I’m a professional decorator, and like most other decorators, I tend to stick to trade paint, rather than designer products. Some designer paints perform well, but others don’t warrant the large price tag. It sometimes feels as though you’re paying extra for sophisticated marketing tactics, rather than a premium quality paint.
With that in mind, I’m going to approach this COAT paint review as a decorator, and talk about each product in turn, discussing its performance honestly.
But before we get into all that, let’s briefly look at COAT as a business. Feel free to skip ahead to the products section of this review if you’d prefer.
COAT is a designer brand, as such, everything associated with it has an “expensive feel”. From website to social media, and the actual products themselves. Heck, it even smells expensive. All the branding you’d expect an interior designer to lap up. I love the Pop Art style labelling that comes on the tins. This makes it stand out from all other paint brands on the market.
If, like me, you’re a professional, then you can open a trade account with COAT. This allows you access to an extended colour range, trade discount, quicker ordering facilities, and even colour matching. I may be bias, but I think more designer paint brands should look after trade customers in this way.
You don’t even need to be a decorator to get a discount. At the time of writing this review, COAT is running a “refer a friend” scheme, which entitles both you and your friend to a 10% discount. Anyway, that’s enough about the business, let’s get down to the products.
COAT Flat Matt
This is a low-sheen, durable emulsion for interior ceilings and walls. The opacity is fantastic, and you can prime bare plaster with a diluted coat of Flat Matt, negating the need for a separate product.
I have used low-sheen emulsions before, and there are plenty of good products of this type on the market. One thing that sets COAT Flat Matt apart from the rest, is its ease of use. You’d normally expect products like this to drag, resulting in brush marks. COAT Flatt Matt doesn’t drag at all, meaning it’s a joy to use, and brush marks are non-existent.
COAT Flat Matt leaves a very desirable, contemporary “chalky” finish. The depth of colour and subtleties are gorgeous. You seem to be able to pick up hints of different shades in different lights. This is easily one of the best emulsion products I’ve used.
I have tested this product thoroughly, trying my best to make it fail. For instance, I tried applying it with a low-quality roller to make it flash, but it didn’t. I used a strong colour, then tried to touch it up, which it did perfectly. I tried applying it to an old alkyd coating and tested it for adhesion, it adhered beautifully. The list goes on! I’m struggling to find words to describe this paint, so all I’m going to say, is this emulsion is genuinely perfect in every way.
COAT Soft Sheen
This is another durable emulsion for interior walls and ceilings. As the name suggests, it does have a little bit of a sheen to its finish. I used to use soft sheen all the time as a decorator, but it seems to be less popular now, with most people opting for matt. That said, soft sheen does have its place. It makes the perfect product for bathrooms and kitchens due to its waterproof nature.
COAT soft sheen is a great emulsion. The opacity and ease of use are fantastic, but, like any other COAT product, it’s the finish that makes it stand out.
Most Trade soft sheen emulsion products look cheap, I’m sorry, but they do. You can see roller marks, brush marks, and the overall appearance looks plasticky – Not with COAT. There are none of the defects normally associated with soft sheen, plus you still see the depth of colour and subtleties that you would do with a luxuriously rich matt.
Moreover, this is the only soft sheen emulsion I have used in a long time that you can use in white and cover a solid colour in two coats!
I do have one little gripe with this paint. It pulls on itself, meaning when you cut a wall in, then try to roll it, the roller pulls on the paint you applied with a brush. It’s quite common with paints like this and there is a simple solution. All you need to do is cut in your wall, leave it long enough for your cutting in to dry, then roll your wall afterwards. It may take longer, but your finish will look fantastic.
COAT eggshell is a fully water-based paint for interior trim such as skirting boards, doors, and windows. Being fully water-based, it will never discolour over time. This paint is described as “self-priming”, which basically means it will adhere to old alkyd coatings (like oil-based gloss), without the need for a separate product.
I’m used to reviewing water-based trim paints on the Decorators Forum UK, because of the shift away from oil-based coatings. The whole industry is changing, and water-based technology is rapidly developing.
COAT eggshell is one of the best products of its type. The ease of use is fantastic, the opacity is, quite frankly, amazing, and brush marks just melt back into the painted surface. The overall finish is different to any other trade eggshell I’ve ever used; It’s softer and more subtle. I know it’s more expensive than any of the trade alternatives, but you can genuinely see the difference. There’s a gulf in quality, with COAT coming out on top.
I was genuinely sceptical before I used COAT products for the first time. As a decorator, I know retail paints are made to a tight budget. Trade paints are made to a higher budget, but need to perform well. Designer paints such as Farrow and Ball, or Little Greene, are developed to target the higher end of the market, but are often lower quality than some of the trade alternatives.
I have been completely honest in my COAT paint review. I know it’s expensive, but I think the overall quality of these products make them stand out from literally every other paint brand on the market.
COAT Paint Review and Guide – by Mike Gregory