Contract Matt Reviews by Decorators

Updated Jun 22, 2024 | Posted Jul 29, 2017 | Tool Insight, Uncategorized | 1 comment

Table of Contents

Contract matt emulsion is used as a mist-coat on bare plaster, a finish on ceilings, and a builders’ finish on newbuilds. The paint has very few polymer binders, making it cheap and breathable. Click here to see a full range, and online prices.

We asked decorators to give us their recommendations, along with their contract matt reviews. This is a sample of what they came back with.

Tikkurilla super white is the best contract matt in my opinion. Nice on new plaster. Dries flat and helps hide imperfections, no flashing. You can brush around spotlights without seeing the brush marks. It is also good for painting over existing paint on ceilings and coving. Can help to hide imperfections and often covers in one coat.

Lee Thornton

Crown covermatt is a good contract matt. Filler doesn’t flash through, it is really good coverage, no picture framing, for a tosh job touch in dirty marks then one coat, job done.

Mick Gibbons


Crown covermatt because it sprays well. No clogging filters and excellent opacity too. It’s my first choice when spraying contract matt emulsion.

Gearoid Roche

Dulux Supermatt for me. It’s great opacity!! I don’t understand why decorators try to save money on contract matt when it means they need to apply an extra coat. Two coats of Dulux Supermatt are all you need on bare plaster. It looks fantastic on ceilings with critical lighting too. Oh, and you can touch it up which is a bonus!

Paul Henderson

I would say eclipse is my personal favourite contract matt! It’s absolutely great to use! On new plaster I wouldn’t use anything else, if you can get the 15ltr drums of white the price is as good as anything on the market! Cheap enough to mist coat and finish!

David Ball

Armstead contract matt– fantastic coverage, quick and easy flow and is almost as durable as most vinyl matts. There’s too much of a sheen meaning roller marks and picture framing can be notable in light sensitive areas. Sprays beautifully.

Mike Cupit

Leyland laytex is good opacity, bit of a pain to apply (the paint seems very dense and doesn’t flow), as durable as you’d expect a contract matt to be, can picture frame on very large light sensitive areas. Amazing finish if sprayed. We use it by the pallet because it’s cheap.

Tom Meeks


Macpherson’s eclipse for me– It flows ok, coverage very good, least amount of picture framing out of the contact matts I’ve tried. Definitely my favourite to date. It sprays nicely but seems to clog up the filters quickly which makes me think it’s not doing the rest of the sprayer any good.

Joe Macc

Contract matt is over-used in my opinion. The idea of using it as a mist-coat on bare plaster is old-fashioned. When I do use contract matt, I go with Armstead. It’s cheap at around £20 per bucket and the opacity is bang on. You used to experience problems with it flashing and framing. One decorator even joked it “ruined his life”! They’ve changed the formula since then, and it’s great now. You won’t find anything better in the same price range.

Jack Oliver

Updated Jun 22, 2024 | Posted Jul 29, 2017 | 1 comment

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 Comment


    I used Crown contract matt (maggy) for the first time on my current job (client bought Crown despite my advice!) and on the majority of walls (pre-painted but rubbed down) it dragged all over the place! I’d cut one wall in, which was like painting treacle, but it’d drag when I rolled it. I watered it down which did help the flow but reduced the opacity. This was meant to be a one coat tosh out (as requested by the client) but I had to pile it on to get anywhere near it. If it were up to me I’d second coat it but it’s a four bedder and I’m on my own against the clock!



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