Johnstone’s Aqua Guard Satinwood – Two Coats

Updated May 23, 2024 | Posted Mar 15, 2020 | Product Reviews, Paints | 7 comments

Johnstone’s Trade Aqua Guard Satin is a fully water-based satinwood designed for internal woodwork. The benefits of this over the Aqua Satinwood are; this is more durable and will not yellow at all. Not that the Aqua is a bad system, but it does come with its problems.

I know there are loads of reviews on the Johnstone’s Aqua Guard, but has anyone else tried it straight onto old oil-based gloss? Johnstone’s tell you to use a coat of the Aqua undercoat, followed by two full coats of Aqua guard.

I tried it with undercoat first, then without undercoat over keyed old oil-based gloss doors and skirts. It adhered just the same on both. Not just that, but the finish looked pretty much the same too. Albeit the 2 x satin compared to 1 x u/c & 1 x satin maybe had a slightly better sheen? It wasn’t really that noticeable though.

Both systems covered the creamy oil in two coats, both adhered the same, so first impressions of the Johnstone’s Aqua guard satinwood very good. If flows nicely, doesn’t wreck your brushes and leaves a nice finish.


It dries durable too, and because it’s a fully water-based product, as mentioned in the opening paragraph, it will never discolour! I pick mine up online, but you can buy it from loads of different trade centres.

Thing is, is that if I had to use an undercoat or primer and followed the manufacturer’s instructions, I would have been looking at a 3-coat system. You should really apply two topcoats of a water based trim product for durability and depth. You need to completely protect the surface. This is why I test the adhesion of these satins, if you can get away without a primer, you’re laughing.

My advice; 2 coats of Johnstone’s Trade Aqua Guard is fine over old oil-based paint. Just do your prep, then get it on! No messing around… but do check the adhesion after your first coat. Cick here to see online prices.


Best Paintbrush to Apply Johnstone’s Aqua Guard


Your choice of paintbrush will make a big difference to your finish when applying a water-based product like Johnstone’s Aqua Guard. You need something that will hold its shape well, hold loads of paint, and is soft enough to lay it off without any marks. My choice is Ice Fusion Oval, Which you can buy online by clicking here.

It’s easier to get a good finish with water-based satinwood if you use a mini-roller to apply the paint to larger areas. The quality of your roller matters a lot. You need something that will hold plenty of paint, distribute it evenly, but won’t shed. The Two Fussy Blokes Rollers are probably the best on the market. Click here to see online prices.

Updated May 23, 2024 | Posted Mar 15, 2020 | 7 comments

About the Author

About the Author

With years of decorating experience, Robin set up his own business – Wokingham Decorating Services – in 2007, carrying out mainly domestic work. He enjoys trying out new products and learning as much as he can about the decorating industry


  1. Paul Dorling

    I’ve tried the undercoat over oil and it scratched off !!
    Then tried the aqua satin on its own and scratch test was good

  2. Wayne

    Hi guys

    I was wondering if I could use 2x coats of Johnstone’s Aqua Guard satin over rubbed down Dulux satinwood. Didn’t really want to use the undercoat. I would rather do 2x coats of the satin. Anyone got any comments? Thanks in advance

    • Brett Royle

      We’ve used the Aqua with various u/c, with the recommended aqua u/c which is a nightmare for brushes, it did cover better however we also used zinsser cover stain as an u/c on some areas which needed an additional coat of top coat both finishes looked almost identical. I’m playing with the idea of using it straight without any u/c as some flicked onto plastic kitchen units and trying to remove it wasn’t easy, so I’m going to paint the inside of one of my UPVC windows and see the results coverage and durability etc.

  3. Azeem

    I’m going to be painting some bare mdf skirting boards this weekend. Was going to use on coat acrylic and then one coat Johnstone’s uc and finish with a coat of aqua gaurd on top. Or should I just go with one Johnstone’s uc with 2 coats of the aqua gaurd?

    • Mike Cupit

      I’d personally go with your initial idea

  4. Marc

    This stuff WILL yellow over time. It’s states on the tin ‘long lasting whiteness’. The Acrylic Satin is the non yellowing product

    • Mike Cupit

      Aqua Guard is a fully water-based product, rather than an alkyd emulsion, so will not yellow at all.


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