What is the Best Vinyl Matt Emulsion for walls?

By Mike Gregory

I’ve been a decorator for the past 15 years and I’m a little bit of a geek when it comes to product. To state the obvious, trade paint is of better quality than retail, so you should always look for the word “trade” on the tin. There are many different brands of trade paint, I’m going to give you a brief review of the main ones, so you can decide for yourself the best vinyl matt emulsion for your walls. If you are decorating a high traffic area, or you have pets or childeren then you may be better off this a durable matt emulsion.

You can go directly to Dulux, Johnstone’s or Crown for any of these products, buy unless you have a trade account with favourable rates, it is probably a lot cheaper buying your paint online.


Dulux Trade Vinyl Matt

Dulux Trade Vinyl Matt Emulsion is probably the most expensive trade paint on this list. The sheen level is a little bit high for a matt, meaning you can have issues with flashing on light sensitive rooms. Opacity is great though, especially in strong colours and it’s fairly durable for a vinyl matt. I don’t rate this paint if I’m honest. I don’t mind paying a primium price if I’m getting a primium product, but this just isn’t. If you want more information on Dulux Trade vinyl matt click here.



Armstead Vinyl Matt

Owned by the same company as Dulux, Armstead is the value brand and Dulux is supposedly the premium. Armstead Trade Vinyl Matt is cheaper and has less of a sheen level, meaning you get less problems and a nicer finish. The only downside is the opacity isn’t as good as Dulux, but you rarely need more than two coats so it’s all good. I prefer this brand over Dulux. It’s a great choice and one of my favorites. CLICK HERE for more info.

7/10 from me. Great value for money


Crown Trade Vinyl Matt

The biggest positive I can say about Crown trade vinyl is its cheap and you get value for money. The paint isn’t very durable, in fact it’s more like a contract matt in that sense. You get a nice flat finish and opacity is good. Add a drop of water to help it flow. A good product at a great price and I do use it from time to time. I wouldn’t use it in my own house because of the lack of durability. For more information on Crown Trade vinyl matt CLICK HERE.

Another 7/10, if it was as expensive as some of the others I’d mark it lower



Macphersons Vinyl Matt

Made by the same company who own Crown, this is the value brand. Macphersons is just that, a cheaper alternative but not quite as good. Still a lot better than retail paint and it definitely has its place. You can’t touch this stuff up and it marks easily.



Johnstone’s Covaplus


PPG’s premium brand. Johnstone’s Trade  Covaplus vinyl matt is mid-price range, opacity is good and does everything you’d expect. More durable than Crown but not as durable as Dulux. You don’t really have any issues with flashing or picture framing like you can with the others. The finish is nice and flat too! Johnstone’s Trade Centers are really good at matching a colour from another brand. Click here for information on Johnstone’s Covaplus.

Easy 9/10, Johnstone’s Covaplus is the best standard trade vinyl matt on the market in my opinion.


Leyland Trade Vinyl Matt

PPG’s value brand. Leyland trade vinyl matt does everything that Covaplus does, but sometimes needs an extra coat. For the sake of a few quid you may as well go with the Covaplus.


Johnstone’s Perfect Matt


This is by far the most premium product on the list. Perfect matt is Johnstone’s answer to designer emulsions such as Farrow and Ball or Little Greene and although it is expensive, Perfect Matt is something very special.

The finish is luxurious, deep and the flattest matt you’re ever going to come across. It’s actually durable too and you can touch it up without any visible flashing. No issues with roller marks, flashing or picture framing and the opacity is bang on. This is probably the best emulsion on the market, however it does come with a hefty price tag. If you don’t mind spending a little bit more to get the best finish possible, then Johnstone’s Perfect Matt is the one you want.

10/10 for me on this one but it depends on budget


Farrow and Ball Estate and Modern Emulsion


Two separate and very different products, but we’ll talk about them together. The first thing to mention is Farrow and Ball emulsion lacks opacity, and you will need to use the specified primer before applying your topcoats of paint. Considering the cost of Farrow and Ball is extortionate, many begrudge having to buy the extra product or apply an extra coat.

Farrow and Ball Estate emulsion is a true flat matt and the finish is nice to be fair. Colours are rich and luxurious, but the paint itself dries very chalky. This means it is very easily marked so it is no good in high traffic areas.

The Modern Emulsion is more of a “durable emulsion” to be fair. The finish is ok, however the sheen level is a little on the high site for a “vinyl matt”. This, along with the opacity issues let down a bit. Still an ok paint.

If Farrow and Ball were the same price as a tin of Armstead then fair enough, I’d be “painting” it in a better light. For me, both Farrow and Ball emulsion products are below the standard they should be for the price bracket they place themselves. There are better products out there.

I’ll give them a collective 4/10


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The best vinyl matt emulsion for walls