Sandtex Trade Smooth Masonry Paint Review - the best masonry paint on the market

Sandtex Trade Smooth Masonry Paint Review

by Robin Gofton


Sandtex – made by Crown – is, along with Dulux Weathershield and Johnstone’s Stormshield, one of the “big three” brands of paint for exterior work. I was asked to write a review of their High Cover Smooth Masonry paint, and I’ll be honest and say that I feel a bit of a fraud doing so, as I don’t do a lot of external work; the area where I live is dominated by 1970’s and 1980’s red brick housing, and as a result there isn’t as much call for external work, and to be honest, given the reliability of the British weather, I’m not all that disappointed! There will be many of you reading this who have far more experience with these things than me, but here goes anyway!


Sandtex High Cover Smooth is a water-based masonry paint. You can use it straight out the tin on previously painted surfaces, or dilute it to act as a primer on unpainted surfaces. It can be applied by brush, roller or spray (if you have the right setup), and is touch-dry after 1-2 hours, and can be recoated after 3-5. That means if you plan your job carefully you can get two coats on in a day. While the drying time is slower than both Johnstone’s and Dulux (both of which make big claims about being “shower proof in only x minutes”), it really isn’t a problem unless rain is forecast. But if you’ve got a nice dry warm day, work out how much you can get painted in 4 hours, paint it, and then paint it again!


It’s really difficult to find anything that I don’t like about this product. In fairness, I’d probably say the same about Johnstone’s and Dulux. It’s easy to use (I used brush and roller), goes on nicely, dries fairly quickly, looks great, covers areas of filler without it flashing, has good opacity.… I can’t find a fault with it really. I did part of this house a couple of years ago, and then went back to do the rest after they’d had some alterations done. The bits I’d done before still looked brand new, it hadn’t faded, there was no flaking, nothing needed touching up. The house is only half a mile from where I live, and I often walk my dog past it – it feels good to walk past and think “I did that, and it still looks great”. And to be honest, that’s what you want, isn’t it – a product that’s easy to use, looks good when it’s done, and stands the test of time.


Sandtex Smooth Masonry is available from Crown Decorating Centres, Brewers, and other independent stockists. You can buy it “off the shelf” in white or magnolia, or get it tinted to any of the Crown or Sandtex colours (or RAL or BS colours too, I imagine). It costs around £70 for 10L in a colour, so is similar in price to Johnstone’s, and a little cheaper than Dulux (£80).


You can buy Sandtex Trade masonry paint, and many other Sandtex products at your local Crown Decorating Centre.

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Sandtex Trade Smooth Masonry Paint Review