Dulux or Johnstone’s Paint, which is Better?

By Mike Gregory


Johnstone’s Paint is the biggest coatings manufacturer in the world and a favourite with decorators. Dulux is widely known as the best paint brand amongst homeowners, but which is better in reality, Dulux or Johnstone’s paint?


In this blog I’m going to take you through some of the more mainstream TRADE  products from each brand and compare them with each other based on my own experience. There are a lot of differences in performance and I think you’ll find it useful when choosing between Dulux and Johnstone’s paint.


If you have a trade account with Dulux or Johnstone’s it is often better going direct to buy your paint. If you do not have a trade account, it is almost definitely cheaper buying trade paint online. The best trade website I have found is the Paintshed, where not only do they sell paint products at a reasonable price, but they’ve also got everything you could possibly need to carry out any DIY project. As you’ll see from my blog, some products re better from Dulux, some from Johnstone’s. Using a proper trade website like the Paintshed means you can buy either. I have done a whole blog on where to buy trade paint from which you can see by CLICKING HERE.



Johnstone’s Jonmatt Vs Dulux Supermatt


I thought we’d start with contract matt as it’s often the first paint to be used on a project. Both these products are generally used to prime bare plaster, finish on a ceiling or a “builders’ finish” on a newbuild.

Johnstone’s Jonmatt is a very strange paint. Opacity is unbelievable and you can easily cover bare plaster in two coats. The issue I have with Jonmatt is it dries way too fast and if you don’t keep a wet edge you will notice flashing. It doesn’t touch up either so it’s useless on a building site. If someone marks a wall or ceiling, then you’re painting the whole thing again I’m afraid.


Dulux Supermatt on the other hand is outstanding all-round. Opacity is great, no flashing or picture framing and a nice flat matt finish. A lot easier to work with than Jonmatt too. Dulux Supermatt is by far the better product.

Johnstone’s 0 – 1 Dulux



Johnstone’s Covaplus Vs Dulux Vinyl Matt


Ok, let’s do vinyl matt emulsion next and this one is a very easy choice. Johnstone’s Covaplus in my opinion is the best trade emulsion on the market. It dries flat and you have very few issues will roller and brush marks. Dulux vinyl matt is one of the worst! It is expensive, has a high sheen level and you must be mindful of brush and roller marks

Johnstone’s 1 – 1 Dulux



Johnstone’s Durable Acrylic Vs Dulux Diamond Matt


Another landslide in Johnstone’s favour, although it is more to do with how poorly Dulux Diamond Matt performs, rather than how good Johnstone’s Durable is. Dulux Diamond matt has an issue with it’s sheen level, meaning its closer to a soft sheen than a matt. This effects the overall finish in a negative way. You can still achieve a good finish with it, but it definitely lags behind the Johnstone’s and Crown alternatives.

Johnstone’s 2 – 1 Dulux



Johnstone’s Satinwood Vs Dulux Satinwood


Both of these products have great opacity and are lovely to apply. The Dulux leaves a slightly nicer finish I’d say. The real test for quality oil-based paint in white nowadays is how long it will stay white for. This is down to the VOC restrictions, but that is another blog entirely. Johnstone’s oil-based Satinwood does not last very long at all before it starts to yellow, whereas the Dulux can look brand new for years. Go for the Dulux Satinwood every time.

Johnstone’s 2 – 2 Dulux



Johnstone’s Aqua Satinwood Vs Dulux Diamond Satinwood


AHHH!!! Water-based satinwood and this is a difficult one! The Aqua and the Diamond are both great products for different reasons. Johnstone’s Aqua is a hybrid, meaning it will eventually start to discolour. That said, it is lovely to apply and feels like an oil-based. It was voted the best on the market in the Decorator’s Forum, so I know it is the favourite amongst professionals.

I like the Dulux Diamond Satinwood though. It is fully water-based and leaves a proper “in your face”, bright white finish. It is quick and easy to apply too!!  There are a couple of issues, the first being the recoat which is like oil-based. The other being ninja runs so you need to keep checking over your work.


I’m going to give both of these products a point. I would personally choose Dulux Diamond over Johnstone’s Aqua, but I know I’m in the minority and a lot of other decorators would argue that Johnstone’s Aqua is the best on the market.

Johnstone’s 3 – 3 Dulux


Choice and Product Range


Even stevens up till now so this is the decider and it’s an easy one. Johnstone’s have a product for everything! They have 3 different variations of durable matt so you can choose just how durable you want it. They also have a water-based stain block and finish coat in one called “stainaway”. They’ve got a premium matt emulsion called “perfect matt” which knocks the spots off any designer emulsion out there. The list goes on and Dulux don’t have any of it. If you were going to stick to one brand for all your decorating needs, the Johnstone’s has to be the one.

Johnstone’s 4 – 3 Dulux

What do Other Decorators Think?

Dulux and Armstead is all I use unless client stipulates otherwise. It’s great gear although I must admit been looking at cheaper alternatives recently

Ross Paton

Johnstone’s should get another point because of the huge difference in price. This compares products but the difference in cost is a joke.

Dean Young

When the lock down started, I had a completely empty refurb to work on for a landlord. Before I bought a load of materials, I thought I’d use up everything that I had in stock- Johnstone’s, Dulux Trade and Armstead- all magnolia and white. The Dulux Trade pissed all over the other 2 in terms of opacity, no contest. Much more depth to the finish. I always knew that was the case, but it was the first time I’d used them side by side.

Jim Ware - Dulux or Johnstone’s Paint, which is Better?

Dulux coverage, Johnstone for colour tinting

Dan Ezard

 Quality varies too much with Dulux. Sometimes the trade paint is thinner and worse than the retail paint, sometimes it’s so thick it’s painful to use. In my opinion Johnstone is always reliable…..

Mark Byatt

Prefer Dulux emulsion, but the price is a bit high, especially when the customer can pick up 3for2 in Homebase (although inferior) Johnstone’s more reasonably priced. Prefer Johnstone’s waterbased gloss/undercoat. But you can’t beat Dulux Weathershield for exteriors.

Steve Coventry

No one company is better than another overall.

One product may be crap from one, but great from another. Whereas it could be the same scenario but the opposite way round on another product.

Then add into the mix constant reformulation of products mean what’s crap this year may be great next…. Or the other way around.

Similarly, you may have great staff in one store but another of the same brand may be poor.

My point is simply it’s the individual products that should be rated and I make no secret to them that I also use their competitors…

Ste Hanson - Dulux or Johnstone’s Paint, which is Better?

I think it varies in which product you use, as Johnstone’s aqua satin is better than the Dulux version but Dulux super Matt is better than the Johnstone’s emulsion

George W Irvine

They’re both very good brands of paint. Both have good variety in different paint types for all sort of substrates, within the commercial or domestic sector. Johnstone’s is well priced, covers well. They also match F&B colours which is something Dulux don’t do as good. However, there isn’t a paint on the market that covers better than Dulux in terms of opacity, in any form of paint. This is why you pay more for it it will cover in two no question. Therefore, Dulux edges it for me but I like both

James Miles

Only ever used Johnstone’s retail which I didn’t rate. I use Dulux the majority of the time, but I think the vinyl matt is problematic it flashes and grins a lot. I tend to stick with the diamond which I think is decent but it’s potent. Interested to hear what Johnstone’s trade is like from fellows

Glenn Austin

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Dulux or Johnstone’s Paint, which is Better?