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Emulsion Paint

Emulsion paint is a type of water-based paint that is generally used on interior walls & ceilings.

Here at Painters World we stock a wide range of emulsion paint from leading manufacturers like Armstead, Rust-Oleum & Dulux Trade. We only stock trade paint and a select number of retail paints as trade emulsion paints as we only want to offer the best possible to our customers. Trade paint is higher-quality, has been coverage and leaves a much nicer finish than retail paint, which is why it offers much better value for money than the cheap paints you can readily buy from large DIY stores across the UK. If you are looking for a white emulsion paint but are stuck on which to go for, why not read our full guide to the best white emulsion paints?

If you require any help deciding exactly what product is best for you, get in touch with our team of experts who are on hand to assist you. Send an email to or send us a message on social media!

Shop our full emulsion paint range today & get FREE next working day delivery on all orders over £50.

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What Is Emulsion Paint?

So, what is emulsion paint? It is a term that gets thrown around a lot when dealing with paint, but many do not know what it means. Well, emulsion paint is a type of paint that is usually designed for interior walls & ceilings that come in a range of finishes, including matt, eggshell & silk. Emulsion paint is more often than not a water-based and contains resins such as acrylic or vinyl to make it more durable easy to apply to walls and ceilings.

Emulsion Paint Finishes

Paint comes in a range of finishes, that includes matt, eggshell, satin, silk & gloss, which all vary in their level of sheen. The higher the sheen, the more reflective a paint finish is and the more durable it is.

  • Matt - the 'flattest' finish of emulsion paint, making it the most modern and popular finish. It is perfect for covering imperfections on walls but is the least durable, which is why specialist durable matt finishes have been developed
  • Eggshell - with the same sheen as an eggshell, eggshell emulsion paint is perfect for a slightly higher sheen than matt, but less than silk or satin. It is ideal for bedrooms, living rooms and offers more durability than a standard vinyl matt
  • Satin - a mid-sheen finish that is usually reserved for woodwork such as skirting boards & doors, although you can use a water-based satin on walls & ceilings if you desired
  • Soft Sheen - with a similar mid-sheen finish to satin or silk with a slightly more subtle finish ideal for interior walls
  • Silk - a mid-sheen finish that is traditionally used on interior walls & ceilings
  • Gloss - the highest sheen of paint, most commonly used on woodwork, although water-based gloss has been used on walls to create a highly reflective finish

Traditionally it is a choice between matt, eggshell & silk when it comes to interior & ceilings, although you can use any water-based paint as emulsion.

Which Paint Brands Offer Emulsion Paint?

There are a wide range of trade brands that offer excellent ranges of emulsion paint, that include:

Here at Painters World we only stock trade paints. This is due to the fact that trade paint is much higher quality and offers better value for money when compared to retail paint. You may be asking what is trade paint? Trade paint has been designed for professional decorators who require a higher quality paint that is durable, covers in as little coats as possible and leaves a consistently professional finish. Retail paint on the other hand has been marketed at the average homeowner who is more price conscious than a professional, which is why retail paints have been made to be as cost effective as possible. Ultimately, for a small increase in price you can get a paint that will save you time, will leave a better finish and could actually save you money long-term thanks to its durability. You may be wondering whether you have to be a professional decorator to use trade emulsion paint, to which the answer is no. Anyone can buy and use trade paint, just as easily as retail paint.

Is Emulsion Paint Acrylic?

Emulsion paint is water-based with resins included such as vinyl or acrylic. These provide the emulsion with added durability. An acrylic paint is more durable than a vinyl paint, making them ideal for kitchens & bathrooms that have a high moisture atmosphere. Vinyl matt paint on the other hand is not suitable for these higher condensation rooms. Examples of acrylic paints are durable matt emulsions such as Crown Trade Clean Extreme Scrubbable Matt or durable eggshell emulsions such as Dulux Trade Diamond Eggshell.

How Much Emulsion Paint Do I Need?

One of the most difficult parts of any decorating project is figuring out exactly how much paint you will need. To calculate this, first start by measuring the length of all the walls of the room in metres and add your totals together. Do not include your ceiling if you are painting that too, as you may be using a different colour, in which case this needs to be calculated this separately.

Once you have done this, measure the height of the room. The final step is to multiply the two together! With a room with two 3 metre wide walls and two 4 metres walls, this will total 14 metres in length. Once multiplied by the height of the room which may be 3 metres, this will give you a total square metres for the walls of 42 square metres.

Now you have the square metres of your walls, you simply have to find out the coverage of the paint you are using. For example if it is 10 square metres per litre, which is conservative for an emulsion paint, this will mean you can cover the room in 4.2L. Most trade emulsion paints are two coat systems, meaning two cover the walls twice will require 8.4L.

It is always recommended to get slightly more paint than you need in order to ensure you have enough paint not only to complete the project at the same time and to have some spare for spot repairs.

Can Emulsion Paint Be Used On Wood?

Emulsion paint can be applied to wood just like interior walls & ceilings. While it is not the best paint to use on woodwork such as doors & skirting boards, it will adhere if it has been previously painted or primed. You can also use emulsion paint as an undercoat on wooden surfaces. Having said this, emulsion is not the best paint for wood and it is recommended that you opt for a specially designed paint for interior wood instead. These are available in a range of finishes and will provide you with the best possible finish and longevity on your woodwork.

Emulsion Paint Colours

A question we get asked a lot here at Painters World is what concrete paint colours do we offer? Well, the majority of our emulsion paints are available in 'tinted colours', which means they can be mixed in almost any colour thanks to our paint mixing service. To get an emulsion paint in a colour of you choice, simply find an emulsion paint labelled 'tinted colours' and then type in the name of the shade you would like. Alternatively, we have a range of colour palettes such as RAL, British Standard & NCS colours for you to browse through.

Where To Buy Emulsion Paint

Here at Painters World, we offer a huge range of trade emulsion paints at the most competitive online prices. Not only that, but we offer free next working day delivery on all orders over £50, so you can get the trade emulsion paint you need, when you need it. We also stock a huge range of decorating supplies, including brushes, rollers & fillers, so you can stock up on everything you need all in one place. Not sure which emulsion paint to opt for? Why not read our full guide to the best emulsion paint?

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