Best Emulsion for a Kitchen or Bathroom

By Mike Cupit

Kitchen and bathroom paint needs to be more durable than a normal vinyl matt so it can stand up to the heat and condensation of its environment. I’m not going to talk about specific brands, but I’ll take you through the basics of each appropriate product to help you make your mind up. There is plenty more information on the Decorators Forum UK if you want to know more about any particular brand or product, or you can always find us on Facebook.

I hope this blog will help you decide on the best paint for your kitchen or bathroom.


Retail kitchen and bathroom paint

Don’t do it!! Paint that has been manufactured for the retail market have been made to a budget and are of less quality than the trade alternatives. This will affect the finish and durability of your paint. You’ll find these paints in most outlets, but just because it has Dulux or Crown on a tin at B&Q, don’t think you’re buying quality. Look for the word “trade”, that is what a professional decorator would use to help achieve that professional finish whic will last!! Trade Vs retail is something which is important to understand. Stick with TRADE PAINT!


Trade Durable matt emulsion

It’s just a vinyl matt emulsion with more polymer binders, meaning the paint becomes waterproof. You still get a nice flat matt finish, but the water won’t be able to penetrate. I’d say this product is up to the task most of the time, however if there is a lot of condensation on your walls, you may want to go for something with a bit more sheen. It’s like durable matt has a pitted surface which traps some of the water and slows run off. It can also mark if you need to wipe it. You might want to take a look at this article when deciding on a durable matt


Soft sheen

As the names suggests, there’s a little bit of a sheen to this product. It’s a step up in durability from the durable matt and will stand up well to condensation and being wiped down.


Acrylic eggshell

Another step up in sheen level and durability. This is the go-to emulsion for a lot of decorators in their own bathrooms. It’ll stand up very well to water and being cleaned down, however the higher sheen level does highlight imperfections on your walls and ceilings. This probably is the best emulsion for a kitchen or bathroom



Not many people will use silk emulsion in this day and age. You can’t seem to get rid of brush marks and it can cause problems when redecorating further down the line. That being said, it is very durable and can look good over embossed surfaces.


Mould Inhibiting Paints


I said I wasn’t going to talk about specific brands, however it is worth touching on a couple of the better products if you have a problem with mould. Ventilation is always more important than paint, however there are some very good products out there which will also help.

Zinsser perma white is the first product you should look at. Available online or any Crown Decorating Centre, you can buy it in white or tinted colour (you often need to order a tinted colour). Opacity in white isn’t the best, but the longevity in a kitchen or bathroom is fantastic.

The only other brand that comes close in my opinion is WRX wall paint. An extremely durable paint with a lot of mould inhibitors in it. Unfortunately, WRX is only available in white. It’s well worth checking out though!!


Where to Buy


Other than the first section, this review is all about trade options. Trade paint is slightly more expensive than retail, but it’s a lot better quality. If you’re going to go for trade paint, you’re probably better looking at a trade website like the Paintshed. Everything you’re ever going to need for any project on one site at reasonable prices. CLICK HERE to visit the Paintshed.


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best emulsion for a kitchen or bathroom