Dulux, Crown or Johnstone’s Trade Paint Center

Mike Cupit


I’ve been a decorator for the past 15 years, and I’ve been writing for the Decorators Forum for the past 18 months. In this article, I want to give you a little bit of insight into what I think about the BIG 3 trade paint centers, Dulux, Johnstone’s and Crown. This is all opinion based, so you can either take it or leave it.


Dulux DC

When I think of Dulux Decorating Centre, or DDC, I think of a high-tech paint technician, stood there in a lab coat and test tubes. The branding is sleek and modern, as is the paint factory in Slough if you ever get chance to visit. You will benefit from free delivery and nectar points on every purchase. They have a wide range of paints and sundries and Dulux will always be the most popular choice amongst homeowners. My advice would be to look at their value brand, which is Armstead, and is sold side by side with Dulux. A lot of the time, not only is Armstead a lot cheaper than Dulux, but it is of better quality. I’ll be honest, there are a lot of great products at Dulux, but there are a few poor quality products as well. Another downside is Dulux is probably the most expensive out of the three.


Johnstone’s DC

Johnstone’s Decorating Center is your old grandad, pottering around in the shed with his flat cap on. Very traditional branding, cheap sundries and paint that you can always depend on. The pricing structure for JDC is dead easy as well, you get given a percentage of discount depending on how much you spend and how hard you haggle. There are a lot of variations of the same product at Johnstone’s, meaning unless you spend a lot of time in there, it can get quite confusing. There are a few great products as well! I don’t know how they get away with it, but you can go into a Johnstone’s Decorating Center with a colour from a different brand and they’ll mix it for you there and then, no scanning involved.


Crown DC

If Dulux is a technician in a lab coat and Johnstone’s is your old reliable grandad, Crown is your bezzy mate. You need to go into a CDC and have a proper chat with a manager to get the best out of them. If you know what you are willing to spend on a product, be upfront about it. The managers at Crown have a lot more power over prices than the managers at Johnstone’s and Dulux. The only downside to that is you seem to pay a different price every time you go in. Some great products as well, not just from crown buy great problem-solving paints from Coo-Var and Tor-Coatings. Crown isn’t about being big, bold and flashy. Crown is a lot more personal.

And that is a very brief summery of what I think of Crown, Johnstone’s and Dulux Decorating Centers.