, Crown Decorating Centre for Crown and so on. I’ll go into each of these outlets, so feel free to skip to the part of the blog you need.

If you need a variety of brands under one roof, then the best place to buy your trade paints may be an independent merchant. I’ll list a few further down.


Or if you already know exactly what you need and don’t want any guidance then you could save a lot of money buying your products online. Again, I will talk about the two best trade websites I think you should look at.


Buying Trade Paint from Dulux Decorating Centre


Dulux Decorating Centre is the most expensive trade paint outlet on this list, especially if you don’t have a trade account. They do offer a free next day delivery service for web or phone orders and their staff are ridiculously well trained. The bigger stores will always carry more stock, but if they haven’t got what you need, they normally get it in within a day.

They’re quite good when it comes to wallpaper too. You can borrow a book instore, then it takes a couple of days for them to get your chosen paper in. Most of the Dulux products are fine, some are a bit dodgy. You can read my full Dulux Trade paint guide by clicking here. Or for more information on Dulux Decorating Centre you can click here.


Buyi ng Trade Paint from Crown Decorating Centre


Crown Decorating Centre is a bit higgledy piggledy. It’s like an Aladdin’s cave of wired and wonderful products, none of which seem to get the shelf space or exposure they deserve. A few of the products in Crown Decorating Centre seem fairly specialist too and if you don’t know what you need then you won’t know what you’re looking at. They also have three different brands of shellac-based primer, all of which do the same thing and all of which are side by side on the same shelf!!

They do some awesome products thought and Crown are set up better than the others to deal with people off the street. No extortionate prices just because you don’t have a trade account. Not just that but talking to a Crown Decorating Centre manager feels like you’re talking to your best mate. If you’re not happy with a price just tell them and they tend to knock a bit off for you. In my experience they’re very welcoming. For my Crown Trade Paint review just click here. Or for more information on Crown Decorating Centre just Click here.


Buying Trade Paint from Johnstone’s Decorating Centre


Johnstone’s Decorating Centre and their staff remind me a little bit of my old grandad pottering around in his shed. Even their branding, it all seems a bit old fashioned but “proper”. A professional decorator knows where they are in Johnstone’s because they just get a percentage based discount (10, 20, 30 or 40).


However, it is a lot harder to haggle with a Johnstone’s manager than it is a Crown manager. They seem to have a lot of variations of each product too which can get confusing. That said, they always seem to have anything you could possibly need. If you’re stuck, just have a chat in store and they’ll sort you out. For my  Johnstone’s Trade paint review click here.


Using Tikkurila Pro-Centre


Tikkurila only have roughly 5% of the market share of trade paint sales in the UK, placing them well behind the top 3. However, they’re definitely worth talking about!! Tikkurila Trade paint is a massive topic of conversation amongst decorators on social media, with some ridiculously good products available. Their trade outlets are called “Pro-Centres” and they have a space age feel about them. You’ll find an array of Festool sanders and Tri-Tech sprayers on show. You’ll be able to help yourself to a free bacon sandwich or freshly ground coffee too, talk about inviting!! (or you could before covid)

The place is stacked from floor to ceiling with all types of products with strange and exotic names. It can be a bit overwhelming if you’re unfamiliar with the brand, but you soon get used to it. Plus, they know their paint products inside and out, they’ll always help you wherever you need it.


Buying Trade Paint from Independent Merchants


I couldn’t really talk about specific companies because if you don’t have a store in your area it would be pointless. Besides which, I’ve only used a handful of them so I couldn’t anyway. Keep an eye open for Leyland SDM and PaintWell, both of which are fantastic. The thing about independents is they’re not beholden to a certain brand, so they can usually offer you a wider choice. The downside is you won’t know what they sell until you’re in there.

Not all independent merchants are equal!! Some are fantastic and are thrive because they offer a great service at a competitive price. Others are more directed to the DIY market.


Specialist Paint Suppliers


As a decorator, most of the trade paint I need is available from several different stockists. However, sometimes I need a specialist product like Intumescent emulsion, or Maston aerosols. It might be that I need a paint for coating uPVC windows, or a problem-solving paint from Tor-Coatings.


However niche the task at hand, there is always one supplier I can rely on, and that is Rawlins Paints. All you need to do is reach out to them and explain what you need from your trade paint. They will give you the best expert advice available and more times than not, offer you the perfect product.


The Best Place to Buy Trade Paint Online


As mentioned in one of my opening paragraphs, it is almost always cheaper to buy trade paint online than it is going in store, especially if you don’t qualify for trade discount. One of the best places I have found to buy trade paint online is The Decorating Centre Online. Prices are cheap, you may be able to search and find the odd product cheaper on other websites, but only the odd one. It isn’t just the price though, The Decorating Centre Online have absolutely everything you could possibly need, from Johnstone’s, Dulux and Crown to more specialist coatings and Osmo oil. The other advantage is you can get colours matched across various brands. So, you can get a Farrow and Ball colour mixed in Dulux paint if you like. Click here to visit The Decorating Centre Online.

Another great place to buy your trade paint online is The Paint Shed. These guys are located in Scotland, but offer next day delivery anywhere in the UK. Their website is very easy to navigate, they have thousands of trade products, and everything is well priced. So-much-so, that some Decorators I know use the prices at The Paint Shed to negotiate cheaper prices on their trade accounts at Johnstone’s or Crown. Click here to visit The Paint Shed.


TopDec Decorating Supplies – Tools and sundries


Ok, so we’ve just about covered every possible paint angle. Sundries are the next thing you’ll need to buy to carry out any project. Whether its masking tape, sandpaper, or filler. I may be slightly biased because I’ve been using them for years, but in my opinion, you won’t do better than TopDec Decorating Supplies. You can go through their website or pick up the phone and have a chat with them. They have a very wide range of products, cheap prices, and never let you down. Great for paintbrushes, rollers, and other tool. Plus, they stock some of the more exotic paint brands like WRX and Teknos. Click here to visit TopDec.

Best Place to buy Trade Paint – by Mike Gregory

Updated Apr 30, 2024 | Posted Apr 27, 2020 | 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.
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1 Comment

  1. Paul Hanrahan

    I thoroughly enjoyed your article, Mike, thank you. I would however like to strengthen the case for independent merchants if I may.

    The manufacturer decorating centres that you refer to are generally located in cheap industrial units on the outskirts of town while independent merchants aim to be more conveniently located, often on high streets. There is a hidden cost to the travel associated with out of town decorating centres. Independents usually incur greater overheads to be more conveniently located so ‘convenience’ is reflected in their pricing.

    Manufacturer merchants often only promote their own brands, particularly when it comes to paint.

    A good independent will aim to be a single stop shop for the decorator, offering the widest range of products to enable him/her to complete their job. They will include everyday plumbing, electrics, tools etc that are simply not available in manufacturer decorating centres and most online stores.

    A visit to an independent should be like a visit to Aladin’s cave. You should go in for one thing and leave with ten. Eight things that you had not realised that you had needed and a treat that you probably didn’t need.

    Independent decorators merchants are usually run by the owner. Pricing couldn’t be more flexible and, run correctly, service should never be equalled online or in a manufacturer decorating centre.

    Most independents will offer their services to non trade customers, they have to, buy the best ones will never forget that trade/decorators are their most important customers. They will offer trade discount, rebates, targeted promotion and good old fashioned help and support when needed.

    I agree, My Paint Brush is a fantastic little business. The service is excellent and the quality of their own brand Fox brushes is superb.


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