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Best Skirting Board Paint in the UK [2022]

What is the best skirting board paint in the UK?

It’s a question we get asked regularly by our clients and the truthful answer is: it depends who you ask. We know that’s not the most satisfactory answer in the world which is why we decided to survey 140 of our fellow professional decorators to find out which ones they prefer and have ranked them based on popularity.

Note: we specified that the skirting board paint would be for DIY purposes, hence the inclusion of both reasonably priced trade paint and retail paint in the results.

Here’s what we found.

Quick Look:

1st: Johnstone’s Aqua Satinwood (30% of vote)

2nd: Ronseal Ultra Tough Paint (25% of vote)

3rd: Dulux Diamond Satinwood (15% of vote) 

4th: Johnstone’s Acrylic Eggshell (12% of vote)

5th: Crown Fast Flow (10% of vote)

1. Johnstone’s Satinwood (Best Skirting Board Paint Overall)

Our survey of the best water-based satinwood paints was won by Johnstone’s Aqua Satin hands down so it’s no surprise that our professional decorators have once again voted this paint as the best skirting board paint. I’ve personally been using this paint for the last 2 years and I wouldn’t use anything else when it comes to interior woodwork.

Johnson’s Aqua Satin is suitable for use on any interior/exterior woods and metals which makes it an incredibly useful all-rounder. So once you’re done painting your skirting boards you can use the leftovers to paint anything from exterior window frames to internal doors.

Application of this paint is very simple and you can expect to get a professional finish if used in conjuncture with the Aqua undercoat although the matching undercoat isn’t strictly necessary depending on the condition of your skirting boards.

The water based satin is so convenient that you can apply it using either a brush or a roller although for precision purposes, we’d always paint our skirting boards with a brush only.

In terms of durability it’s very hardwearing and only gets tougher over time as it cures. It’s a good idea to avoid coming into contact with it for around a couple of weeks to allow it to fully harden at which point it’ll be bomb-proof.

In the painting and decorating profession it’s widely regarded that professionals would either use Johnstone’s Aqua Satin or Benjamin Moore’s Scuff-X (which is far more expensive) to paint their skirting boards.

In my humble opinion, I would say there’s very little to distinguish the two and when considering the price difference I would vote Johnstone’s Aqua as the best skirting board paint with no hesitation.

Pros

  • Is durable and can be cleaned
  • One of the quickest drying skirting board paints on the market
  • The best low-odour skirting board paint out there
  • It doesn’t yellow over time
  • Suitable for use on any interior or exterior woods and metals

Cons

  • None

Final Verdict

Johnstone’s Aqua Satinwood is professional standard skirting board paint but its budget friendly price makes it easily accessible for one-off DIYers.

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2. Ronseal Ultra Tough

Coming in at number 2, and probably the best retail paint for skirting boards, is Ronseal’s Ultra Tough paint and more specifically, the Stays White variety.

This particular paint is available in a 750ml tin and you should have enough to cover your skirting boards in 2 coats but if you do happen to have some leftover you can also use it on substrates such as door or window frames.

With its solid coverage and features such as being both a primer and top coat, it’s easy to see why our professional decorators voted heavily for this paint. Add in the fact that it’s very easy to apply with minimal runs and drips and you’ve got a paint that’s not only great value for money, but rivals trade paints too.

Whilst Ronseal say that this paint works well on bare wood, it doesn’t quite have the formulation to cover any knots from bleeding through. If you do have knots on your skirting boards, it would be a good idea to use a knotting solution first before painting.

In terms of durability, you should get many years of life out of this paint. It’s been specifically formulated to deal with everyday knocks and bumps as well as being resistant to chemicals and abrasion.

As for the aesthetics of the paint, the water-based nature of the formulation means that unlike oil-based paint, you’re not at risk of any yellowing for at least 10 years. Once fully dry, it also produces an attractive mid-sheen satinwood finish.

Pros

  • Suitable for use on bare or worn skirting boards
  • Acts as a primer and topcoat in one
  • Water-based formula leaves no odour
  • Stays white for at least 10 years
  • Easy to apply with minimal drips

Cons

  • None

Final Verdict

Overall, a high quality retail paint that rivals the best trade paints.

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3. Dulux Diamond Satinwood

If you’re looking for a Dulux paint for skirting boards, you’ll want something that is durable, easy to clean and better yet, stain resistant. In this instant, we’d go with Dulux Diamond Satinwood and more specifically, the Pure Brilliant White option.

The Dulux Diamond Satinwood is suitable for application across a variety of surfaces including wood, MDF and even metals. This makes it the perfect choice for skirting boards whilst leftovers can cover anything from kitchen cabinets to door frames.

The water-based formula retains a similar consistency to Dulux’s oil-based paints and is nice and thick. This makes application a breeze – especially if you’re going to be using a good quality synthetic brush.

The spreading capabilities is exceptional and will cover around 12m²/L. Being water-based, the paint will take just a few hours to dry and we’d recommend a re-coat time of around 2 – 4 hours.

The advanced formula ensures the finished product is protected from scratches, marks, scuffs and grease. This means that cleaning your skirting boards will not only be easy but will avoid any damage during the cleaning process too.

Of course, the colour is white but it’s important to note here that unlike solvent based paints, this one doesn’t yellow over time.

Pros

  • Tough, durable and should last you years
  • Suitable for high traffic areas without risk of scratches or scuffs
  • Stain and grease resistant
  • Advanced water based technology that leaves no odour
  • Quick drying means you can finish the job faster

Cons

  • It’s expensive for the average DIYer

Final Verdict

Perfect for those looking for Dulux paint that’s suitable for skirting boards – if you can afford it.

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4. Johnstone’s Acrylic Eggshell


In case you haven’t noticed, professional decorators aren’t exactly keen using eggshell paints for skirting boards. In fact, the only eggshell paint to make the top 5 is Johnstone’s Acrylic Eggshell. Let’s take a deeper dive into why this paint was able to place so highly despite being an eggshell.

Firstly, using an eggshell paint on interiors simply looks a bit nicer than satinwood. With a lower sheen than satinwood, eggshell is much better at hiding any imperfections on the substrate and is much more modern looking.

Secondly, Johnstone’s Durable Eggshell, as suggested in its name, is actually very hardwearing. The tough and durable formula has achieved a Class 1 scrub rating. This essentially means that the paint can withstand scrubbing on a level that resists wear and tear whilst simultaneously continuing to protect your skirting boards from any low level structural damage.

It’s also interesting to note that the paint is resistant to condensation. This is likely because it has thermal properties that deters cold water droplets from settling on the surface. That alone makes this paint one of the best for use on skirting boards in rooms such as kitchens or bathrooms.

Pros

  • Can withstand scrubbing without any damage
  • Quick dry helps you finish the job faster
  • Eco-friendly with minimal VOCs and odour
  • Perfect for bathrooms or kitchens with high levels of moisture

Cons

  • Only comes in 2.5l or 5l tins

Final Verdict

Johnstone’s Eggshell is well worth the purchase but as it’s only available in larger tins, we’d recommend buying if you have other woodwork projects to do too.

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5. Crown Fast Flow

Many professionals in the industry use Crown Fast Flow for various projects. Indeed, we enjoy using this paint so much that we recently used it to paint all the skirting boards at an entire student accommodation building.

One of the most impressive qualities of this paint is quite obviously the fact that it’s incredibly white. Whilst amateurs might be at a loss for words when you tell them that some paints can be more white than others, there’s actually a wide variety of different shades of whites that you can get.

Crown Fast Flow is a water based paint and has been specifically formulated for use on interior woods so whilst skirting boards is an obvious use for this paint, things like doors and hand rails would be perfectly fine to paint with it too. Whilst it has high-end durability, we wouldn’t recommend using your leftovers on exterior surfaces.

Crown’s quick dry satin is branded as ‘quick dry’ for a reason – the paint is touch dry within just an hour. As it dries so quickly you do have to be slightly wary when it comes to speed of application and you will need to get it right on your first go.

Going back over the paint with a brush for example might leave some unsightly brush marks. Once fully cured, which will take a day or two, you can expect it to be hardwearing and resist scratches and stains.

Pros

  • Super fast drying means you can paint your skirting boards in a matter of hours
  • Trade-standard durability means it will last years
  • Resistant to scratches and stains
  • Very easy to apply

Cons

  • You need to work quickly and accurately when using this paint to avoid leaving brush marks

Final Verdict

This paint is a dream to work with if you know what you’re doing. If you’re an inexperienced painter, you might want to buy something else.

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Other Paints to Receive Votes

For all the eagle-eyed mathematicians out there who noticed that the vote share doesn’t add up to 100%, you’re probably wondering which other paints received votes. Whilst these paints only got a few votes between, they might still be worth a look.

Leyland Wood and Metal

Leyland Wood and Metal is a good budget choice that’s strong, durable and most importantly, super cheap for what you get. This paint will easily cover your skirting boards at half the price of some of the other paints to make this list.

Dulux Quick Dry Gloss

Dulux Quick Dry Gloss is one of the better retail paints out there and is a bit different to some of the more popular paints for skirting boards. Gloss gives a high sheen finish which can look great when contrasted with a matt wall and of course with gloss being so durable, it should last you a good few years too.

Eggshell or Satinwood for Skirting Boards?

Should you go with eggshell or satinwood for skirting boards? If you asked any professional decorator the answer would likely be satinwood. Satinwood does a better job of protecting your skirting boards from knocks and bumps and will typically last longer than eggshell.

That’s not to say however that you shouldn’t go for eggshell. Eggshell has the added benefit of making your skirting boards look nicer, especially if the substrate is worn down or has any surface imperfections.

With that in mind though, if you are going to go for an eggshell, chances are that typical retail paints won’t be up to standard.

Your best option would be to go for a trade paint that is specifically formulated to be much stronger than retail paints but of course that comes with an extra price cost.

So eggshell or satinwood? My advice would be to stick to satinwood.

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Want to learn more about different paints? Feel free to take a look at our recent “best gloss paint” article!