Valspar Trade Tough Matt Review

Updated Jun 14, 2024 | Posted Nov 7, 2022 | Product Reviews, Paints | 2 comments

I tried the new Valspar Trade Tough Matt recently, so I thought I’d put pen to paper and write a quick review. This is a new durable matt emulsion, available in white, or just about any colour from you local B&Q.

Touch dry in 2 hours, recoat time of around 4 hours, you can use this paint on interior walls and ceilings. Being a durable matt emulsion, Valspar Trade Tough Matt can be used in a bathroom or kitchen. It’s also ideal if you have pets, or you’re painting in high-traffic areas.


My Valspar Trade Tough Matt Review


The first thing to say about Valspar Trade, is you can always rely on their colour matching abilities. Their in-store colour scanning capabilities are widely regarded as the best in the industry, and they boast an arsenal of over 2,000,000 possible colours to match to. I took a sample of wallpaper in, and they matched it perfectly. I came away with a 5L tin of Tough Matt mixed in a gorgeous yellow/cream.


I’ve used most of the durable matt paint products available in the UK, so trying Valspar Trade Tough Matt really piqued my interest.

Tough Matt has a slight ammonia smell to it, and it feels quite thin. Don’t panic though, the opacity of this paint is still fantastic. You’re looking at two coats of Tough Matt for any colour change. Because the paint is so thin, you’ll find it a joy to use. It just flies on, and it is easy to avoid brush and roller marks.

A lot of other durable matt emulsions dry with a slight ‘grittyness’ to the touch, but not Valspar Trade Tough Matt. It settles on itself nicely, leaving a completely smooth surface.

The other thing to mention is the sheen level once dry. Again, one complaint with some durable matt emulsions is the sheen level is too high for a ‘true matt finish’. That isn’t the case with Valspar Tough Matt, which has a very contemporary “flat matt” finish. Ideal for modern homes, or rooms with bad plastering.

One last benefit of using Valspar Trade Tough Matt over its competitors, is you can touch this paint up and everything blends! I’m not sure whether that has something to do with the sheen level, or just the way this paint sits on itself, but it’s a real bonus. I can’t think of any other durable matt in the same price bracket which touches up. 


Valspar Trade Tough Matt in Brilliant White


I thought I’d talk about Brilliant White in a separate section, simply because of the problems associated with other brands of durable matt emulsion in white. It’s very difficult to find a product like this in white that has good opacity and leaves a nice finish. It can look plasticky, and you see imperfections like picture framing and flashing.

Valspar Trade Tough Matt is different. The colour is nice and bright, the opacity is good, so colour changes are no problem. You don’t experience any defects such as flashing. Tough Matt may well be the best durable matt emulsion I have used in Brilliant White.


Review Summary

Valspar Trade Tough Matt Review - Decorator's forum UK

A durable matt emulsion used to paint interior walls and ceilings. This product is best suited for kitchens, bathrooms, and high-traffic areas.

Product Brand: Valspar Trade

Editor's Rating:


  • Thousands of colours to choose from.
  • Good opacity.
  • Flies on / easy to use.
  • Very low sheen level (chalky finish).
  • Shows no defects like flashing or picture framing.
  • Readily available.


  • Slight smell to it.
  • It isn’t as durable as a couple of the other trade durable matt emulsion paints.

Final Thoughts


Will I use Valspar Trade Tough Matt moving forward? The quality of this paint is fantastic, but it also comes down to price. As a decorator, I’m entitled to a trade discount on most trade brands. Valspar Trade Tough Matt is currently £40 for 2.5L in a tinted colour, which is very expensive and not really viable. However, 10L is only £85, which is rather reasonable. So, yes, I will use it moving forward. After all, it would be a shame to not take advantage of their colour scanning service! Not just that, but Valspar Trade Tough Matt is a quality product.


What do Other Decorators Think About Valspar Trade Tough Matt?

I used Valspar Trade Tough Matt on the walls on my last project and it was absolutely fantastic! And ridiculously hard wearing.

I was painting the room in the evenings, and I had 1 roller mark on the walls, which I had to sand off!  The paint was that tough, I had to use a bladed scraper to get it off!

Valspar Trade Tough Matt was an absolute pleasure to use! Very rarely do you get a paint that can cover each other when you are doing a feature wall. The grey covered the lilac and the lilac covered the grey easy!

It goes on so smooth. Picture Johnstone’s durable matt watered down so it does not drag, and it goes for miles! This means you fly through your painting and when it dries its bloody bomb proof.


Well impressed 10/10

Ian Crampsie

Updated Jun 14, 2024 | Posted Nov 7, 2022 | 2 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.
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  1. richard

    Johnstone perfect matt is durable dead Flatt durable finish.
    All the durable Matt’s really too high sheen level. I think the MacPherson durable Matt good fairly reasonable pricefor most jobs.
    Touches up fairly well.

    l think this scrub rating on Johnstone crown etc is really over the top for 99% jobs it’s won’t make a blind bit of difference for Mrs Smith that wants to wipe down her hall walls once a month..

  2. John

    I’ve just repainted our living room with Valspar Trade Tough Matt paint, matched perfectly to the Dulux trade vinyl matt that I had previously painted it. We chose to repaint because of caulk marks and scuffs, even though it had been painted only a few months before. It went on nicely, but has dried much more shiny than the dulux. I’m wondering whether I’ve been given a silk by accident. The badly plastered wall is much more apparent now, and because I left the picture hooks on, and therefore some of the dulux paint, I can see side by side the sheen levels. Should Valspar be more matt as I had hoped?


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