Valspar Trade Paint Review and Guide

Updated Apr 20, 2024 | Posted Jan 8, 2023 | Product Reviews, Paints | 5 comments

Valspar are owned by a company called Sherwin Williams, who are the biggest paint manufacturer in the world. They have a wide range of paint in the UK, with varying levels of quality to suit every budget. Valspar Trade is Sherwin Williams’ most premium range. You can buy it from any B&Q or Trade Point.

At the time of writing this, Valspar recently reformulated and improved their entire trade range. It’s safe to say it’s turning a few heads. I have been using it quite a lot recently in my capacity as a professional decorator. I thought I’d put pen to paper and write a full Valspar Trade paint review. To do that, I’ll work through each product individually, explain what it is, then give my honest opinion. I hope you find this blog useful.

I’m going to quote shelf prices in this blog. It’s worth mentioning that if you generally work in the trade, then you may be entitled to vouchers  and other benefits by joining Valspar Trade Perfect Match. Click here to learn more.


Valspar Trade Knot Block Review


I thought it was logical to start my review with a primer. Knot block was developed for use on bare timber. It not only primes a surface, creating the perfect base for additional coats, but it also blocks knot bleed and other stains, which is incredible really.

Is Valspar Trade good paint?

Valspar Trade Knot Block is a fully water-based paint, available in white, and costs just less than £20 for one litre. Touch dry in 30 minutes, it has a recoat time of around 2-4 hours depending on conditions.

I know this paint was designed as an acrylic primer, but it’s capable of so much more. I use it as an adhesion primer on difficult surfaces such as old oil-based gloss, or even stained and varnished surfaces. It grips and blocks tannis, so it’s perfect really.

I also use Valspar Trade Knot Block as a stain block on interior walls and ceilings!! Valspar Trade don’t even advertise this, but it’s one of the best fully water-based stain blocking products on the market. I’ve used it to cover coffee, felt pen, and even water marks. It hasn’t failed me yet! The only real negative about this paint is the opacity, which isn’t great. Full Review here.


Valspar Trade Contract Matt Review


Next up on my Valspar Trade paint review is their contract matt. This is a fully water-based matt emulsion for interior walls and ceilings. Like any other contract matt, Valspar Trade Contract Matt contains little in the way of polymer binder, making the paint breathable, but not very durable. You might use this product when painting bare plaster, or as a finish on ceilings.

I’d recommend using a Purdy Colossus roller to apply this paint, Available online by clicking here. The more paint you can apply per coat, the better, and the Purdy Colossus will help do that with ease.

You can buy Valspar Trade Contract Matt in white, or magnolia and it costs around £25 for a 10L bucket. The recoat time is 2 – 4 hours depending on conditions, but don’t rush it! As you apply the paint, it doesn’t look like it has very good opacity. However, as it dries, it bleaches out and leaves a solid finish.

Valspar Trade Contract matt is a good paint for bare plaster

It’s quite strange really, and you’re always left guessing about whether you need to apply another coat of paint or not.

Valspar Trade Contract Matt is strange compared to other brands. Not just because of the bleaching, but the application too. You normally expect a contract matt to dry as you apply it, causing the paint to drag, but you don’t notice that with the Valspar Trade. This makes the ease of use a lot better, which in turn, leads to less defects on your finished surface. This product is a great ceiling paint!! It does take 3 coats to cover bare plaster though. Full review here.

Valspar Trade Vinyl Matt Review


Next on my review is the Valspar Trade Vinyl Matt. This is another water-based emulsion for interior walls and ceilings. At the time of writing this review, Valspar Trade Vinyl Matt is only available in Brilliant White, but I know they plan on launching a tintable version very soon, so it will be available in any colour from their range.

Like the contract matt, Valspar Trade Vinyl Matt is different to comparable products. Manufacturers have been faced with an issue in recent years. Defects such as flashing and picture framing have become more prevalent on ceilings (due to a couple of reasons which I won’t go into now).

Most manufacturers have overcome this by moving away from Brilliant White and developing dull, low-sheen white emulsion paint products for ceilings.

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

Valspar Trade Vinyl Matt is a bit more special….

They wanted to keep the sharp, crisp feel of Brilliant White, so they overcame the problem in a different way. They slowed the drying process of the paint, meaning you always have a “wet edge” when using it.

It works too! Valspar Trade Vinyl Matt leaves you with a striking white surface and it’s easy to avoid defects! Opacity and ease of use are also fantastic! This is a good product all round. Full review here.

Valspar Trade Tough Walls & Ceilings (Matt) Review


The next product on my Valspar Trade Paint review is a good one! Valspar Trade Tough Walls & Ceilings comes in matt or silk, and you can buy it in any colour from Valspar’s extensive range. Most professional decorators (including me), absolutely hate silk, so I’m only going to review the matt.

This is a durable matt emulsion for interior walls. The drying time of Valspar Trade Tough Walls & Ceilings is 2-4 hours depending on conditions. Price wise, you’re looking at £40 for 2.5L (which I’d consider expensive), £56 for 5L (which I’d say is reasonable, or £85 for 10L (which I’d consider to be great value).

It is important that if you use this paint in a deep colour, you need to use the recommended undercoat colour. This is a drawback because it means having to apply an extra coat. It’s to do with the number of bases they hold at Trade Point and B&Q, rather than the quality of the paint.

Valspar Trade Tough walls and ceilings is available in matt or silk.

Valspar Trade Tough Walls & Ceilings Matt has fantastic opacity and it is very easy to use. However, the standout quality is the overall finish. The sheen level is low and you experience no defects at all. The paint just seems to sit nicely on the wall, and you’re left with a gorgeous look and feel. You can really tell the quality of the product just by looking at it. A lot of decorators I know are moving away from Johnstone’s Durable Matt and are opting for Valspar Trade instead.

Final Thoughts


I just thought I’d wrap up by giving my opinion on Valspar Trade as a whole. It’s a brand that a lot of decorators shunned until they launched their reformulated range. Now it’s starting to turn heads and we’re starting to see great feedback on the forums.

Valspar Trade also have a great reputation for colour matching. You can choose from 2,000 preselected colours from the usual charts etc, but they match to 2,000,000 different colours! You can take a colour chart in from a different brand, or maybe a bit of wallpaper, or a cushion, anything really. They will scan it for you and match it to one of the colours they have on file.

The other thing to mention about Valspar Trade is the availability. As a decorator, I’m used to dealing with the usual trade outlets. These have some plus points, including dedicated reps, tailored accounts, credit etc. They can also be restrictive. I can visit B&Q and buy Valspar Trade at 9:30 at night because the shop is still open. Being self-employed, that can be a major advantage.

Valspar Trade Paint Review and Guide – by Mike Gregory

Updated Apr 20, 2024 | Posted Jan 8, 2023 | 5 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. Stuart Grenville-Price

    Thanks for this review I found it interesting and now I’m more inclined to give it a go and actually use these vouchers you get having joined the trade club, btw I got a massive fan deck too.

  2. Phil

    Great review. I’ve had some absolute Weston-Supers over the years with this gear. Next time I’m in B&Q I might pick up a tin of the Tough and give it a try behind the fridge in my kitchen (great place to try new gear btw!) It would be great if it’s a go-er because the Tradepoint discount of 10% on all purchases if you spend a grand over a month is worth having with the costs these days. Cheers

  3. Vince Robinson

    I used the vinyl matt for the first time, 3 or 4 years ago. Wasn’t keen, but customer wanted it and insurance were paying. I was pleasantly surprised. Opacity, coverage and ease of use were all top notch. Used it a few times since with same results.

    My most recent experience wasn’t so good using the ‘Tough Matt’. We had done lots of filling and sanding on the walls, and sealed the walls prior to painting, but even after 3 coats they looked thirsty over the filler.

  4. BR

    PPG are the worlds largest manufacturer. SW are number 2

    • Mike Cupit

      Not true sorry. Have a little Google


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