10 Best Masonry Paints Reviews UK 2020 - Top-Rated Brands Compared

Last Updated on September 8, 2020

Now that the weather is brightening up, it is the perfect time to get those long-awaited DIY jobs done. Is your house looking a bit worse for wear? You might assume that painting your exterior is as simple as picking a colour and deciding on what clothes you don't mind ruining in the process of painting.


We thought much the same. One thing we learnt very quickly is that painting is a dark art. There is a lot to consider, but we have done the leg work for you and reviewed the top ten best masonry paint your house.

Best Masonry Paint Reviews

Best Masonry Paints On The UK Market Reviewed In 2020

This paint by UK Paint is pretty basic but does quite a decent job without the expected price tag. This smooth masonry paint can be applied with a brush or roller. With coverage of up to 15sqm per litre on smooth surfaces, this tin will cover up to 300sqm.

The drying time is surprisingly quite fast at just 2 to 4 hours. The manufacturer does, however, stress that it is vital to allow all surfaces to dry out completely before applying. As with most exterior paint jobs, it is best practice to wash the surface first with a fungicidal wash as this helps prevent mould being trapped under the paint.

As this paint is best on smooth surfaces, you will need to use a sand and cement mix for any large holes and cracks on your surface. Primer is recommended but not strictly required. This paint can not be applied in temperatures below 7oC or during rain, fog or relative humidity above 80%. This is our favourite masonry paint that we reviewed. It comes in a simple tin that does not overstate what it can do. You will not find any trademarked marketing ploys to justify a high price, just honest and straightforward smooth finish masonry paint.

masonry-paint---dark-grey

Pros

  • Very affordable
  • Good coverage
  • Quick-drying time

Cons

  • Weather conditions must be ideal
  • No mention of whether it is waterproof

Dulux Weathershield smooth masonry paint is guaranteed against peeling and flaking for as long as you live in your home. That kind of promise immediately grabbed our attention. So is it the best masonry paint? Well, almost.

The Dulux Weather Shield range is formulated with a unique high-performance acrylic resin that protects against all types of extreme weather conditions for up to 15 years. Unlike some of the cheaper paints we reviewed, it is UV Resistant. This means that this masonry paint will continue to look fresh and bright throughout its lifetime. Dulux has designed their masonry paint to use what they call 'Micro-Porous Breathable Paint Film'. This supposedly allows moisture and air to be released whilst preventing rain from penetrating and damaging walls.

This is the best masonry paint in terms of quick drying. This paint is rainproof in just 30 minutes. This is great for those of us that live in slightly temperamental climates. No more panicking when that rain cloud opens up halfway through painting the house! It also contains an algicide and fungicide to protect the paint from staining due to mould, algal and fungal growth.

Dulux states that this paint has an average coverage of 9sqm per litre, which is less than most trade paint, but that is to be expected due to its thicker formulation.

dulux-weather-shield-smooth-ma

Pros

  • Rainproof in 30 minutes.
  • Built-in algaecide and fungicide
  • Lifetime guarantee

Cons

  • Not suitable for brick
  • Can only be applied when the temperature is 10oC+

Johnstone's Smooth Masonry Paint has been specially formulated to give 10-year protection to exterior surfaces. The Weatherguard range is suitable for use on a wide range of surfaces.


If you have something other than smooth render, then this is the best masonry paint for you. This smooth finish paint can cover brickwork, stone, concrete, pebbledash, roughcast rendering and other similar surfaces.

It provides a smooth weather resisting matt finish that promises to help prevent dirt accumulation. One of Johnstone's main selling points is that it has designed what it describes as one of the most flexible formulations in the industry. This allows for surface expansion and contraction and resists flaking.

johnstone-s-307123-weatherguar

Pros

  • Incredibly flexible to prevent flaking
  • 10-year guarantee
  • Lifetime guarantee

Cons

  • Matt finish
  • No algacidal of fungicidal component

Forget the classic masonry paint grey look. Do you want to paint your masonry a bitter chocolate colour? Sandtex has you sorted. Sandtex has made a name for themselves in providing high-quality exterior paints.


This ultra-smooth masonry paint has high coverage and one the best finishes out of all the masonry paints we tested. It is easy to apply, and its 'Microseal' technology is dirt resistant, breathable & waterproof.


What more could you want? It's affordable and does exactly what it promises. If you are still sceptical, it comes with a 15 year guarantee.

Whilst everyone knows that DULUX is the most well-recognised paint brand in Europe; Sandtex focusses mainly on exterior paints, they are very good at what they do but will you charge you for this quality.

sandtex-5-litres-ultra-smooth-

Pros

  • Waterproof
  • Breathable and dirt resistant
  • 15 year guarantee

Cons

  • Not suitable for textured masonry
  • Not as quick drying as other paints

This not for heavy-duty applications or for use in extreme climates. This is the most affordable masonry paint we reviewed, and it does have some drawbacks. It has quite good coverage and is waterproof. The main problem is that it achieves its coverage by being very thin; this also makes it likely to chip and flake.


We recommend that this is the best masonry paint for render that just needs a touch-up and has been previously painted. Leyland states that this can be used on exterior brickwork, concrete, roughcast, rendering, pebbledash and other similar surfaces. We think that it will struggle with an application on anything but smooth surfaces.

granocryl-smooth-masonry-paint

Pros

  • Good value for money.
  • Wide range of masonry paint colours
  • Environmentally friendly

Cons

  • Not suitable for textured masonry
  • Questionable weather protection due to durability

HQC Smooth Masonry Paint is a high-quality product that repels water without breaking a sweat. There is irony in there somewhere. This masonry paint is based on an acrylic resin and will offer protection against extreme weather conditions.


HQC say that their scrub resistant paint can be cleaned without concern for peeling, cracking or flaking. HQC Smooth Masonry Paint is also an environmentally friendly coating suitable for painting on concrete, plaster, pebbledash, brick and stone walls.

This ultra-smooth masonry paint is touch dry in 2 hours and recoatable in 4. It comes in 28 colours, although the names are not as imaginative as Sandtex. The only drawback we discovered in our testing is that the coverage is around six sqm per litre; this is one of the lowest coverage rates of all the masonry paint we reviewed.

HQC Smooth Masonry Paint

Pros

  • touch dry in 2 hours
  • 28 colours available
  • A simple application that results in a smooth finish.

Cons

  • Covers only 6qsm per litre
  • Relatively more expensive than the other paint we reviewed

Rustin's Quick Dry Paint is an acrylic-based masonry paint which is suitable for dry exterior masonry surfaces. Most masonry paints require some form of primer. This paint by Rustins is so easy to apply that no primer is necessary if fresh mortar has been applied to pointing. They also make a bold claim that you will only require one coat rather than the usual two.


This means that the advertised 14sqm per litre coverage could technically be doubled as you do not have to do a second coat. We can not test this statement as it would require years of weathering testing. The paint is touch dry within 30 minutes.

This exterior masonry paint can also be used for interior surfaces and dries to a smooth matt finish. 

rustins-maspw500-masonry-paint

Pros

  • Touch dry in 30 minutes.
  • 14 to 28 sqm per litre coverage
  • Only one coat needed

Cons

  • Only available in 4 colours
  • No built in algacide and fungacide

No, you're not seeing double. Well, not strictly speaking. This is the textured cousin of the Graocryl mason paint we previously reviewed. This exterior masonry paint is designed to leave your exterior walls with a textured masonry look even if your walls are smooth. It requires no additional steps for application and is just as easy to apply as its smooth finish cousin.


There are a few colour options not available for some reason, but maybe this will change in the future. This can be used on previously painted walls and most types of masonry. Whether you are looking to accentuate an existing textured finish or create something new entirely, this quick drying paint has you covered, literally.

Reviews online are mixed for this product, but we found no significant issues with it during our testing. If you have only got a small area to cover, then this might be the best product for you. You could also use this to touch up areas rather than repaint an entire wall.

leyland-303140-granocryl-smoot

Pros

  • Good value for money.
  • Wide range of masonry paint colours
  • Environmentally friendly

Cons

  • Questionable weather protection due to durability

Ready for something different? Snowcem Plus is a mineral-based paint supplied as a powder which you mix with water to the consistency required for your specific application. For most routine applications, 1kg of Snowcem Plus powder gives you 1.5 litres of paint. It has a coverage of around six sqm per litre. This concept from Snowcem is the opposite of the industry standard of using a solvent to dilute the paint. This lack of solvent and polymers allows this exterior masonry paint to have superior UV protection.

Snowcem can be used for almost all applications. It is compatible with natural stone, concrete, stone, brickwork, render and GRC. If Snowcem is to be used on previously painted/coated surfaces or onto a low porous surface, then the use of the primer is required. Snowcem also makes their own primer which uses a similar powder-based form.

snowcem-exterior-masonry-paint

Unique to this paint from Snowcem Plus is that the paint grows more durable and tougher with rain and time because its binding cement takes decades to cure fully. This extended curing time means that this paint is breathable and waterproof.

Something that is quite exciting is that it is suitable for most heritage and listed buildings due to its unique composition. It can also be applied on damp surfaces and has been proven to last 25 years or more. This is probably the best textured masonry paint for coastal locations as it withstands freeze-thaw action and water-related deterioration.

Could it get any better? The Snowcem range is naturally Alkaline, and so this paint resists mould, algae and moss. All this power and yet it is made from natural mineral materials, completely polymer-free, environmentally friendly, and has 0% VOCs.

Pros

  • Powder Based
  • Built-in algaecide and fungicide
  • Superior UV Protection
  • Environmentally Friendly
  • Can be applied on a damp surface

Cons

  • Is there any?

WLPV is not yet a household name, but their range of easy to apply textured masonry paints may change that. You will need to seal new, weathered or bare surfaces with stabilising primer.


You also can not complete your application in extreme temperature (below 7oC) or during rain, fog or relative humidity above 80%. With coverage of around 10sqm per litre and a quick drying time of just 2 hours, this paint delivers a quality smooth finish.

WLPV recommend that new or bare surfaces be sealed with a thin first coat of masonry paint that is a mixture of one part clean water to five parts paint.

20l-masonry-paint-white

Pros

  • 10sqm per litre coverage
  • 2 hour quick drying time
  • Smooth finish
  • Six strong colours available

Cons

  • Not suitable for brick and other types of masonry
  • Can only be applied when the temperature is 7oC+

Buying Guide

The first step to deciding on what masonry paint to buy is deciding what kind of finish you would like. Both textured masonry paint and smooth finish masonry paints are available. A textured masonry paint will generally be more forgiving of imperfections in the surface you are painting. It is also typically the more accessible option for painting walls that have already been painted.

Once you have decided on the finish, the next step is finding out whether you will require a primer. In general, it is better to apply a primer, but not all paints require it, and this could save you a small fortune if budget is a concern. Once you have ordered all your supplies, the next step is to plan your application carefully.


It is recommended that you use a fungicidal wash to remove any mould spores on your walls before applying primer or your masonry paint. Trapped mould spores can be forced through your walls slowly or cause a cracking and peeling effect on your paint.


The final consideration you will have to make is how important a guarantee is to you. There are guarantees of between ten and 25 years available. These guarantees do, however, typically cost more than a good quality textured masonry paint without any fancy warranty.

dulux-weather-shield-smooth

Make sure that you read the small print of your chosen paint as not all paints are suitable for brickwork and some have strict environmental conditions that need to be met for application. As with any DIY job, remember that cutting a corner may save you 5 minutes in the short term; this may mean repeating the whole task next year. Take your time and take pride in your work.

FAQ

Q: Can you use masonry paint on wood?

A: Masonry paint is typically designed for exterior painting on masonry surfaces which are non-porous. Even the best exterior masonry paint will leave you with a poor finish when used directly on wood. If for some reason you really need to use masonry paint for wood then use a thick primer and apply several coats; this will prevent the masonry paint flaking off and having a chalky finish. Wood paint is generally cheaper than masonry paint so unless the project is desperate, then you are better off with speciality wood paint. You can use a clear lacquer to provide UV protection and waterproofing.

Q: Can you use masonry paint indoors?

A: Most masonry paint can be used on interior or exterior surfaces without a problem. The only issue you may find is that you may not get a smooth finish. Many brands that design masonry exterior paints do so with the idea of painting onto brick which is a highly textured surface. The lack of this textured surface on an interior wall may lead to issues with application or adhering to your wall. As with any interior paintwork, make sure you leave the room well ventilated and use a filtered mask to help prevent inhaling any particles.

Q: Is masonry paint waterproof?

A: Masonry paint comes formulated with hundreds of different characteristics. Most masonry paint is waterproof as it is typically used to prevent moisture getting to render and causing damp. If you are struggling to find the exact colour you want and can not get this colour custom mixed, consider using a waterproof topcoat. If you happen to live in a coastal region or somewhere like the side of Everest, we recommend going for a product that is designed for those extreme conditions.

Q: Can you use masonry paint on metal?

A: Masonry paint is designed to adhere to rough walls made of materials such as brick. A smooth metal surface will offer little for the paint to grip onto. This will likely lead to your finish becoming brittle and flaky. Metal paint is formulated differently and is not typically water-based like most masonry paint is. Painting metal is also made more complicated by the issue of rust. It is best to use a specialist paint or acrylic resin for metalwork.

Q: What is masonry paint used for?

A: Masonry paint is typically used on an exterior wall to add splashes of colours onto your render or brick exterior. It can be an affordable way to protect your render from succumbing to damp issues. Whilst it can be used for internal work, it's primary use is for painting exterior walls to offer weather protection. Masonry paint can be applied to many surfaces such as concrete, pebbledash and render.

Q: Is masonry paint breathable?

A: Most modern masonry paint is environmentally friendly and allows the surface to breathe whilst offering elasticity for movement which the elements may cause. Paints with plastic in them will not breathe as freely as those without. For heritage sites and listed buildings, lime-based paint is more suitable; its lack of solvents will help prevent damage to the underlying render. Something that is often overlooked is whether the paint is flexible. If the paint is breathable but not flexible then as soon as you get some frost, you can be sure a micro crack will allow water in. This may also lead to visible cracking or flaking.

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About the Author Harry Thompson

Hi, I'm the founding guy of Product Spy. Highly experienced in home and garden appliances through years of online research. I want to help everyone in the UK by streamlining their research when buying a new product. I will be putting the hours in researching to find the best products so you don't have to.