Can I buy paint during lockdown?

DIY retailers have seen an increase in demand as members of the public amuse themselves while stuck in their homes by doing jobs around their homes. People are banned from leaving their homes except for “very limited reasons”, but can you buy paint during the coronavirus lockdown?

In March, Prime Minister Boris Johnson implemented nationwide lockdown restrictions banning people from leaving their homes except for the following four reasons:

  • Shopping for basic necessities
  • One form of basic exercise a day
  • Medical needs
  • Travel to and from work.

This week, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has stepped in to deputise for Mr Johnson, who is recovering from coronavirus.

As the Government extended the lockdown period, new police guidance was issued to clarify what is classified as a “reasonable excuse” to leave your home.

Police have warned people to stop “home-working” in parks and sitting on public benches for too long.

The National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) created a document with guidelines for what is classed as a “reasonable” reason to visit shops.

The document was published after Cambridge Police had to clarify its social distancing guidelines when an officer posted on social media they were monitoring the “non-essential” aisles in supermarkets.


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The NPCC document outlined some DIY tasks are “likely” to be reasonable.

The document says “buying tools and supplies to repair a fence panel damaged in recent bad weather” is likely to be reasons.

The NPCC has said “buying paint and brushes, simply to redecorate a kitchen” is “not likely to be reasonable”.

Essentially in terms of home improvements, the new guidance is that “the regulations specify maintenance and upkeep. This does not extend to renovation and improvements.”

Can you buy paint during the lockdown?

While you can’t go out to buy paint during this time, there are plenty of ways you can spruce up your home right now.


Wickes online orders are open the website is working with an online queue system.

Wickes online ordering for home delivery and click and collect is in major demand.

Only “essential products” are available via click and collect.

These essential items are limited to goods from the following departments: building materials, central heating, electrical, plumbing, power tools, screws and fixing, sealants and adhesives, and security.

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Almost all B&Q outlets have closed amid the coronavirus crisis, with most customers limited to online purchases only.

Hardware shops have been labelled essential businesses and on April 17, B&Q said it would be reopening its Paisley and West Thurrock stores.

These stores will be open from 8am until 5pm, and click and collect will no longer be available.

B&Q is limiting the number of customers in the stores at any one time and has installed screens at checkouts and floor markers to help social distancing.

Customers will only be permitted to buy items available to take away on that day.

For instance, kitchen and bathroom design, paint mixing, timber cutting and key cutting is unavailable.


Homebase is still undertaking orders as normal albeit with a more limited range than normal.

Larger items will either be delivered to the first accessible room in your home, or to an agreed contact-free drop off point.

Paint is still available to purchase online, however, delivery is likely to be delayed.

Here is a list of paint suppliers still open for online orders as of Friday, April 17:

  • John Lewis
  • Style Library
  • Lick home
  • Dowsing & Reynolds
  • Designer Paint
  • Little Greene
  • Earthborn
  • Annie Sloan
  • Farrow & Ball
  • Designers Guild
  • Neptune
  • Craig & Rose
  • Graham & Brown
  • Crown.

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