Edward Bulmer Eggshell Review

Updated Jun 9, 2024 | Posted Mar 28, 2022 | Product Reviews, Paints | 3 comments

I’m a professional decorator who, up until a couple of weeks ago, had never used Edward Bulmer. However, a client specified it on MDF panelling in a dressing room type area. I thought I’d document the job in this blog and use it to deliver an Edward Bulmer eggshell review.

The specifications from my client on this project were 2 coats of Edward Bulmer nature-based primer and 2 coats of Edward Bulmer Water-Based Eggshell. I turned up and did the usual prep. I wanted to get a coat of primer on the panelling to highlight pin holes etc to fill.

Surprisingly, there is no colour at all in the Edward Bulmer Primer, it’s almost completely clear. After opening the tin, the first thing that hit me was the smell. Now I’m an old-school decorator, so I’m not adverse to paint with a strong odour, but this really did stink!!

After it was mixed up, I used a small foam roller and sash brush to apply the product. It felt like PVA.


I didn’t really expect too much from this product, but the smell really is unbearable. I’ve never experienced anything like it before. It flows everywhere too, very runny stuff, so you need to be careful to avoid drips, which would be very difficult to sand out once dry.

The Edward and Bulmer primer has a 6-hour recoat time, so I applied the first coat, then left the second until the next day. It felt like a scene from the film slime when I left!! This is a very strange product.

The next morning, I came back to the job and the smell was still very strong!

Edward Bulmer recommend you sand between coats, so that’s what I did.

And the surprises come!

It’s like Ronseal rotten wood primer, in that soaked up the MDF, hardened out and it’s a F***g dream to sand edges, corners, no more fluffy or hairy edges. This primer gives you a fantastic result!! (It still stinks though).

All the flat surfaces came out like a glass finish. Unbelievably smooth!

I applied the second coat of Edward and Bulmer primer, then left it to dry overnight again. It felt like the first coat, in that there was a slimy looking film over the MDF.

Edward and Bulmer Eggshell Review
Edward and Bulmer Eggshell Review

When I went back for the third day, I didn’t know how, but after the second coat of primer, the surface lost the smoothness. It went back to having fluffy edges and a rough surface. I needed to sand it all right back again before I could apply the eggshell!

Edward Bulmer Eggshell


I finished the prep, dusted it down, then opened the Water-based eggshell, which stinks even worse than the primer!!!

The owner’s 7-year-old daughter even said to her mum, “what smells so fishy?”

I started to apply the first coat of Edward Bulmer eggshell with a foam roller and a sash brush again. I’m fast, but this stuff takes a magician to keep a wet edge! It dries so quick!! This makes Edward Bulmer Eggshell very difficult to apply! I tried several methods, but it just dries too fast!

I applied the first coat of Edward Bulmer Eggshell as best I could, then left for the day.

Best water-based eggshell for interior woodwork
Edward and Bulmer Eggshell Review - water-based eggshell for interior woodwork

I went back the next day and checked over the finish. The opacity of Edward and Bulmer eggshell isn’t very good. I could still see the MDF colour through the paint, which after three coats isn’t ideal. The paint doesn’t go very far either, and I needed to buy an extra tin, which is annoying because Edward and Bulmer eggshell isn’t cheap.

I did some extra filling and sanded everything down again. I applied the second coat of Edward Bulmer Eggshell, which was very difficult. You need to try and apply generous coats because there is no opacity in the paint, but it sags, so you’re constantly looking back over what you’ve done.

Four coats of any good quality eggshell paint system are normally ample, but this needed a fifth! Which I applied on the next day.


Prices wise and quality; I have to say Edward Bulmer Eggshell it’s not the best. You can get a better result from Farrow and Ball eggshell.

I had tried to apply it with a roller and brush, maybe if sprayed the paint, it would have been better?

I personally don’t like this paint system; I think it’s far too expensive for the quality. BUT, and this is big “but” we must live with it in the future because it’s eco-friendly, low pollution.

Can see some potential in the primer. It is very useful on edges, but I think other brands cost less and do the same job.

Both of these products are available online by clicking here.


Review Summary

Edward Bulmer Eggshell Review - Decorator's forum UK

A designer water-based primer and eggshell system designed for use on interior woodwork.

Product Brand: Edward Bulmer

Editor's Rating:


  • The primer hardens wood, making a great base for the eggshell.
  • The eggshell leaves a nice finish.


  • The primer stinks!
  • The primer has no colour.
  • The primer runs like mad, making it difficult to use.
  • The eggshell runs and sags too.
  • The eggshell is difficult to apply because the ‘open time’ isn’t great.
  • Poor coverage.
  • Poor opacity.
  • Expensive!

Updated Jun 9, 2024 | Posted Mar 28, 2022 | 3 comments

About the Author

About the Author

Mike Gregory is a Professional Painter and Decorator who works in the Northwest of England. He mainly sub-contracts for large decorating firms and works on a wide variety of projects.


  1. Andy Smith

    I think you kind of miss the point with the eco thing. We DONT have to live with it. Yes we want to be more eco but it is for the paint manufacturers to come up with products that are up to the job. There will always be a few compromises but we shouldn’t accept a substandard product for the sake of being eco friendly.

    I’m surprised at the problems you had, given that the paint is basically Auro re-badged and I use a fair bit of Auro without issues and the only smells are pleasant so I’m not sure what’s going on. A fishy smell suggests the paint has gone off but it seems unlikely if the primer and two tins of eggshell were the same.

    The only reason I dont use Auro more (and Edward Bulmer) is the cost. I guess it does cost more to make than no eco paints, but if I am paying more then I want the quality.

    Anyway, it’s always good to hear opinions on rarely used products so thanks for doing that.

  2. YIGII

    You’ve made a very fresh and stunning hallway!

  3. Karina Bartlett

    ‘Edward Bulmer’ not ‘Edward and Bulmer’. He’s an actual person.


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