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Best Emulsion for a Kitchen or Bathroom

Updated Feb 10, 2023 | Posted Aug 20, 2019 | Product Advice, Professional insight | 4 comments

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. In this blog I’ll take you through each appropriate product to help you choose the best paint for your kitchen and bathroom. 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.


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 is of less quality than the trade alternatives. This will affect the finish and durability of your paint. You’ll find these paints in most DIY outlets, but just because it has Dulux or Crown on a tin, 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 which will last!! Trade Vs retail is something which is important to understand. Stick with TRADE PAINT!


Trade Durable matt emulsion

Durable matt emulsion is just a vinyl matt with more polymer binders, meaning the paint becomes waterproof. You still get a nice flat matt finish, but the water in the atmosphere of your kitchen or bathroom won’t be able to penetrate.


I’d say durable matt 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. 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 or being wiped down. There are loads of good soft sheen products around. Dulux, Crown and Johnstone’s all do their own versions and any of them will stand up to the environment of a kitchen or bathroom.

As with any paint product, there is a downside. Having a sheen to your paint will help in terms of durability, but a “matt finish” is far more desirable. To this end, consider how much condensation or airborne contaminants there are in your room. Durable matt offers ample protection for most kitchens and some bathrooms, but if the environment in a room is particularly challenging, you may want something a little more robust. Soft sheen or eggshell may not be as desirable, but it will last longer.


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.



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

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. The idea of them is simple; they have mould inhibiting qualities, meaning mould will never grow on it.


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. Click here to see online prices.

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

As mentioned in the second section of this blog, trade paint is the way to go when you’re trying to choose the best paint for a kitchen or bathroom. To this end, you can go directly to you closest Crown, Dulux, or Johnstone’s decorating centre. The staff at any of these stores will help guide you regarding products. However, unless you’re entitled to a trade discount, it will almost definitely be cheaper to buy your paint online. The best website I have found is The Decorating Centre Online. Not only are the prices reasonable, but they can also match any colour from one brand into a product from another. Click here to learn more.

Best Emulsion for a Kitchen or Bathroom – by Mike Cupit

Updated Feb 10, 2023 | Posted Aug 20, 2019 | 4 comments

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  1. Walter Wite

    So many things to consider for our kitchen renovation. Well thanks for this!

  2. YIGII

    Totally agree! Since the kitchen and bathroom are always humid, paint used in the kitchen and bathroom should be mould-Inhibiting so that it can last long on the walls.

  3. vector-art-services

    I personally like your post,you have shared good article. it will help me in great deal.

  4. Konmison

    Love what you share in this page, very useful!


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