emulsion paint colour maps in many colours

Emulsion paint for any wall in your home

An emulsion refers to a fine dispersion of minute droplets of one liquid in another in which it is not soluble or miscible. Emulsion paint, for its part, is a type of decorative coating used for walls, and it consists of pigment bound in a synthetic resin which forms an emulsion with water. Modern emulsions are waterborne, with vinyl or acrylic resins. These resins make them more hard-wearing than traditional emulsions.

This results in varying degrees of sheen in the finish; as the shine increases, the paint tends to be more hard wearing. The ranges usually offer matt, eggshell, silk, satin and full gloss.


  • Odorless and waterborne (makes it ideal for baby room and other bedroom decoration)
  • Environmentally friendly solution
  • Suitable for many interior wall and ceilings, also in kitchens and bathrooms

Emulsion paint can be applied on wood as well

Usually, emulsion paints are interior wall and ceiling coatings. However, there are water based types of emulsion paint on wood. These are easy to apply but they do not give the same hard-wearing qualities as oil-based paints.

Emulsion paint offers thus an easy solution for coating wood but does not necessarily lead to the best result.

Emulsion paint available colours

There are no separately specified emulsion paint colours due to the fact that the it can be tinted to a wide range of colours. Tinting emulsion paint happens through the same process as tinting other paints. A wide range of colour pigments is available.

emulsion paint colours

emulsion paint is available in a wide range of colours

Emulsion paints for interior walls and ceilings

The most popular paint for walls and ceilings in the UK is emulsion paint, due to the fact that it is waterborne and has less smell, dries comparatively quickly and is easy to apply.

There are three main types of emulsion used for walls and ceilings, each giving a different finish:

  • Vinyl matt emulsion gives a matt, non-shiny finish that is good for not showing small imperfections on the wall or ceiling. (The shinier finishes reflect back more light and highlight any imperfections). Generally speaking, however, it does not wear as well as the glossier emulsions.
  • Vinyl satin emulsion gives a subtle soft-sheen finish and is a more durable surface than vinyl matt. It is suitable for areas that might need occasional light washing or sponging.
  • Vinyl silk emulsion gives a high sheen finish and is the most durable of all the emulsion paints. It is good for rooms that are subject to a lot of moisture i.e. condensation. Some manufactures make specific Kitchen & Bathroom paint which is ideal for areas of high humidity.

Where to buy emulsion paint in the UK

Emulsion paint is the most popular interior paint in the UK. Therefore, many hardware shops and department stores (e.g. Tesco) offer it. It is additionally widely available online on Screwfix and Homebase for instance. The price of emulsion paint is dependent on the brand, quality and quantity. Usually bigger quantities have lower litre price.

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