If you’re looking for the best eggshell paint that will leave your woodwork or walls looking fantastic and protected for years, you’ve come to the right place.
Through years of testing, I’ve been lucky enough to use some fantastic eggshell products, both water-based and oil-based, that have great opacity, fantastic coverage and is easy to apply.
Despite many professional decorators bemoaning the quality drop for some paints over the past few years, I’m of the opinion that we have never more spoiled for choice with so many brands to choose from compared to when some of us first started decorating.
And one thing I’ve learned is that we all have our favourite go-to paints. What one decorator loves, another hates. With that in mind, I’m going to recommend 5 of the best eggshell paints I’ve used and would encourage you to try a few out to see what works for you.
If you’re a DIYer, you’ll find that this list only contains trade paints but don’t let that scare you. Trade paints are so much better than retail paints and you’ll be thankful that you chose trade!
- Johnstone’s Acrylic Durable Eggshell
- Benjamin Moore Scuff-X
- Valspar Trade Eggshell
- Farrow and Ball Modern Eggshell
- Armstead Trade Durable Acrylic Eggshell
Summary Table for Quick Comparison
|Metric||Johnstone’s||Scuff-X||Farrow & Ball||Armstead||Valspar|
|Ease of Application||★★★★☆||★★★★★||★★★☆☆||★★★★★||★★★★★|
|Opacity & Coverage||★★★☆☆||★★★★☆||★★★★☆||★★★★☆||★★★★★|
Best Eggshell Paints
1. Johnstone’s Acrylic Durable Eggshell Paint
Johnstone’s Durable Acrylic Eggshell is one of my go-to eggshell paints and many of my fellow professional decorators would say the same thing. From walls and ceilings to kitchen cabinets, this paint has largely met my expectations, especially for specific applications.
Ease of Application: Johnstone’s Durable Acrylic Eggshell is incredibly easy to apply and with that, achieve a beautifully level finish.
When using a roller, I’d personally recommend the fine pile mini roller sleeves from Johnstone’s. They’ve never let me down.
I’d also recommend using the Fussy Bloke’s roller too, but Johnstone’s tends to be more convenient for purchasing all I need in one place.
For those of you looking into spraying it, keep the pressure low, thin the paint by 10-15%, and maintain a wet edge. Be swift with your strokes, and you’ll avoid those dreaded tramlines.
Opacity & Coverage: The acrylic eggshell is admittedly on the thinner side. Because of this, it often requires multiple coats for the best finish.
When it comes to colours, the paints are vibrant and rich. However, when working with white, it may require a bit more effort for full coverage. A useful tip: tint the white – you’ll find it covers much more efficiently.
Cost: This eggshell paint is really good value in my opinion, especially considering its durability and finish. It’s been three years since I did my kitchen cabinets using it, and while they might need a slight refresh, the paint has held up remarkably well.
- Long-lasting finish.
- Excellent for kitchens & bathrooms.
- Easy application with roller or spray.
- Vibrant colour options available and can be tinted to Farrow and Ball colours.
- Slightly thin, often requiring multiple coats.
- Not the most pleasant smell.
- Quick drying time in the tray can be challenging for some.
Paint specs: coverage: 16m2/litre, touch dry: 2 hours, re-coatable: 3-4 hours, application: roller, brush or spray
In my two-decade-long painting journey, I’ve come across numerous paints, but few have been as outstanding as Benjamin Moore’s Scuff-X. When I first learned of it at a P&D show a few years ago, it’s been a real game-changer for me when working on high-end jobs.
Ease of Application: Application-wise, Scuff-X is a dream. For the best results, I recommend the Arroworthy classic brush and the Arroworthy microfibre mini roller. They’ll ensure that the paint glides smoothly onto the surface.
If you’re wondering about primers – while Benjamin Moore recommends using one, especially their Stix primer, I’ve found Scuff-X to cover effectively in two coats without priming.
Keep in mind, however, that if you’re aiming for an oil eggshell finish, it would be worth opting for the Satin version of Scuff-X.
Opacity & Coverage: Coverage is where Scuff-X truly excels. When used on white walls, I noticed it covered beautifully in just two coats. The Scuff-X super white has a slight grey hue, while the Scuff-X Chantilly Lace is the whitest eggshell, albeit with a faint beige hint.
This paint gives a finish reminiscent of oil-based paints, and its flow and finish are unparalleled. It’s been four years since I first used Scuff-X eggshell on a kitchen job, and I can proudly say it’s still in pristine condition.
Cost: Considering its performance and durability, every penny spent on Scuff-X is absolutely worth it. It’s undoubtedly one of the best investments for woodwork I’ve made in my 21-year career although it is incredibly pricey and probably isn’t worth buying if you’re only looking for an eggshell that will ‘do the job’.
- Stunning, long-lasting finish.
- Excellent coverage in just two coats.
- Effortless application with or without priming.
- Delivers an oil-based paint-like finish.
- Available in multiple hues and finishes.
- Takes two weeks to fully cure and is somewhat easy to scratch during this period.
- Spraying requires some extra steps and caution, including priming and warming the paint.
Paint specs: coverage: 15m2/litre, touch dry: 2 hours, re-coatable: 2-4 hours, application: roller, brush or spray
3. Valspar Trade Eggshell
Valspar recently changed the formula of their eggshell paint and I’m a convert. Their previous eggshell took a few coats to cover and flashed when touching up. The new formulation has no such issues and I can say quite confidently that it’s one of the best on the market at the moment.
Ease of Application: Valspar’s newer formula makes application a breeze. It flows easily and provides a smooth finish.
Opacity & Coverage: Nearly perfect in one coat; a second coat is usually just to catch any small misses.
Durability: Dries to a hard, durable finish that stands up well over time, particularly since its reformulation.
Cost: Moderately priced for the level of quality it offers, making it a great value option.
Note: There seems to be some confusion in their sheen levels, with the satin appearing more matt than the eggshell.
- Excellent first-coat coverage
- Durable finish
- Improved formula performs well on various surfaces
- Sheen levels may be inconsistent (satin is more matt than eggshell)
- Colours perform differently (better in dark than in whites)
Paint specs: coverage: 15m2/litre, touch dry: 2 – 4 hours, re-coatable: 2-4 hours, application: roller, brush or spray
4. Farrow and Ball Modern Eggshell
Ok, I mentioned above that I would only be recommending trade products but I would actually consider Farrow and Ball’s Modern Eggshell to be trade standard.
Ease of Application: It’s not as easy to apply compared to the others (unless you’re using a sprayer, in which case it sprays lovely). It requires the use of its own specific primer for best results, and you should be prepared for a longer curing time.
Opacity & Coverage: Good coverage but may require an extra coat compared to Scuff-X. It’s essential to use the Farrow & Ball specific primer to achieve the desired opacity and ease of application.
Durability: Exceptional, especially if you’re considering it for high-traffic areas like kitchen cupboards.
Cost: It’s on the expensive side but can be worth it if you’re after a very specific, durable finish. That’s of course not mentioning that famous Farrow and Ball colours you get to choose from.
Special Features: Takes considerably longer to cure compared to others like Scuff-X and Johnstone’s. It’s more specialised, often requiring the use of specific Farrow & Ball primers.
- Luxurious finish
- Highly durable once fully cured
- Great for heavy-duty use like kitchen units
- Requires specific Farrow & Ball primer
- Takes longer to cure
- Higher cost and less user-friendly
Paint specs: coverage: 15m2/litre, touch dry: 2 hours, re-coatable: 4 hours, application: roller, brush or spray
5. Armstead Trade Durable Acrylic Eggshell
Armstead’s durable eggshell is one of my favourites to use when bashing out commercial areas due to its low cost but high durability. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend using this on home interior walls simply because you’d have to apply a vinyl matt first which kind of defeats the point as you may as well just slap another coat of vinyl matt on.
However, for commercial applications where stellar opacity isn’t high on the list of paint properties, it’s well worth a go.
Ease of Application: Armstead is straightforward to apply and levels out well without picture framing, particularly around cut-ins which will give decorators peace of mind.
Opacity & Coverage: Offers good coverage and opacity, although for walls, you may need a coat of vinyl matt applied first for the best results.
Durability: Quite durable and particularly suitable for commercial areas like hospitals.
Cost: It offers an excellent balance of cost-effectiveness and performance, particularly for commercial applications.
Special Features: Armstead’s sheen level is notably shinier than some may expect from an eggshell finish, and you’ll need to account for this in your planning.
- Excellent value for money
- Great coverage
- Levels out well
- Nice sheen level
- May require a primer for wall painting
- Sheen level may be too high for some preferences
Paint specs: coverage: 15m2/litre, touch dry: 3-4 hours, re-coatable: 4-6 hours, application: roller, brush or spray