Best paint for wood: 5 picks for furniture, woodwork and more...

Picking the best paint for wood is key for giving skirting boards, doors, banisters and even the garden shed a spruce up

Included in this guide:

The best paint for wood: 5 picks for your DIY projects
(Image credit: Getty)

The best paint for wood is key for good results when painting furniture, woodwork, fences, sheds... basically anything made of wood. Get it wrong and the finish will be disappointing and, importantly won't last. Get it right, and you'll have a smart finish that's really durable and easy to keep clean, too.

We have rounded up our edit of the top wood paints in a range of finishes that you can buy. We have covered both interior and exterior options, and everything is top quality, so whatever your DIY project, you will find the paint you need here. Better still? Our pricing widgets show today's best prices.

For more decorating advice, tips and guides, see our dedicated paint hub page.


1. Dulux Trade Interior Pure Brilliant White Satinwood Wood & Metal Paint

A hard wearing paint, perfect for skirting boards and other interior woods

Best for: Interior woods
Finish: Satinwood
Drying time: 16-24hrs
Coverage : Up to 17m² per litre
Colours available: Brilliant White
Reasons to buy
+Dirt resistant+Durable and long lasting finish 
Reasons to avoid
-You can only buy Brilliant White online-Long dry time

Tough, durable and hard wearing, this Dulux Trade Interior Pure Brilliant White Satinwood Wood & Metal Paint is perfect for interior woods, especially where there’s high volumes of traffic. Requiring just a couple of coats, this paint is easy to apply, with no undercoat necessary, unless the original colour is particularly bold. Thanks to its dirt resistance, it’s easy to keep doors and skirting boards looking clean and fresh. 

  • Shop Dulux Trade Interior Pure Brilliant White Satinwood Wood & Metal Paint here 

Cuprinol garden shades

(Image credit: Cuprinol )

2. Cuprinol Garden Shades Matt Wood Paint in Willow

Give your shed a spruce up with this paint for exterior wood

Best for: Adding colour
Finish: Matt
Drying time: 8 hrs
Coverage: Up to 12m² per litre
Colours available: 96 shades
Reasons to buy
+Dries in only eight hours+Lots of colour options 
Reasons to avoid
-Not the most long lasting 

If your garden shed is looking tired and worn, you can give it a new lease of life with a coat of paint. Whether you choose to use a paint brush, roller or even a spray gun, this Cuprinol Garden Shades paint should provide your shed with a rich colour and long lasting protection. This paint is also perfect for fences and other wooden garden features such as benches and furniture, providing you with the option to keep your garden in sync. 

Our personal fave shade is Willow, but you can choose between 96 other shades to find one to suit your style. 

  • Shop Cuprinol Garden Shades paint here

Ronseal Fence life plus

(Image credit: Ronseal)

3. Ronseal Fence life plus Slate Matt Fence & shed Wood treatment

Weather proof for up to 5 years, this paint is ideal for fences and deckings

Best for: Fences and sheds
Finish: Matt
Drying time: 4 hrs
Coverage: Up to 6m²
Colours available: 34
Reasons to buy
+Protects against cracking, peeling and blistering+Very long lasting +Plenty of colour choice
Reasons to avoid
-Needs a couple of coats

Exterior wood is put through its paces by the weather every day but you can make sure it remains in tip top condition by using this wood paint from Ronseal. The blend of ingredients allows for the natural movement of the wood, preventing cracking, peeling and blistering, while its weather resistance becomes active just one hour after painting. Suitable to paint on bare or previously treated wood, this Ronseal Fence life plus is a reliable choice for your garden.  

  • Shop Ronseal Fence life plus Slate Matt Fence & shed Wood treatment here


4. Cuprinol 5 Year Ducksback Matt Shed & Fence Treatment in Forest Oak

Quick drying and showerproof in an hour, this paint from Cuprinol is a good alternative to Ronseal

Best for: Quick drying
Finish: Matt
Drying time: 2-4 hours
Coverage: Up to 24m²
Colours available: 7
Reasons to buy
+Water repellent and frost resistant+Quick drying time
Reasons to avoid
-Only available in 'wood' colours 

Whether it’s a summer storm or a hard winter front, your exterior wood should be protected with this paint from Cuprinol. It’s non drip, so don’t worry about the paint dripping on to your patio, and it protects your fence and decking from the damaging effects of rain and frost. It guarantees protection for five years and its water repellency is active an hour after painting. With 5 litres of paint at £14, you can’t really go wrong. Want more choice for exterior surfaces? Check out our best decking paint.

(Image credit: Ronseal)

5. Ronseal Chalky Furniture Paint

Give your furniture a brand new look with just a tin of paint

Best for: Furniture
Finish: Chalky matt
Drying time: 4hrs
Coverage: Up to 16m² per litre
Colours available: 8
Reasons to buy
+Touch dry in just 30 minutes+Trendy rustic look
Reasons to avoid
-Takes some prep for a good finish 

Whether it’s a bookcase, a wardrobe or even a chest of drawers, if you’re looking to do something different with your home, sometimes painting furniture can do the job nicely. In addition to making your furniture look pretty, this is tough, durable and drip-free, ensuring easy application and virtually non-existent maintenance thereafter. Available in a wide range of colours, you’re free to create the perfect look for your home. 

Want to more choice? Don't miss our best furniture paints.

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Hebe Hatton
Hebe Hatton

Hebe joined the Real Homes team in early 2018 as Staff Writer. As a renter, she is always looking for creative ways to make her flat feel like home. She loves boho and 70's style and is a big fan of Instagram as a source of interiors inspiration.