Best Emulsion Paints

Rate this post

Recently, some customers asked us what is the best emulsion paint to buy in the UK. We end up with this post for those who might concern.

We understand that there are many paint types now, making you lost when preparing for painting work. Let alone, emulsion paints are not as popular as others, and you might have little knowledge about them.

Best Emulsion Paint UK Products with Unbiased Reviews

Polar Masonry Emulsion Paint – Best Budget

[amazon box=”B088ZGB3KG” title=”Polar Masonry Emulsion Paint”]

If you just need to paint a small area with emulsion paints, you do not need to break an extensive bucket bank. Instead, choose the Polar Masonry Emulsion Paint – a small tin at affordable prices.

Some information for your reference:

  • Finish: Matt emulsion
  • Colours: White only
  • Coverage: 7.5m2 out of 50ml
  • Coat type: One-coat paint
  • Drying time: 1 to 2 hours

This paint comes in a primary white matt colour, making it suitable for almost all decors, indoor and outdoor – especially the wall and ceilings.

We tried coating one layer – as suggested by the manufacturer. The coverage is ample and smooth as promised – providing that the surfaces are new and with little imperfections. The paint is hard-wearing and hardly odorous.

We recommend using a medium-pile roller to apply the emulsion evenly and avoid overspreading the paint.

However, you should not use Polar Masonry Emulsion Paint on old varnished stuff. They require several coats to hide the defective spots, and the tin runs out quickly.

  • Affordable for small projects
  • Easy to apply on many surfaces
  • Good coverage with one coat
  • Smooth finish with almost no odour
  • Limited colour
  • Not enough for large painting tasks

Dulux Non-Drip Gloss Paint – Best for Wood and Metals

[amazon box=”B00LPFZCD4″ title=”Dulux Non-Drip Gloss Paint”]

Also under the budget category for small to medium paintwork is the Dulux Non-Drip Gloss Paint.


  • Finish: Gloss emulsion
  • Colours: Pure White
  • Coverage: 15m2 out of 1.2l
  • Coat type: Self-undercoating paint
  • Drying time: Less than 1 hour

So far, the brilliant gloss-white paint like the Dulux Non-Drip model is used for woodwork, trims, or doors when you look for a fresh and traditional decoration.

The water-based formula allows the paint to easily adhere to the wood or even metal areas without primers. Simply, this Dulux emulsion is self-undercoating, and the first layer takes some minutes to dry—no worries about running and messy drips.

You can then apply some additional coats to protect the wood or metal because this water-based paint is not as hard-wearing as other oil-based products. However, the water-based emulsion has less VOC content and does not turn yellow over time.

On drawbacks, the capacity of 1.2l seems not enough if you apply many coats at a time on large painting areas.

  • Not expensive emulsion
  • Very adhesive and quickly dry
  • Hardy running or dripping
  • Safe and quality ingredients
  • Not big capacity
  • Several coats required

Johnstone’s 308639 Matt Emulsion – Best Seller

[amazon box=”B077ZMMTGH” title=”Johnstone’s 308639 Matt Emulsion”]

Do not be surprised that we will mention several of Johnstone’s paints in this best emulsion paint list. This brand has been well-known for its quality painting products since the 1890s.

Take Johnstone’s 308639, for example.

What to expect?

  • Finish: Matt emulsion
  • Colours: Natural Sage
  • Coverage: 32m2 out of 2.5l
  • Coat type: Two-coat paint
  • Drying time: 2 or 3 hours

Like the Polar Masonry, this paint is matt emulsion, meaning that you can expect it to be velvety and smooth on less-than-perfect surfaces. Besides, Johnstone’s 308639 comes in a wide range of colours, so you can always find some suitable for your projects.

Here we focus on the Natural Sage colour. It easily matches interior walls and ceilings. You will have a non-reflective and contemporary look when applying this emulsion.

It is possible to use the 308639 on external areas, but you should note that the paint is not excellently weather-resistant. Even if you apply two coats as suggested, the emulsion might still peel off.

  • A great deal for 2.5l of paint
  • A wide range of colours available
  • The smooth and velvety finish
  • For both internal and external projects
  • Two coats required
  • Not excellently weather-resistant

Johnstone’s 304178 Silk Vinyl Waterfall – Best Finish

[amazon box=”B00VREVFSY” title=”Johnstone’s 304178 Silk Vinyl Waterfall”]

If you like Johnstone’s emulsions for your wall and ceiling, you can also consider the 304178 Silk Vinyl.

  • Finish: Silk emulsion
  • Colours: Waterfall
  • Coverage: 30m2 out of 2.5l
  • Coat type: Two-coat paint
  • Drying time: More than 2 or 3 hours

The paint shares outstanding features of the emulsion above but with a different finish. Accordingly, you can cover about 30 square metres out of a 2.5-litre tin. Two or multiple coats are required based on the painting materials.

The difference is the colour and finish.

Johnstone’s 304178 provides a low-sheen finish ranging from Chapel Stone to Waterfall. They are less dull than matt options. Moreover, the paint is as smooth and gracefully-glowy as silk.

This finish type is lovely for new walls in the kid’s playing room or bathrooms and kitchens. It reflects more sunlight to offer better brightness and protection against mildew or moisture.

However, it also means that the emulsion cannot conceal surface imperfections or brush marks. The silk finish also requires more time to dry completely.

  • Smooth and elegant finish
  • Many colours at choice
  • High humidity-resistant performance
  • Suitable for internal painting jobs
  • Not good at hiding imperfections
  • Longer time required to get dry

Dryzone Anti Mould Paint 1L Magnolia – Best for Bathrooms

[amazon box=”B0821KDN7L” title=”Dryzone Anti Mould Paint 1L Magnolia”]

The Dryzone Anti Mould paint is the next candidate for the best emulsion paint winner speaking of the bathroom painting.

  • Finish: Matt emulsion
  • Colours: Magnolia
  • Coverage: 10 t0 12m2 out of 1l
  • Coat type: One-coat paint
  • Drying time: Within 1 hour

This emulsion features three benefits in one tin, including the high moisture-resistant technology, quick-dry formula, and a warm-to-touch finish. Thus, the paint is suitable for high-condenser situations like a bathroom or kitchen.

You can only apply one coat to those places, and rest assured about black mould or so. The paint will protect lovely walls from the black decay for five years as long as you frequently clean the bathroom with a mould-killer spray.

In case you want to add another protective layer, wait for less than one hour to apply the second coat.

When needed, the Dryzone Anti Mould is also helpful as a highly-effective additive to wallpaper pastes, impart paints or tile grouts to treat the moisture problems.

The disadvantage is, nevertheless, the high price for just one litre of matt paint.

  • High moisture-resistant technology
  • Quick-dry formula
  • Warm-to-touch matt finish
  • As versatile as an Anti-mould additive
  • Small capacity
  • Very expensive

Crown Emulsion Brilliant White 10 Litre – Best Value for Money

[amazon box=”B00FJYNAN6″ title=”Crown Emulsion Brilliant White 10 Litre”]

Back to basic is the Crown Emulsion Brilliant White – an alternative to the Polar Masonry Emulsion Paint in large projects.

The features are not unique but still beyond acceptable:

  • Finish: Matt emulsion
  • Colours: White only
  • Coverage: 140m2 out of 10l
  • Coat type: Multi-coat paint
  • Drying time: 1 to 2 hours

This paint is not the best emulsion we know. The white colour is dull, and the matt finish is thin. You should apply multiple coats to ensure that the coverage is smooth and durable.

What brings the paint to our list is its impressive coverage at an affordable price.

Accordingly, you will get a tin of ten litres enough to cover a wide range of 140 square metres.

At this rate, the emulsion is typical on basic large-scale painting tasks such as pre-treating a big wall before decorating it with another paint. The drying time is less than two hours for the first coat.

  • Impressive coverage capacity
  • Bright-white and non-yellowing finish
  • Non-drip and quick-dry formula
  • Easy to apply to interiors and exteriors
  • Thin coat
  • Low coverage on darker surfaces

Dulux Quick Dry Eggshell Paint – Best Rated

[amazon box=”B00LSJPWI2″ title=”Dulux Quick Dry Eggshell Paint”]

We cannot get enough of the Dulux paints since their products feature an unparalleled quality.

The next Dulux Easycare Bathroom Soft Sheen paint is not an exception.

  • Finish: Eggshell emulsion
  • Colours: Pure White
  • Coverage: 40m2 out of 2.5l
  • Coat type: Two-coat paint
  • Drying time: 1 to 2 hours

Overall, Dulux Quick Dry Eggshell tin is a non-drip, wipeable, and quick-dry eggshell paint to decorate interior doors, skirting boards, architraves, or so.

We like that the paint is easy to use and touch dry in less than one hour. You can apply another coat around six hours later – depending on the household humidity and temperature.

In the end, the finish is smooth-quality with almost no odour. Besides the pure white, you can also choose among various colours for different materials and purposes.

We do not like the Dulux Eggshell, particularly, and other eggshell paints, in general, are of low durability. It is susceptible to marks and scuffs from scrape or bumps.

  • Non-drip and quick-dry emulsion
  • Lovely pure brilliant white colour
  • Low VOC and less odour
  • Versatile for interior painting
  • Two coats needed
  • Not durable under the bump

The One Paint – Satin Finish – Best Paint and Primer in One

[amazon box=”B078CYQ9TT” title=”The One Paint – Satin Finish”]

The paint does exactly what it is described – you can use The One Paint – Satin Finish as a paint and primer in one. Buy one, get two functions, why not?

  • Finish: Satin emulsion
  • Colours: White and many other colours
  • Coverage: 12 to 15m2 out of 1l
  • Coat type: One-coat paint
  • Drying time: 1 to 2 hours

A priming layer is suggested for porous, stained, or glossy walls. With its adhesive binder, the primer will seal and give off a uniform coverage for the main painting coat.

Having The One – a primer and paint in one means saving extra time and money.

One coat on almost any surface (wood, metals, brick, stone, glass, plastic, etc.), and you will have a robust water-based finish in white, grey, cream, or many other beautiful colours.

Just take notes that the colours might not be really true – brighter when they are wet and several shades darker when they completely dry.

  • Versatile paint and primer in one
  • Easy to apply in one coat
  • Low odour and VOC content
  • Various colours available
  • Expensive for a small tin
  • Not true colours

Johnstone’s 308704 Emulsion Paint – Best for Walls and Ceilings

[amazon box=”B077ZMVPJ7″ title=”Johnstone’s 308704 Emulsion Paint”]

Will explore one more of Johnstone’s emulsion here, which is Johnstone’s 308704.

  • Finish: Mid-sheen emulsion
  • Colours: Natural Sage
  • Coverage: 30m2 out of 2.5l
  • Coat type: Two-coat paint
  • Drying time: More than 2 or 3 hours

We find this emulsion is very quality and safe with low VOC content and odour like what to expect from the creditworthy painting manufacturer. The colour range is 21 contemporary shades.

They are all effortless-to-apply, attractive-to-look, and on top of that, washable. We recommend those mid-sheen shades instead of vinyl matt or silk as above when it comes to interior ceilings and walls. You will get an elegant natural sage finish that hides minor imperfection excellently.

However, some consumers might not afford to buy this tin – it is twice as expensive as the 308639 Matt emulsion.

  • Nice colour and finish
  • High humidity-resistant performance
  • Washable surface for easy cleaning
  • Fairly good coverage capacity
  • Expensive to buy
  • Two coats required

Ronseal AMPWS25L Anti Mould Paint – Best Durable Paint

[amazon box=”B007UXTUWE” title=”Ronseal AMPWS25L Anti Mould Paint”]

If you want a painting to last for years, be ready to spend some more and get this Ronseal AMPWS25L Anti Mould Paint.

What you will get:

  • Finish: Silk emulsion
  • Colours: White
  • Coverage: 30m2 out of 2.5l
  • Coat type: Two-coat paint
  • Drying time: Within 2 hours

This paint is more expensive than others on the list because of the advanced encapsulated biocide formula adopted to prevent rigid moulds from building up.

As a result, you can use the emulsion in high-condensation situations like kitchens or bathrooms. The manufacturer offers a six-year guarantee for Mould Protection.

Two to three coats are commonly used, and the paint goes on great coverage without being thick and dribbly.

Moreover, the paint is certified to be health safety in the regulatory data sheets included.

The thing that might prevent you from purchasing is its pricey side and limited colours.

  • Smooth silk finish in the end
  • Extra mould-protective performance
  • Quick-dry within two hours
  • Health-safe ingredients
  • Pricey paint
  • Limited choices of colours

How to Choose The Best Emulsion Paint?

As far as you can see from above, emulsion paints vary in their applications, and you might not fully understand what to choose – even after reading the reviews.

Take some more time for this buying guide, then.

Best Emulsion Paint

Get started by understanding your painting projects

If you plan to paint internal walls or ceilings, emulsion options will be ideal because they are water-based, easy-to-apply, quick-dry, and less odour. Those interior paints should resist staining and physical damage.

External emulsion paints, nevertheless, require an improved hard-wearing quality. They must be thicker to withstand weather and mildew. The resins are softer to survive changing temperatures and remain the colours for years.

The adhesion is also worth considering so that the paint will not flake or peel off under rains or strong winds.

Sometimes, emulsion paints are also used as a primer to seal unpainted wood, metal, or tiles. Those paints are easy to apply but not as hard-wearing as external emulsion paints. To make it up, they are much cheaper.

Secondly, pick up the types of emulsions

Next is to get to know some emulsion types and when to use them. A rule of thumb to take notes of is that the shiner finish ends up being more rigid.

  • Matt emulsions

The matt is supposed to diffuse light to hide imperfections on the wall and give off a deep colour. Unfortunately, this finish is not very durable. We would recommend the matt finish for non-busy areas like ceilings or living rooms.

  • Silk or satin emulsions

As the name suggests, silk and satin paints have mid-sheen finishes which expose a slightly polished effect. They are more durable, so you can apply those paints on areas that need being sponged or washed occasionally.

Silk is ideal for walls with little imperfections, whereas satin will look great on woodwork.

  • Eggshell emulsions

Eggshell paints are something between the matt and the silk/satin.

They are shiner and more delicate with oil-based formulas. For that reason, eggshell emulsions are hard-wearing but not eco-friendly.

  • Gloss emulsions

They are extremely shiny and easy to clean. Touch-ups, if any, will show in different sheens.

We will not use it for metal or wood but perfect on walls to add some pop decoration. Just remember to prepare the surfaces in advance well.

Best Emulsion Paint Reviews

Also, consider the prices and quality of ingredients

Emulsion paints might vary in prices, depending on the bucket’s capacity and the quality of finishes.

There is little variation in the chemical formulas of most common emulsions. Thus, you should carefully estimate the amount of paint needed to avoid any waste.


What is emulsion paint?

This type of paint features a water-based formula, the pigment, polymer binder, and additives dispersed in molecules.

Significantly, binder now has added acrylic or vinyl resins to be harder-wearing on any surfaces. Depending on the number of resins, emulsions range from matt finish to gloss – as we mentioned above.

Why should you use modern emulsion paints?

All in all, the paints are easy to apply on wet or porous areas and dry quickly. Emulsions are also non-inflammable and less odorous. Thus, they can be used for household tasks.

In specific:

  • Emulsions are washable with water. Interestingly enough, when the paints dry, water will completely evaporate, and the colours are not affected.
  • They are friendly to brushes, rollers, dips, or sprayers, etc.
  • Emulsions also stay resistant to humidity and even direct sunlight, meaning the paints can be used indoors and outdoors.
  • Those paints hold well to various surfaces and materials without the need for pre-treatment.

How about the disadvantages of emulsion paints?

On drawbacks, the paints are more elastic than the oil-based products. The colours are also not as glossy.

Not to mention, emulsions take quite a long time to dry completely in high-moisture situations.

Some models are not ready to paint, but you will have to add thinner solutions like water. Otherwise, you are at risk of defective finishes.

What are the applications of the best emulsion paint?

Different sheens and finishes make emulsions varied in their applications. They can apply to new or old plastered surfaces such as metal, woodwork, glass, or concrete.

However, considering their high moisture-resistance, we usually use these paints for kitchens or bathrooms. Wall and ceilings are also typical applications.

What is the best way to paint with emulsions?

Most DIYers will use rollers and brushes to paint the emulsions.

However, when you need to reach places like high walls or ceilings, you can also use the paint sprayers – as long as you thin down the paints in advance.

Do you have to prepare in advance to use emulsion paints?


Cleaning the areas is a good idea to remove dirt or cobwebs that might damage the final finish. Mostly if you use the soft-sheen emulsions, they can reveal ugly bumps or plasterworks. Sometimes, you also need to sand down or apply a mist priming coat in advance.

You need also remember to thin down the paint – providing that the manufacturers recommend it.

How to clean emulsion paints?

Once dried, emulsions will stay on the surfaces and excellently remain their original colours.

However, they are also washable in the middle of the painting work.

Instant drips of emulsion paints can be removed with cold water or a clean cloth. If they are just dried, you can use the mix of mild detergent and warm water.

Stains or film take more effort to clean. Thankfully, you can use a scraper  – yet careful not to make scratches.

Last Verdict

In general, we already narrowed all the best emulsion paint products with detailed reviews and buying guide for your reference. We hope that you can make a choice and have a successful painting work. And of all the emulsions recommended, we give a preference for The One Paint – Satin Finish. The coverage is smooth, and the available colours are lovely.

Leave a Comment