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Johnstone’s Trade Paint Review

Updated Jun 6, 2022 | Posted Sep 4, 2019 | Paints, Product Review | 30 comments

Johnstone’s Trade Paint Review Mike Cupit

Johnstone’s Trade Paint Review

Mike Gregory


Johnstone’s Paint is owned by PPG, who are the worlds largest coatings company. They also own Leyland Paint, as well as manufacturing white label brands such as Homebase, Wicks, and many more. It’s worth noting that Johnstone’s Trade do a lot of variations of some of their products, meaning things can get confusing at times. I’m just going to stick to the more popular mainstream products for my Johnstone’s Trade paint review, and go through each of them in turn. Johnstone’s Trade paint is available online, from many independent outlets, or directly from Johnstone’s decorating Centre. If you do go direct, it may be worth reading this article too.

Johnstone’s Trade Covaplus


Johnstone’s Covaplus is their version of vinyl matt. You can get it tinted into any colour from Johnstone’s vast range. Price wise, it sits somewhere in between its Crown and Dulux counterparts, although it sits above both of them in terms of quality. You can achieve a nice flat finish with this paint, and opacity is bang on. A really good product all round. Johnstone’s Trade Covaplus is a favourite amongst decorators, including myself.

I’d give Johnstone’s Covaplus 8/10

Johnstone’s Trade Perfect Matt


Johnstone’s Perfect Matt is a premium matt emulsion, developed and manufactured to perform as well as it possibly can. It is expensive, but it leaves a luxurious flat matt finish with a lovely depth of colour. This one of the best matt emulsion products on the market in my opinion, and worth every penny.

10/10, expensive but worth it!!


Johnstone’s Trade Endura


The Endura is Johnstone’s Trade Durable matt. Well, it’s one of them anyway, they also do durable acrylic matt and cleanable matt (told you it can get confusing). They’re all pretty much the same, but with different levels of durability and slightly different sheen levels.


Let’s stick with the Endura for now. I think it is a good all-round durable emulsion. Opacity on light colours can be a pain, so expect to have to give it a third coat at times. As far as finish and durability go, you’re onto a winner. Although there are better durable matt emulsions out there now, including Tikkurila Optiva 5, and Teknos Pro5.

Johnstone’s Trade Endura gets 7/10


Johnstone’s Trade Acrylic Eggshell


There isn’t much I can say about Johnstone’s Trade acrylic eggshell really, as it’s basically the same as any other trade eggshell. Opacity is good, as is durability and ease of use. This is the type of paint you would use in a bathroom, or perhaps a kitchen. I have no issues using it at all, and always achieve good results when I do.


Johnstone’s Trade Jonmat


Jonmat is Johnstone’s Trade premium contract matt. It used to be terrible, but they changed the formula a while back and it’s ok now. Strange stuff though! The opacity of it is fantastic, but it dries ridiculously fast. Great for spraying onto new plaster, as you can apply your two coats one after another. It’s also good if you want to get away with applying one coat over an already white ceiling. You can’t touch Johnstone’s Trade Jonmat up at all, or it flashes like crazy! Other than that, it’s a great contract matt. It smells lovely as well.

Johnstone’s Trade Jonmat gets an 8/10


Johnstone’s Trade Satinwood


Johnstone’s Trade Satinwood is an oil-based satin that does everything it’s supposed to. It is self-undercoating over primed, or pre-painted surfaces and fine for interior wood or metal. It has plenty of body, good opacity, easy to apply and leaves a nice finish. The only downside (and it’s a big one), is Johnstone’s Trade satinwood seems to turn yellow quite soon after you’ve applied it.

Because of the issue with discolouring, I’ll give Johnstone’s Trade Satinwood 6/10

Johnstone’s Aqua


The Johnstone’s Trade Aqua system is a water-based (well hybrid) gloss and satin system designed for interior and exterior woodwork. It was voted the best water-based gloss on the Decorators Forum UK a few years ago, so it was a favourite amongst decorators. However, other water-based gloss products have possibly stolen the limelight since then. It takes a bit of getting used to, you need keep your brushes wet and sponge your woodwork with a damp rag just before you paint it. I’ve got to admit, I do like the Johnstone’s Aqua. It will start to yellow over time, but you’ll get a good few years out of it.

I’ll Give the Johnstone’s trade Aqua an easy 9/10

Johnstone’s StainAway


Johnstone’s StainAway is quite a special product, as it acts as a stain block and finish coat in one (white emulsion). An absolutely fantastic product for dealing with a nicotine stained ceiling, however it does struggle a bit with tougher stains. I wouldn’t bother with it on water marks or anything like that. You can also have problems with the finish unless you’re careful. Roller marks can remain visible on a light sensitive ceiling. That said, I still rate Johnstone’s StainAway and use it regularly.

I’ll go 7/10. It does have it’s drawbacks.


Johnstone’s Stormshield Flexi Primer, Satin and Gloss


These are exterior products designed to stand up to the Great British weather. It is important to use the appropriate flexi primer with your finish, because as the name suggests, both primer and topcoat can flex and move with exterior timber. The paint is thick and hard to use, but the opacity is absolutely bang on! I painted over dark green with white satin and it looked solid after one coat of primer and one topcoat. The only thing you need to watch out for is brush marks.

Johnstone’s Stormshield Flexi Primer, Satin and Gloss easily gets 8/10. Good products!


Johnstone’s Stormshield masonry


You expect a masonry paint to feel very elasticy and flexible. Johnstone’s Stormshield masonry paint doesn’t, it is more like a thin emulsion. I don’t like that to be honest. You need a paint to bridge every indentation on stonework for it to look good and this just doesn’t. I don’t know, maybe its down to my personal preference, but I don’t get on with it. It is showerproof in 20 minutes which is a major plus point, it is easy to use and opacity is fine.

5/10 for me


Leyland Trade


Leyland Trade Paints are also made by PPG and are often sold side by side. They have an alternative product for every one of the Johnstone’s products I have just spoken about. Think of Johnstone’s as PPG’s premium brand and Leyland as their budget. Still trade quality and some awesome products, but they’re manufactured to a tighter budget.


Where to buy


Quite a few trade counters sell these products. If you want to go into a physical store, then you can’t go far wrong with Johnstone’s Decorating Centres which are located all over the place. The very best place I have found to buy Johnstone’s online is The Paintshed using discount code FORUM5 at the checkout. Buying online normally works out cheaper, especially if you don’t have a trade account instore.

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  1. Richard

    Agreed re the Jonmatt flashing problems, this has put me right off this product and back to MacPherson eclipse if cost concerns or Tikkurlia anti reflex 2, which is actually a cheap pure Matt wipeable semi durable Matt unlike all contract paints.
    Vinyl Matt a nice drop of paint do like this more and more l find, durable Matt ok lighter ones a problem sometimes.
    The aqua undercoat and gloss both super products, however recently l have used the tikkurlia helmi 80 over the great aqua undercoat, goes on a dream and since it’s an water based enamel paint it’s a lot tougher than the aqua gloss.

  2. Alison fitt

    Just opened a tin of johnsons toasted beige quick dry satin one coat-only to find black paint inside. On stirring vigorously a very small swirl of beige appeared but no more than that. The paint is definitely black.. Will be returning it the range Dundee where I purchased it. Disappointing.

  3. Frank Golebiowski

    I’ve used the Johnstone’s Aqua satin over the Johnstone’s Joncryl water based primer undercoat, not good. The satin worked up the undercoat and the brush snatches. Am I using the wrong undercoat. Great finish with the Aqua when applied to a pre finished and prepped surface.

    • Trevor Henson

      You need too use Aqua undercoat for undercoat and one satin normally okay sometimes I use two satin.

      • David Smith

        I have been a Decorating for 35+ years, just decorated a hole house use Johnstones soft sheen and air bubbles have appeared in the walls ? Any ideas why?

    • James P

      You need to use the Aqua undercoat with the Aqua Satin or Aqua Gloss topcoat. That’s the system and it works great. The Joncryl primer undercoat is fine as just a primer. Another thing to add is that the Aqua undercoat can be used as a primer as well. Wish they would print this on the front of the tin and not in the small print on the back. The Aqua paint system is brilliant.

  4. Kenny Webster


    I’m finding it difficult to find Johnstones Weatherguard Masonry paint in Sandstone.
    Is the Stormsheid masonry paint the same has the Weatherguard ?


    • Mike Cupit

      Hi Kenny

      Sandstone is a Dulux colour, (or Dulux name anyway, I believe it has a RAL number). You will be able to find it if you either look up the RAL number and get that mixed into Johnstone’s, or you chose Dulux Weathershield masonry paint.

      Weathergaurd is Johnstone’s retail range, meaning the quality of the paint is less than the Stormshield which is Johnstone’s trade range.

      I hope that helps

    • Mary Condon

      Can I paint over dulux satin finish exterior paint with johnston maistery paint do I need a undercoat I wanted good coverage as house is a couple of 100 years old

    • Lorraine


      Can I paint radiators with the Johnstone’s Trade oil based satin ?
      Many thanks

      • Mike Cupit

        You can and you won’t have any issues with it. The only snag is Johnstone’s satin won’t conduct heat as well as radiator paint will. Because of this your radiators will be slightly less efficient

      • Darren

        I mate a noob mistake and underestimated the amount of paint I needed. I thought I’d only need one tin of Johnstone’s Interior Wood and Metal, Quick Dry, Satin in Urban Skies.

        Turns out I need a second tin and now everywhere near me has sold out :’-(.

        Is there an alternative brand that has the same colour near enough?

        I stirred this tin and it’s much darker than it appears on the tin, but I actually love the darker colour.

        I might end up having to drive to the nearest B&Q with one of those pain machines .

  5. Elaine

    Can I make moonlite sky grey emulsion paint lighter if I add white emulsion

    • Mike Cupit

      you can yes

  6. Audra Sheffield

    I have a new build which will shortly be plastered. I was thinking of the Jonmat range based on the above 9/10 ten review but the first comment about touching up is concerning. I’m obviously hoping not to have to touch up but does this mean a whole wall would require repainting ?

    • Jennifer Wilby

      Used Johnstone’s Manhattan grey kitchen paint never been so disappointed never again

  7. Jennifer Wilby

    Used Johnstone’s Manhattan grey kitchen paint never been so disappointed never again

    • Mike Cupit

      That is the retail version. Next time try the trade and you won’t be disapointed

  8. Stuart Holleran

    i want to spray my oak internal doors, what would you recommend

  9. Olive Cooke to

    Painted a ceiling twice still very patchy and very disappointed. Will never purchase again.

  10. Darren

    I made a noob mistake and underestimated the amount of paint I needed. I thought I’d only need one tin of Johnstone’s Interior Wood and Metal, Quick Dry, Satin in Urban Skies.

    Turns out I need a second tin and now everywhere near me has sold out :’-(.

    Is there an alternative brand that has the same colour near enough?

    I stirred this tin and it’s much darker than it appears on the tin, but I actually love the darker colour.

    I might end up having to drive to the nearest B&Q with one of those pain machines.

  11. Matty

    Please could you tell me if you would recommend Johnstones Air Pure in Matt Brillaint White? We are looking for a contemporary white for ta new build. We would like the same colour throughout but we have north and south facing rooms. We tried to match Johnstones Air Pure Base to Farrow and Ball’s ‘All White’ but it didn’t look the same.
    We also would like to paint the skirting boards and doors in white so wonderered if you would recommend Johnstones Endure in Brilliant Matt White? Thanks.

  12. Bryan

    I want to use a large section of my lounge wall as a projector screen. What white paint should I use for best results?

  13. Maureen Westwood

    Is the Johnston’s paint from B & M the same as PPG. My daughter seems to thin PPG is better paint even though it has the same details on the tin.

    • Mike Cupit

      Your daughter is correct in that trade paint (the type sold from a trade centre) is much better than retail (The type sold from DIY outlets), even though it’s all bundeled up as “johnstones”

  14. Jane Dunphy

    Mike (reviewer), why didn’t you give the acrylic eggshell a rating? – I was thinking of using it for painting kitchen cupboards. but am now doubtful! Any advice gratefully accepted.


    The Americans have destroyed this once quality product. its just Garbage

    • Mike Cupit

      hi, which product? There’s a vast range, all maufactured in the UK


        all of it….emulsion and undercoat especially…

        • Chris Green and Son

          PPG have vastly improved the quality of all the products and continue to do. We have the best water based satin on the market in Aqua Guard and the best emulsion in Perfect Matt and they’re continually improving the products


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