Johnstone’s Jonmat review

Updated May 1, 2024 | Posted Aug 15, 2017 | Professional insight, Product Advice | 4 comments

Johnstone’s Jonmat is a contract matt emulsion used predominantly for mist-coating bare plaster, as a finish on new-build houses, and occasionally as a finish on ceilings. You can buy Jonmat from any Johnstone’s Decorating Centre in white or magnolia. If you do order order online, you can even get it titnted into any colour. Click here to see online prices.

This paint is touch dry after around an hour, and you can recoat after two hours. You can apply Johnstone’s Jonmat via brush and roller, or airless sprayer.


My Johnstone’s Jonmat review


Contract matt isn’t exactly the sexiest of products. It’s a cheap, breathable alternative to vinyl matt, and doesn’t contain very much polymer binder. Except at £45 for 10L, Jonmat isn’t exactly cheap. That puts it in the same price bracket as specialist ceiling paints like Teknos Teknoceiling and Tikkurila Anti-Reflex.

Not to worry, as a decorator I never mind paying more for my paint, providing the quality is there. Johnstone’s Jonmat is more expensive than other contract matt products, so it needs to perform better.

Let’s start with the positives; The opacity of Jonmat is bang on. You can easily cover bare plaster in two coats, which is ideal on building sites. A “quick refresh” on a ceiling will only ever take 1 coat, so it can be a time-saver. It sprays brilliantly, and the finish in “Brilliant White” is nice and crisp. It can look lovely.


There are a few drawbacks though. As with all contract matt emulsions, it dries very porous. This causes the second coat of paint to drag terribly, resulting in flashing and roller marks on light critical areas.

You can’t use Johnstone’s Jonmat over stain block because the stain block will always flash through your finish.

Oh, it dries very fast too, which makes it difficult to keep a wet edge when rolling. No going back over your work, just get it on, and get it on quick.

One last problem; it doesn’t touch-up. Don’t get me wrong, not a lot of modern trade paints touch-up very well, but Jonmat is terrible for it. Your “touch-ups” will stand out a mile and look hideous.


Best Tools to Apply Contract Matt


Contract matt is high opacity, but because of the lack of polymer binders, it is very porous. This means without the correct tools; your paint will drag. This will not only make life difficult when applying contract matt, but it will also lead to defects such as flashing, particularly on a ceiling.

You should use a long-pile roller. The best roller for contract matt is the Purdy Colossus in my book. You will need to de-lint it before use, but no other roller holds more paint. It makes applying generous coats of contract matt very easy. Click here to see online prices.


As for the brush, you need something with a thick stock and will hold its shape. Again, it needs to hold a good amount of paint, otherwise it will drag. My recommendation is the Purdy Monarch Elite XL, which will make short work of any contract matt. Click here to see current prices.

Final Thoughts


I’m sure I’m not being too harsh. The thing that irritates me about Jonmat is its price Vs performance. If it was cheap, I could let its problems slide. As it stands, Johnstone’s Jonmat is twice the price of Armstead contract matt, which is a better paint in my opinion.



Johnstone’s Jonmat review - Decorator's forum UK

Johnstone's Jonmatt is a contract matt emulsion used on interior walls and ceilings.

Editor's Rating:


  • High opacity.
  • Can be used on bare plaster


  • Expensive
  • Dries too quickly
  • Flashes

Blog written by Michael Fowle – Professional Painter and Decorator

Updated May 1, 2024 | Posted Aug 15, 2017 | 4 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.


  1. L May

    Can someone recommend the best emulation to use on new plaster for walls and ceilings, would you use it as a base/mist coat , and then apply two further coats of another emulation on top of that?

    Thanks LCM

    • Mike Cupit

      For me, Tikkurila Anti-Reflex. Search for it on this website for reviews. Use a contract matt diluted with water as your mist coat, then two top coats of a vinyl matt

  2. Richard

    No way a decorator should be paying £45 for 10l Jonmatt white mag.

    Would expect around half that .

    MacPherson Eclipse is a good very flat contact matt especially for ceilings.

    Amstead contact seems to be improved, dries flatter, covers well and probably most durable its less chalky than the rest.

  3. matt black

    customer supplies this and i had the misfortune of using jonmatt last week on a ceiling ! patchy,streaky and dries way too fast off the looking into it i don’t see any positive reviews for it.makes you wonder what actual tests they did on it ?


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