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Best washable paints: the hardest wearing paint for your home, as recommended by parents

Looking to give your lounge a lick of paint or planning a whole home makeover? Busy households need a product that not only looks good, but can withstand everything that family life throws at it. We've rounded up the best washable paints in the business for all your decorating needs.

By Kelly Rose Bradford | Last updated May 19, 2022

Best washable paint

Who hasn’t had paintwork ruined by sticky fingers or muddy paws or crayon-wielding toddlers? Washable or wipeable paint is well worth considering for busy family households, especially in areas with lots of footfall and increased potential for wear and tear. It can save on costly redecorating and frequent touch ups. It’s also a godsend in children’s and teens’ bedrooms, where stains and spills abound. And while there are lots of varieties on the market, not all are created equal, so we’ve rounded up the best washable, wipeable and scrubbable paint options for your next DIY project.

Here are the best washable paints to buy in 2022.

1. Best overall: Dulux Trade Diamond Emulsion

Dulux Diamond Matt paint

Price: £45 | Buy now from Amazon

"Dulux Trade Diamond Emulsion is scrubbable and I wouldn’t use anything else on high traffic areas" - recommended by Mumsnet user, goingtotown 

This trade paint from Dulux uses special diamond technology which apparently makes it 10 times tougher than regular paint. This makes it an ideal choice for your hallways and stairwells, or any other areas in the house that get a lot of traffic passing through - think kids coming in from school with backpacks scraping the walls, or bikes being brought in and left leaning against the paintwork. It also boasts superior stain resistance with its unique stain repellent technology and can be repeatedly wiped clean without losing its finished look. Fans of it reckon it’s the strongest and best matt emulsion they’ve ever used.

Key specs

  • Finish: Matt

  • Coverage: 16m² with 5 litres

  • Drying time: 4-6 hours

2. Best budget washable paint: Wilko Durable

Wilko washable paint

Price: £23 | Buy now from Amazon

"I've used their durable range in several rooms. It's standing up very well and wipes down nicely" - recommended by Mumsnet user, FlyingMonkeys

Wilko’s Tough & Washable paint comes in a great range of regularly updated colours, and is 25 times tougher than a standard matt emulsion. It’s very easy to apply, and is dry in just two to four hours. As well as being washable, it’s scuff-resistant too, so a good option for hallways. A great choice for busy family homes.

Key specs

  • Finish: Matt

  • Coverage: 30m² at 2.5l

  • Drying time: 2-4 hours

3. Best washable paint for coverage: Valspar Premium

Valspar premium paint

Price: From £32 | Buy now from B&Q

"Valspar premium paint is brilliant. Our decorator was really impressed with how it went on and I could scrub it clean" - recommended by Mumsnet user, EarSlaps

Valspar has an amazing colour mixing service with 2000 preselected colours available, so buyers are spoilt for choice on the shade front. Valspar say their paint is not just washable, but extra scrubbable, and can handle a scouring pad in the event of stubborn marks or stains. Light marks can be easily washed away with warm soapy water. A great choice if you know your falls are going to face more than their fair share of carnage!

Key specs:

Finish: Matt

Coverage: 10m2 per 1L

Drying time: 2-4 hours

4. Best washable paint for Kitchens: Johnstone's Kitchen and Bathroom Emulsion

Johnstones washable paint

Price: £25 | Buy now from Amazon

Johnstone’s kitchen and bathroom paint has 10 times the wash resistance of conventional emulsions, and its light sheen finish resists stains, moisture and grease, making it the perfect product not only for kitchens and bathrooms, but any room that has high levels of condensation. Fans of it say it’s an ideal substitute for vinyl silk, and can be used on walls and ceilings. It also gets praise for its ease of application and high level of coverage. Good range of colours available, too.

Key specs:

Finish: Mid sheen

Coverage:  30m² at 2.5l

Drying time: 1-2 hours

5. Best matt washable paint: Dulux Endurance Paint

Dulux Endurance Paint

Price: £55 | Buy now from Amazon

"I used Dulux Endurance in our kitchen - great product!" - tried and tested by Mumsnet user, staceyturnull1989

Billed by Dulux as being 20 times stronger than conventional paint, Endurance seems to live up to its name in reviews. The paint is both durable and washable and can be used on ceilings as well as walls, with two coats recommended. An excellent choice for kitchens.

Key specs

  • Finish: Matt

  • Coverage: 65m with 5 litres

  • Drying time: 5 hours

6. Best washable paint for high traffic areas: Benjamin Moore Scuff-X Paint

Scuff X paint

Price: £94 | Buy now from Benjamin Moore 

"If you need super durable, Scuff-F by Benjamin Moore" - recommended by Mumsnet user, nomdeguerrrr

Scuff X is a single component paint which has been made specifically to resist scuffing. It’s designed to be used in commercial settings, but for home use, it will keep walls in pristine condition, and is completely washable, so any marks it does get on it can be easily wiped off.  A great playroom or dining room choice if you have young children, or lots of visiting young children.

Key specs

  • Finish: Satin finish

  • Coverage: 35-40m²

  • Drying time: Touch dry in one hour

7. Best luxury washable paint: Farrow and Ball Modern Emulsion

Farrow and Ball Modern Emulsion

Price: £62 | Buy now from Amazon

Who doesn’t love a bit of Farrow and Ball? It might be something of an investment paint, but there’s no denying the innovative colour range and high-quality products are a decorators’ dream. The modern emulsion is exceptionally durable, and also mould-resistant, so it's an obvious choice for bathrooms and kitchens. It’s also wipeable and scuff-resistant, so it's a great choice wherever you decide to use it throughout the house.

Key specs

  • Finish: Matt

  • Coverage: 30m² at 2.5l

  • Drying time: 2 hours, recoat in 4

8. Best eco-friendly washable paint: Fired Earth Matt Emulsion

Fired Earth Matt Emulsion

Price: From £25 | Buy now from Fired Earth

Fired Earth paints are formulated to have minimal environmental impact, as well as to look great on your walls. The matt emulsion is wipeable rather than washable, so perhaps would not be your first choice for very busy parts of the house, (the eggshell paint is recommended for high traffic areas) but for rooms where you want a paint with good environmental credentials, and that comes in a range of gorgeous, classy shades, along with the ability to wipe it down should any little marks appear, then Fired Earth’s range will suit your needs.

Key specs

  • Finish: Matt emulsion

  • Coverage: 14m² per litre

  • Drying time: 2-4 hours

9. Best own brand washable paint: HomeBase Tough and Durable Paint

HomeBase Tough and Durable Paint

Price: £18 | Buy now from Homebase

Homebase’s tough and durable matt paint not only gives really good coverage in a vast range of colours that will suit practically all tastes and decorating styles, but it’s also stain-resistant and completely washable. It's 25 times tougher than standard wall and ceiling paint, and with its competitive price tag, it's excellent value to use throughout the house.

Key specs

  • Finish: Matt

  • Coverage: 12m² per litre

  • Drying time: Varies

What makes paint washable?

Washable and wipeable wall paint is made in a way that allows it to get damp without the colour rubbing off. Many washable paints also have built-in anti-stain technology to prevent spills and marks settling in to the finish. While gloss paint has always been the traditional go-to for its washable properties and cleanability, there are now wipeable and washable paints available in almost every finish.

What’s the best way to clean a painted wall?

You should ensure the wall is free from dust or loose dirt before wiping it. If you have a soft brush attachment on your vacuum, you could use that to reach high points in a room. Once any loose debris has been removed, gently clean the walls with a sponge and warm soapy water. If you have a stubborn stain, and have used scrubbable paint, you can afford to go in a bit harder, but always test an inconspicuous area first!

Can you paint over washable paint?

If you're painting over with the same type of paint, it will be fine, but otherwise, lightly sand the walls after washing them down, so the new paint has something to adhere to.

What’s the best washable paint to buy in the UK?

Based on its range of colours (a whopping 60), price, and the huge amount of praise heaped on it, we think the Homebase Tough & Durable Matt Paint is currently the best washable or wipeable paint to buy.

How we chose our recommendations

Because we know that there’s nothing like a real recommendation from a real parent, we first headed to the Mumsnet forums to find out which washable paint Mumsnet users had bought. We checked out the types they recommended for being up to the job, that stayed looking fresh after cleaning, and could withstand busy traffic areas in family homes, as well as looking good and being easy to apply.  We then did some research across the wider web, looking at which washable paints had won accolades or been featured in ‘best buy’ lists across websites and print media, and what customer reviews said about them.

Having collated all that information, we picked the top washable paints we thought would make the best buys.

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