Best Contract Matt Emulsion on the Market

The best contract matte emulsion on the market

Mike Gregory

The commercial grade matte emulsion is regularly posted on Decorators Forum UK and everyone seems interested in finding out which is the best on the market. I am sorry to say that there are many that I have yet to use, but I can walk you through the ones I have.

Contract mat is usually used to prime bare plaster because it contains little polymer binder and allows the plaster to breathe. It’s also the perfect primer for other emulsion-type products. You can use it as a top coat for ceilings. This is the big test because many emulsions show defects when used on light-critical ceilings.

Application mat is often used as a topcoat for new buildings for several reasons. The first is that it’s cheap, but it tends to have better coverage than matte vinyl, which means fewer layers. Some brands are good at touch-up which is great for getting stuck, and homeowners tend to paint over a “builder finish” anyway.

The massive downside to Contract Matt is that it’s not very durable. Durability is not an issue with most ceilings, but you may want to consider a larger product as a topcoat for your walls.

Macpherson Eclipse Contract Matt

Eclipse is probably the cheapest contract mat out there in my opinion. The coverage of this material is fantastic. You can easily cover bare plaster in two layers. It’s boring too, which means you won’t have any problems with flashing and rolling. Macpherson repairs pretty well, which means you can grab a room after other trades slaughter your work. Eclipse is available from the Crown Decorating Centers.

9/10 for me! My favorite brand for contract mats by far, matt

Armstead Treaty Matt

Armstead is the cheapest on this list and a little more durable than the others. Unfortunately, gloss level is an issue and it doesn’t sit very well against itself. In fact, you can have big problems when it comes to flashing and picture frames. Don’t try to fix this stuff !! For some reason a lot of painters still use this on large new build complexes and I don’t understand why because it looks terrible. It sprays very well and makes the perfect mist coat, but that’s about it. Armstead is available from the Dulux Decorating Centers.

4/10 for me. It would be lower but the price reflects the quality as it should be. There’s a place in the market for Armstead Contract Matt.

Johnstones Jonmat – Premium Contract Matt

Jonmat is a little strange! The coverage is absolutely great! It’s also easy to apply and dries flat. The problem you have with this is the drying time, and no, it doesn’t take too long. In fact, it dries when it leaves the brush. Ideal for spraying, but a bit painful with a brush and roller. You can’t touch it up at all. Jonmat is also quite expensive. You can purchase this product from Johnstone’s Decorating Center


Leyland Leytex

Leytex is very cheap, powdery and heavy. So much so that you get a lot of heavy sediment at the bottom of your bucket. Terrible to apply with a brush and roller, flashes like crazy. It’s also not very good as a mist coating as it doesn’t seem to adhere very well, neither do other products when applied over Leytex. Surprisingly, it looks great when sprayed. Not the best contract mat emulsion on the market, but you get what you pay for and I think Leyland Leytex is specially designed for spray painters. For them this is gold. This is also available from Johnstone’s Decorating Center.


Leyland Contract Matt

The Leyland contract mat, which is also available in Johnstone’s decoration centers, is located between Leyland Leytex and Jonmatt and is more of a “standard contract mat”. It does everything you need to do it !! The opacity is good, it primes bare plaster and it doesn’t flash too much. The other benefit is another cheap product. If you are shopping at Johnstone this is the one I would go for.


Tikkurila anti-reflex

Now, with the Anti-Reflex, I didn’t know whether to include this or not as it is a permanent mat advertised as a contract mat. It has a soft, luxurious, deep finish that is second to none. The opacity is poor and you can only use it on bare plaster if you apply anti-reflective as a top coat. Tikkurila Anti-Reflex is probably the best light-sensitive ceiling finish you can get. It’s just beautiful! I’m still not sure if it’s a contract mate !!


Dulux super matt

This is by far the best contract quality on this list. The opacity is great, it dies nice and flat, you can have it tinted any color, and it looks beautiful in white. With quality comes a higher price tag, and Supermatt is also the most expensive contract mat on this list. You can buy Supermatt online at Paintshed by clicking here.


Retail deal Matt

Don’t even look at these !! Retail paints such as those seen in hardware stores are made on a very low budget and contain low quality materials. It is sold to do-it-yourselfers who do not know the difference and are often referred to only as “matt”. Using this paint can damage the bond between your plaster and future paintwork. Contract mat is not expensive so just go to the trade and be sure.

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