Frequently asked questions and video guides

These quick tips and video guides deal with the most common queries, for more specific advice simply choose the step of the decorating process you need help with from the menu above.

Quick tips

What finish should I use?
Finish comparison chart
Finish Effect What room / location is it recommended for?
Flat Matt Gorgeous ultra matt to give your walls a smoother and finer look than standard matt Walls in living rooms and bedrooms
Standard Matt A sheen-free finish that minimises imperfections and is ideal for less than perfect walls Wall all spaces except bathrooms
Soft Sheen A beautiful subtle mid-sheen finish bringing warmth to your walls Walls in bathrooms and living rooms and bedrooms
Silk This delicate sheen finish will brighten up your room Living rooms and bedrooms
Eggshell A durable, low-sheen finish Interior wood and metal
Satinwood Hard-wearing, subtle sheen finish. Modern effect Wood and metal
Gloss A high-sheen finish giving long-lasting protection and a beautiful reflective finish For interior wood and metal
Smooth Masonry Beautiful smooth finish Perfect for both flat and rough exterior wall surfaces
Textured Masonry This unique ceramic bead formulation brings a fine textured finish Exterior wall
Satin A provides an attractive mid-sheen finish Exterior windows and doors
Can I paint matt over silk?

The answer to this is yes, but only when the wall has been thoroughly abraded. Unless you are fully prepared to sand the surface to remove all traces of sheen, we would not recommend that you attempt it. Failure to sand thoroughly will result in your paint cracking.

Can I paint over stained wood?

Before you paint over stained wood, we would recommend that you abrade the surface to remove any traces of sheen. You can then paint over the top using a Satinwood, Eggshell or Gloss finish.

Can I paint over varnished wood?

Before you paint over stained wood, we would recommend that you abrade the surface to remove any traces of sheen. You can then paint over the top using a Satinwood, Eggshell or Gloss finish.

Can I use Weathershield paints inside?

All Weathershield products contain fungicides to protect them against the weather. Due to this we do not recommend them for use inside.

What is the difference between Dulux Trade paints and Dulux Retail paints?

The key difference is the consistency of the paint. Dulux Retail paints are ready for use straight from the can. Many professional decorators, however, like to thin their paint before use and so Dulux Trade paints have a slightly different formulation. However, both Dulux Trade and Retail paints are manufactured to the same high specification.

Can I still get hold of old discontinued Dulux colours?

Yes you can. All discontinued colours simply move on to the Dulux Tailor Made Colour in-store mixing systems. All major DIY stores have the Tailor Made Colour mixing system and can mix you any colour (including discontinued colours) in most finishes.

What is a Special Process Colour?

Some strong colours from the Dulux Colour range cannot be made with the same hiding power as other colours if they are to have satisfactory durability and purity of colour.

These colours are referred to as special process colours. This can mean extra coats are required for good coverage; or a specified basecoat colour is recommended for use to aid opacity. Typically these are very strong or bold colours.

What product is most resistant to steam and water in bathrooms?

Dulux Bathroom+ Soft Sheen has a superior moisture and steam resistant formula that is perfect for wet and steamy environments. It's easy to clean and able to withstand high condensation.

What can I paint my plastic garden furniture with?

As garden furniture is made of a very smooth plastic and it is flexible we do not recommend painting it.

What can I paint my metal garden furniture with?

Metal garden furniture can be painted with Hammerite smooth or hammered direct to rust metal paint. Please see the Hammerite website for more information.

What can I paint MDF with?

MDF should first be primed with Dulux Multi-Surface Primer followed by a solvent based paint for wood such as Dulux Satinwood.

MDF should first be primed with the Dulux Difficult Surface Primer followed by a product for timber such as Eggshell, Satinwood or Gloss.

What can I paint my kitchen & bathroom glazed tiles with?

Without the need for a primer or undercoat, Dulux Tile Paint can transform your tiles quickly and will stay looking good, even in areas of high condensation. It is 10 times tougher and 10 times more shower resistant than conventional satin paint which means it won't peel off in areas continually soaked with water e.g. shower enclosures.

What can I paint my veneer/melamine kitchen units with?

Dulux Cupboard Paint requires no primer or undercoat. With 2 coats of paint you can transform your tired old cupboards. It is 10 times tougher than conventional satin paint.

What can I paint the inside of my fireplace with?

Unfortunately Dulux do not produce a paint suitable for this environment. Fire surrounds can be painted with Hammerite High Heat Paint.

What can I paint my baby's cot and toys with?

Because young children are likely to suck and chew their toys/cots, toy and cot manufacturers are required to use paints whose composition complies with the European Toy Standard EN71, Part III 1988 or BS5665 Part III 1989 which is the British Standard set for toys safety. A requirement of both these Standards is for paint manufacturers to test every batch to ensure that they are free from or do not contain more than specified levels of certain heavy metals such as lead, cadmium, mercury and arsenic. Test certificates must be made available on request detailing the analytical results.

Although our paints are formulated specifically for painting building surfaces, none of the materials quoted in the Standards are added to our formulations. However, analytical tests to determine their presence are not undertaken on each batch. The possibility of adventitious contamination from raw material sources or from after storage in cans cannot be ruled out.

What is the difference between water-based and solvent-based products?

Solvent-based products typically contain high levels of Volatile Organic Compound’s (VOC’s) and were traditionally for use on wood and metal surfaces, giving a glossy finish but associated with longer drying times and a strong smell. Water-based products have typically low levels of VOC’s and have come along way over recent years, with many companies offering a water-based paint equivalent to a solvent-based option. The benefits of a water-based product includes quicker drying times, less smell, and easier cleaning up with brushes and rollers being able to be rinsed with water rather than white spirit, making the whole decorating process more environmentally friendly.

Washing solvent-based paint from brushes required the use of white spirit or solvent-based brush cleaners, which in themselves release VOCs when used, and are difficult to dispose of because of their hazardous nature. Therefore, using water-based paints, where brushes can be washed in soapy water, can further reduce the environmental impact of decorating.

Which Dulux products are water-based?
What are Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)?

Decorative paints and related products are inherently beneficial to the environment, by preserving and protecting surfaces such as wood, and enhancing the aesthetics and enjoyment of living and working environments. However, these products contain chemicals and so we need to be aware of and manage the associated environmental risks.

Today the biggest environmental issue facing the paint industry is that of Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) emissions and their contribution to air pollution, or more simply, the effect of solvents contained in paints on the air that we breathe.

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are chemicals that will evaporate easily into the air usually at room temperature and often give a distinctive smell. They are emitted from many sources including fuels, numerous industrial operations and household products such as cleaning agents, cosmetics, aerosols and paints. They can accelerate the rate nitrogen oxides (from combustion processes) react with sunlight to create low level ozone and photochemical smog, which contributes to air pollution.

Even though less than 2% of all man-made VOCs in Europe come from decorative paint, Dulux have long implemented a voluntary industry agreement for carrying out VOC reductions in products and for displaying VOC content information on product labels. This is to encourage customers to choose products with lower VOC content.

Now official UK legislation, based on EU directive 2004/42/EC, is in place and covers coatings applied to buildings, their trim and fittings and associated structures when applied for decorative, functional and protective purposes. This directive is a two stage process setting upper limits for the amount of VOCs allowed in products. The first stage started in January 2007. The second stage started in 2010 when stricter limits were applied, meaning major changes to traditional solvent based coatings.

Video guides

Priming your surfaces
Priming your surfaces

When it comes to painting surfaces it is very important to prime them. The purpose of a primer, especially a wood primer is to allow the primer to penetrate the surface allowing products applied to the top it to stick to the surface.

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Using an undercoat
Using an undercoat

Now the primer is dry it is time to choose an undercoat, which can be water based or solvent based. The idea of an undercoat is to fill any imperfections in the surface, such as grain marks.

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Choosing gloss paints
Choosing gloss paints

When it comes to gloss we have a solvent based and a water based finish, both of which give you a fantastic finish.

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Choosing the right paint for your walls
Choosing the right paint for your walls

When painting your internal walls the correct product choice is very important. We have got various products within the Dulux range and here are just a selection.

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Expert help Expert help

Expert help

Our team of professional interior designers will help you with all aspects of a design, including.

  • Full design schemes with colours and furniture
  • Inspiration and advice
  • Sourcing and buying materials
  • Full project managemnt
Dulux Design Service