Johnstone’s Covaplus Vinyl Matt Review

As someone who has been in the decorating industry for years, I’ve had the opportunity to work with a variety of paints. Johnstone’s Covaplus Vinyl Matt is a paint I’ve used on a number of occasions and have been impressed recently with its new formulation.

Covaplus has definitely received some stick from decorators in the past few year but since the formula change, I’ve found it to be performing much better. For that reason, I’ve decided to write a Johnstone’s Covaplus Vinyl Matt review outlining the areas where the paint performs well and offering some considerations where an alternate paint might be a better option for you.

Quick look summary of performance:

CategoryStar Rating
Ease of Application⭐⭐⭐⭐
Consistency and Opacity⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Flashing in Critical Light⭐⭐⭐


Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Comparing Covaplus to Dulux Diamond Matt, both are excellent but Covaplus always ends up being cheaper. If you’re in this business, it’s always about striking a balance between quality and profitability. With Covaplus, you get the best of both worlds.

Ease of Application

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

When I first started using Covaplus again about a year ago after a break, I was genuinely impressed. It covers just as well as Johnstone’s Durable Matt in my opinion.

On my end, it’s usually a two-coat job, no matter what the shade. If it’s a darker hue, I find cutting in three times and rolling twice gives me the best results which is why I’m not giving it 5 stars in this section.

You can even juice it down for your mist coat on new plaster and go full strength for your final coat.

I like to keep lots of Covaplus Vinyl Matt stocked in my store room.

Flow and Opacity

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I had a phase of receiving some bad batches in the past, but I’m delighted to say this seems to have been resolved. The new formulation has an excellent consistency.

Some colours MIGHT take up to four coats, but generally, the second coat covers brilliantly.

On one occasion, Covaplus almost covered a disgustingly deep terracotta in one coat and the second flew on, using less than a gallon of paint in total. Unreal value.

A little trick I use is adding a drop of water for the first coat; it improves the flow and lays down a good base for your finishing coat.

Here’s what Covaplus looks like after just one coat. The opacity is spot on.


Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Durability is one area where Johnstone’s has always shone, especially with their acrylic durable matt. But don’t write off the Covaplus. It’s a very solid performer when it comes to durability. I’ve used it for ceilings in darker shades and the result has been nothing short of impressive. If you want cleanable walls, this is a pretty good option.

Of course, Johnstone’s Durable Matt is a better option if durability is your main concern.


Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

The versatility of Covaplus is fantastic. Whether it’s for mist coating new plaster, painting walls or ceilings or going over existing colours to offer a solid base for an eggshell finish, it does the job.

When it comes to mist-coating, the only time I opt for contract matt instead of Covaplus is when I know there’s going to be loads of prep work involved and don’t want to fork out too much on expensive paint.

Flashing in Critical Light

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

The old formulation had its issues, especially with flashing in critical light conditions. The new formula is slightly better but if you’re working in an area with various light angles hitting the ceiling, you might be better off using either MacPherson Eclipse or Tikkurila Anti-Reflex 2.

Final Thoughts

The new formulation of Johnstone’s Covaplus Vinyl Matt is almost like a rebirth of this product. It’s like they took all the minor issues and systematically eradicated them one by one.

Of course, no paint is perfect. The old Covaplus had its flaws, but the new formulation has corrected most of those. For what it’s worth, it’s a reliable paint that offers really great value. It’s versatile, dependable, and cost-effective. I would absolutely recommend Johnstone’s Covaplus Vinyl Matt.