Best Place to buy Trade Paint
By Mike Gregory
I have been a professional decorator for the past 19 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.
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.
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.
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.
Tikkurila only have roughly 1% 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.
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 Brewers and Bromborough paints, 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.
Online Trade Paint Websites
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. The best place to buy trade paint online is The Paintshed. 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 Paintshed have absolutely everything you could possibly need, from Johnstone’s, Dulux and Crown to more specialist coatings and Osmo oil. The only downside of buying paint online is you don’t receive any guidance. CLICK HERE to visit the Paintshed.
My Paintbrush – 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, filler or sandpaper. I may be slightly biased because I’ve been using them for years, but in my opinion, you won’t do better than My Paintbrush. Run by Father and Daughter team Andy and Megan Cherry. 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, never let you down and even throw in a chocolate biscuit with each order to say thanks. For further discount use code DF8 at the checkout. CLICK HERE to visit My Paintbrush