Sandtex Masonry Paint Review – High Cover

Updated May 27, 2024 | Posted Nov 22, 2020 | Product Reviews, Paints | 5 comments

Sandtex smooth or textured masonry paint is manufactured by Crown at a factory in Darwin and comes in two ranges, trade and retail. The retail paint is sold at outlets like B&Q and Screwfix. The trade version, or “High Cover” is stocked at trade outlets, but you can also buy it online by clicking here. The difference between the two products is enormous.

I know the retail is cheaper, but you will have to apply and extra coat, taking more paint and labour. The other indicator of quality is the guarantee that comes with the paint. The retail version of Sandtex comes with a 1-year guarantee. The Trade is advertised with “up to 15-year lifespan”. If after reading that, you still want to save £20 and buy the retail, then I really can’t help you. For anyone else, this is my Sandtex Masonry Paint Review.


The Product


We’re obviously going to focus on Sandtex TRADE masonry paint, and we’ll talk about smooth and textured together because they’re very similar (texture will leave slight indentations where you roll).

Sandtex masonry paint can be purchased “off the shelf” in white or magnolia, as well as being tinted into almost any colour in Crowns vast range. Drying time is 2 – 4 hours depending on conditions. It is self-priming on bare or previously painted masonry. You can apply via brush and roller, or airless sprayer and it has an exceptionally low VOC level. You should not use any masonry paint inside due to the level of fungicide in the paint.


How Does Sandtex Masonry Paint perform?


Ok, let’s get to the actual review, what do I think about Sandtex masonry paint? For this I‘m going to compare it to it’s two biggest rivals which are Johnstone’s Stormshield and Dulux Weathershield (both good products by the way).


Well the Sandtex is cheaper than both of it’s main rivals for a start. Drying time is longer with the Sandtex which is bad if you think there’s a chance of rain that day, but the slower drying time does help you keep a wet edge on hot days.

Opacity is ok, I’d say it’s better than the Johnstone’s, but not quite as god as the Dulux. You’re looking at 2 coats over previously painted surfaces and 3 over bare masonry. Ease of use is bang on, again, I’d say Sandtex is better tan the other two for this.

One thing would say is Sandtex masonry paint does seem to scuff and mark fairly easily, which is a downside. This is down to there being less polymer binder in the paint than its rivals. There is an advantage of this though; less polymer binder means the material remains breathable and creates a microporous membrane. I suppose the likelihood of you scuffing the outside of a house is relatively low, but it I something to bear-in-mind.

All in all, I genuinely believe it to be a brilliant product. Click here to see the current prices.


Review Summary

Sandtex Masonry Paint Review - High Cover - Decorator's forum UK

An “exterior emulsion” used to paint walls and other stonework. Available in Brilliant White, or any colour from the vast range at Crown.

Product Brand: Sandtex Trade

Editor's Rating:


  • Reasonably priced.
  • Easy to keep a wet edge.
  • Good flow.
  • Nice finish.
  • 15-years of protection.


  • Not very quick drying.
  • It doesn’t self-clean.

Competing Products


I thought I’d write a little bit about how Sandtex Smooth Masonry paint compares to it’s competitors. That way you can gauge the alternatives and work out whether you’re buying the best product for you project.

The first product on the list is Johnstone’s Stormshield which is a paint I really don’t get on with. It feels like more of an emulsion rather than a masonry paint. On paper it’s fine, the finish is good, it dries quickly and opacity is bang on. However, for me, masonry paint should have an elastic feel and able to flood or bridge gaps in stonework. This just doesn’t.

Dulux Weathershield is another good product. It has better opacity than Sandtex High Cover and the finish is equally good. One disadvantage of Dulux is it isn’t very breathable, which can cause the paint to peel over time.

Tikkurila Finngard is the only other product I’m going to mention. There are a couple of drawbacks with this option; it is a lot more expensive, and you will need to use a separate primer if going over bare stonework.


Sandtex 360 Review


I thought I’d briefly mention a couple of the other products in the Sandtex Trade range. The first being Sandtex 360, a pliolite based masonry paint. Pliolite is a synthetic rubber resin designed specifically for paint because of it’s fast drying qualities, particularly in the cooler months. As the name suggests, you could potentially use this product 360 days a year (apart from when it’s raining, I suppose)

Sandtex 360 is probably the best trade pliolite based masonry paint on the market. The depth of colour and finish are to die for!! Ease of use is ok (oil-based is never quick and easy), opacity is awesome and it’s rain resistant in about 30 minutes. The only downside is it’s expensive. Worth every penny, but you are paying a premium price for your paint. Click here to see latest prices.


Sandtex Stabilising Solution Review


Sandtex Stabilising solution is used on grainy of chalky surfaces and seals it all up, leaving a sound surface on which to paint. It’s very easy to use and dries pretty quickly. There’s nothing else I can really say about it, other than it does it’s job.

Sandtex Fungicidal Wash Review


Listen, you spray it on, and it kills horrible green stuff. You can’t ask for anymore. Don’t eat it!! Sandtex fungicidal wash works well. I tend to roll it on an exterior wall the day before I plan to paint it. By using Sandtex fungicidal wash, you kill all the algae and prevent it from bleeding through your paintwork. Click here to see latest prices.

Updated May 27, 2024 | Posted Nov 22, 2020 | 5 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. richard

    The Dulux Oil based masonry is another level.
    Goes up to 16sm2 can be recoated far sooner, even same day and it goes on about twice as quick as any other oil based.
    Its got a better sheen and certainly not as soft as alternatives.
    It actually doesn’t work out any dearer than the cheaper alternatives as all l find are like cutting in and rolling with toffee..

  2. Peter

    I’ll take your advice. Doing a house for someone and will use Sandtex Trade. Cheers!

  3. peter

    I used sandtex masonary paint about 30 years ago. It went on easy, covered thoroughly, left a tough finish and I want to use it again, it had quartx in it.
    I think the product now is much changed, I doubt it has quartz.
    Are the current versions better?

    And, what I want to paint is lime mortar, one of your comments suggested I might had problems with lime mortar, what is the best paint for lime mortar.

  4. Mrs Helen Millar

    Used Sandtex Masonry Paint for the first time – very pleased with the result.
    I am a 75 year old and it took me half an hour to open the tin – quite fiendish. And then it was difficult to know if the lid was closed properly. Lid seemed to be made of flexible plastic – seemed to crack easily.
    The second time it took 20 minutes to reopen it.
    Can you not go back to the metal lid – so easy to open with a screwdriver.
    Mrs M.

  5. Jame

    Question, can Sandtex microscale be used on roof felt


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