Johnstone’s Trade Satin Review

Updated Jun 7, 2024 | Posted Feb 19, 2022 | Product Reviews, Paints | 2 comments

Johnstone’s Trade Satin is an oil-based paint used for interior woodwork and other trim. It is self-undercoating over primed, or previously painted surfaces. Available in white, or any colour from Johnstone’s extensive range. Touch dry in roughly 6 hours, recoat in 16 hours.

The sheen level when cured is around 30% for white and very slightly more for stronger colours. This is slightly higher than the Johnstone’s eggshell alternative. Johnstone’s Satin is readily available from any Johnstone’s Decorating Centre, but unless you’re entitled to a trade discount, it is almost certainly cheaper to buy it online by clicking here.


My Johnstone’s trade satinwood review


As a professional decorator, I’m very familiar with Johnstone’s Satin. I find it very easy to apply, opacity is great, and the finish is fantastic. It takes a little while for this paint to cure and harden up, so go easy with the sandpaper in-between coats.

The paint comes condensed. You can use it straight out of the tin if you need to apply thick coats. For everyday use you can dilute it slightly with white spirit for better flow and less brush marks. It has a bit of a shine to it for the first few days, but this calms down slowly over the course of two weeks or so, leaving a contemporary flat finish.

There is a massive drawback to Johnstone’s Trade Satin; As with a lot of other oil-based products, Johnstone’s seems to discolour faster than its competitors. We’re not talking weeks, but you can see the difference after a few months. Some may argue that a few months of a painted surface looking fresh is enough. For me, I like to know the surfaces I’m painting will stand the test of time.




Johnstone’s Trade Satin is easy to apply, looks great, leaves an awesome finish, but will discolour after a few months. Especially in areas of low-light. Click here for more information, or to see latest prices.


Review Summary

Johnstone’s Trade Satin Review - Decorator's forum UK

An oil-based satinwood paint used to coat interior woodwork and other trim. You can get this product in just about any colour, but it’s mostly used in Brilliant White.

Editor's Rating:


  • Good adhesion.
  • Self-undercoating.
  • Reasonably priced.
  • Flows very well.
  • Leaves a fantastic finish.


  • Discolours rather quickly.

A Water-Based Alternative


OK, we know Johnstone’s Trade Satin discolours over time. Luckily for us, Johnstone’s do one of the best water-based satinwood products on the market, Aqua Guard.

Aqua Guard is also available online by clicking here, or any JDC in a huge range of colours. Unlike Johnstone’s Trade Satin, the Aqua Guard is fully water-based, so will never discolour. You should use the specified undercoat as part of the system.

Johnstone’s Aqua Guard is one of my favourite satinwood products on the market. One of the reasons I like it is because it is it is easy to control and use. Even people who are die-hard oil-based fans will get on with this paint.

Opacity is also spot on. The finish is even better than Johnstone’s Trade Satin, plus it dries rock solid and remains durable. Click here for more info.


Best Tools to Use to Apply Johnstone’s Satin


I like to include a little section on the best brush and roller to use to apply a certain product. Any good synthetic brush with a thick stock is fine for Johnstone’s Trade Satin. It isn’t a difficult product to apply.

My preferred paintbrush is the Purdy Monarch Elite in 2 inch. You’ll find it comfortable to hold, easy to use, will hold loads of paint, and you’ll be able to strike a nice line. It’s good for both water-based and oil-based satin products, so it’s great to apply Aqua Guard as well as Johnstone’s Satin. Click here to see latest prices.

You’ll find a mini roller useful when painting flat objects such as doors and windowsills. A minimum pile is best for this type of paint. My favourite is Axus Decor Silk Touch, which leaves a noticeably better finish than any other roller I have ever used in satinwood. Click here to see latest prices.

Updated Jun 7, 2024 | Posted Feb 19, 2022 | 2 comments

About the Author

About the Author

Mike Gregory is a Professional Painter and Decorator who works in the Northwest of England. He mainly sub-contracts for large decorating firms and works on a wide variety of projects.


  1. Vince Robinson

    Last time I used it was on some new builds a few yrs back.

    Used it on MDF over ultra undercoat and it was really good.

    Probably last time I used oil satin.

  2. Gordon McWhinnie

    What would you recommend as an undercoat for the aqua guard?


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