What came first, the emulsion or the eggshell? That was good, right? Anyone?
Dreadful jokes aside, it’s technically emulsion that came first, because eggshell is a type of finish. It’s becoming ever-more popular because of how it captures an understated look with the slightest of shines because of its resemblance to (you guessed it) eggshells. On the spectrum of finishes, it sits somewhere between a flat, matt finish and a mid-sheen satin.
The reason for its growing popularity is that the finish is one very much in line with a lot of contemporary style in modern homes. Also frequently labelled under semi-matt finishes, it offers a clean and modern look without leaning too heavily toward matt or gloss.
There is a fairly large amount of eggshell paint available to choose from, so it can definitely be a slightly tricky thing to start researching. Which brand is the best? What colours can you get, or even want? Which paint is the easiest to work with? In order to make your thought processes just a little bit easier, we’ve broken down what’s out there to buy into our top picks for eggshell paint. Read on for our summary.
|Dulux Quick Dry Eggshell Paint||16 m2 /l||6 hours||££|
|Leyland Trade Hardwearing Acrylic Eggshell||12 m2 /l||2 hours||£|
|Dulux Trade Diamond Eggshell||16 m2 /l||6 hours||££|
|Johnstone’s Trade Acrylic Eggshell||16 m2 /l||4 hours||£|
|Crown Eggshell Paint||11 m2 /l||4 hours||££|
Dulux’s Quick Dry range of paints is fairly expansive and covers the majority of different paint types. It’s no surprise, then, that they’ve sought to capitalise on the burgeoning popularity of the eggshell low sheen finish with this paint. They mainly offer it in the Pure Brilliant White shade but other colours are available to be mixed.
Suitable for wood and metal in interior applications, this is a tremendously easy to use paint. It’s touch dry in just one hour, and needs around 6 hours between coats (Dulux recommend that two coats should be enough). On top of that, it’s low odour, has lasting protection and a non drip formula for straightforward application. As with many of the other eggshell paints in this guide the coverage is also great at 16 m2/l saving you money.
- Nice finish
- Dries quickly
- Long-lasting protection
- Limited colour options
This eggshell acrylic paint from Leyland Trade first of all offers excellent value for money with a trade-sized container of, well, trade standard paint. It’s a versatile paint, suitable for use in most areas of the home including walls, ceilings and interior woodwork in just about any room in the house, although it’s not recommended for use outdoors.
The superior durability this paint offers is supplemented by the hard wearing finish, which is resistant to several common household problems including damp and mould. By extension, it’s also possible to wipe clean for easy maintenance. The Brilliant White shade promises to stay white for a very long time, minimising the number of re-applications this needs over time. All in all, a quality paint paired with the value that usually comes from trade-sized quantities makes this an attractive package.
- Bulk value
- Cleans easily
- Good protection
- High initial investment
Dulux’s range doesn’t stop at just household paints, as they’re a prominent supplier of the painting and decorating industry. While these might not necessarily available in as many varied hues as the consumer options, it is fair to say that the quality is as good if not occasionally better. Such is the case with this particular low sheen eggshell paint from their trade range. Coming in the Pure Brilliant White shade, the ‘diamond’ name comes from two particular facets of the paint.
Firstly, it’s down to the sheen. Diamonds are naturally held for their lustre, which carries across to this paint. It also attests to the durability of the paint, given the diamond’s reputation as one of the hardest physical substances. Diamond technology is also another piece of Dulux technology that makes it 10x more stain resistant than standard water-based eggshell paints. While it’s quite a pricey initial investment, the relative value of the Dulux Trade relative to other paints available is unbeatable.
- Highly durable
- Good relative value
- Supremely durable
- Limited colour
- Initial investment
When formulating their paint for trade-based applications, Johnstone’s have paid special attention to the ecological and environmental impact of their products. Although this is a solvent-based paint, the company are keen to point out the green credentials of this eggshell paint, with Ecolabel approval and freely available technical specifications.
On a functional level, this is simply a high quality and hard-wearing eggshell paint. To the consumer it’s available in just white, but can be tinted and coloured very easily. The base white is nonetheless highly resistant to yellowing. The paint formula is durable and quick drying, and is especially moisture resistant and could be used in areas with high levels of condensation such as kitchens and bathrooms. And, as is often the case with trade sized quantities its relative value for money is hard to beat.
- Durable finish
- Bold colour
- Eco credentials
- Good relative value
- A little thin
This low sheen eggshell paint from reliable household brand Crown is a great choice for at-home DIY projects. A versatile choice, this solvent-based white paint can be used to paint over interior wood and metal surfaces. It will need a layer of primer to get the absolute best results. However, provided it’s applied properly, it will achieve a tremendous finish with bold colour and a surface that can easily be wiped clean.
It’s also a highly tough and durable paint, promising long-lasting protection that maintains its quality finish for years to come. Drying is achieved in 4-6 hours, and for two coats 16 hours should be left between them for optimal results. Finally, while in terms of relative it’s not quite on a par with trade paints that can be bulk bought, it ultimately represents a fairly small investment.
- Good finish
- Easy to clean
- Needs proprietary brush cleaner
- Only white available
Which Eggshell Paint To Go For?
Eggshell paint is often a great choice to inject a splash of smart modernity into your home decorating. With a finish halfway between matt and satin, it captures the essence of both without leaning too heavily into either. While the wide selection of this increasingly popular paint can be a little confusing at first, we’ve taken our top picks and highlighted the best overall eggshell paint, as well as the best value eggshell paint, to help better inform your buying choices.
Best Eggshell Paint – For use in the home, Dulux Quick Dry Eggshell Paint is the best pick out of all the products we’ve listed. It stands out because it’s notably low odour, versatile in its applications and ultimately leaves a great quality finish.
Best Value – Leyland Trade Hardwearing Acrylic Eggshell represents the best value for money overall. In terms of how much use you’ll get out of a single container of paint versus how much it costs, this is very hard to beat, especially considering its quality. If you’d prefer a smaller investment however, look to the Crown Eggshell Paint.
Eggshell Paint FAQ
What is eggshell paint?
Eggshell paint is a type of finish for paint. It’s an increasingly popular finish that is a semi-matt effect with the subtle sheen most likened to that of an eggshell.
What is eggshell paint used for?
Eggshell paint is most commonly used on interior decorating projects like walls and ceilings. The slightly shiny finish helps encourage light into rooms, and can be wiped clean so represents a good choice for higher traffic areas.
How to apply eggshell paint to woodwork
Bare wood will usually need to be carefully prepared before painting with eggshell. Make sure the surface is clean and sanded, as well as primed if necessary (depending on the paint you have). Owing to the nature of the finish, eggshell paint usually requires painting relatively thickly, but not so much that it drips or sags on the surface. A couple of coats are usually required too.
How long does eggshell paint take to dry?
This can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, but the rule of thumb is to allow 4-6 hours for it to be touch dry, and 16-24 hours for a second coat.
How to clean eggshell paint off brushes
Initially, the first thing to aim for is not to let the paint dry. Pour a small amount of solvent-based cleaner into a container and work the brush against the sides to fully saturate the bristles with the cleaning liquid. Soak it for a couple of hours, dry with a clean cloth and store in a dry place for future use.
How to remove eggshell paint from clothes
As with many paint types, try to remove paint from clothes before it dries. It it does dry, scrape at it gently with a small scraper or something similar. If it’s still wet, you can forego this step and simply dab at it with warm, soapy water. It might be worth putting it through the laundry with a stain remover for good measure.