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Best Interior Paints of 2022

Updated
Get the best results with these 7 interior paints.

The best interior paints make life so much easier. They go on better, coat more evenly, and stand the test of time, which is great news if decorating is at the bottom of your priority list.

We look at famous paint brands and review our 7 favorite products, rating them on coverage, application, and value for money.

Our Top Picks

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Image
Model
Product Comparison Table
Features

Product Image of the 1 gal Modern Masters ME150 Silver Metallic Paint Collection Water-Based Decorative Metallic Paint
Best Metallic
Modern Masters ME150 Silver-Metallic Paint
  • Covers 400 sqft
  • Low VOCs & odors
  • Touch dry in 30 minutes
Product Image of the Rust-Oleum Decorative 285141 Ultra Matte Interior Chalked Paint 30 oz, 30 Fl Oz (Pack of 1), Country Gray
Best Matte
Rust-Oleum Ultra Matte Chalked Paint
  • Low odors & VOCs
  • Dries in 30 minutes
  • Only need one coat
Product Image of the Microblend Interior Paint and Primer - White/White, Semi-gloss Sheen, Quart, Premium Quality, High Hide, Low VOC, Washable, Microblend Whites Family
Best Self-Priming
Microblend Interior Paint and Primer
  • Low odors & VOCs
  • Maximum of 400 sqft coverage
  • Washable and UV-resistant
Product Image of the Prestige Interior Paint and Primer in One, Sea Wall, Semi-Gloss, 1 Gallon
Best Washable
Prestige Interior Paint and Primer In One
  • 325 sqft of coverage
  • 1,300 color choices & 4 finishes
  • Durable and washable
Product Image of the Rust-Oleum 1992502 Painter's Touch Latex Paint, Quart, Gloss White 32 Fl Oz (Pack of 1)
Best Gloss
Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch Gloss Paint
  • Touch-dry in just 30 minutes
  • Water-based - better for the environment
  • Washes clean with soap & water
Product Image of the Diamond Brite Paint 21050 5-Gallon Semi Gloss Latex Paint High Hiding White
Best White
Diamond Brite 5-Gallon Semi-Gloss White Paint
  • Touch-dry in just 30 minutes
  • 200 sqft of coverage
  • Ideal for high-traffic areas
Product Image of the THE ONE Paint & Primer: Most Durable Furniture Paint, Cabinet Paint, Front Door Paint, Wall Paint, Bathroom, Kitchen, and More - Quick Drying Craft Paint for Interior / Exterior (Black, Matte Finish, 1 Liter)
Best for Walls
The ONE Paint and Primer for Walls
  • Low VOCs & odors
  • Water-based - better for the environment
  • Paint and primer in one


Product Reviews

We spent hours researching the internet, looking for the best interior paints. We considered the types of paint, professional opinions, and buyer satisfaction ratings. Here are our favorite 7 products.

1. Modern Masters ME150 Silver-Metallic Paint

Best Metallic Interior Paint

The first thing you notice about this silver metallic paint is the price. This is not a budget option, as it costs far more than other paint products. That said, it is low in VOCs and odor, which is better for the environment and your health.

The water-based formula washes clean with soap and water, and it dries to an opaque satin finish with a gentle metallic sheen for that classy look. It dries to the touch in 30 minutes and covers 400 square feet, depending on the quality of the surface.

This paint is suitable for interior walls, ceilings, furniture, and even trim, and it is guaranteed not to tarnish even when the paint is applied outside.

Pros

  • Covers 400 square feet.
  • Low VOCs and odors.
  • Dry to the touch in 30 minutes.
  • Water-based, so it is better for the environment.

Cons

  • It is super-expensive compared to other paints.

Product Specs

Quantity 1-gallon
Type Water-based
Sheen Satin/metallic
Coverage 400 square feet
Drying time 30 minutes
Price $$$$$

2. Rust-Oleum Ultra Matte Chalked Paint

Best Matte Interior Paint

When we say this paint is popular, we mean it is really popular! It has sold over 24,000 units on Amazon alone! So, why is it so good?

It is a one-coat paint, so while it only comes in 30-ounce tins, you don’t need a lot to get a smooth finish. If you do decide to add another coat, wait 2 hours for the paint to dry. This is chalk paint, so it dries to an ultra-matte finish, and it requires minimal preparation before laying down the paint.

It dries to the touch in just 30 minutes, and you get 150 square feet of coverage per tin, depending on the porosity of the surface. This paint is a latex formula, so it has low VOCs and minimal odors, so you can use it in confined spaces without suffering any ill effects.

The only downside with chalk paint is it marks easily, so if you are coating walls or furniture, bear that in mind.

Pros

  • Low odors and VOCs.
  • Dries in 30 minutes.
  • Only need one coat.
  • Covers 150 square feet.

Cons

  • Only comes in small tins.
  • Marks easily.

Product Specs

Quantity 30 ounces
Type Water-based
Sheen Matte
Coverage 150 square feet
Drying time 30 minutes
Price $

3. Microblend Interior Paint and Primer

Best Self-Priming Interior Paint

Self-priming paint saves you time and money by cutting the waiting time between the primer drying and laying down the topcoat. This Microblend paint comes in over 300 shades and numerous finishes.

You can use it indoors and out, and it dries to form a hard shell to protect the surfaces below. It resists stains, UV rays, and it is washable for those grubby marks that ruin new paintwork.

One gallon of this paint covers approximately 300 to 400 square feet, depending on the quality of the surface. And because it is water-based, it washes clean with soap and water; plus, it is kind to the environment because it has low odors and VOCs.

Microblend is an on-demand paint manufacturer. Rather than producing the paint in batches and storing them in warehouses, when your order comes in, they mix each tub using an automated paint machine.

The downside with this is that you might get slight differences in the production process, leading to minor color differences.

Pros

  • Low odors and VOCs.
  • Maximum of 400 square feet coverage.
  • Washable and UV-resistant.
  • Self-priming, which saves on costs.

Cons

  • Produced on-demand, which might cause color differences.

Product Specs

Quantity 1-quart
Type Water-based
Sheen Not stated
Coverage 300 to 400 square feet
Drying time Fast drying (actual time not stated)
Price $$

4. Prestige Interior Paint and Primer In One

Best Washable Interior Paint

Not only does this paint give an excellent washable surface, but it is also a primer and paint in one, so you save on costs by not buying a separate primer. This is an oil-based paint, so you can expect higher odors. Make sure you use it in areas with good ventilation.

It is also harmful to the environment because it contains VOCs, which emit low-level ozone as the paint dries, and you need mineral spirits or thinners to wash the brushes clean, which pollute.

On the plus side, oil-based paints give great coverage and are harder-wearing compared to water-based products. You also don’t need as many coats to achieve that super-smooth finish. And because this is a semi-gloss paint, it is ideal for kitchens and bathrooms where moisture and humidity are a problem.

You get a choice of 1,300 colors in 4 finishes, so whatever your color scheme, Prestige has a paint to match, and you also get 325 square feet of coverage. However, the downside with gloss paint on your walls is it shows up every imperfection.

Pros

  • 325 square feet of coverage.
  • 1,300 color choices and 4 finishes.
  • Durable and washable.
  • Ideal for high-moisture areas.

Cons

  • Oil-based is bad for the environment.
  • Contains odors and VOCs.

Product Specs

Quantity 1-gallon
Type Oil-based
Sheen Semi-gloss
Coverage 325 square feet
Drying time Time not stated
Price $$$

5. Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch Gloss Paint

Best Gloss Interior Paint

Gloss paints are perfect for high-moisture spaces in the home, like the kitchen and bathroom. The shiny surface forms a seal that allows the paint to resist mold and mildew, and thanks to the high resin content in the formula, it goes on thicker.

This gloss paint is suitable for interior and exterior projects, and it coats wood, metal, masonry, and plaster, so it’s ideal for most surfaces in and outside your home. It is a water-based formula, with a low odor and washes clean with soap and water.

You get 120 square feet of coverage, depending on the quality and porosity of the surface, and it dries to the touch in just 30 minutes.

It resists chipping, flaking, and fading, and best of all, it’s an amazing price. The only downside is gloss paint is not always suitable for some rooms. It really works best on trim and kitchen cabinets rather than walls and ceilings.

Also, while you get 120 square feet of coverage, bear in mind that this is a 1-gallon tin, so the spread is way lower than other paints using similar quantities.

Pros

  • Touch-dry in just 30 minutes.
  • Water-based, so better for the environment.
  • Washes clean with soap and water.
  • Durable and washable.

Cons

  • Not suitable for some applications.
  • Low coverage per gallon.

Product Specs

Quantity 1-gallon
Type Water-based
Sheen Gloss
Coverage 120 square feet
Drying time Time not stated
Price $$

6. Diamond Brite 5-Gallon Semi-Gloss White Paint

Best White Interior Paint

When you want crisp white surfaces, you can’t get much better than this Diamond Brite high-hiding white paint. It has been formulated to work best in kitchens, bathrooms, and other areas in the house with high traffic.

It covers approximately 200 square feet, depending on the quality of the surface, and you are ready for the second coat within 30 minutes. When the paint dries, it has a semi-gloss finish, so it reflects the light, and it is wipeable.

This paint is so versatile, you can apply it to almost every surface inside your home, and it is proudly manufactured in the United States. You get superior grease and dirt resistance; plus, it won’t fade.

The only negative is you have to buy 5-gallons, which is a lot of white paint, and unless you need it, at this price it is expensive.

Pros

  • Touch-dry in just 30 minutes.
  • 200 square feet of coverage.
  • Ideal for high-traffic areas.
  • Manufactured in the USA.

Cons

  • Comes in 5-gallon tubs.

Product Specs

Quantity 5-gallon
Type Water-based
Sheen Semi-gloss
Coverage 200 square feet
Drying time 30 minutes
Price $$$$

7. The ONE Paint and Primer for Walls

Best Interior Paint for Walls

If you think one coat on your walls is enough, then this ONe paint range is the ideal choice. You get 12 color variations, and because it is a primer and paint in one, you don’t need a primer. So no primer and only one coat! Sounds like a dream.

It is water-based paint, so it washes clean with soap and water, and it contains low VOCs and odors, making it perfect for indoor use in confined spaces. This paint is also kind to the environment, thanks to the water-based formula.

You get various finishes, including satin, matte, and gloss, and it also comes in 250 ml, 1-liter, and 2.5-liter tins. We need to talk about the price, because it costs as much for a liter as some paints are for 1-gallon, and that’s 4 times the quantity.

Pros

  • Low VOCs and odors.
  • Water-based, so better for the environment.
  • Paint and primer in one.
  • Only need one coat.

Cons

  • Expensive compared to other products.

Product Specs

Quantity 1-liter
Type Water-based
Sheen Matte
Coverage Not stated
Drying time Not stated
Price $$$$

Product Comparison Chart

Product Best Quantity Type Sheen Coverage Drying time Price
Modern Masters ME150 Silver-Metallic Paint Best Metallic 1-gal. Water-based Satin/metallic 400 sqft 30 minutes $$$$$
Rust-Oleum Ultra Matte Chalked Paint Best Matte 30 ozs Water-based Matte 150 sqft 30 minutes $
Microblend Interior Paint and Primer Best Self-Priming 1-quart Water-based Not stated 300 – 400 sqft Fast drying (actual time not stated) $$
Prestige Interior Paint and Primer In One Best Washable 1-gal. Oil-based Semi-gloss 325 sqft Time not stated $$$
Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch Gloss Paint Best Gloss 1-gal. Water-based Gloss 120 sqft Time not stated $$
Diamond Brite 5-Gallon Semi-Gloss White Paint Best White 5-gal. Water-based Semi-gloss 200 sqft 30 minutes $$$$
The ONE Paint and Primer for Walls Best for Walls 1-liter Water-based Matte Not stated Not stated $$$$

What Are the Best Indoor Paint Brands?

Which brands stand out from the crowd, and do they deserve their star status? Let’s look at the nation’s favorite paint brands.

Rust-Oleum

Rust-Oleum started life in 1921 when sea Captain Robert Fergusson noticed that spilled fish oil did an excellent job of preventing corrosion on rusty metal decks. His first paints incorporated whale oil, but a lot has changed since those early days.

Today, Rust-Oleum is a well-loved brand making paint in several locations across the United States, with a revenue of over 1 billion dollars. It has several well-known brands under its umbrella, such as Varathane and Zinnser.

KILZ

KILZ was founded by Melvin Caldwell in 1954. He was a Mautz paint dealer in St. Louis who began making his own brand of paint after purchasing a giant dough mixer from a local bakery. The company was originally called Color Wheel, but as it grew, it eventually changed its name to Masterchem.

Today, the company occupies a 157,000 square foot plant in St. Louis across 11.2 acres, remaining true to its roots. In 1986, this family-owned company was sold to Reed Holdings PLC and has changed hands twice since then.

Benjamin Moore

Benjamin Moore is the granddaddy of the bunch, founded in 1883 in Brooklyn, New York. The Moore brothers only had one product called Moore’s Prepared Calsom Finish, which they sold from their shop in the Big Apple.

Today, they distribute their products across the globe. They have won several awards for environmentally friendly manufacturing, and they regularly feature in the list of top companies to work for in the US.

What to Look For (Buying Guide)

Knowing what to look for when selecting interior paint can be confusing. Here is a handy guide of the factors to keep in mind.

Color Choices

This is probably the biggest consideration in the entire process. You will likely spend hours deciding, and when you reach a decision, you want the paint to match your expectations. Paint manufacturers produce swatches and color chips to make everything easier, but you need to be confident that the color chips are accurate.

If you can’t find a color that matches, you can always get a custom color made up at the DIY store. You simply take your color sample, and they scan it into a computerized machine called a spectrophotometer that mixes an exact match.

Whichever color you choose, start with a tester pot of paint to get a feel that the shade is right for the room. Then, if you are satisfied, you can order a larger tin to complete the job.

What Finish?

There are lots of finishes available. You can get satin, gloss, semi-gloss, matte, and eggshell. It all comes down to personal choice and the look you are aiming for.

High-shine paints are better for painting bathrooms and kitchens because they contain a higher amount of resins and binders that form a hard shell when they dry. This gives your paint a smooth and washable surface.

Matte or softer sheens are better for bedrooms, lounges, and other rooms in the house because they dry flatter and hide blemishes and imperfections better. They are still wipeable, but not to the same extent as gloss finishes.

The Environment

Watch out for VOCs (volatile organic compounds) when shopping for your new paint. Essentially, VOCs are very bad for the planet because as the paint starts to dry, it releases low-level ozone.

Paints higher in VOCs are also damaging to your health because they have a strong odor, which can irritate your eyes, nose, and throat.

Water-based products are less likely to contain high levels of VOCs because the formula is primarily water. Oil-based paints are more likely to contain VOCs, as do the thinners and mineral spirits you use to clean your brushes.

These chemicals wash into the water supply when you pour them down the drain and pollute the rivers and streams. If you are using oil-based paints, make sure you ventilate the room and wear a face mask to avoid inhaling the VOCs.

Yellowing

We’ve probably all seen yellowing on our walls and wood trim. It occurs when the slight yellow hue of oil-based paint discolors. This happens when the paint ages. Water-based colors are less likely to suffer from this problem because they don’t contain oil.

Look for oil-based paint with added acrylic as this prevents yellowing.

Coverage

Most interior paints offer a good level of coverage. Matte and low-sheen products have the best spread, while gloss paints are thicker and cover less surface area. This is because the formula contains resins, which makes it more viscous.

You should expect somewhere between 200 and 500 square feet of coverage per gallon of interior paint.


FAQs

Which Is the Most Durable Paint Finish?

Gloss and semi-gloss finishes are the most durable of all the paints. The formula contains high resin levels and binders that help the paint form a hard shell when it dries. It makes the surface wipeable, stain and odor-resistant, and ideal for high-traffic areas.

Is Eggshell or Satin Finish Better for Walls?

Eggshell is much better at hiding dents and imperfections in walls compared to satin. Satin has a soft sheen that highlights every blemish. Ultimately, which one you choose is down to personal choice.

What Is the Most Popular Interior Paint Color?

Surprisingly, chalky blues and tinted grays are extremely popular at the moment, especially in kitchens and bathrooms. White is always up there on the list, and so is cream and other off-white variants.

Which Paint Finish Hides Imperfections Best?

Matte paint is the best at hiding imperfections and wall blemishes because it dries flat and leaves no shadows of uneven parts of the walls. Gloss is the worst culprit for highlighting bumpy and dented walls.

What Paint Finish Is Easiest Clean?

Gloss is the easiest paint finish to keep clean. It has a high level of resin and binders that leave a hard shell on the surface. It means the paint is washable and scrubbable for those stubborn stains.


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Headshot of Mark Weir

About the Author

Mark Weir

Mark spent 24 years working in real estate, so he knows his way around a home. He also worked with contractors and experts, advising them on issues of planning, investments, and renovations. Mark is no stranger to hands-on experience, having renovated his own home and many properties for resale. He likes nothing better than seeing a project through to completion.