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Is Satinwood Better than Gloss? Pros and Cons of Each

By Mike Gregory


I’m a professional decorator with 20 years’ experience. I concentrate on the domestic sector (people’s homes). In this blog, I want to talk about whether satinwood is better than gloss, and the pros and cons of each product. I hope you find it useful.


Modern Gloss Paints


I really like a gloss finish on exterior trim. I think it stands proud, almost like your house is wearing a suit. However, it can look a little dated on the interior of a property. Not just that, but gloss has changed over the years, and it now comes with certain problems.


Oil-based gloss contains a lot of alkyd oil. One property of alkyd is that it starts to turn yellow over time. Once upon a time this wasn’t too much of a problem because manufacturers could load the paint with chemicals known as VOCs. These chemicals slowed the yellowing process. However, around 10 years ago, EU restrictions put a limit on the amount of VOC’s a manufacturer was allowed to use in paint. The result is modern gloss paint discolours rather quickly. This is a particular problem inside a property as lack of natural light can speed the process even further.


The science of gloss paint is changing things a little bit. Water-based and hybrid gloss paints are now becoming a viable alternative, but they’re not quite there yet. Water-based gloss doesn’t tend to level off like its oil-based counterpart, so the finish is left lacking. That said, while the overall quality of gloss has diminished, I still think the hybrid gloss products (a compromise between oil and water) are better than most of the full-oil versions.

Is Dulux gloss any good?
Is Satinwood Better than Gloss? Pros and Cons of Each

Modern Satinwood Products


Satinwood is a different ball game. The overall look is a lot more contemporary for starters. Oil-based satinwood will still discolour, but the paint does not contain as much alkyd oil as gloss, so the discolouring process takes a lot longer. A good quality oil-based satinwood such as Dulux Trade or Crown Trade will keep its colour for years.


Water-based satinwood paint is also good. The finish is just as good as oil-based, it is just as durable, and it will never discolour. You may need a separate adhesion primer, or apply an extra coat of satinwood, but the ease of use, environmental benefits, and the easier clean-up more than make up for this.

is satinwood better than gloss?
Crown Trade satinwood

Best Satinwood and Gloss Products


I think you can tell from the rest of this blog that I’m very honest. I thought it might be helpful if I gave you my opinion on the best satinwood and gloss products available.


When choosing a gloss, I tend to go for hybrid products. My preferred brand is Teknos Futura Aqua 90. This is available online in white or a variety colours. You must use the Futura undercoat and achieve a solid colour before applying the gloss, because the opacity of the gloss isn’t the best. Ease of use and overall finish are great! Use a mini roller and laying off brush if you intend to use this product on large, flat surfaces.


There are plenty of good satinwood products. Dulux and Crown do great self-undercoating oil-based satin product. Both retain their colour for a long period, both are easy to use, and both leave a great finish. You can purchase these products online.


If you’re looking for a great water-based version, then have a look at WRX. Available online, dead easy to use, awesome finish and will last a lifetime. I wrote a full WRX Satin review which you can see here.


My favourite exterior gloss system is Dulux Trade Weathershield. If you’re looking for an exterior eggshell, look at the Sandtex E-Tra. A great exterior satinwood is Zinsser AllCoat.


Hop that helps

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