Dulux Matt Emulsion Review, Retail and Trade

Updated May 6, 2024 | Posted Sep 26, 2019 | Professional insight, Product Advice | 0 comments

Ok, when I say “Dulux matt emulsion review”, there are two separate products I’m going to talk about. The first one is Dulux Trade vinyl matt emulsion. The second is Dulux matt emulsion, which is the retail version.

The trade vinyl matt is manufactured to a higher standard and is available online by clicking here, or from Dulux Decorating Centre. The retail version is the one you’ll find on the shelves at places like B&Q. It is made to a tighter budget with lower quality materials and is generally bought by Joe public rather than the professional decorator. However, both these products are popular, and both have a place in the industry. If it doesn’t say “trade” on the tin, then it isn’t trade.


Dulux Trade Vinyl Matt Emulsion Review


I know trade paint is more expensive than its retail counterpart anyway, but Dulux is quite expensive, even for trade. A 5L tin of a tinted colour can cost as much as £80, although someone with a trade account will be able to get the product a little cheaper. If you don’t have a trade discount, then it will almost certainly be cheaper to buy your paint online.

Let’s talk about the positives of Dulux Trade Vinyl Matt; opacity is very good apart from in very pale colours, which can take an extra coat. Durability is good as well, in fact you can often get away with giving a finished wall a quick wipe down with a damp cloth. Ease of use is another positive; the paint will flow nicely off your brush or roller.  It just feels like a good quality product all round.

The overall finish of Dulux Trade vinyl matt can be a bit iffy if you are not careful. You can encounter problems with flashing and picture framing (being able to see the cutting in lines and roller marks). You notice it more on light critical areas and longer walls, like those in a hallway. The sheen level is too high for a matt as well. There are better trade vinyl matt emulsions on the market if I’m being completely honest. I’m only judging it based on where the quality should be in comparison to its price tag. As a professional decorator I tend to avoid Dulux Trade vinyl matt. Click here to see online prices


Dulux Matt Emulsion Review


OK, the retail version. As I’ve already explained, this is of lesser quality than trade, however you can still achieve a good finish and to be honest. If you’re not entitled to a trade discount then you may see it as a viable option.

Shall we do the negatives first this time? Dulux retail matt contains less polymer binders than trade, which effects the durability. If you try to wipe down a finished wall, you would literally wipe the paint off!! You’ll find that it drags on application as well, meaning it isn’t as easy to use. You can also get roller marks, picture framing, flashing and it drags a little bit as you apply it.

Positives? Well it’s cheap! Opacity is good, even in pale colours. There is little to no sheen meaning you can achieve a real flat matt finish. I wouldn’t say I like it, but you have to judge a product by where it sits on the market regarding price, and I think you do get value for money with Dulux retail emulsion.

All in all, if a decorator is buying the paint, he or she will generally buy trade. In fact, most decorators I know refuse to use retail paint full stop. Trade paint costs a bit more but the finish is better, it is more durable and it goes a little bit further.


The Armstead Alternative


I thought I’d say a little bit about Armstead Trade vinyl matt. As the name suggests, it is a trade product. It is also manufactured by Akzo Nobel who make all the Dulux products. You will find Armstead side by side with Dulux in any DDC or online merchants. However, there are a few differences between Armstead and Dulux Trade vinyl matt emulsion products.

The first is the price!! It is much cheaper than Dulux Trade. The second is the quality, which in vinyl matt is way better than it’s Dulux counterpart. It may not perform as well as far as opacity goes, but the sheen level and overall finish are much better. Armstead is one of my favorite emulsion paints on the market and I use it regularly. Easily the best option out of the three products I’ve talked about on this blog. Click here to see online prices.


Where to Buy


If after reading this you still want to buy Dulux retail emulsion then the best thing to do is head over to your closest DIY shop. Even a B&Q or a Homebase will have everything you need. If you are willing to spend a little bit more and buy trade, you can go to your nearest Dulux Decorating Centre where the staff are generally helpful and very well trained. Unfortunately, Dulux Decorating Centres are known for being a bit pricey so often you are better looking online. The very best website I have found for not only Dulux, but trade paint in general is The Decorating Centre Online.


Best Tools to Apply Dulux Matt Emulsion


Now you know all you need to know about Dulux Matt Emulsion. You should also know that using a suitable brush and roller will make all the difference when applying matt emulsion.

You should use a brush that holds plenty of paint, holds its shape, won’t drag, and is soft enough to ‘lay off’ without leaving brush marks. My favourite is ProDec Ice Fusion, which ticks all the boxes. Its bristles are tapered from base to tip, meaning there is more room within the brush to hold paint. Click here to see online prices.

You also need a good roller when applying Dulux matt. I like Hamilton Perfection Medium Pile (green). They hold plenty of paint, spread it evenly, and leave no orange peel. Click here to see online prices.

Blog written by Mike Gregory– Professional Painter, Decorator and Blogger

Updated May 6, 2024 | Posted Sep 26, 2019 | 0 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.
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