Dulux Quick Dry Satinwood Vs Diamond Satinwood

Updated May 10, 2024 | Posted Dec 12, 2018 | Professional insight, Product Advice | 14 comments

I’ve been working on a newbuild house that the customer was supplying the materials. For the woodwork he had supplied Dulux Quick dry undercoat and Satinwood. After seeing peoples’ thoughts about these products written on the Decorators forum UK, I was dreading it. Most of the woodwork was pre primed MDF apart from the door frames that I knotted and primed before usual prep (as you do) then filled/rubbed down & caulked all the woodwork. Time to work out the difference between the new Dulux Diamond Satinwood V the old Dulux Quick Dry Satinwood. Here’s what I have found –


Dulux Quick Dry Undercoat Review


I started using the Dulux Quick Dry undercoat, on first impressions I thought it was really good. It felt the closest thing to oil for water-based that I’ve used, it had quite good opacity, was nice to use and dried quite solid over the pre primed MDF and pulled out smooth like oil-based. One thing I noticed though, it was a terrible for runs. Now this isn’t down to my inexperience of using water-based paints, as I pretty much converted to water-based about 3 years ago, but it isn’t normally like this. I found the Dulux Quick Dry undercoat had sagged in places and there were little runs on vertical caulk lines.

I also used it on some windows that were grey, even though when applying it seemed to have good opacity, it dried back a lot more transparent. Then I also noticed on the window sills, where there had been plaster on, even though I had sanded it off and very little trace had remained, the undercoat on that part had severely crazed or peeled away, same happened on bits of filler but not as bad. Overall verdict, feels good, looks good, but does not sit well on anything porous. It dries with poor opacity with runs.


Dulux Quick Dry Satinwood Review


It started off like the QD undercoat, felt like oil-based and seemed to cover well. Over pre-primed MDF that had 1 QD undercoat, the one coat of satin was solid, felt like we were off to a good start!

Once I had applied 1 coat of satin on all the woodwork, I found that it was similar to the QD undercoat and dried more transparent, with some runs in the same sort of places. After the second coat of satin it was solid everywhere except the windows (that were originally grey), which required a further full 3rd & selective 4th coat (yes, 1xUC & 4xSatins!!).

But one thing I noticed is that it wasn’t very white, more like an off white and not “Brilliant” white. The one positive thing I found with the Dulux Quick Dry Satinwood is that it levels out lovely, very much like oil. I think this is because it is a Hybrid, as you can tell on the tin where it says, “longer lasting whiteness”, instead of with fully water-based paints which say “non yellowing”. I will not be using this product again.


Dulux Diamond Satinwood Review


While doing this job, trying out the quick dry satinwood and been very unimpressed by it, I remembered I had won a tin of the new Diamond Satinwood from a Brewers competition on Facebook. I thought it was the perfect time to give it a try and compare to the QD satin. It was interesting to see how it stood up against all the other water-based satinwoods on the market that I have tried. Well, I’ve got to say that I’m blown away by this product, it’s the water-based product I’ve been trying to find for years! It had great opacity, dried as solid as it went on and was bright white. Over the grey windows which had 1 QD undercoat (that had dried like milk with no opacity), the Diamond satin nearly went in 1 coat but gave it 2.

I also tried it on a door frame next to the skirting board which was done in the QD satin, the diamond satin was so white it made the QD look like it was a slight grey, so I had to redo the skirting board with the Diamond. Another thing I noticed on the window sills, is it actually pulls back like oil, leaving little to no brush marks. All this without all the faffing around you have to do with other water-based paints to get a good finish (dampening the surface, adding floetrol etc). Click here to see online prices.




Dulux Diamond Satinwood is now my absolute favourite ‘go to’ water-based satinwood for many reasons…. It has good opacity, nice to use, can get it off the shelf, great finish like oil, not a hybrid, fairly priced, dries bright white and is fully water based. I haven’t tried it over old oil, but if its sticks well after a good key then this product is faultless. And you know that being in the Dulux diamond range, it’ll be bombproof like all of their other diamond products (matt, eggshell, diamond glaze etc) which I also highly recommend. Dulux quick dry Satinwood…. This needs to be taken off the shelf when they have a far, far superior product to do the same thing for just a couple quid more per tin. The comparison is like chalk and cheese between the two. So, If you are looking for an actual decent water-based satin that you can pick up off the shelf, that knocks spots off most others on the market, Dulux Diamond Satinwood is for you.


Where to buy


You can get either of these products from any Dulux Decorating Centre, but unless you qualify for a trade account, it will almost certainly be cheaper to buy this product online. Click here to see online prices.


Best Tools to Use to Apply Dulux Diamond Satinwood

  As with any water-based paint, the tools you use to apply Dulux Diamond Satinwood will make all the difference in terms of finish. So, I thought it would be useful if we added a little section on the best tools to apply it. You will need a microfibre roller for the larger areas, and it needs to be capable of applying an even layer of paint without causing orange peel. Our recommendation is Two Fussy Blokes, which not only performs well in terms of paint application, but there is no need to de-lint it before you start. Click here to see latest prices. As for the brush, The Purdy Monarch Elite XL is perfect when applying any water-based satinwood. It keeps its shape whilst cutting in, but it’s soft enough to lay-off. It also has a nice thick stock, so it holds loads of paint. Click here to see current prices.

I agree wholeheartedly with this review. The Dulux Diamond satinwood may run a little bit, but it is the nicest white finish of all the water-based satinwoods I have used. Durability is spot on too. The only little grip I have is the long re-coat times, but it isn’t much of an issue.

One other thing I’d say about the Dulux Diamond satinwood is the ease and speed you can apply it. I coat doorframes and skirting boards with a 3 inch Purdy with no issues at all. This is my preferred coating when I’m not using oil-based.

Mike Jones

Professional Decorator

I’ve never really used Dulux Quick Dry Satinwood. Hybrids have had their time really. We’re now spoiled for good quality fully-water-based satin products. I love the Dulux Diamond; You need to make sure you use a good adhesion primer first, especially when you’re painting over old oil-based gloss, or something similar.

Opacity is good and the finish is fantastic. You can get it tinted too, which is a massive advantage. However, the “Brilliant White” is absolutely spectacular. Dulux Diamond Satinwood does sag unfortunately. It flows off your brush well, so painting with it is nice and quick, but you do need to go back over your work as it’s drying to knock the runs out.

Tom Coope

Professional Decorator

Updated May 10, 2024 | Posted Dec 12, 2018 | 14 comments

About the Author

About the Author

Mike Cupit has been in the decorating industry since 2002 and has mostly worked as a Trade Decorator in the domestic sector (peoples’ homes). Self-proclaimed “product geek”, Mike has a passion for paint and decorating tools. Mike now spends most of his time testing paint products and tools, comparing them to similar products on the market, and blogging about the industry in general.


  1. Trevor villas

    I use this all the time in the hotel I work in the finish is lovely and doesn’t smell much either

  2. Cliff

    Just tried Dulux diamond satinwood on my landing and I’m not impressed for one minute. It seems to give about 50% coverage so I’m crossing my fingers that the second coat will be sufficient. And runs, I’ve never used anything that runs as much. I’m so concerned that I may be trying something else for the hallway and stairs

  3. JohnW

    Have to say very disappointed in the Dulux Diamond Satinwood, even over old white paint sanded down it needs at least two full coats, it runs drags and dries so fast any overcoating even straight away starts to pull the paint off.

    Never had a problem with Dulux Trade paints until this one.

  4. Sat

    Used Trade Diamond Satinwood for the first time on a project on a 5 Bedroom house that is 11 years old.
    Dulux Trade centre said Gloss is slowly going out as it goes yellow over the years and that Trade Diamond Satinwood is the next best paint also its water based.
    Purchased 4 x 5l tins and 2x Zinner Bullseye 123,
    My Decorator found the paint very cloggy, it drags, dries on the brush very quickly and if you paint over the paint plays up.
    Sadly we applied 3 coats in total, the paint does not travel well and the doors are still grey in some areas.
    Spoke to Dulux Tech may times and was fobbed off, even talking to the Leadership Team was to Deaf Ears.
    Most disappointed with Dulux ‘s new range and the service from the Tech Team, STRONGLY suggest that the Senior Management address matters and look onto QR Coding to help users understand the best way in applying this new paint,
    A very disappointed Customer.

  5. Ian

    I was interested to read the last three comments, as my own experience has been much more positive.
    I had always used oil-based paints for woodwork, being very disappointed with my first attempts using water-based satinwood. However, recently I had to do extensive renovation and repainting in a large extension and decided to try the Quick Dry Dulux undercoat and standard Satinwood topcoat. It’s not been without it’s problems but I would never go back to an oil-based system again.
    Oil gives you the ability to achieve an almost-miraculous smooth, opaque finish that you will never get with water-based paints. However, cleaning up is a nightmare, the fumes are unhealthy and unpleasant, and drying times make the job last for days.
    I found the QD undercoat excellent and felt that two coats was more than good enough to prepare the surface (New wood, pre-primed MDF and old previously painted doors). Two topcoats of Satinwood gives a finish that is “whiter” than the oil and (I’m assured) does not yellow anywhere near as quickly. It also becomes (after a few days) incredibly durable to knocks and is very easy to clean.
    There are drawbacks: You have to work like lightning over the surface and make damned sure you have a good brushed-out finish in a relatively small area before moving on. There is no going back to “fix” runs and clumsy execution in the way you can readily do with oil-based paints. A foam roller works great on sills and smooth surfaces but you still can’t afford to hang about. Never leave a corner or join with a visible ridge for more than a few minutes or you’ll never brush it out. However skilled you are, I do not believe that it is possible to achieve the smooth surface finish, free of brush marks, that you can get with oil. Even so, if you can adapt your technique in the ways that I suggest, I think that the slightly-textured surface is attractive and practical and the result very pleasing. In spite of the drawbacks, I would never go back to using oil-based paints again, except for outside gloss woodwork.

  6. Paul Chipperfield

    I have used all these products over the years, I even developed some in my earlier life.
    At the end of the day in my opinion they are still no match for oil based products.
    Their only big plus is that they are non yellowing and that is enough to convert many people.

  7. Chris Butts

    We’ve been using these quick dry satinwoods ,glosses from DULUX for years now,obviously because the oil based products yellow very quickly and for some technical reason takes weeks to dry properly.
    Now with the gloss,one undercoat,two coats of gloss we’ve got no problem at all,for a water based Finnish it’s very,very good,no complaints,but as for the satinwood,we’ve never used such rubbish in all my life(decorating now for 40 years),most of our work is very high end and the hassle we’ve had with it is no ones buisness.
    For example a job we are on now,brand new hand made doors,knotted,primed,filled,rubbed down,primer touched up,two water based under coats,followed by 4 coats of the satinwood,yes 4 coats and it still looks crap,we’ve been having this trouble now for yonks,phone DULUX up and they make out your the only one!! Everyone you talk to has the same to say about it,it’s crap,it makes us pros look like cowboys.
    The best one we ever used was the sickens satura water base satinwood,trouble is they’ve taken it off the shelf now,and do you know why? Because DULUX bought them out!!!

  8. Alan Corner

    I’ll stick to Johnstone’s Trade Aqua Satin or Crown Fastflow Satin. I reckon Dulux falling way behind the competition with WB paints. Neither ever let me down. Great finish, hard wearing, easy brush clean and great opacity. The only Dulux I recommend to customers is their Easy care range of emulsions

  9. Allan Lee

    Used dulux diamond satinwood for the first time in a while yesterday and i need to agree about runs and drag. It doesn’t hold on the brush well and is practically translucent putting it on. I’m hoping when i go back today it has bleached out but at this moment in time its not filling me with confidence.

    • Kathryn OR

      How was it in the end? I need a paint that won’t yellow as it’s a dark room so oil based is a def no no. I’ve used the quick dry satinwood but it’s been stained so hoped the diamond wouldn’t stain and stay white.

  10. Alan Shaw

    I am using Dulux Satinwood Quick Dry for the first time having not used water-based paints in the past. I did what I thought was a fair amount of research albeit not on this forum and have to say I am very disappointed. The wood work was washed down with sugar soap and a coat of Zinsser Bulls Eye 123 White Primer Sealer Paint applied. The new Suffolk composite doors are acceptable as they have a grained finish anyway but 2 coats of Dulux have only just about covered. Worse though are the door frames , the paint doesn’t flow, coverage is poor and full of brush marks. Once dried it looks just like a scruffy undercoat. I have invested a lot of money in this project so will need to take stock before going any further even if it means dumping £30.00 worth of Dulux paint. Is brush marking a characteristic of water-based paints? If anyone has advice it would be appreciated. Thanks.

  11. JonD

    Dulux quickdry satinwood (non-trade) – for the few surfaces I’ve done (over wet, wet n dry’d zinser stain block primer to even things out), went on well, no significant brush marks,seemed to dry, but placing a jug on it a several days later and it marked. Put felt pads under the jug, checked maybe a week later, and you can see fine hairmarks from the pad in the surface. Over a month later an the other sill is showing some marks despite almost nothing being put there for any duration.Had bought this for high-contact areas in a hallway – sills nr the door, stairway timber work, skirtings, and it looks like a waste of money (and time if I use it). Looks like I’m back to oilbased eggshell and the nuisance that is with trying to minimise brush marks.

  12. Vince

    Ive just used quick dry satinwood for the first time too, trying to convert over from oil based. I used 2 coats of dulux primer undercoat (water based) on previously painted wood, that seemed to go on ok, no shocks. The satinwood top coat was horrible to use, dried way to quick, and no matter how little paint I applied I had runs, and you cant back over them to feather them out. The dried finish is also very matt, compared to the previous oil based satin. I would not recommend however I am reluctant to try the Diamond satin due to the high cost.

    • Frances

      I’m not a professional, but I’ve done a fair bit of painting in my time, and pride myself on the good finish I can achieve. I have usually found trade paints to go on easier and give better coverage. But the Dulux Trade QD Satinwood I have just attempted to apply to a bit of pre primed skirting board is the worst paint I have ever used. It is absolute rubbish. First coat barely covered, left to dry overnight (12 hours plus) second coat barely covering and worse still seems to be drying too fast as it is bobbling up like I’m painting over dust, which I’m most definitely not. Will leave it to dry, sand it down and start again. But not with Dulux.


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