Difference between Duco paint vs PU paint

In this blog Duco Paint vs PU Paint, we focus on Duco paint and PU paint finishes for cabinets and wardrobes. We compare their features, advantages, and suitability to assist you in making an informed decision for your painting project. We explore the differences between these popular finishes commonly used in the interior industry. By the end, you’ll have a clear understanding of which option best suits your needs.

kitchen layout to compare Duco vs PU paint


Duco paint and PU paint are two highly sought-after paint finishes, each with its own unique advantages and applications. Duco paint, known for its glossy and long-lasting finish, is a solvent-based option commonly chosen for woodwork and metal surfaces. On the other hand, PU paint, which is polyurethane-based, offers a smooth and matte appearance, making it ideal for walls and furniture.

What Is Duco Paint?

Duco Finish on Wardrobe


Duco paint is a premium quality air-drying paint known for its versatility in providing a beautiful finish on various surfaces, including wood and metal. Originally used in the automotive industry, it has gained popularity among interior decorators for its ability to enhance the appearance of kitchen and bathroom cabinets as well as wardrobes. With a wide range of vibrant colours available in both high gloss and matte finishes, Duco paint offers an extensive palette to suit your preferences. Whether you’re aiming for a sleek and glossy look or a subtle matte elegance, Duco paint allows you to transform your surfaces with ease.

What Is PU Paint?

PU paint on cabinets


PU paint, short for polyurethane paint, is a type of coating renowned for its versatility and durability. It is a popular choice for various applications due to its unique properties. PU paint is made by combining polyol and isocyanate, creating a chemical reaction that forms a protective film upon application.

One notable feature of PU paint is its ability to be customized in terms of gloss level, ranging from high gloss to satin or matte finishes. This flexibility allows users to achieve their desired look and feel in their painting projects.

Decor Tip:

In addition to comparing the difference between Duco paint and PU paint, it’s essential to consider the surface material you’ll be working with, such as laminate or veneer. When it comes to these surfaces, one valuable decor tip is to ensure proper surface preparation before applying paint. Laminate surfaces, known for their smooth and non-porous nature, require a bit of extra attention to achieve optimal adhesion. To prepare laminate surfaces for painting, lightly sand the surface to create a textured finish that promotes better paint adhesion. On the other hand, veneer surfaces, which are made of thin layers of real wood, are more porous and typically require less preparation.

However, it’s still crucial to clean the surface thoroughly to remove any dirt or debris before painting. By following these decor tips and considering the unique characteristics of laminate and veneer surfaces, you can achieve remarkable results when applying Duco paint or PU paint, elevating the overall aesthetic appeal of your woodwork.

Comparison Between Duco Paint and PU Paint

This table provides a concise comparison of key aspects between Duco paint and PU paint, highlighting their differences and specific areas of application.

AspectDuco PaintPU Paint
Paint TypeSolvent-based paintPolyurethane-based paint
Finish OptionsAvailable in high gloss and matte finishesOffers a smooth and matte appearance
ApplicationSuitable for woodworks and metal surfacesIdeal for walls, furniture, and surfaces
DurabilityProvides a glossy and durable finishOffers excellent resistance to scratches, chemicals, and UV rays
AdhesionGood adhesion to various surfacesExcellent adhesion to wood, metal, and plastic
CustomizationEnsures durability and colour retentionCan be customized in terms of gloss level
UsesCommonly used for cabinets and wardrobesVersatile for furniture, walls, and more
VersatilitySuitable for interior and exterior projectsAdaptable to different applications
LongevityIncreasing popularity of various applicationsOffers long-lasting colour retention
Application ProcessRequires air drying after applicationRequires proper curing time for optimal results
PopularityWidely popular among interior decoratorsIncreasing popularity for various applications
This handy table serves up a quick and snappy comparison of the key aspects between Duco paint and PU paint.

Let’s zoom in further and magnify the comparison between Duco paint and PU paint to make your decision-making process a breeze.

Which Paint Dries Faster

Image of a paintbrush and a watch indicating the drying time for paint.


When it comes to dry time, PU paint and Duco paint have notable differences. PU paint typically requires a longer curing time compared to Duco paint. This is because polyurethane-based paint needs sufficient time to fully dry and cure to achieve its desired properties and durability. On the other hand, Duco paint, being an air-drying paint, generally has a faster dry time, allowing for quicker project completion. It’s important to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for both types of paint to ensure proper drying and curing, which contributes to the overall quality and longevity of the finished surface.

Which is Better for Wood Surfaces Duco Paint or PU Paint?

Close up of a smooth, glossy wood finish with a duco or PU paint application, showcasing a flawless and reflective surface.


When it comes to choosing the best paint finish for wood surfaces, the competition between Duco paint and PU paint is fierce. Duco paint, known for its versatility and glossy finish, enhances the natural beauty of wood with a range of vibrant colours in high gloss and matte finishes. On the other hand, PU paint offers a smooth and matte appearance with exceptional durability, scratch resistance, and UV protection. To determine the ultimate winner for your wood surfaces, consider factors such as the desired aesthetic, level of durability required, and personal preferences, as both options offer unique advantages that can elevate the look and protection of your woodwork.

Price Comparison Between Duco and PU Paint

Comparison of Duco Finish vs PU Finish on Kitchen Cabinets


When it comes to budget considerations, comparing the prices of Duco paint and PU paint can help you make a cost-effective choice for your project. Duco paint, known for its premium quality and glossy finish, is typically available at a moderate to high price point. The cost may vary depending on factors such as brand, colour range, and finish. On the other hand, PU paint, with its versatility and durability, is often considered a slightly more expensive option compared to Duco paint.

The price variation can be attributed to the high-quality formulation and specialized properties of PU paint. However, it’s important to note that pricing can also differ based on factors like brand reputation and market demand. It is advisable to consider your project requirements, desired finish, and budget constraints when making the final decision. By weighing the cost against the benefits and specific needs of your project, you can find the perfect balance between affordability and quality for your painting endeavour.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Duco Paint vs. PU Paint

Advantages of Duco Paint:


Duco paint is known for its versatility, as it can be applied on various surfaces such as wood and metal, making it suitable for a wide range of applications.

Glossy Finish:

Duco paint offers a glossy finish that enhances the visual appeal of cabinets, wardrobes, and other surfaces, giving them a sleek and polished look.

Colour Options:

With a wide variety of vibrant colours available, Duco paint provides ample choices to match your desired aesthetic and complement your interior design.

Ease of Application:

Duco paint is relatively easy to apply, allowing for smooth and even coverage when following proper application techniques.

Duco Paint Disadvantages:

Strong Odour:

Duco paint tends to have a strong odour during application, which may require proper ventilation to ensure a comfortable working environment.

Surface Preparation:

Proper surface preparation, including sanding and priming, is necessary to achieve the desired results with Duco paint.

Drying Time:

While Duco paint generally has a faster drying time compared to some other paints, it still requires sufficient drying time for optimal curing and durability.

PU Paint Advantages:


PU paint offers excellent durability and resistance to wear and tear, making it suitable for surfaces that require long-lasting protection.

Smooth Matte Finish:

PU paint provides a smooth and non-reflective matte finish, giving a sophisticated and elegant look to cabinets, wardrobes, and other furniture pieces.

Low Maintenance:

Once applied, PU paint requires minimal maintenance, making it a convenient choice for those seeking hassle-free upkeep.

Environmental Friendliness:

PU paint typically has a low volatile organic compounds (VOC) content, reducing its impact on the environment.

PU Paint Disadvantages:

Longer Curing Time:

PU paint generally requires a longer curing time compared to other paints, which may extend the project timeline.

Higher Cost:

PU paint tends to be slightly more expensive than Duco paint due to its specialized formulation and durability.

Dive into the Finishes Repository for Endless Possibilities!

We’ve unravelled the comparisons between Duco Finish vs Laminate, as well as Laminate vs Veneer. But hey, why stop there? Let’s keep exploring more finishes from our comparison repository because knowledge is power when it comes to making informed decisions. So, join us on this journey of discovery where we’ll dive deeper into the world of finishes and find the perfect match for your project. After all, a little extra knowledge never hurt anyone, except maybe indecisiveness! Let’s banish that and become experts in all things finishes.

Choose Between Duco Paint and PU Paint

The choice between Duco paint and PU paint ultimately depends on your specific needs and preferences. Duco paint offers versatility, a glossy finish, and a wide range of colours, making it ideal for cabinets and wardrobes. On the other hand, PU paint provides durability, a smooth matte finish, and low maintenance, making it a suitable choice for walls and furniture. Consider factors such as surface type, desired finish, drying time, and budget to make the best decision for your painting project. Ultimately, both Duco paint and PU paint have their own advantages and can help you achieve a beautiful and durable result.


Is PU or Duco paint better?

When it comes to wood surfaces, Duco paint takes the crown as the better option. Its ability to deliver a flawless and uniform finish is particularly well-suited for wood, whereas PU paint may occasionally produce a more artificial look.

What Sets Duco Finish Apart from PU Finish?

Duco paint is a single-component mixture, while PU paint can be either one-component or two-component. PU coatings offer more versatility with the availability of both water-based and oil-based options, allowing for a wider range of finishes. On the other hand, Duco paint provides waterproof protection, but its application requires the use of a spray machine.

Is Duco Paint Waterproof?

Certainly! Duco paint finish for wood exhibits a good level of water resistance, making it suitable for application in areas exposed to moisture and even in bathrooms.

Does Duco paint require a primer?

Indeed, when it comes to Duco paint, there is a specific type called Lacquer Duco, which serves as a primer. Lacquer Duco is a versatile grey spray primer that is specifically designed for painting challenging surfaces like uneven metal or wood objects. It is particularly useful for areas that are difficult to paint using a brush. Additionally, the primer can be diluted in clear lacquer to provide protection for polished brass and aluminium metal surfaces.