Problems with Armstead Contract Matt

Updated May 4, 2024 | Posted Apr 30, 2019 | Professional insight, Product Advice | 10 comments

Table of Contents

So, I painted out a loft conversion recently, using Armstead contract matt in white.
I sprayed the mist coat, then cut and rolled a following two coats. The ceiling was very large and dropped to the floor.
It flashed like nothing I’d ever seen before!! Around down lights and anywhere that received a strongest light.

I told the customer I was not happy with the finish. They said they will live with it.
So, I went to Dulux today and they as good as said “it isn’t very good quality. It flashes like crazy, even when you keep a wet edge.” I ended up having to buy some supermatt

Did I miss the point somewhere????? Or are there major problems with Armstead Contract Matt??

It can flash like mad, but it sprays well and it’s cheap. You can’t really complain as it’s only a contract matt.

Josh Green

Professional Painter and Decorator

Armstead contract matt isn’t bad for the money. You wouldn’t use it on light-critical ceilings, but you’ve got specialist ceiling paints for that now.

Joseph Smith

Professional Painter and Decorator

I can honestly say I’ve never had a problem with Armstead contract matt. It’s cheap and covers bare plaster in 2 coats. It isn’t the whitest white, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing, especially if the plaster is bad.

Sam Farrington

Professional Painter and Decorator


The opacity of Armstead contract matt is awesome, as is the ease of use. It makes the perfect mist-coat. However, it does flash like crazy!! It leaves a horrible finish and I have absolutely no idea why they use it on so many building sites. Have a look on my blog on the best emulsion for walls and ceilings. There are some inexpensive products on there which will give you a much better finish.

Mike Gregory

Professional Painter and Decorator

It’s a contract matt! Basically, it’s a primer for walls and ceilings before you put a decent coat of paint on. Its Not a finish coat paint

Spencer Dolman

Professional Painter and Decorator

You are never going to get a great finish with Contract Matt, I only use Contract for mist coating.

Andrew James

Professional Painter and Decorator

I only use for mist coating when painting bare plaster. I wouldn’t use it as a topcoat.

Jamie Jamo Hales

Professional Painter and Decorator

I won’t touch it

Lydia Bailey

I only use Anti Reflex 2 now. It is by far the best white emulsion to use on a ceiling and it’s cheap.

Alan Saddler

Professional Painter and Decorator

Tikkurila Anti-reflex 2 all day long. I don’t use anything else, it’s the best ceiling paint

Martyn Djpiro Turner

Professional Painter and Decorator

Tikkurila Super white or Anti-Reflex

Daniel James Wilson

Professional Painter and Decorator

It’s cheap contract matt what did you expect 😂 mist coat only when using that stuff

Nathan Veall

Professional Painter and Decorator

Sprays well if its thinned

Sam Hopkins

Professional Painter and Decorator

Tikkurila Anti reflex definitely

Howard J Double - Problems with Armstead Trade Contract Matt

Professional Painter and Decorator

It’s got a slight sheen to it but remember all paint flashes when the light is bellowing down the wall. Why give yourself the head ache of telling the customer you weren’t happy? Use a different paint next time

Sam Simpson

Professional Painter and Decorator

Tikkurila Anti Reflex 2. quality gear and doesn’t flash either

Craig Smoggy Adams

Professional Painter and Decorator

If it’s a light sensitive ceiling you should be using either WRX ceiling paint, or Tikkurila Anti-Reflex. It’s a no brainer really.

A.One Decorations

Professional Painter and Decorator

Updated May 4, 2024 | Posted Apr 30, 2019 | 10 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. Gary Eden

    The stuff is rubbish why anyone would try use as s finish is beyond me. It’s not even white. That’s the biggest joke about it.

  2. Kevin wood

    Try anti-reflex great stuff

  3. R. M& sons

    To be honest I have never had a problem with it and I spray it on ceilings all the time

  4. Ian

    It’s 20 quid a tub… can’t expect the perfect finish for that money. Great value for what it is but it has limits. As do all other products. Did I say it was 20quid a tub???

  5. Paintworks

    Crown covermatt any day of the week

  6. Keith Webster

    It’s my go to emulsion for ceilings and mist coat walls,price is good coverage really good for the price and the finish is satisfactory.I paint mostly rentals and freshen ups for estate agents but have had no issues with private customers.I pay around £16 for 10 litres customers simply won’t pay 3 times that price for Dulux trade or similar.I covered a flat that the tenant had painted walls & ceiling black for a projector room in 3 coats can’t imagine a more expensive paint would have done better.If you’re working on high end props and you customer will pay for better paint use it but as bread and butter paint for normal work you can’t beat it.

  7. Graham Christopher

    I use this on a lot of rental and freshen up decorating jobs. Almost every one of my customers are happy with the outcome as its inexpensive and covers very well.
    I used to use leyland, which in my opinion doesnt have the greatest coverage etc. Dulux trade is great but expensive and the finish isnt that much different. Always my go to.

    • Mike Cupit

      I think Armstead contract matt has change massively since this was published. The finish is now much better.

      • Richard

        The finish is now a lot better, more matt and touches up fine. Its actually a better “skin” than most contract matts not a soft. For cheapo landlord jobs and breathable new plaster work its pretty good paint probably the best of the cheaper brands

  8. Darren

    Used this stuff on new build site a year ago after issues with Dulux sm/airsure, year later doing some shrinkage and this flashes like mad now, has a flatter finish, wasn’t doing it in summer months when t/u pre handovers. Did notice lids went from white too black but was assured it was same paint inside.


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