Dulux Crown Johnstone’s Trade Paint Centre

Updated May 6, 2024 | Posted Aug 31, 2019 | Professional insight, Business, Miscellaneous | 7 comments

I’ve been a decorator for the past 20 years, and I’ve been writing for the Decorators Forum UK for the past 3 years. 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 Decorating Centre


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. This is also the main training centre for the Dulux Academy, which is an extremely prestigious set-up!

At Dulux Decorating Centre, 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, especially if you do not have a trade account.

Johnstone’s Decorating Centre


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 trade 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 products at Johnstone’s, meaning unless you spend a lot of time in there, it can get quite confusing. To give you an example, let’s talk durable matt. You could go for Johnstone’s Durable Matt, Endura or Cleanable. Three separate versions!

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. This is a massive advantage over the others.


Crown Decorating Centre


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. CDC is like an Aladdin’s cave of brands too. You have a lot of choice, whether you’re looking for masking tape, or shellac-based primer.

You’ll find Crown a lot better than the others if you’re a retail customer (if you do not have an account). You will be treated fairer.


Tikkurila Pro


I know this is outside the big 3, but I had to mention the exotic lover who everyone loves to gossip about!! Tikkurila is the new brand on the block which is taking the industry by storm. You may get free bacon sandwiches, nice coffee, a Festool sander display, Tri Tech spray equipment off and floor-to-ceiling products with funny names. It can be a bit overwhelming if you’re not familiar with the place, but the staff are helpful and some of the products are unbelievably good!!


I think it’s about time I gave a shout out to my local Dulux Decorator Centre (Southport). It’s a store I’ve been using for over 20 years now.

It isn’t massive (I only live in a seaside town, and it’s sandwiched between two bigger stores at Preston and Liverpool, which are both about 40 minutes away).

Southport DDC doesn’t carry loads of stock, but they usually have everything I need. If not, they have an efficient support network with the other stores, so usually they can get products for me the same day.

They have free same-day delivery, regular offers, and access to a vast library of wallpapers.

But the reason this store stands out for me is the staff. Now I’m involved with The Decorators Forum UK, more times than not, I’m only in there to take pictures of the paints I’m writing about. Or I’m on the phone to them asking constant questions about obscure products, or shelf prices, tinting capabilities, etc. I learn quite a lot from them.

Considering I don’t spend loads of money in there, it would be very easy for them to ignore me and focus on the Decorators who boost their sales every month. They don’t though. They’re always very helpful, friendly, and their product knowledge is genuinely impressive.

Mike Cupit

Professional Painter and Decorator

Blog written by Mike Gregory– Professional Painter, Decorator and Blogger

Updated May 6, 2024 | Posted Aug 31, 2019 | 7 comments

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. Craig Ross

    And Caparol is the mistress you can’t keep your hands off. Smooth, silky and definitely satisfying 🙌

  2. Jason barrett

    Tikkurila is some wierd crazy foreigner with a name you can’t pronounce but that’s just uber cool.

  3. lee thornton

    And Benjamin Moore is the five grand a night high class call you can barely afford but it’s so worth it.

  4. Gary Currington

    Retail paint is the girlfriend you don’t want any of your mates knowing about

  5. Harrietti

    And Tekno’s is your fit cousin; untouchable… you can’t get that hot stuff anywhere

  6. Ross Ratty

    Brewers you may as well pull up a chair and have a good yap, half of the staff are knowledgeable about paint and the other half are just there for their conversation skills…

  7. Louise

    Just about to repaint my house inside should I go for Johns tones. It is an old h o use


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