Dulux Trade Paint Review
By Mike Gregory
I’m a professional decorator and I’ve been in the game most of my working life. I have been using Dulux Trade paint for the past fifteen years, in fact it used to be the only brand I did use. Over the years Dulux Trade paint seems to have become more and more expensive, meaning it isn’t as competitive as say Crown or Johnston’s. Dulux Decorating Centre or “DDC” is generally the best place to buy Dulux Trade Paint from a physical store. By going directly to Dulux, you will be given the very best advice about which products best suit the individual requirements of your project. It is always worth having a chat at your local DDC to see what they can do for you. Their colour range is second to none, you benefit from free delivery and their staff are well trained. What you will not get from Dulux staff are honest opinions, which is why I thought I’d write an unbiased Dulux Trade paint review to help.
Another thing to bear in mind is it is often cheaper to buy Dulux and Armstead Trade paint online than it is in store. The best place to buy Dulux Trade Paint online is The Paintshed using discount code FORUM5 at the checkout. You can visit Paintshed’s website by clicking here.
Dulux Trade Vinyl Matt Emulsion
Dulux Trade Vinyl Matt Emulsion is a little bit on the expensive side for what you get. Opacity is good, but that’s the only positive I’ve got to say unfortunately. Roller marks, picture framing and a high sheen level leaves a poor finish in my opinion. Bit of a let down this one.
Dulux Diamond Matt Emulsion
Dulux Diamond Matt is a durable matt emulsion which is suitable for kitchens and high traffic areas. It isn’t a very good product at all I’m afraid. Much the same problems as their vinyl matt, but tenfold. It’s expensive as well. The price may be clouding my judgment when it comes to overall finish. I don’t mind paying a premium price for a premium product, but the finish needs to be stunning. Anything less than that and I can’t justify buying it.
Dulux Trade Oil-Based Satinwood
Dulux Trade Oil-Based Satinwood is self-undercoating over existing paint. You can juice it down a bit with white spirit for better flow, it leaves a gorgeous finish as well! The sheen level may seem a little high as you apply it, but it dulls down for a few weeks after you’ve finished the job. Great product and it stays white for years. I would recommend this to anyone. Honestly one of the best oil-based satinwoods on the market.
An easy 9/10 for this one
Dulux Trade Oil-Based Gloss
Dulux Trade Oil-Based Gloss has a brilliant white finish which would impress anyone. It can drag a little bit, so it isn’t nice to apply and if you gloss somewhere that doesn’t get a lot of natural light it discolours within a week. If you do get plenty of natural light, you’re onto a winner because the finish is sublime. Dulux Gloss can creap a little bit, so look out for that.
7/10 – good product
Dulux Diamond Satinwood
Dulux Trade Diamond Satinwood is a fully water based product which is self-undercoating on previously painted surfaces. Adhesion is good, as is the quality of the finish. Opacity is ok, it’s like 14 hours recoat time which is a real pain for water based. You get ninja runs as well so keep going back to check your work and knock them out. Wash your brushes regularly to avoid misshaping. All in all, there are some negatives, but the finish is bang on and because it is water based you know it will look mint for years to come. I quite like the Diamond Satinwood to be honest.
Dulux Trade Supermatt
Supermatt is a contract matt, meaning it doesn’t contain many polymer binders and isn’t very durable. You wouldn’t use Supermatt as a finish on walls, but it is the perfect product to prime bare plaster as it allows a substrate to breathe. Supermatt is also brilliant on a ceiling and leaves a flat finish. If you use the product in white you will encounter very little in the way of noticeable roller marks or picture framing, making it the perfect ceiling paint. I wouldn’t bother getting it tinted into a colour though.
8/10 from me. One of the best contract matts around
Dulux Trade Stain Block Primer
Dulux Trade stain block primer is water-based, recoat after 6 hours and is supposed to block nicotine, smoke damage and ink stains. It really doesn’t though, it’s crap. One of, if not the worst stain blocks on the market. Don’t waste your time on a product that isn’t fit for purpose.
Super-Grip and Ultra-Grip Primer
I’ll do these two products together because they are supposed to be similar. They’re not similar at all, one of them is brilliant, the other only works on the odd occasion.
Let’s look at the Dulux Trade super-grip primer first. Water-based adhesion primer which works well on melamine. It will fail if you use it on varnish, stain, uPVC, ceramic tiles and oil-based paints. 2/10 for this one, leave it on the shelf!
Dulux Trade ultra-grip is a 2-pack adhesion primer which works well on everything I’ve ever thrown it at. Honestly can’t fault this product at all. It sticks like crazy to basically anything, dries flat, sands well and gives you the perfect base for the rest of your paint system. 9/10
Dulux Weathershield – Exterior Range.
There are too many great Weathershield products to talk about in depth on this blog, but overall, I’m very impressed with the whole range. The undercoat and gloss leaves a very high sheen finish which will last for years. Weathershield water-based masonry paint covers brilliantly, seems to last forever and is showerproof after about 30 minutes. The water-based opaque covers brilliantly and leaves a nice, but unlike other barn paints you need to use a specialist primer. The ultimate woodstain has great opacity and is great for restoring beaten up timber but can leave brush marks. For a more in-depth review of each product click here.
Dulux and Armstead are both owned and manufactured by AkzoNobel. In fact, they’re often sold side by side, Armstead being the budget brand and Dulux the premium. The funny thing is, I rate some Armstead products higher than the Dulux alternative. For example, Armstead vinyl and durable matt products leave a much nicer finish than the Dulux vinyl and diamond matt. Opacity is an issue and there are a few Armstead products you should stay away from. There is a full review here.
What do Other Decorators Have to Say About Dulux Trade Paint?
I only do exterior work. I prefer acrylic paint, but for customers who want oil-based I have used Dulux Trade Ultimate Opaque. It’s expensive but it flows beautifully. First used it on a neighbour’s house 3 years ago and still looks like it was done yesterday.
The Dulux acrylic exterior paints are nowhere near as good as Jotun Demidekk in my opinion
I’ve been a fan of Dulux Trade Paint for the last 20 years, but a number of their products have just gone downhill with opacity and flashing problems. You can’t justify with the cost with some of their products.
I’ve been using all Dulux products on our recent place of work at a beautiful Hall!
The emulsion we’ve been using is the Dulux diamond matt for both ceilings and walls and using diamond eggshell on all the woodwork.
The diamond matt is really good and we’ve predominantly been using a dark green in giant passage ways. We’ve been cutting in and rolling as we’ve been going along and we haven’t had a single issue with picture framing. We’ve also touched up the odd bit that has been marked by others before we left and it hasn’t flashed once. The rumours of “flashing and framing” are simply not true.
The diamond eggshell flows brilliantly and there’s no brush marks when a decent brush has been used, Oldfields in our case. The coverage and drying times have been great in the current weather conditions.
In the bathrooms we’ve used acrylic eggshell and the coverage was as expected for a premium priced paint and covered in 2 coats easily, a cowboy wouldn’t have bothered with a 2nd coat 🤣
We sprayed some fancy coving and that covered in 1 coat easily with the Dulux diamond matt in an off white The main bits of the ceiling did require rolling again, but you’d expect to give a ceiling two coats in any brand.
Overall I’m happy with both the price and the performance of all the products
My early days in the trade where for a Dulux select decorator, so it was pretty much all we used. The customers knew Dulux and we had faith that it wouldn’t let us down on jobs. Unfortunately, it’s not what it was yet the price of it now is way above its quality. Most of the time when Dulux colours are requested these days, I use the Armstead formulation, or get it colour matched in Tikkurila or Caparol. It’s a shame because they are probably the biggest known paint brand in the UK.
Dulux Trade gets a lot of bad press, but I think it’s unjustified. There are one or two products which let the brand down (vinyl and diamond matt), but most of the other products are fantastic. I love Dulux Trade satinwood and their whole exterior Weathershield range.
One thing that really does let them down is the price of their paint!! It can be extortionate, especially if you go directly to DDC. I think in this respect, Dulux are relying on their brand name to pull them through.
That was my Dulux Trade Paint Review and guide, including the best place to buy Dulux Trade Paint