Dulux Once Satinwood Review

I’ve been on a bit of a reviewing spree in the last couple of weeks so I’ve decided to follow up and do a Dulux Once Satinwood review.

For those unfamiliar with this product, it’s basically a retail paint that’s marketed as having the capability to cover in one coat.

Now, you might be wondering, if it covers in 1 coat, why doesn’t every decorator use it? Surely it must save time?

Having put Dulux Once satinwood through its paces on a few previous jobs, I’m going to analyse its opacity, ease of application, and durability so you can have a good idea as to whether it’s worth buying or not.

With that being said, here’s my Dulux Once Satinwood review.

Tin of Dulux Once Satinwood paint.

What Can It Be Used On?

Dulux Once Satinwood is primarily used for woodwork, making it suitable for surfaces like doors, windows, and skirting. The ability to slap it on any surface with minimum preparation makes it a common choice among decorators for rental properties and communal halls where a quick turnaround is needed.

Consistency and Ease of Application

The consistency of Dulux Once Satinwood is a mixed bag. I’ve found it to be quite runny on occasions, almost to the point of being watery whereas other times it’s been pretty stodgy.

The application leaves a lot to be desired – it’s difficult to work in by brush, even going so far as to splay the bristles – something I’ve not experienced with other paints like my personal favourite Johnstone’s Aqua Guard Satinwood (I’ve used the same brush for both products).

While it does flow well and lays off nicely, the paint is a tad heavy on the brush. It requires a bit of additional effort to apply correctly, but the coverage it provides is arguably as good as trade-standard products, especially after 1 coat.


Now, let’s talk about the opacity – it’s genuinely impressive. Despite being a DIY paint, Dulux Once Satinwood outperforms many trade paints when it comes to coverage. Just one coat and you have yourself a pretty decent finish, lending some credibility to its “Once” moniker.


Durability, however, is a bit of a controversial topic when it comes to Dulux Once products. There have been instances where I’ve returned to a rental property after some time to find that the Dulux Once Satinwood still looked fresh, showing little to no yellowing.

Yet, there have also been cases where the paint yellows within a matter of weeks. This is particularly problematic when I’m working for developers who insist on using it.

Pros of Dulux Once Paint

The standout features of Dulux Once Satinwood include its excellent coverage and pleasant finish. Doors and skirting boards look great with just a single coat, making it a viable choice for quick and inexpensive jobs. While it can be tricky to apply, the flow is quite nice and the end result is usually passably good.

Cons of Dulux Once Paint

On the flip side, Dulux Once Satinwood does have its drawbacks. Its consistency can be problematic, sometimes appearing too watery for my liking and other times too thick. The application can be challenging, often demanding more of my time to get it right.

There’s also the big issue of yellowing. This doesn’t happen every time, but when it does, it’s ridiculous. If the room in which it’s been applied doesn’t get lots of natural light, it’s almost certainly going to yellow in a short timeframe.

Comparison with Other Paints

When compared to other satinwoods, like my personal favourite, Johnstone’s Aquaguard Satinwood, Dulux Once Satinwood falls a long way short. The latter has never caused any problems with my brushes, and I’ve always been satisfied with the results, especially as Aqua Guard, being water-based, never yellows.

However, Dulux Once Satinwood is not all bad. The impressive coverage it offers is a plus, and it has outperformed others in certain instances. But the issue of inconsistent durability and the potential for yellowing are significant points of concern.

Concluding Thoughts

All in all, Dulux Once Satinwood is definitely not a paint I’d use with any sort of frequency.

It has its place for quick turnarounds, like rentals or communal areas, where its superior opacity and coverage are needed.

However, when longevity and consistent performance are key, other paints like Johnstone’s Aquaguard Satinwood are a better option.

I personally wouldn’t recommend it to any professional decorator as you could risk losing your reputation if the paint happens to yellow in a short time frame (and that’s certainly a possibility).