Valspar Paint Review and Guide

Updated Jun 8, 2024 | Posted Feb 21, 2022 | Product Reviews, Paints | 12 comments

Valspar paint is owned by Sherwin Williams, who is the biggest paint manufacturer in the world. Valspar have a whole range of paint to meet the requirements of just about everybody, from interior designers and decorators to those on a budget.

Valspar also have a reputation for being very good at colour matching. To say their colour range is extensive would be an understatement! Valspar have around 1,200,000 colours available!!!!

I’m going to use this blog to give you my brutally honest opinion as a decorator, of every Valspar product available. I’ll start with the retail products, and then go through the newly formulated trade product. This is my Valspar paint review and guide. I hope you find it useful.


Valspar Simplicity Walls and Ceilings Review


I thought I’d start at the low end of the product scale and work upwards. Valspar Simplicity is a very cheap matt emulsion with very little polymer binder. It’s very similar to a contract matt. Opacity is poor and it can take many coats of this paint to cover a wall properly. Valspar simplicity isn’t very durable either and the finish can be streaky. Flashing and picture framing can be a nightmare when using strong colours. Plus, you can literally wipe the paint off your wall, even after it has fully dried.

That old cliché comes into play when buying paint, “you get what you pay for”. In this case, it rings true. Valspar Simplicity is a very poor quality paint and one you should avoid at all costs.


Valspar V500 Blend Walls and Ceilings Review


This is a better product!! Valspar V500 is a big step up from Valspar Simplicity. V500 is a durable emulsion available in matt or silk. You would use this paint for interior walls and ceilings. The finish is good. Opacity is lacking in certain colours and can be a nightmare in reds and blues. Avoid using Valspar V500 in strong colours, or you will need to apply extra coats. Other than that, it’s a good emulsion.


Valspar V700 Premium Blend Review


Here we go!! Valspar V700 is a premium durable product available in matt, mid-sheen and silk. I know it is expensive, but the finish is good. Opacity is great, except in reds and blues, which are terrible. Many decorators I know have experienced problems with strong colours, which you wouldn’t expect considering the price tag on this paint.

I got to the bottom of the problem by talking directly to Valspar. It turns out you should apply an undercoat colour when using a deep tint (which they should explain to you when they sell the paint). Providing you do that, and you don’t mind an extra coat, you won’t have an issue.

I still like V700 though. It isn’t as durable as Valspar Trade Tough Matt or some of the other durable matt products available, but it will stand up to condensation in a kitchen or knocks in a high-traffic area. This paint is very popular with homeowners who don’t mind paying a little bit more, providing they get quality in return.

Valspar Trade Vinyl Matt Review


This is the part of my Valspar paint review that I really get excited about. Valspar reformulated their trade range recently to compete on quality with Dulux, Crown and Johnstone’s. Some of the products are fantastic, including their Vinyl Matt.

Available in Brilliant White or tinted colours, this paint is easy to apply, has good opacity, and generally looks great once on.

Most other manufacturers get around the issue of roller marks by lowering the sheen of their emulsion paints. This is particularly true for Brilliant White (which is normally downgraded to white).

Valspar is different. Valspar Trade Vinyl Matt has an extender in it, which allows the paint to level off itself. That means Valspar can keep their white ‘brilliant’ and ‘in your face’. It looks sharp, and really does cut down on defects. Full review here.

Valspar Trade vinyl matt is a good emulsion for walls and ceilings

Valspar Trade Contract Matt Review


Contract matt is sometimes used as a mist coat on new plaster, or even as a finish coat, as it allows the plaster to breathe. Valspar Trade Contract Matt is another good paint in my opinion.

Like the Vinyl Matt, Valspar Trade Contract Matt has extenders in it, which is unusual for a product of this type. This means it doesn’t drag as much as the other contract matt paints I’ve used, resulting in a better finish.

There are a couple of negatives. The first is the price, which is on the high side for contract matt. The other is opacity. A contract matt should cover bare plaster in two coats. Valspar Trade Vinyl Matt takes three.

It does bleach out as it dries, so don’t panic if it goes on like semi skimmed milk. Click here for full review.


Valspar Trade Masonry Paint Review


Valspar Trade masonry paint is another great product. This is a water-based paint used for exterior masonry work. Opacity and ease of use are out of this world! I love spraying this product, but it works just as well when being applied by brush or paint roller.


Valspar Trade Tough Matt Review


Valspar Trade Tough Matt is a brilliant paint. It’s a low-sheen durable matt emulsion. It has good opacity, flows well, and looks brilliant. No defects like flashing (which can be a nightmare with other durable matt emulsion paints).

It is expensive, but well worth it. Full review here.




I thought I’d mention the Valspar glitter, as it’s a very fun product. Available in gold or silver, you just add it to your paint before you start. One pack of glitter per litre of paint is the measure. You only need to add it to your paint for your final coat really, and it adds a bit of bling!! Great for dressing rooms, or a little girl’s bedroom. A glitter wall can be a great feature, and it’s something I have been asked to do many times.




Is Valspar owned by Dulux?

No. Valspar is owned by Sherwin Williams, which is an American company. Dulux is owned by AkzoNobel, which is Dutch. These two brands, along with PPG (who own Johnstone’s Paint), make up the three biggest paint manufacturers in the world.


Is Valspar as good as Dulux?

You need to tackle this on a product-by-product basis. There are Dulux products that are better than Valspar, and vice versa. I think it’s comparable though. Neither brand blows the other out of the water.


Is Valspar exterior paint any good?

Yes, I like Valspar Trade Masonry Paint and the Direct to Wood and Metal (although I think they need to add rust inhibitors). Providing you stick to Valspar Trade rather than retail, you’re good to go.


Review Summary

Valspar Paint Review and Guide - Decorator's forum UK

Valspar is a paint brand owned by Sherwin Williams and sold at B&Q. They have a huge range which covers just about every part of the market.

Product Brand: Valspar

Editor's Rating:


  • Some fantastic products, including new innovations.
  • Products to suit everyone’s budget and needs.
  • Interior and exterior paint.
  • B&Q is open 7 days a week, often till late.


  • A few low-quality products.

Final Thoughts


I set out wanting to cover all the products in my Valspar Paint review, but I would have ended up typing for hours. Their Knot Block is a great adhesion primer and stain block. Their Exterior Direct to Wood and Metal is another notable paint.

It’s fair to say that I’m not a fan of the retail products but love the trade. As a Professional Decorator, I’d urge you to spend a little bit more and go for Valspar Trade over Valspar retail. Providing you do that; I don’t think you’ll have any problems.

Updated Jun 8, 2024 | Posted Feb 21, 2022 | 12 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. Phil

    Great article Mike, I’ve had some awful experiences with Valspar and now I refuse to use it full stop. If a customer wants to supply this, I’ll either walk away or make it clear I cannot give a guarantee with the job. I echo your sentiments that the v500 and v700 suffer dreadfully with lack of opacity. With strong blues, greens and reds being back in fashion recently, someone needs to have a word in B&Q’s ear to sort out the issues with Valspar.
    I think B&Q would be better served getting into bed with a UK manufacturer. This would keep jobs and money in our economy and any issues with their gear could be more easily resolved. Someone like HMG would be perfect, a lesser known, decent brand who are trying to get more established. Also, if B&Q want to appeal to the pro deccy then I would strongly suggest a Painters trade card and a separate trade counter so we don’t have to waste time queuing behind Joe public taking decades to choose the shade of green for the feature wall. Might be an idea for them to stock trade brands such as Toupret, Staalmeester, Axus, Wooster etc etc. I will admit though, if I need anything on a Saturday afternoon or Sunday, B&Q can be a god send!

    • Matthew daniell

      I’ve recently started using valspa trade. Normally I use Johnstone trade but fell thats took a massive drop in quality especially the durable now being a minium of 3 coats. So I gave valspa trade a go and wow that pretty much covers in 1
      Been using valspa trade white and for £40 for 10L plus my trade point discount bringing it down to £36 I think its a great product just sprayed 4 bedrooms ceiling and walls in it nice and flat will definitely be using it a lot more I think

    • Vince Robinson

      I think Valspar gets a bit of a bad name based on the retail stuff (which diyers see to love).

      I used the trade vinyl matt and found it to be very good, but pricy at £48 a gallon.

      I joined the Valspar Paint Club, which gives you money off at B&Q, but up to now I’ve not had anything sent to me apart from a welcome email.

      • Lee hattersley

        Used Valspar premium on my walls in Gritty blue , I’ve also been decorating for years and never really had a issue with paint coverage so didn’t really think about it before purchasing ..I’ve got to say this is by the far Worst paint Ivr ever used it does not cover Matt??? Really it shines 4 coats in and can still see filler on repairs … was thinking I buy another tin but give up stick with what I know .2weekends down the pan ..have to start all over again .!

        Never will ever used this paint manufacturer again !!!

        • Debbie Greatorex

          Hi , could i please ask how you managed to resolve the situation .many thanks , Debbie

    • Vince Robinson

      I think Valspar gets a bit of a bad name based on the retail stuff (which diyers seem to love).

      I used the trade vinyl matt and found it to be very good, but pricy at £48 a gallon.

      I joined the Valspar Paint Club, which gives you money off at B&Q, but up to now I’ve not had anything sent to me apart from a welcome email.

    • Mike

      Interesting read there. Just to make you aware, Sherwin-Williams (owners of Valspar) have multiple manufacturing and processing plants across the UK for their industrial and marine coatings side of the business. They also own Ronseal and still produce all Ronseal from the same old factory in Sheffield that has produced our favourite Ronseal products for decades. Recently, they’ve invested into this factory and increased its size, workforce and output to include manufacturing all Valspar products, so they no longer have to import from Eastern Europe. Overall, they’re employing thousands of British workers and putting a huge amount of investment into the UK economy, at a time when a huge amount of British companies are outsourcing to “cheaper” countries.

  2. Merle

    I recently used the valspar v500 in silk and I would say it was the worst paint I have ever used! It took 3 coats to cover and it has shown up every roller stroke, and I don’t know how to describe it but in parts it looks as if parts of the walls look as if it’s got dust on it!! I’ve used a lot of paint through the years and I would say it’s the worst paint I’ve ever, would not recommend 👎🏻

  3. Alec Stewart

    I have recently used Valspar Premium Matt emulsion. After 3 coats, I could see every roller mark. Also there was a sheen to it.
    So I then tried the Trade Matt Emulsion, what a difference, 2 coats and I had the matt finish that I was hoping for.

  4. DD Hodgson

    I have to say I have tried Valspar on a number of jobs where customers have requested I use it and to be frank I will probably never get repeat work from those customers again. I have recommended to them from experience of Valspar that I would never use it in my own home. The finish on their best matt white is questionable – is it really matt? Other finishes might be just ok but it does not fill me with the confidence I could recommend. I would always suggest either Dulux Trade, Leyland Trade or Macphersons but with a preference to Dulux Trade. I was a regular purchaser of Dulux from B&Q but since the change to Valspar I rarely visit their stores now. All my accessories, fillers and that sort of thing I would get from the likes of Paint Shed in Edinburgh.

  5. Lynda Weir

    I bought 2 large tubs of Valspar Masonary Paint for outdoor brickwork. At £60 a tub, very expensive . But it says on the tub
    20 year weather defence , so I thought it would be worth it. That was April 2022, 10 months ago. I wish I could add a picture, as , a large part of the brickwork looks awful now as the paint has cracked and is peeling off. It is at the largest side of my house, so very visible. This happened after last weeks very cold and frosty weather, so I am assuming that was the cause. I have a lot of paint left , so I am going to have to brush off the peeling paint and repaint when the weather improves. So, I am very disappointed in this product now. At first I got the perfect colour and it did look great for 10 months.

  6. Patricia Ashton

    I have previously commented on valspar pain referring to the coverage. I found it impossible to go over a section I might have missed or to continue where I had left off, going over the paint again would lift of the paint that was already on the wall leaving an awful mess that I would have to scrape off and sand down to smooth it out. I have struggled to complete my living and dining room which I’m still trying to do. I had an email from valspar about my comments continually asking if I had primed the wall when I had made it quite clear I had painted the walls already to cover a deeper paint shade with white paint and not fresh plaster. And not getting anywhere. I’m 70 this year and have always done my own painting, I could start first thing in the morning and finish in the evening, not anymore so it’s taking forever but will get on with it until it’s done, which would be a lot sooner if I had some decent paint.


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