THE BEST SATINWOOD & EGGSHELL PAINTS FOR A SILK FINISH
Halfway between matt and high sheen, satinwood and eggshell paints offer an elegant silk finish to surfaces. The refined soft sheen tones down the opulence of gloss paint and add a twist to a traditional matt effect.
Ideal to use on woodwork, metal and even on walls – satinwood and eggshell paints come in a range of styles and colours. When choosing brands, hues and formulations gets complicated, we’re here to help.
Our expert team has selected, tested and rated the best satinwood and eggshell paints in the UK. Check out our top picks below.
OUR BEST PICK SATINWOOD PAINTS
Best Of The Rest
Odourless water-based satinwood paint dries to an attractive mid-sheen finish.
High-quality oil-based paint – withstands repeated washing without suffering discolouration.
Exceptional eggshell paint for interior walls and wood – ideal for kitchens and bathrooms.
POPULAR SATINWOOD COLOUR PALETTES
Silk finish paints come in a wide range of traditional and contemporary colours. Before choosing the shade, consider the surface to be painted. White is one of the most popular choices for woodwork and metal, including doors, window frames and radiators. But other hues also look amazing on these materials.
Pale yellow, beige, cream and off-whites represent only a small selection of shades to consider. Slate grey is a popular contemporary choice that pairs well with light grey walls.
Blush pink, ivory and magnolia are ideal choices if the walls are painted in similar or contrasting shades.
Brown is a timeless choice and so is green – these colours blend well in traditional or rustic interiors. In a coastal home, bright blue and yellow are two other hues to consider. Blue complements white walls, while yellow can be paired with navy or emerald green.
If you’re aiming to use eggshell paint on walls, choose the colour based on the luminosity of the room and pair it with the home décor.
Use a paint in neutral shades if the room is small or furnished in traditional style. Contemporary choices include ivory, light grey, silver and cream.
A modern home can enjoy bolder colours such as chartreuse or purple, perhaps combined with neutral shades that can tone down the intensity of these hues. Turquoise is another popular choice and this shade pairs well with red, gold and brown.
Crown Quick Dry Satin is our favourite interior wood and metal paint. Drying to a soft satin finish and available in Pure Brilliant White, this water-based paint integrates successfully in all environments, enhancing the look of traditional and modern homes.
Breatheasy technology is a key feature of this paint. Exclusive to Crown, Breatheasy symbol ensures the product is solvent-free and safe to use in poorly ventilated spaces. But this isn’t the only feature we like.
Another great thing about this product is the quick drying time. The product touch dries in one hour and it can be recoated after only six hours. Although this may seem like a long time most wood and metal paints require at least 12 hours between the coats.
The colour is also great. The Pure Brilliant White dries to a true white shade that doesn’t turn yellow in time. Drying to a satin finish, the paint is also easy to wipe clean with a damp cloth, maintaining the look and feel of your woodwork as new for a long time.
Adherence is exceptional, although you’ll have to prime bare wood and metal surfaces. Coverage goes up to 16m²/litre depending on surface porosity and application method. According to the manufacturer, the best application method is with a brush, but we’ve found that a roller works just as well on large surfaces.
Johnstone’s Eggshell paint is our favourite budget-savvy solution. Like everything at an affordable price, the product comes with its positives and negatives. But with many more positives than negatives, the product is one of our strongly recommended buys.
Just like our top pick, the paint comes in only one colour, which is Brilliant White. The main difference between the two products is the formulation. Johnstone’s is an oil-based paint for interior wood and metal; it dries to an elegant silk finish which is tough and durable, but the product is toxic.
That’s why using Johnstone’s Eggshell in a poorly ventilated environment is never recommended. Another slight drawback of this paint – which is common to all oil-based paints – is the drying time. The product touch dries in about two hours but can be recoated only after 16-24 hours depending on the environmental conditions.
On a more positive note, the paint has an exceptional level of coverage and requires no undercoat. Priming is required only on bare surfaces or if the previous paint is in very poor condition. A coat of paint is typically enough to achieve full coverage and a litre of paint is sufficient for up to 10m².
Dulux Quick Dry Satinwood is another exceptional silk finish paint to consider. The water-based product is virtually odourless and safe to use in all environments of a home. Coming in 20 neutral and vibrant colours, the product requires no undercoat and boasts a quick drying formula that allows you to finish work promptly.
Convenient and pleasant to use, the paint is easy to apply with a paintbrush or roller and touch dries in two hours. A second coat can be applied after six hours if the climatic conditions are favourable.
Coverage may also drop when making substantial colour changes. However, this is understandable and not a drawback. One minor drawback is that the colours can sometimes dry to slightly darker shade than expected.
In terms of coverage, a litre of paint is sufficient for up to 12m²/litre. The product is supplied in 750ml and 2.5L tins, allowing you to minimise costs and waste.
Another thing we like is the choice of finishes. The satinwood finish, which was our choice, dries to a delicate silk, mid-sheen effect. Two other options give you the possibility to opt for an eggshell low-sheen or a gloss high-sheen.
Dulux Trade Satinwood combines the elegant mid-sheen finish of Satinwood paint with the convenience of an oil-based wood and metal paint in a single winning formula. This solvent-based product provides a tough and durable coat that can withstand repeated washing and will enhance the beauty of your home.
Less versatile in terms of colours than its water-based counterpart, Dulux Trade beats traditional Dulux Satinwood in terms of coverage. The Trade version covers up to 17m²/litre, though it is only available in Pure Brilliant White.
Another important difference between this Satinwood and the one presented above is the drying time. Fairly quick for a solvent-based paint, Trade Satinwood requires up to 6 hours to touch dry and the second coat can be applied after about 16-24 hours.
On a positive note, the product can be applied over most previously painted surfaces without an undercoat. This helps cut costs and the length of your project, while priming is only required on bare or heavily damaged surfaces.
Like all solvent-based paints, this product is toxic and must be handled with care. Avoid using it in poorly ventilated spaces and leave all windows open to avoid side effects.
Walls and woodwork in high-traffic areas like bathrooms, kitchens, hallways and stairways can also benefit from the advantages of a soft sheen paint. A product that we really liked is Leyland Trade Acrylic, a water-based paint for interior walls, ceilings and wood.
Supplied in 5L tubs, this paint is ten times tougher than conventional matt or silk wall paint. It comes in three attractive colours and covers up to 12m²/litre. The eggshell finish is delicate and durable, while the product is easy to clean with a soft cloth.
This highly durable paint can be used in all interiors and resists well to humidity. A quick drying formula makes it possible to recoat after only four hours and we also like that the product is compatible with a full range of application tools, including paint sprayers.
Suitable for walls and ceilings, Leyland has a viscous non-drip formulation that ensures a mess-free application. And being water-based the paint is also safe to use in all environments, including poorly ventilated rooms.
HOW TO USE SATINWOOD PAINT
• Satinwood paint
• Painters tape
• Drop cloths
• Putty knife
Step 1 – Prepare the surface
Whether you’re painting woodwork or metal, comprehensive surface preparation is key to the success of your project. A new surface needs little preparation and often it will be enough to simply clean it thoroughly.
If the surface has been painted previously, check the condition of the old paint. Remove any flaking or peeling product and level the surface with sandpaper. Remove all dust, preferably with a vacuum cleaner, and wash the surface with degreaser. Wait for the surface to dry completely before proceeding.
When the surface is clean and dry, seal all areas not to be painted with the painter’s tape and lay a fabric drop cloth on the floor to minimise drip damage.
Step 2 – Prime the surface
Some interior wood and metal paints may require no undercoat when applied over a previously painted surface. If this is the case, just skip to the next step.
If the surface is new or bare, priming is essential. Choose a suitable product that is specifically formulated for either wood or metal and apply it as instructed.
Leave the primer to dry and cure as indicated, usually for at least 24 hours.
Step 3 – Paint the surface
The painting method changes based on the surface to paint. On small surfaces such as window frames, soak the paintbrush in the product, remove excess paint, and apply from top to bottom with a firm and continuous movement.
Paint the horizontal sides of the frame with a firm movement from one side to another. Leave the first coat to dry as instructed before applying a second coat.
On doors or other large surfaces, start from the edges and paint a thick trim around the perimeter. Switch from paintbrush to roller and apply a level coat on the rest of the surface. Leave the paint to dry, then apply a second coat if necessary.
For the best results, it’s recommended to work on small sections at a time to make sure the coat is applied in a thin and even layer. Fix all drips before moving on to the next section and continue the procedure until the full surface is covered.
When work is done, leave the paint to dry and cure as instructed before touching. Avoid closing windows and doors before the paint is completely dry.