The best white gloss paint available in the UK

Updated Feb 1, 2024 | Posted Jan 26, 2022 | Professional insight, Product Advice | 4 comments

As a decorator, the question “which is the best white gloss” comes up regularly. It used to be a simple choice, but now the range of gloss paint products is exponential. We’re not just talking about more brands (of which there are many), but there are also different types of gloss paint.

You have the traditional oil-based gloss, which turns yellow over time. Water-based gloss, which stays white forever, but generally leaves a substandard finish. Then hybrid gloss, which is a compromise between oil and water.

But let’s not get too bogged down with the science of paint. All I want to do in this blog, is talk about what I think are the three best white gloss paint products on the market. I can only go off my personal experience, so I apologise if your favourite isn’t on the list. However, I am a massive product geek, so I have tried a large proportion of the gloss paints that are available. I stand by the recommendations on this list.

 

Best Oil-Based Gloss in white

 

Crown Next Generation Gloss

OK, I know I said oil-based gloss turns yellow over time, and it does. But Crown Next Generation seems to take years before it starts to discolour. Available online, or any Crown Decorating Centre.

Unfortunately, Crown Next Generation gloss does not come in “brilliant” white, but it is available in standard white, which is very crisp and clean. The beauty of using this gloss is the sheen level and overall finish, which are second to none. It lays off well and you’re left with no brush marks.

This is the only oil-based gloss product that I will use nowadays. Legislation dictates which chemicals a manufacturer can use in paint production.

As we strive for a more sustainable world, this legislation is getting tighter. Because of this, the overall performance of oil-based gloss has diminished somewhat, while water-based technology is improving.

That said, Crown Next Generation is still one of the best white gloss paints available in my opinion, and a lot of people still prefer an oil-based finish.

Crown Next Generation is the best oil-based wheit gloss

The Best White Water-Based Gloss

 

Teknos Futura Aqua 90

Futura 90 is a newly developed product from Teknos. This is a hybrid paint, so it retains some of the qualities of oil-based gloss, even though it is mostly water-based.

Available online in white and many tinted colours. You need to use the Teknos Futura primer when using Futura 90 to maintain good levels of adhesion. I have used a lot of products in my years as a decorator and I can categorically say that this is by far the best gloss paint you’re ever likely to come across.

Opacity of the gloss is poor. However, opacity of the primer makes up for it! You can apply multiple coats of either product in a day and the ease of use is brilliant. The best thing about Teknos Futura 90 is, unlike most other hybrid or water-based gloss paints, it has an incredibly high sheen level. It’s very durable too!!

This gloss still looks brand new years after it has been applied. You may find it easier to apply the paint using a foam roller, then laying off with a brush. Keeping your brush wet, or even wiping your surfaces with a damp cloth before painting will help you avoid brush marks.

9/10 for me. I’d highly recommend. Full Teknos review here.

A water-based gloss that doesn't turn yellow

Johnstone’s Aqua Gloss

This is probably the most popular water-based gloss amongst professionals, and one of the original hybrid gloss systems. Available online by clicking here, or any Johnstone’s Decorating Centre in white, brilliant white, or a range of about a million tints. The sheen level is great, as is the overall finish.

It feels as though Johnstone’s Aqua gloss has much more oil in it than Teknos Futura 90. You cannot simply wash your brush out with clean water as you would with other systems. Instead, you should start off with water, then finish washing with a product called Clean Spirit.

You do notice the yellowing too. It doesn’t discolour as quickly as most oil-based gloss products, but you do see the colour slowly change after a few years.

It is known as a “brush killer” too, but there are ways around this. The paint dries and clogs in the ferrule of the brush, splaying the bristles. All you need to do is keep your brush wet. Spin it out in a bucket of water every half an hour or so and you won’t have an issue.

Providing you do that; you’ll find application easy. The finish is fantastic too, and it’s very durable once cured. There’s a reason this gloss is so popular in white or tinted colours. It’s a product decorators know and love.

Johnstone's Trade Aqua water-based gloss
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Best Tools to Apply Gloss

 

Modern synthetic paintbrushes are of little use to apply oil-based gloss. You also need a certain type of roller. So, I thought I’d include a little section on the best brush and roller to go for.

 

Best Brush for Oil-Based Gloss

You need a natural bristle paintbrush to apply oil-based gloss, otherwise the paint will clog within half an hour or so. Your best bet is the Hamilton Perfection, which is an oil-school brush, but still a favourite amongst Decorators. You will be able to apply gloss paint and lay it off with ease. Available online here.

 

Best Brush for Water-Based Gloss

Water-based or hybrid gloss products are a bit different. You need a synthetic brush, capable of holding its shape for prolonged periods. There is no point opting for an overly soft bristles either, or you will struggle. I’d suggest the Hamilton Prestige Synthetic Brush, which gives you everything you need at a reasonable price. Available online here.

 

Best Rollers

Oil-Based gloss is a sticky product, and you shouldn’t over-work water-based gloss, so using a mini roller will help you apply either product for larger areas.

You need a foam roller for oil-based gloss. Any good quality foam roller will do, just make sure you use a new tray or scuttle every time, just because it will cut down on bits of dust and dirt contaminating in you paint. Click here to see online prices.

As for water-based gloss, the Two Fussy Blokes Smooth is probably your best bet. It holds loads of paint and distribute it evenly. Available online by clicking here.

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FAQs

 

Which gloss paint stays white longest?

The gloss that stays white the longest is water-based. This is because it’s the oil in oil-based gloss that yellows. However, there are a lot of water-based gloss products on the market that leave a cheap-looking finish, so choose wisely. Click here for a full list.

 

Why is my white gloss turning yellow so quickly?

Alkyd oils in oil-based gloss turn yellow over time. This is more of an issue when using cheap paints, and it became worse when the EU brought in VOC restrictions in 2010. Yellowing happens a lot more quickly in rooms with low levels of natural light.

 

Can you reverse yellowing in gloss paint?

If you have a plant pot on your windowsill for a substantial period, when you move it, you might see that the paint under the pot has turned yellow. Leave the pot off the windowsill for a period and that yellow paint bleaches out again over time.

So yes, to a point. Providing you can ensure plenty of natural light reaches your yellowed gloss, the colour will be restored. However, this isn’t always practical.

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What Other Decorators Think

A vote for Teknos Aqua 90 for me. I don’t like oil-based gloss because it goes yellow too quickly. Teknos is the only water-based version that I’ve found you can get a similar finish. It’s easy enough to use, and always looks good.

Ash Hay

I’m using water-based Dulux Quick Dry Gloss right now and I love it. It gives great finish, but two things are quite important when using this paint. Firstly, you need to use right undercoat, so the one from the Dulux range (I love that primer/undercoat with brown label – expensive, but wonderful and has a lot of different uses).

Second is to make your brush slightly wet with water from time to time, so having a scuttle or mug with a little of water will be useful. It makes the gloss flow a lot easier. Just make sure to not do it too often, or too much water, as this gloss run like water anyway.

Water-based gloss is harder to use (not levelling like oil-based gloss) but it won’t yellow with time, which is important for the client. One thing that is important for any decorator is drying time, and water-based gloss has a drying time of around 6 hours. This means you can put second coat on same day. It also doesn’t smell like solvent and finally, your brushes are easier to clean.

Some decorators do two coats of undercoat and one gloss coat (quicker drying time + u/c is easier to work with), personally prefer one u/c and two topcoats of gloss. This is just in case you miss something deep in the corner on first coat. 

By the way, using popular paint (and Dulux trade is for sure one) have one more good side – you can always get it easy in local shop.

Pioter Sulecki

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Teknos Futura for me. Bot many people are using it yet, but it’s the only water-based gloss that has a good sheen level. It can be a bit stringy, but it flies on and the finish is good. Quick drying, low VOV, good for the environment and customers love it.

Oil-based has had it’s day and fully water-based is not food enough yet. Teknos is a happy medium.

John Massam

I use crown next generation gloss. It is lovely to apply and covers brilliant. It doesn’t seem to yellow either, so lasts a long time.

Kristian Ackerley

Used the Teknos Futura 90 recently (water-based gloss) and liked it. Always prepared for prime plus 2 tops for any water-based product, but still prefer for ease of use and cleaning. Gave a decent sheen. But…….

Also recently did a all, stairs and landing before Christmas and the customer insisted on oil gloss. Used Dulux Trade and it performed well with 1 undercoat and 1 gloss. Shine like a mirror.

Neil Bridgen

I spray a lot of my jobs, so my preferred gloss paint is Tikkurila Helmi. It’s very easy to work with, fully water-based, leaves a gorgeous finish, and I can apply the second coat before the first one is dry. It’s a no-brainer really. The only issue with it, is it isn’t very durable.

I don’t think I’d use any others. Gloss is out of fashion anyway. I’m not sure whether that’s down to the issues with yellowing, or because peoples’ tastes have changed.

The best white gloss for an outside is Dulux Trade Weathershield, which is an oil-based paint that works brilliantly. It does cost a lot of money but it’s worth it.

Ross James

The best gloss is probably Teknos Futura 90, but it isn’t often I order my paints online. I tend to pick Crown Fastflow up from my local CDC, or Dulux QD gloss. Both of those are hybrids, but they do the job.

Teknos is another level in terms of sheen and overall finish. I love it. The primer covers everything, then the actual gloss just makes it look pretty. It’s a joy to use.

Lee Thomas

Johnstone’s ultra-gloss was brilliant to work with. Self-levelled really well and left a really smooth shiny finish. I believe Johnstone’s have recently stopped producing the ultra-gloss.

Jody Grant

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Dulux High Gloss (oil-based) is the best white gloss. It goes on smoothly and dries to a lovely smooth finish. Crown Fast Flow is good for a water-based, as long as you use their undercoat and a bit of Floetrol. 👍🏻

Tom Longworth

Dulux Trade oil-based gloss

James Hunter

Dulux oil-based gloss by far. It covers well, the shine is amazing and also leaves a lovely smooth finish 👌

Robin Nathan

For a water-based product in white, I’d go Johnstone’s Aqua. If you go for an oil-based then I don’t think it matters too much which brand you go for.

Sixar Lewis Thompson

Understanding paint is what should influence your decision. Modern oil-based gloss yellows over time in areas that do not get natural light, it produces a brush stroke free finish and is durable. Due to the yellowing, oil gloss is not really fit for purpose in dark indoor areas and would definitely recommend looking at a water-based alternative if the area lacks natural light.

Water-based alternatives do not yellow, they are less durable though and the finish on a brush is not as good. I like to roll these paints on when possible or concierge spraying.

Dulux high gloss is a stunning paint for bright natural light areas. Otherwise something like the Dulux trade satinwood water-based paint would be my choice.

Michael Spring

If oil-based, it has to be Dulux high gloss. If water-based definitely Johnstone’s Aqua.

Darren Webb

The best oil-based gloss is Crown Next Generation. It flows out and levels off to a glass-like finish and shine.

Phil Bunting

Dulux High Gloss is great to work with. The best water-based gloss is Johnstone Aqua.

William Lambie

Dulux trade oil-based gloss for me, but Armstead isn’t far behind.

Mikey Cooper

Dulux High Gloss (Oil) is my favourite white gloss.

Stefan Zietara

Benjamin Moore Advance High Gloss. It is a waterborne alkyd gloss so no yellowing through time. And unlike most water-based glosses, this has an 85% sheen level when fully cured.

Natalie Raeside

We’ve been using Dulux trade satinwood (oil-based). We add a drop of white spirit to every kettle full of paint. It’s not bad gear, better than gloss. If the customer wants water-based paint, we use Dulux Trade Diamond Eggshell and it’s not a bad drop at all to be honest.

Lee Richard

Updated Feb 1, 2024 | Posted Jan 26, 2022 | 4 comments

4 Comments

  1. Jack Wardley

    crown next gen gloss has yellowed in cupboards and on rads within a year so its not as good as pre 2010 gloss was

    Reply
  2. Jack Wardley

    crown next gen gloss does go off white inside of cupboards and on rads etc within a year

    Reply
  3. Robert McLean

    Based on the above reviews I would like to use Teknos Futura 90 but only require a small tin. I note a distinct lack of local suppliers and can’t justify the £6.90 shipping costs for a product that costs £14.00. Now waiting to see if her indoors has a trip to Swindon in the very near future or I’ll have to rethink the product.

    Reply
  4. mike doyle

    Dulux trade satinwood oil based is as good as anything out there

    Reply

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