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Compare the best interior paint

The right choice can transform any room of your home.

Whether you’re building a new house or renovating a single room, choosing the right paint is vital. But with so many brands, colors and types, buying interior paint can bring up questions you didn’t even know you had. Try out your options with testers to see which sheen and color you like best.

Compare interior paint from top brands

NameAvg. price
CoverageAvailable sizesDry to touchPurchase
Valspar Signature$36/gallon400 sq. ft./gal1 quart, 1 gallon, 5 gallon1 hourBuy now at Lowe's
Glidden Interior Paint + Primer$41/gallon400 sq. ft./gal1 quart, 1 gallon1 hourBuy now at Amazon
Behr Premium Plus$30/gallon400 sq. ft./gal1 gallon, 5 gallon1 hourBuy now at Home Depot

Prestige Interior Paint and Primer In One

$37/gallon250 – 400 sq. ft./gal1 gallon1 hourBuy now at Amazon
Rust-Oleum Chalked Interior Paint$18/gallon150 sq. ft./30 oz30 oz30 minutesBuy now at Amazon
Data obtained March 2019. Prices are subject to change and should be used only as a general guide.

Types of interior paint

One of the most important decisions you’ll make when buying interior paint is choosing a sheen. The sheen is the amount of light that reflects off the paint’s surface, and the right sheen depends on the area of the home you’re painting and the look you’re going for.

  • Flat. This low-gloss finish can hide minor imperfections but isn’t great at resisting stains. It creates a soft and subtle finish and is best for ceilings, walls and other low-traffic areas.
  • Matte. Offering a little more gloss but still providing a smooth finish, matte paint is suitable for walls and low-traffic areas.
  • Eggshell. Providing a smooth, low-sheen finish, eggshell is easy to clean and offers decent stain resistance. It’s often used in living rooms, dining rooms, hallways and adult bedrooms.
  • Satin or silk. These have a mid-sheen finish that offers increased durability compared to matte, but is not as durable as a gloss finish. Suitable for dining and living rooms, it can also be used in high-traffic or messy areas such as hallways and kid bedrooms.
  • Semigloss. Simple to clean and with a high level of resistance to stains, semigloss paints are used in kitchens, bathrooms and hallways and on interior trim.
  • Gloss. Offering maximum stain and moisture resistance, these highly reflective sheens are used on skirting boards, door frames, furniture, kitchens and bathrooms.

Take note that sheens can vary between brands, so an eggshell finish from one manufacturer may be different to that from the next.

How to compare interior paints

To find the best interior paint for your project, consider the room you’re painting, the type of finish you want and your budget. While your bathroom will need a moisture-resistant paint, for instance, kids’ bedrooms and hallways need a hard-wearing paint that’s easy to clean. Kitchen paint should be moisture-resistant but also capable of withstanding grease and other stains.

Make sure you take the following factors into account:

  • Sheen. Generally speaking, the higher the gloss level, the more durable and hard-wearing a paint is. However, high-gloss paints are also shiny, so they’re not suitable if you’re painting a large area.
  • Water or oil based. Water-based paints are generally more user friendly. While not as durable as oil-based paints, they’re quicker to dry, have less of an odor and usually offer more color choices.
  • Durability. Aside from the sheen, the best way to assess durability is to check out independent customer reviews to find out whether other users recommend a particular brand.
  • Spreading rate. Most paints specify a coverage rate around 350 to 400 square feet per gallon. The larger the spreading rate, the more surface area you can cover with one can of paint.

How do I choose an interior paint color?

Finding the right interior paint color is a time-consuming process and is often the source of many marital disagreements. These tips should help you find a shade that’s just right:

  • Use tester cans. Don’t just splash a gallon of paint on the wall without testing it first. No color looks exactly the same in the can as it does on your wall. Buy a small can to see how it looks in your space before making a long-term commitment. Some stores might even offer complementary paint samples.
  • Look at things in a new light. Lighting can affect how a color looks, so step outside the store into natural light to get a different view. When using a sample, paint a swatch on a large sheet of heavy paper so you can move it around and see how it looks against your decor at different times of day.
  • The color sets the mood. Make sure you’re aware of the effects that your color choice could have on the atmosphere of your room. For example, a bold and vibrant color might give your living room the punch you want, but it might not be the best choice in your bedroom if you’re trying to create a relaxing retreat.
  • Work with what you’ve got. Consider the interior decor and furniture that will need to complement your color scheme, as well as how the color you choose will fit in with the rest of your home.

Compare interior paint from top brands

Bottom line

While choosing the right interior paint for your project can be a challenge, researching the available options and then shopping around will help you make the right decision. If you want to buy interior paint to freshen up your home, start comparing your options today.

How did we choose these products?

We considered factors like price, sheen, spreading rate and drying time to aggregate our list of the best interior paints. Additionally, we conducted our own online research and took online reviews into account.

Check out our complete renovation guide

Frequently asked questions

How many gallons of paint will I need?

An average-sized interior room typically takes two to three gallons of paint. You should have some left over for touch-ups.

Which brand of interior paint is best?

The best brand and type of paint for you will depend on your budget, the room you’re painting and your personal preferences. Some of the most popular paint brands include:

  • Benjamin Moore
  • Valspar
  • Sherwin-Williams
  • Behr
  • Glidden

Does Sherwin-Williams own Valspar?

Yes, Sherwin-Williams acquired Valspar in 2017.

Can interior paint be used outside?

Technically, yes. But most indoor paint is not formulated to withstand harsh weather conditions like rain, snow and sun, so if you want your job to last much longer, switching to exterior paint for outdoor use will be your best bet.

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