Whether it’s your walls or woodwork, white is one of the most popular colours used in interior design. The choice is elegant and timeless, and most homeowners like its versatility. So it’s no wonder there are dozens of white emulsions and gloss paints available on the market.

But from a whole host of products, how can you ensure you choose the best one? Which emulsion is the best for your walls and what gloss paint to consider for the woodwork?

To answer these questions, our expert team has tested and rated the most popular white paints in the UK. Check our top picks below.

white painted wall


Our #1 Best Pick

Dulux pure brilliant white

Dulux Silk Smooth Emulsion

Our top choice – a high-quality soft sheen paint for interior walls and ceilings.

Low Cost Option

crown matt white emulsion

Crown White Matte

Affordable and exceptional – a great alternative to Dulux Silk.

Best Of The Rest

Dulux Quick Dry Gloss Paint

Quick Dry gloss paint for interior woodwork and metal – dries to an attractive high-sheen finish.

Johnstone’s Brilliant White

High-quality paint for interior walls and ceilings, one of the most affordable options on the market.

Dulux Pure Brilliant White

Non-washable interior paint for walls and ceilings. Chromalock technology ensures long-lasting colours.

Dulux pure brilliant white

Soft sheen interior paint, ideal for high-traffic areas.

Popular among homeowners and coming from a brand renowned for the quality of its paints, Dulux Silk Pure Brilliant White is a smooth and creamy emulsion ideal for walls and ceilings in high-traffic areas. Although not a speciality paint, the product performs wonderfully in bathrooms and kitchens.

The product is water-based and has a very low odour. It’s safe to use in enclosed spaces and is non-toxic once dried. This makes it an ideal choice for the kid’s room, while the creamy consistency makes it easy to apply without making a mess.

Another thing we like is the packaging. The 6L value pack goes a long way thanks to an excellent coverage of up to 13m²/litre. Alternatively, the product is also supplied in the standard 2.5L and 5L tins.

We also like that Dulux Silk paint in the value pack comes in a tub instead of a tin. This packaging is much more resistant to bumps, meaning leakage during transit is rarer.

The covering power is also excellent. Two coats are enough to achieve satisfactory results unless you’re making substantial colour changes. In ideal conditions, the product touch dries in two hours and can be re-coated in about 4 hours.


• A smooth, almost waxed finish provides a wear and tear resistant surface for your walls in high-traffic areas.
• Paint is easy to clean with a damp cloth; it has an excellent resistance to stains and scratches.
• Chromalock technology forms a protective film over the paint, preventing discolouration and yellowing.
• Dulux Silk comes in 82 neutral and dramatic shades. Mix and match Pure Brilliant White with any other colour for a unique design.
• This product has an almost negligible content of volatile organic compounds and is safe to use in all rooms.


• Substantial colour changes may require over four coats of paint. Priming the surface with a white sealer may improve coverage.
• Silk paint dries to a soft sheen finish which looks more like eggshell. We expected a mid-sheen result.

crown matt white emulsion

Non-reflective and non-yellowing matt emulsion for interior walls and ceilings.

Crown White Matt comes as an alternative to Dulux Silk if you’re looking for a cheaper product that dries to a contemporary flat matt finish. The paint is ideal to use in almost all rooms although a speciality paint is recommended in high-condensation and high-traffic areas.

The matt emulsion boasts an impressive coverage and dries to a durable finish. Although water-based, the product is long-lasting, and the white doesn’t turn yellow in time.

Our favourite feature is the Breatheasy technology exclusive to Crown that ensures the product is 99% solvent-free. This paint is guaranteed to have a minimal level of volatile organic compounds and is safe to use in all environments.

Another great feature is the possibility to use thinned emulsion to prime the surface before application. The thinned product acts as a sealer for the un-thinned paint but also for other paint systems.

The only downside is the low covering power. According to the manufacturer, it takes two coats to achieve full coverage but in reality, the product may need more than three. Considering the price though, this paint is still a bargain.


• A litre of paint covers up to 14m², depending on surface porosity. The covering power isn’t exceptional though.
• Crown Matt Emulsion is supplied in 7.5L tubs and is very easy to apply with a brush or roller. It touch dries in two hours and can be recoated in four hours. Great value for money.
• This paint comes in a generous number of colours. If you’d like to add personality to your white walls, there are 80 alternative hues to choose from.


• Consistency is very thin and the paint gets absorbed quickly by porous surfaces. This lowers the covering power.
• The packaging is made of poor quality plastic which can break during transit. Leaks can also occur due to improperly closed lids.
• We were satisfied with the colour but some users claimed the product wasn’t as white as it should have been.

Dulux quick dry gloss

Wear and tear resistant paint for interior wood and metal. Ideal for all unheated surfaces.

Dulux’s Quick Dry is a great interior wood and metal paint that comes in three finishes and several colours. Pure Brilliant White is a popular choice and the gloss finish is ideal to use for woodwork in high-traffic areas.

Other available finishes are eggshell and satinwood. Regardless of your choice, the product boasts the same high quality; it has a good covering power and a litre of paint is sufficient for up to 12m², depending on the porosity of the surface.

Consistency is also great. The product is easy to apply with a paintbrush or roller and the creamy formula prevents drips and mess. Depending on the size of your project, you can also choose between the 750ml and 2.5L tins.

Another thing we like is the Chromalock technology that protects the white paint from yellowing over time.

A minor drawback, as odd as it may seem, is the quick-drying formula that makes it difficult to apply an even layer of paint to the surface. Working in small sections at a time improves the results but the project may take forever to complete.


• Water-based paint has a low content of volatile organic compounds and is safe to use in enclosed spaces. The product is non-toxic.
• Self-undercoating formulation improves covering power; two coats of paint are usually enough to achieve full coverage.
• In ideal conditions, it takes approximately two hours for the paint to touch dry and it can be recoated after about six hours.
• The product has a thin consistency and is easy to apply without leaving brush marks.


• Quick Dry can’t be applied on surfaces painted with solvent-based products because it will not dry.
• The product has a short shelf life even when stored in ideal conditions. Unused paint can get very lumpy.
• For a gloss paint, this product isn’t very shiny. An oil-based product may be more suitable if you’re aiming for a highly reflective finish.

johnstone's brilliant white

Hardwearing and washable paint for interior walls and ceilings.

Johnstone’s is a brand renowned for its affordable yet quality paints; and a range that stands out from all of these is their Matt Emulsion. This interior paint for walls and ceilings comes in a selection of neutral colours and dramatic shades, with Brilliant White being the most popular.

Boasting a non-yellowing formula, this water-based paint is ideal to use in all environments due to its hardwearing properties. Dust and stains can be easily wiped from the dry surface with a damp cloth and mild detergent, with the product maintaining its qualities for years.

The matt finish is also popular. This contemporary choice adds sophistication to any home environment and blends well in either traditional or modern homes.

Consistency is on the thin side, which means a lower covering power. On a positive note, it also means a quick and easy application, either with a brush or a roller. The product is also compatible with conventional paint sprayers, which makes application even easier.

Something we would have liked is a convenience package. Matt Emulsion Brilliant White is only supplied in 2.5L tubs which can’t rival the versatile number of choices offered by the competition.


• Johnstone’s Matt Emulsion covers up to 13m²/litre and a tub of paint goes a long way despite the rather low covering power.
• Low odour and negligible content of volatile organic compounds make the product ideal to use indoors.
• If you’re considering other colours too, the product comes in 34 additional hues.


• The packaging is awful. It often seems to leak during transit, which means a lot of wasted paint.
• Except for the white paint, all other colours are inconsistent and dry to shades different than expected.
• Due to the thin consistency, the paint may get patchy on walls. A second or third coat usually fixes this issue.

Dulux matt for walls and ceilings

Flat matt white paint for walls and ceilings – unsuitable for high-traffic areas.

Dulux Pure Brilliant White is a paint included in Dulux’s matt range, a selection of interior paints for walls and ceilings developed for moderate and low traffic areas. The product boasts a long-lasting finish, but it isn’t hardwearing.

Nonetheless, the quick-drying formula and the Chromalock technology adds value to this paint. Dulux Matt dries in less than an hour and it can be recoated in four hours if needed. Typically, a second coat is usually required but if the previous paint is still in good condition and of a similar colour, one coat may be enough.

Like most interior paints available on the market, Dulux Matt also boasts a non-toxic water-based formula that is safe to use in all environments. The flat finish, on the other hand, disguises minor wall imperfections and gives modern vibes to the interior.

This paint is easy to apply with a paintbrush or roller; thanks to the creamy consistency you won’t have to worry about making a mess.


• Excellent coverage ensures 100% value for money. Dulux Matt covers up to 13m²/litre.
• Generous colour choice. The product comes in 80 colours, one of which is Pure Brilliant White.
• Resistant to wear and tear, the white paint is also resistant to discolouration. Chromalock technology protects the colour in time.
• The product thinned with 10% water may act as a sealer on new, bare or porous surfaces.


• Pure Brilliant White is quite difficult to apply in an even layer, especially if the previous paint is darker.