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.
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)
What Paint Can Be Used On Skirting Boards?
There are no specific paints made for skirting boards so with that in mind, paints such as gloss, satinwood and eggshell can be used on skirting boards.
At a stretch, you could even use matt emulsion with the right preparation and primer but I wouldn’t recommend this as it’s unlikely to be durable.
Let’s take a quick look at the paints you can use on skirting boards.
Gloss – Gloss is a high-sheen paint that is very tough and durable. However, it doesn’t hide imperfections as well as paints with a lower sheen. You might want to consider using gloss if your skirting boards take lots of bumps and are in need of frequent cleaning.
Satinwood – Satinwood is a mid-sheen paint that is a mix of great durability and great aesthetics. Satinwood paints can be bumped and remain intact and can withstand lots of cleaning. Furthermore, it does a solid job of hiding imperfections on skirting boards and for this reason, my number one choice for skirting board paint is satinwood.
Eggshell – Eggshell is a soft-sheen paint that’s easy on the eye and provides some form of protection to skirting boards. It’s not as durable as satinwood or gloss but does look slightly better than satinwood.
Matt – Matt paint looks fantastic but offers very little protection to skirting boards. If you’re ultra careful around the home then it’s worth considering but for a typical home, I would advise against using matt paint on skirting boards.
Water-Based Paint or Oil-Based Paint?
Once upon a time, oil-based paint was the go-to for every decorator but with recent advancements in paint technology, it’s difficult to see a difference between the two in terms of performance.
So why would you choose one or the other?
Water-based paint advantages:
- Dries quickly
- Little to no VOCs
- Doesn’t yellow over time
- Equipment can be cleaned using clean water
Oil-based paint advantages:
- Is arguably more durable
- Is easier to apply than water-based paint
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 an 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.
Best Skirting Board Paint in the UK
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 conjunction 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.
- 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
2. Ronseal Ultra Tough – Good budget option
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.
- 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
3. Dulux Diamond Satinwood – Best Dulux skirting board paint
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 are 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.
- 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
- It’s expensive for the average DIYer
4. Johnstone’s Acrylic Eggshell – If you want something that looks amazing
In case you haven’t noticed, professional decorators aren’t exactly keen on 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 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 deter 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.
- 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
- Only comes in 2.5l or 5l tins
5. Crown Fast Flow – One of the best white finishes
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 handrails 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.
- 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
- You need to work quickly and accurately when using this paint to avoid leaving brush marks
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 them, 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.