I’ve been a Decorator for over 22 years, and self employed just over 12 of those. I tend to play around with different products from each trade brand. In this blog, I thought I’d offer up some insight on which is the better paint, Crown or Dulux.
The best way for me to do this is to compare a few of the most regularly used products from each brand. It is worth noting that I’m only going to talk about trade paint in this blog. Decorators tend to avoid retail paint because it is of lower quality. I’ll stick to interior paints too, as there are way too many exterior products to go through on the same blog.
You can buy either Crown or Dulux products by going to the respective trade centres, but unless you’re entitled to a trade discount, it will almost certainly be cheaper to buy these brands online. Another advantage of buying online is they can match any colour from a different brand into the product you want. You’ll find all the below products online at The Decorating Centre by clicking here.
Crown Vinyl Matt Vs Dulux Vinyl matt
Crown Trade vinyl matt is a lot cheaper than Dulux. The opacity is great, and the finish is a rich flat matt. However, there are a couple of issues with it. It doesn’t seem like there is much in the way of polymer binder in the paint, meaning it can scuff and mark easily. Plus, it drags when you’re applying a second coat which can lead to roller marks.
Dulux Trade Vinyl matt is the opposite! It is expensive for a standard trade emulsion. The finish has a little bit of a sheen to it, meaning you can’t achieve a true matt finish. It is more durable than Crown and won’t scuff as easily. Flashing and picture framing can be an issue with Dulux vinyl matt.
I think I’m going to give this one to Crown as it has a better finish, although both products have their drawbacks.
Crown 1 – Dulux 0
Crown Clean Extreme Vs Dulux Diamond Matt
Both Crown and Dulux have stunning durable matt emulsion paints!
Crown’s Clean Extreme Scrubbable Matt is one of the most durable products of its type. It’s reasonably priced, easy to apply, and leaves a gorgeous finish. It isn’t low sheen compared to other matt emulsion products, but it still results in a desirable finish.
Dulux Diamond Matt never used to be very good, up until they reformulated it a while ago. Now it’s a masterpiece!! Dulux Diamond Matt leaves a very contemporary and deep flat matt finish which is gorgeous. Brush and roller marks blend to leave your painted surface blemish free. Opacity in colours is fantastic, but white sometimes needs an extra coat.
I can wholeheartedly recommend both products, but if I had to choose one, it would be Dulux over Crown.
Crown 1 – Dulux 1
Crown Satinwood Vs Dulux Satinwood
These are both brilliant oil-based products and I use both on a regular basis at work. Crown satinwood does not come in a “brilliant white”, but I don’t think that’s an issue because satinwood isn’t supposed to be “in your face” anyway. Opacity is amazing, ease of use is brilliant, it ages well, it’s cheaper than Dulux and the finish is nice.
Dulux satinwood has most of the same qualities. I’d say the opacity isn’t quite as good and the price difference isn’t justified. However, I’d recommend either of these products.
Crown 2 – Dulux 1
Crown Gloss Vs Dulux Gloss
Crown Trade have 2 oil-based gloss options. The standard trade gloss has a party trick, it goes on green and dries brilliant white. The major issue with this paint is it discolours very quickly and starts to yellow. This is one to avoid.
The other option is Crown’s Next Generation gloss, which is miles better. Ease of use and finish are great, plus it ages well.
Dulux Trade oil-based gloss is also a good product, but it does have some drawbacks. It is harder to apply, it can creep (bleed into another surface) and it discolours very quickly in places where there is no natural light.
Crown’s Next Generation gloss is the better product by far.
Crown 3 – Dulux 1
Crown Fastflow Vs Dulux Diamond (water-based trim paints)
This is a bit of a funny one and I’ve got a feeling it’s down to personal preference more than anything else. Both the Crown Fastflow and Dulux Diamond satinwood are good products. Both require the same number of coats (undercoat plus 2 topcoats over previously painted). Both perform well too.
The Crown Fastflow comes in a gloss, satinwood and eggshell. It is actually a hybrid, meaning that at some point in the distant future it will start to discolour. It can be awkward to use and has poor opacity, but the finish is good.
Dulux diamond comes in eggshell (which can also be used as an emulsion) and a satinwood, however you can’t get it in gloss. The white is a lot whiter than Fastflow though.
The best thing about Dulux Diamond eggshell and satinwood is they’re fully water-based, so they’ll never discolour.
They’re very easy to use too, but can sag and run, so you need to look back over your work as it’s drying. Dulux takes this one, but it’s a close call!
Crown 3 – Dulux 2
Colour Range and Matching – Dulux Vs Crown
The Dulux colour range is vast, much bigger than Crown’s. This means if you were to take something to scan into both a Crown and a Dulux dec centre, Dulux will get a closer colour match for you more times than not. Something else that is annoying about Crown is the restrictions on which products can be mixed into which colours. Sometimes they even have trouble with something as simple as getting a tester pot mixed up in a specific colour. This one is definitely Dulux all the way
Crown 3 – Dulux 3
Value for money
This one is easy. Dulux Trade has got a bad reputation for being expensive, be it “off the shelf”, or through a trade account. Crown are, however, quite reasonable in most cases.
Crown are also better value for money for retail customers (not trade). You can go into any Crown Decorating Centre and have a chat with the staff. They will normally do you some sort of deal.
Crown 4 – Dulux 3
It isn’t clear cut, is it? You can ask whether Dulux paint is better than Crown, but it really comes down to which products you’re talking about. We could have carried on like this for ages, there are hundreds of other products in both ranges, some are better in Crown, others in Dulux.
I commend people who research products before they buy them. There is a massive gulf in the quality when comparing one paint product to another, and it can make a huge difference to the finish you achieve. The best advice I can give you is stick to trade paint and stay away from retail products, be they Crown, Dulux, or any other.
Crown or Dulux, Which is Better Paint? – by Mike Gregory
What do Other Decorators Think?
I was a Dulux man through and through, but they seemed to get more and more expensive, to the point where they weren’t a viable option. I do still use Dulux from time to time.
Crown do some fantastic paint products and they also have the Can Back Scheme. Plus, they’re a lot cheaper, so I can pass that saving onto my clients. I also buy a lot of the more modern paint brands because there are some fantastic products available.
I use both brands, but if I could only use one moving forward, it would be Dulux. They have a much better product range, better masonry paint, better colours and homeowners seem to know about its quality before you start.
As I’m a decorator, Dulux gave me a fan dec containing about 10,000 colours on it. This is so useful for me when carrying out colour consultancy. Then there are the Dulux Academy courses which help me ensure I’m the best decorator I can possibly be.
I’d love to use Dulux for everything, but they have a few issues. None of their emulsion products are very good, even though they are expensive. Dulux also manufacture a cheaper brand called Armstead, which have better emulsions, but you can’t get Dulux colours mixed into Armstead, which is very frustrating.
Saying that, the Dulux Weathershield products are fantastic. I love the undercoat and gloss for exterior fascia boards, windows, doors etc. It has the best sheen of any paint I’ve used, and it lasts for years. The Dulux masonry paint is good too.
Crown have better emulsion products and they are much cheaper. Colour matching is a bit off, but it’s still a more viable option.
I use both, but if I had to use one for everything, I’d go for Crown. That’s down to price more than everything, but I prefer Crown products over Dulux too. Their Clean Extreme is amazing! I like their vinyl matt emulsion too, along with their trim products.
Stay away from Crown Fastflow. It’s a pain to use and doesn’t cover. There are better water-based paints out there.
Dulux have better exterior paints, especially masonry paint.