Whether it’s meant for your interior walls and ceilings, the exterior of your home, or even the woodwork – a one coat paint can help you finish your decoration project faster.

There are dozens of products to choose from on the market, but do they live up to our expectations?

To answer this question, our expert team has tested and rated many of the best one coat paints in the UK. Our top picks below had satisfactory results in terms of coverage and covering power, colour consistency and application ease. Check them out now.

one coat kitchen painted


Our #1 Best Pick

johnstone's one coat

Johnstone’s One Coat

Exceptional adherence on most surfaces and an impressive covering power – all at a competitive price.

Low Cost Option

Dulux Once matt paint

Dulux Once Matt Paint

Wipe-clean formula developed to save you time and money – a quality paint that won’t break the bank.

Best Of The Rest

The One Multisurface

Quality product for woodwork, metal, and other surfaces – two or more coats are sometimes required.

Polycell Stain Stop

A highly pigmented undercoat developed to prevent existing stains from reappearing through paint.

Ronseal One Coat

Highly opaque exterior wood paint and primer in one.

johnstone's one coat

Budget-friendly and incredibly high-quality one coat emulsion for interior walls and ceilings.

Painting your walls in a new colour can give a new lease of life to your home environment. But this is one of the most exhaustive interior decoration jobs and only the best paint, such as our top pick, can help you finish work without hassle.

Johnstone’s One Coat Emulsion is an interior walls and ceiling paint developed to help homeowners achieve satisfactory results in a quick and easy process.

This matt emulsion boasts a premium quality and quick drying features. Its water-based formulation makes it ideal to use in all environments while the generous colour choice includes neutrals and dramatic shades.

One Coat impresses with an advanced formula that ensures flawless results on all surfaces, including bare walls. It can even seamlessly cover a darker colour on a previously painted wall, which is a rather uncommon feature for a one-coat paint.
All this is possible thanks to a high viscosity, but this trait has a negative side too. In fact, it makes the product harder to spread on walls, lowering the coverage.

That being said, even if the coverage is indeed lower compared to similar products, the exceptional covering power counterbalances this minor drawback; and in the end, we’d rather compromise on this and get fast results than having to apply a second coat.


• Smooth matt finish dries to a velvety look that disguises minor surface imperfections and is easy to clean.
• Thick consistency prevents drips and covers all surfaces with just one coat. A litre of paint covers up to 8m².
• A versatile colour choice makes it easy to find the right shade for your project. One Coat comes in 22 colours.
• Water-based product has a low VOCs content and is perfect to use in all environments, including the nursery or kid’s room.
• One Coat touch dries in two hours and can be repainted after 4 hours.


• Applying this product with a paintbrush is a pain. It’s near impossible to achieve a smooth and brush strokes free finish. We recommend applying with a high-quality roller.

Dulux Once matt paint

Reliable and budget-friendly one coat paint for interior walls and ceilings.

If you’re looking for a cheaper alternative to Johnstone’s One Coat, Dulux Once Matt could be a great choice. This water-based emulsion has been specially developed to ensure a one-coat coverage on walls and ceilings in a fraction of the time needed to redecorate with standard interior paint.

The product has a concentrated formula enriched with high-quality pigments that provides a quick coverage on most surfaces. Use this paint on bare as well as previously painted walls and ceilings. Priming is often unnecessary and required only on bare or damaged walls.

Achieving one coat coverage is fairly easy although it requires a specific technique. According to Dulux, you’ll have to apply a thick coat using a medium pile roller, then leave the product to dry.

Any missed spots or touch-ups can be performed after a minimum of four hours without over coating the whole surface; the fresh paint will dry to match the original coat.

We followed the technique above and the paint lived up to our expectations. Some users have complained about a scarcer performance on darker colours but this could be due to incorrect application.


• Thick paint is easy to apply with a roller or brush, it doesn’t drip, and it dries in only four hours.
• Great coverage for a one coat paint. Dulux Once Matt covers up to 12m²/litre.
• Once Matt comes in 37 contemporary hues; the range includes a selection of neutrals as well as dramatic choices for feature walls.


• Adherence is not as great as Johnstone’s. Dulux Once is easy to apply but is not scratch resistant and tends to flake.
• The colours are quite different than presented. Test the product on a small area to check suitability.

the one multi-surface paint tin
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Multi-surface one coat paint and primer in one, developed for professional decorators.

The One by Rainbow Chalk Paints is a superb one coat paint and primer in one developed for a variety of surfaces. Ideated as a solution for builders and professional decorators, the paint is easy to apply straight from the tin onto woodwork, UPVC, metal, glass, ceramic and a variety of different substrates.

This two-in-one product boasts an eco-friendly water-based formulation and a quick drying time.

The luxurious opaque finish and 12 attractive shades make The One ideal for furniture and kitchen cabinets, window frames, doors and skirting boards. But the product is also suitable to use on exterior surfaces ranging from wood and metal to masonry.

Thicker than standard chalk paint, the product seems tricky to apply at first. But a short-pile mohair roller can help you achieve great results without hassle.


• Fast and easy to apply thanks to the paint and primer in one formula. No undercoat required even on bare surfaces.
• Thick chalky paint covers up to 12m²/litre and dries to a velvety, opaque finish that disguises minor surface imperfections.
• Low VOCs content makes the paint suitable to use in poorly ventilated spaces.
• The One touch dries in only two hours; you can repaint the surface if needed as soon as the product is touch dry.


• Substantial colour changes may require more than one coat.

polycell stain stop

One coat stain repellent - a perfect undercoat to use in high-condensation or high-traffic areas.

Perhaps you already have a favourite topcoat but struggle to eliminate existing stubborn stains from reappearing through paint? If this is the case, Polycell Stain Stop can be the answer to your needs.

This product isn’t a topcoat, but it’s a one coat paint to use over existing stains to block them from reappearing. Compatible with masonry materials, plaster, stone, plasterboard, and wood, this stain repellent provides a one coat coverage over water, grease, rust, nicotine and crayon stains.

Drying to a hardwearing film, the product blocks the stains from making their way through the fresh topcoat. This increases the durability of your paintwork, saving you money and hassle in the long run.

Available in just one highly pigmented colour, the product offers a great coverage and a superb covering power.

Moreover, the product is compatible with multiple paint and interior decoration products, including water-based emulsions, oil-based paints and wallpaper.


• Stain Stop is very viscous and covers all stubborn stains in one easy step. Apply with a brush or roller.
• Great coverage considering the consistency. The product is supplied in 1L tins and covers 9m²/litre.
• Available in aerosol version for spray application.


• Spreading the product is hard due to the very thick consistency. Brush strokes are almost impossible to avoid.
• Users complained that the poor-quality package leaking during transit.
• Two coats may be required for particularly stubborn stains.

ronseal one coat

A quick drying formulation developed to rejuvenate exterior woodwork with just one coat.

The last entry on our list is Ronseal One Coat Matt Black, a self-priming product developed for exterior woodwork but also suitable to use on a variety of alternative substrates.

Matt Black paint offers a contemporary alternative to classic gloss and satin finishes and dries to a highly opaque film that protects surfaces from adverse weather conditions. Formulated for exterior use, the product boasts a quick drying time and becomes showerproof in only one hour.

One Coat stands true to its name on most surfaces; however, on porous or worn wood it may take two or more coats to achieve a satisfactory result.

Another slight drawback is the very limited colour choice. This product is available in matt black only and if you happen to like the formula but want to change colour, this won’t be possible.


• Developed for exterior woodwork, Ronseal One Coat can also be used on pipework, guttering, plastic and even on glass.
• Primer and paint in one acts as a treatment for all exterior woodwork including fascia, soffits and oak beams.
• Long-lasting colour resists UV rays and weather elements without fading.
• Water-based formula dries in an hour, is safe to use in all environments and is harmless to the environment.
• One Coat is supplied in 750ml tins and covers up to 10m²/litre, depending on surface porosity and absorbency.


• It is often necessary to apply more than one coat to achieve satisfactory results, especially on surfaces other than wood.