Armstead Contract Matt Review

Updated Jun 6, 2024 | Posted Dec 5, 2021 | Product Reviews, Paints | 4 comments

As a decorator, I have been using Armstead products for almost two decades. The brand offers a cheaper, but sometimes better alternative to Dulux Trade. However, one product I hated for a number of years was Armstead contract matt, so I stopped using it altogether. It always had a high sheen level and flashed spectacularly on any light sensitive ceilings or walls.

That was until a few weeks ago when I was caught short on a kitchen painting job and decided to grab a couple of buckets. To say it’s changed is an understatement!! The Armstead contract matt I’ve been using lately does not resemble the one I have used in years gone by. This prompted me to write a new Armstead Contract Matt review. Hope you enjoy it.


What is Armstead Contract Matt Used for?


It is important to know the product. You buy Armstead contract matt by the bucket, and it comes in white or magnolia. It is available from any Dulux Decorating Centre, or many independent trade paint merchants. Click here to see latest prices. This is a product that costs just £2.50 a litre and a lot of decorators (wrongly) use it as a mist coat.

Armstead contract matt is designed for use on bare plaster as it allows the surface to breathe. This makes it the ideal product for new builds.


The Performance of Armstead Contract Matt


As mentioned, this paint is only £2.50 per litre. This puts it at the lower end of the scale when it comes to contract matt. But Armstead contract matt really does NOT perform like a budget product.

Opacity is good, in fact two coats on bare plaster should be ample. It doesn’t seem as porous as most contract matt emulsions either, so ease of use on the second coat is pretty good. The finish is nice and flat, and there is very little flashing.

It also sprays well!! I decided to test it whilst mist coating a new build a couple of days ago and it was lovely. It went through my airless with ease and the finish was spot on. There was no hint of trailing and it left a nice flat finish. What more can you ask for??

Click here for more information, or to see latest prices.


Review Summary

Armstead Contract Matt Review - Decorator's forum UK

A contract matt emulsion used to coat bare plaster, or as a ‘finish coat’ on ceilings. This paint is often used in new build houses.

Product Brand: Armstead Trade

Editor's Rating:


  • Very cheap.
  • Great opacity.
  • Good finish.
  • Can be sprayed.


  • Can drag a little bit, but that’s the same with any contract matt.
  • I don’t know of another product in its price bracket that performs better.

Best Tools to apply Armstead contract Matt


I understand most people do not own an airless sprayer, so I figured I’d include a little section on the best brush and roller to use when you’re painting with Armstead Contract Matt.

As with any Contract Matt, it’s always easier to use a long pile roller. The best I’ve found for this type of material is the Purdy Colossus. You’ll find it has a thick, dense nap, which holds onto, and spreads large amounts of paint. Using a roller like this will make your life a lot easier. Click here for current prices.

There are several good brushes you could use. You just need something that will hold loads of paint but isn’t too soft. My favourite paintbrush to use with emulsion is the ProDec Ice Fusion, but for Armstead Contract Matt, I’d suggest looking at the Purdy Monarch Elite. It has a nice thick stock which is perfect when applying contract matt. Click here for current prices on Amazon.

Updated Jun 6, 2024 | Posted Dec 5, 2021 | 4 comments

About the Author

About the Author

Mike Cupit has been in the decorating industry since 2002 and has mostly worked as a Trade Decorator in the domestic sector (peoples’ homes). Self-proclaimed “product geek”, Mike has a passion for paint and decorating tools. Mike now spends most of his time testing paint products and tools, comparing them to similar products on the market, and blogging about the industry in general.


  1. Andy shaw

    Have been using this stuff on new builds. Poor paint takes 3 coats to cover by roller and brush even then not so good. Can’t touch it up either. Avoid use something better get what you pay for.

  2. Richard

    MacPherson Eclipse for ceilings touches up very well and dead flat.
    It’s a bit chalky slightly softer finish.
    If critical light the amstead contact can perhaps suffer as slight shine.

  3. Vince Robinson

    I like this stuff. new plaster.

    It’s cheap as chips and bleaches out nicely – also rolls out better than some other contract matts.

    Only downside to it is that it recommends plaster being completely dry prior to application.

  4. Airidas

    a year ago it was good paint….now absolutes is bad. too liquid ..


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