9 Best Paints for Interior Walls
Choosing the right interior wall paint for your next room refresh can save you time and money. Here are some excellent choices.
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Buying Paint for Interior Walls
When it comes to updating the interior of your home, there’s no simpler or more affordable way to refresh a room than with a new coat of paint. Although paint color choice is extremely important to the overall effect, it’s just as important to choose the right paint product to ensure the best results possible.
We asked Ryan Berry, the owner and principal visionary at Form, a custom home builder in Saratoga Springs, New York, to help us run down the top things to look for in an interior wall paint:
- Coverage: This depends on several factors including paint quality, application method, sheen and contrast between previous wall color. If you’re planning to apply a lighter color over a darker one, Berry says “you may need more coats or a tinted primer.”
- Viscosity: This relates to a paint’s thickness and structure (solid count). The higher the count, the less dripping and splattering you can expect.
- Durability: In high-traffic areas, choose a scrubbable paint so you can remove scuffs and fingerprints. Sheen often goes hand-in-hand with how washable paint is (i.e., glossy more than flat).
- Sheen: Gloss, semi-gloss, eggshell, satin (pearl) and matte (flat). The further up the shine spectrum you go, the more imperfections you might see.
- Low toxicity (VOCs): Wet paint emits certain amounts of fumes. Low and non-VOC paints reduce unhealthy off-gassing.
- Budget: We’re all for saving money. However, some less expensive paints are diluted with extenders, resulting in less-than-optimal coverage. As with most things, Berry says “You get what you pay for.”
Revamping a room? Check out our list of the best paints for interior walls.
Best Latex Paint for Interior Walls
Benjamin Moore Regal Select Waterborne Interior Paint is a trusted brand with one of the most popular latex-based interior wall paints out there. Why? It creates a uniform finish that goes on easily and smoothly.
Engineered with Benjamin Moore’s signature Gennex Color Technology, it promises a gallery of bold, beautiful and one-of-a-kind hues that resist fading.
Best Oil-Based Paint for Interior Walls
Offering a hard, rich luster, Behr Urethane Alkyd Semi-Gloss Enamel is an excellent product for painting walls, even those covered with beadboard, wainscotting and paneling. It gives you a non-matte, long-lasting, durable finish.
It’s also not your grandmother’s oil-based paint. Behr cleans up with soap and water; no turpentine or paint thinner is needed.
Best Value Paint for Interior Walls
Some less expensive paints, diluted with fillers and extenders, produce uneven coats and downright lousy performance all-around. Not so for Glidden Essentials Interior Paint ($15).
It’s a budget-friendly paint to apply to already primed or painted walls of similar color, as well as for repainting between tenants or simply freshening up a dingy room. It goes on smoothly and it’s scrubbable when dry. It earned more than 7,000 five-star ratings on homedepot.com.
Best On-Trend Paint Colors for Interior Walls
Founded by interior designer and innovator Nicole Gibbons, Clare is shaking up the paint industry with its line of direct-to-consumer products and in-vogue color palette.
You can opt to receive up to three free peel-and-stick swatches to try before you buy. Clare’s self-priming interior wall paint comes in eggshell and semi-gloss finishes. Plus, all Clare paint is backed by a “Happiness Guarantee.” If you’re not happy, they’ll make it right.
Best Interior Wall Paint for Kitchens and Bathrooms
Engineer and hardware store owner Vince Christoforo recommends PPG Interior Manor Hall for its moisture and mildew resistance, especially in bathrooms and kitchens. It features a premium proprietary formulation that contains a resin for outstanding adhesion and coverage. Happy users say the product is easy to apply, flowing on smoothly and evenly.
One professional painter and five-star reviewer on the PPG Paints web site writes, “I’m a painting contractor and have used paints from every top paint store. I absolutely love working with Manor Hall!!! It has amazing workability (flow) not slow and dragging. The coverage is great as well.”
Best Eco-Friendly Interior Paint for Walls
Sherman-Williams Harmony Interior Acrylic/Latex paint helps create a more beautiful and healthy home with an innovative formula that the manufacturer says breaks down common household smells. It’s also VOC-free and UL GreenGuard Gold Certified.
Along with improving your home’s indoor air quality, Harmony paint contains agents that inhibit mold and mildew growth.
Best Chalked Paint for Interior Walls
With a velvety-soft ultra-matte finish, Rust-Oleum Interior Chalked paint generally covers most surfaces in one coat, adhering without sanding or priming.
Choose from a range of colors, from pale to bright. The paint dries to the touch in just 30 minutes and one quart covers up to 150 sq. ft. There’s also a brush-on Rust-Oleum Chalked Clear Protective Topcoat if you want extra protection.
Best Paint for Ceilings
Benjamin Moore Waterborne Ceiling Paint is highly sought-after for its spatter-resistant properties and ultra-flat finish that hides imperfections on ceiling surfaces. Another big plus: Its slow dry time, which helps avoid unsightly lap lines. It’s great for use on new and previously painted drywall, wallpaper, acoustical ceiling tiles, plaster and other ceiling substrates.
Best Paint and Primer in One
Behr’s Marquee Ultra Interior Paint & Primer delivers outstanding hide and coverage in a single step. Paint over an ill-advised Goth-inspired black wall in your teen’s room or block years of tobacco smoke stains in a living area. Marquee is tintable with more than 1,000 colors and backed by Behr’s One-Coat Hide Guarantee.
“As a professional painting contractor, this is probably one of the best paints on the market money can buy,” writes one Home Depot web site customer. “Hides easy making for flawless color changes. Sprays well in airless machines and [is] very durable. My go-to for interior paint.”