I’m going to review a variety of Valspar paints including their tough matt, eggshell, satinwood and gloss ranges so if you’ve just discovered Valspar and are curious what to expect should you buy their paint, this is the guide for you!
So why am I reviewing Valspar in particular? Well, as one of the relatively unknown brands of paint, professional decorators and DIYers alike never really know what they’re going to get if they try Valspar.
Fortunately, I have used a variety of Valspar paint in the last few years and thought it made sense to give my honest opinion on them.
With that being said, here are a few Valspar paint reviews.
Valspar Tough Matt Review
Having this blog, I always like to try any new paints that hit the market – good or bad. It helps me keep up to date with new paint technology and the like. When I saw Valspar had released a ‘tough matt’ paint, I was eager to review it, especially as my usual go-to for durable matt paint (Johnstone’s Trade) has recently gone up in price.
With the paint ready to go, I decided to try it on a small HSL (hall, stairs and landing) job that was rougher than me after a heavy Saturday night. The walls needed a ridiculous amount of prep so it made sense to use a durable matt as the walls clearly take a good bashing!
Because the final colour was white, I based out the walls with the paint I used on the ceiling (Good Home Ultra Cover – which is very good by the way), before applying another two coats of the Tough Matt (in brilliant white).
I will be trying the Tough Matt in a colour at some point but deep colours require a primer due to the pigment in these paints being very eco-friendly and not having as good opacity as the older generation paints (similar to Farrow & Ball for example). So in this review, I just want to give my first impressions of the white.
Firstly, the paint is a bright white and it has a consistency in the tub that is ready to apply without thinning (and this includes if you intend on applying it with a paint sprayer) so this is great to save time, but on the switch side, the coverage takes a little hit (maximum 12m2) because you can’t really thin it.
Now what I love about this paint is how flat it is, and I’ve been told that it doesn’t affect the durability but I guess time will tell.
In terms of how you can use it, you could easily apply this to a ceiling and walls when doing the full lot or if you are papering the walls afterwards. Although I would say that the Good Home Ultra Cover paint seems a bit flatter which makes it better for the ceilings.
It does go tacky really quickly so I didn’t have as much open time as my usual Johnstone’s Trade Durable Matt so I soon learnt to cut in small areas at a time. I think if you work in larger areas there’s the potential for some framing effects so cutting in smaller areas is the way to go.
Whilst I wouldn’t thin this gear with water, I’m wondering if Floetrol might be handy to try.
I used a Hamilton Perfection roller sleeve to apply it but you can’t over-roll it. If you don’t over-roll it, it leaves a great finish.
All in all, this paint is user-friendly as in you can go straight from the tub (and it’s clean), has a very flat finish and looks great for a durable matt.
The opacity of the white is fairly comparable to other brands, but remember that the coverage is slightly less.
For the price point, I will definitely be using this again as it gives good value for money.
Valspar Acrylic Eggshell Review
I’ve used Valspar Acrylic Eggshell on a couple of occasions and the second occasion will probably be the last!
When initially testing Valspar Acrylic Eggshell, I applied it to some built-in wardrobes. The customer wanted the colour to be matched to Farrow and Ball’s Shadow White. Fortunately, this paint is easily colour-matched so there were no problems there.
In fact, Valspar paints are usually the go-to for most decorators if a customer has requested the paint to be colour-matched to Farrow and Ball as it’s typically super compatible.
The coverage was spot-on and looked fantastic after just 2 coats. I used a 4″ Ice Fusion roller to apply it which worked a treat.
It dries fairly quickly and cures in a short amount of time meaning it dried to a rock-hard, durable finish in just a couple of days – ideal for the customer.
The first time I used this paint, I was incredibly impressed. Then came the second time…
Being optimistic after my first experience with this paint, I used it on a family friend’s kitchen cupboards and boy was that a mistake. With kids in the house, they needed something durable but the acrylic eggshell just didn’t deliver.
Whilst it looked fantastic initially, within a year it started to become really affected by anything that came into contact with it. Cleaning products caused disruption (hardly ideal in a kitchen environment) and even water contact resulted in the paint being pulled from the surface.
I know from people who use Valspar regularly that the products can be a little bit inconsistent and this was the case on this occasion. Being a professional decorator, I simply can’t take the chance that the product I use is going to fail and thus wouldn’t recommend the Acrylic Eggshell.
Valspar Satinwood Paint Review
The Valspar Trade Satinwood paint is an interesting one.
It’s troublesome to apply but if you persevere you can get a really good-looking finish. Is that worth it for a professional? I would say not. However, if you’re not against the clock and have time to really let the coats dry, you could be on to a winner.
Weirdly, the satinwood doesn’t have too much of a sheen to it – I would even say it’s closer to a matt finish than their acrylic eggshell is. It almost seems like they’ve mixed up the sheen levels. I assume this is what makes it better looking than most of the other satinwoods on the market.
In terms of application, it is very watery and has pretty terrible coverage. When I used it, I needed 4 coats which was a bit of a pain. You also need to be aware of runs because it runs like Usain Bolt. Runs aren’t necessarily a deal-breaker but it is something you should be aware of because if you miss a run it’s going to affect the finish.
Overall, I would say it has a great finish but terrible opacity. If you’re in the mood for whacking 4 coats on, it will look really good. If you don’t have the patience to deal with that then I’d suggest you avoid it.
Valspar Trade Gloss Metal and Wood Paint Review
I’ve only used the Valspar Trade Gloss on one occasion but here’s how I got on with it…
The job: redecorate wooden staircase spindles with a water-based gloss (Valspar Trade Gloss in this instance).
With the spindles already having a water-based gloss applied to them, I followed my usual prep routine for gloss over gloss: give the existing gloss a good rub down to remove the sheen, dust down, undercoat and then start painting.
After giving the gloss a good stir for about 5 minutes, the consistency looked like it was ready to go. FYI, I’ve heard of other decorators not stirring this stuff properly and having disappointing results with tackiness. You’ll definitely need to stir for 5+ minutes.
Being water-based, I always worry that the consistency means the paint will run but I had no such issues with this. As spindles are intricate surfaces, I used a brush so can’t comment on what it’s like to apply with a roller.
In terms of coverage, this gloss covers fairly well and goes a long way with its good opacity.
The paint dries incredibly quickly in the right environment and this was the case for me. I was able to get 2 coats on within half a day which easily beats the time you would spend applying oil-based gloss (typically a day and a half worth of work).
With the paint being self-levelling it made it easy to avoid leaving any brush marks which contributed to the overall finish.
The overall finish looked fine – the sheen was pretty good for a water-based gloss although in my opinion, the formula has some way to go if it’s to compete with the best water-based glosses on the market such as Teknos Futura.
Overall, it’s a solid gloss – simple to apply, quick drying and looks great. For the price, it’s definitely worth purchasing but if you want a really professional look, Teknos Futura is still the one.
Valspar v500 vs v700 (Classic vs Premium)
For those already familiar with Valspar, you might be aware that they have two different emulsions that are similar – v500 and v700. For those even more in-the-know, you’ll be aware that Valspar recently updated both products and has renamed them Classic (v500) and Premium (v700).
I should note that whilst the names have changed, the products are still the same formula but with slight tweaks to make them more eco-friendly. The performance of both paints is exactly the same as they were.
So which one should you opt for?
Out of the two, I would recommend going with the Premium, or v700, especially if you’re going to be painting over a darker colour.
I’ve used the Premium a few times recently and can say that it has amazing opacity and covers well in a couple of coats. The Classic seems like it lacks a bit of body and has a consistency that simply doesn’t spread as well as the Premium. That means the application of the Classic (v500) is slightly more difficult and time-consuming.
In terms of durability, the Premium is much better. Valspar rates it as ‘Excellent’ durability compared to just ‘Great’ for the Classic. With that being said, the v500 paint can take a good scrubbing with detergent without leaving any burnishing effect, flashing or discolouration so both paints excel in that regard.
Overall, I would say v500 is ALMOST as good as v700 but slightly cheaper. If your walls take lots of knocks then you might be better off going with the v700 but if you simply want something that has solid durability, you might as well save some money and grab the v500.
My Overall Thoughts on Valspar Paints
Overall, I would say that Valspar paints are good value for money. Whilst some of their products are hit and miss, in general, they provide good quality for what you pay.
Whilst I wouldn’t say they’re the absolute best quality, the fact that they’re incredibly compatible with colour-matching makes them highly valuable to consumers especially as the quality is better than brands like Farrow and Ball (who admittedly create amazing colours).