I have been a professional decorator for the past 19 years. In that time, I have used a lot of different paint brands. This is my unbiased guide to the main trade durable matt emulsion paint products on the British market. I hope you find it useful when deciding on paint for your project.
It may seem obvious, but trade paint is much better quality than retail. You can buy these products from many trade counters, but unless you qualify for a pro account, it will almost certainly be cheaper to buy online. Another advantage of shopping online is you can get one brand’s colour mixed into another brand’s product. So you can get a Farrow and Ball colour in Johnstone’s Durable Matt, or a Johnstone’s colour mixed in Dulux. For those reasons, I’ll link each product so you can see current prices.
Dulux Trade Diamond Matt
The shelf price for this durable matt emulsion in DDC is just over £80 for a 5L tin in a colour, so it’s a bit on the pricey side. You can have it tinted into any colour from Dulux’s extensive colour range and it is available from any Dulux Decorating Centre, as well as plenty of other outlets. The opacity is good, and the application is quick and easy. Unfortunately, the sheen level of this product is a tad high, which leads to a few problems with regards to finish. If you’re not careful you will end up with visible roller marks and picture framing. Overall, I’d give this product 4 / 10. For its price you would expect it to perform a lot better than it does. Click here to see online prices.
Johnstone’s Acrylic Durable Matt
Johnstone’s Acrylic Durable Matt is roughly the same price as the Dulux Diamond, however people with a trade account will get a nice discount. You can have it mixed into any Johnstone’s or Leyland colour and JJC is pretty good at matching other brands too.
The opacity in light colours is poor, however the stronger colours tend to cover well in two coats. The sheen level is probably a little bit higher than you’d want, however the overall finish of this durable matt is relatively good. It will clog your brushes on a hot day but that’s only a minor gripe.
I use this product as a professional decorator and have a lot of confidence in it. I think it’s much better than Dulux Diamond Matt. All in all, I’d give it 7/10. It’s worth mentioning that Johnstone’s also do variations of this product which are more durable. Click here to see online prices
Johnstone’s Perfect Matt
Johnstone’s perfect matt is well worth talking about. The finish is a dead flat rich matt, which any interior designer would love. This is a premium product with a premium price tag and although it claims “durable”, it may well be the least durable paint on this list. However, it does produce one of the nicest finishes you’ll ever achieve. No roller marks or picture framing, even a child could get the perfect finish with this emulsion. If price is not an issue, this is the paint for you. I would go for this over any of the designer brands I have ever used. 9/10 Click here to see online prices.
Teknos is quite an exciting brand, and one I have been using a lot over the past year. The Teknos Pro5 is a very impressive product. The finish is like Johnstone’s Perfect Matt, but maybe even better. It has a very low sheen to it and a gorgeous depth of colour. It is very durable too, and reasonably priced. If I had to recommend one durable matt emulsion over all others, Teknos Pro5 would be it. What’s more, if you order online from Promain, they will match any colour from any brand, making the buying process nice and easy. 10/10, you will not find a better product.
Crown Clean Extreme
Crown Clean Extreme is cheaper than Dulux and Johnstone’s. You can have it mixed into any colour from Crown’s range as well, and they do scan colours in store if you need it matching into a colour from another brand’s range. I absolutely love this product, the sheen level is closer to a flat matt than Johnstone’s and Dulux, you get less issues regarding the overall finish and it is an absolute dream to apply. The most mainstream durable matt emulsion products on this list are Dulux, Crown and Johnstone’s. Out of those three, Crown is easily the best AND most reasonably priced. Click here to see online prices.
Tikkurila Optiva 5
Tikkurila only have around 1% of the market share when it comes to paint in the UK, if that. But it is growing in popularity. Optiva 5 is Tikkurila’s durable matt emulsion. We’re talking about a durable emulsion with a 5% sheen level, which is brilliant. It can clog up on your brush, but flow is generally good, as are opacity and finish. It is fairly cheap if you have a trade account, but will cost you a bomb if you don’t as it is only really available from trade counters. The only little gripe is the durability, which I don’t think is quite as good as the others.
8/10 for me. A good durable matt emulsion. Click here to see online prices.
WRX Wall Paint
WRX wall paint is only available in white and will cost you the grand total of £50 when purchased online at TopDec Decorating Supplies. This is quite an interesting paint. It goes on lovely, however can pull on itself. To compensate you must cut and roll one wall at a time. It is a very durable product and contains fungicide to prevent mould growth. This makes it the ideal paint for a kitchen or bathroom where condensation can be an issue. The opacity and finish of this paint are absolutely second to none and if you’re looking for white, I’d recommend you try this paint.
Goodhome Durable Matt
Available from B&Q, Goodhome durable matt is one of the only retail paint products decorators seem to like. You can buy this paint in white, or tinted into a handful of colours and it is easily the cheapest product on this blog. The brilliant white is also one of the best emulsions to use on a ceiling as there is little in the way of flashing or picture framing. Decorators often refer to Goodhome as “white gold”!!
I’d say the finish in white is better than any of the tinted colours and it isn’t very durable compared to other products on this list. Pound for pound it is possibly the best value durable matt emulsion out there. 7/10
Retail Kitchen and Bathroom Paint
Kitchen and bathroom emulsion which are sold from DIY shops or B&Q does have its place on the market. Made buy all the big three manufacturers, Dulux, Crown and Johnstone’s, retail paint is made to a tighter budget. Because the manufacturers cut costs to keep the price of retail emulsion down, the quality and standard of the paint is much lower. Retail emulsion will not be as durable as it’s trade counterpart, nor will the finish be as good. No professional decorator will buy this paint. If it doesn’t say “trade” on the tin, leave the tin on the shelf. 3/10 from me. Don’t bother
Best Brush and Roller to Apply Durable Matt Emulsion to Walls
I thought I’d include a little section on the best brush and roller for durable matt emulsion. This type of paint doesn’t tend to drag, so a medium pile roller and a brush with plenty of space between the bristles is ideal.
The Hamilton Perfection takes some beating with regards to a roller. It is quite expensive by the time you’ve got yourself a scuttle and the cage, but it’s a professional bit of kit that will last a lifetime. Plus, you’ll get a great finish every time. Click here to see online prices.
The ProDec Ice Fusion brush is brilliant in durable matt emulsion. The bristles are tapered from base to tip, which helps it hold more paint. Cutting in is a dream. Available online by clicking here.