Wood & metal paint buying guide


The devil is in the detail when it comes to home improvements, and it can be easy to forget skirting boards, radiators, window frames and doors when decorating. However, using the right paint finish can really revitalize your home and offer great protection against everyday damage. Paint formulated for wood and metal are great for both interior and exterior decorating, and can make a huge difference.

What are the different types of wood and metal paint?

Primers & undercoat

You can get all-purpose and quick drying undercoats to make preparing your wood and metal easy.

Smooth and matt

Often used on rust metal and cupboards, you can use these paints to get a smooth or matt finish. Matt finishes can be difficult to clean, however, so you should use them on areas which are less likely to be touched frequently.


If you’re looking for a beautiful, long lasting finish, eggshell paint is a great choice as it brings a premium look to any wood or metal. Eggshell has a very light sheen, and is easier to clean than matt paint.


For a mid-sheen finish, the water-based option of satin will give you a contemporary appearance. Glossier paints tend to show up imperfections in woodwork more, however, so be sure to sand down any scratches or bumps that will catch the light.


Known for being tough and long lasting, gloss paint has been a favourite for interior and exterior wood and metal paintwork for a long time. It’s easy to apply, and you can choose from non-drip, liquid, one-coat or quick dry depending on your needs.

Do I need to use undercoat paint for wood and metal?

Getting the perfect finish when painting anything is all about getting everything right, from the preparation through to the finishing touches. Undercoats and primers are always recommended when painting anything around the home as they give you the right foundation to add that beautiful topcoat. The majority of these can be used on many surfaces for a shiny finish, but always check the instructions first and consider getting a specific type, such as anti-mould or masonry paint, for each task.

Shop all Undercoats & primers

Can I paint over any wood?

If the wood surface you are working with has been painted previously then you can’t simply add a new paint on top. Doing this will result in a patchy, uneven finish so you’ll have to prepare the surface for new paint by scraping and sanding ahead of time. Also, if the area is stained or varnished then you will need to remove any sheen by abrading the surface.

See our guide on painting interior woodwork

Can I just use all-surface paint?

While you can get a better finish using specific wood or metal paint, a multi or all-surface paint will do a great job around the home too. It’s ideal for use both inside and outside, and the majority of them come with paint and primer together to make your decorating tasks a whole lot simpler.

Shop all Multi-surface paints

Top tips
  • To make cleaning your brushes easier after using wood and metal paint, just leave them in a bucket of water overnight. This will keep the bristles pliable and they will only need a quick dry with a cloth ahead of the next session.
  • Create a perception of a layer space by painting your woodwork the same colour as the wall.

Let us help you complete your decorating project

Was this guide useful?