Painting your walls does not need to be a major undertaking, thanks to the variety of modern products that eliminate the need for priming and offer a faster drying time than traditional paints.
We researched the best paints for interior walls, evaluating ease of application, finish, color selection, formulation, and value. Our best overall pick, theSherwin-Williams Cashmere, is a paint/primer combo that applies evenly, is easy to clean, and looks and feels silky.
Here are the best interior wall paints.
Best Overall:Sherwin-Williams Cashmere Interior Acrylic Latex
Who else recommends it? Wirecutter also picked Sherwin-Williams Cashmere.
Our top choice is Sherwin-Williams Cashmere. This acrylic latex paint/primer combo stands out for its buttery smooth application. It automatically levels out into an even layer. In other words, you won't have to worry about permanent roller marks or brush strokes.
When your walls dry, you'll be left with an ultra-silky, rich finish that looks great from every angle. This wall paint offers exceptional coverage, effortlessly hiding any colors or marks underneath. It comes in five different sheens, and you can upload your own color to create a custom hue.
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Best Budget:Glidden Essentials Interior Paint
If you're on a tight budget, Glidden Essentials Interior Paint is a high-quality option with an affordable price tag. When you want to refresh your living room, entryway, bedroom, or home office, this paint provides excellent coverage and an easy-to-clean finish.
Glidden Essentials can be tinted into upwards of 1,100 colors, and you can choose from flat/matte, eggshell, or semi-gloss. We also appreciate that this is a low-VOC (volatile organic compound) latex paint with minimal odor. Plus, Gliddon backs it with a 15-year warranty.
Best Color Selection:The Spruce Best Home by KILZ The Spruce Best Home Interior Paint & Primer in One
Your next paint project is about to get more colorful! The Spruce Best Home Interior Paint & Primer in One is a premium acrylic paint that’s perfect for interior walls. After listening to reader feedback and experimenting with different formulas, we studied the most pressing concerns (odor, formula, application, and color). We developed a paint product that we love and think you will too!
Produced by KILZ, you can choose from matte, semi-gloss, and eggshell finishes. While all three are stain-resistant and long-lasting, our matte formula has the lowest level of sheen (0 to 4 units at 85 F) and is perfect for ceilings, bedrooms, and other rooms that don’t see as much foot traffic. The eggshell or semi-gloss paint has a slight sheen (17 to 22 units at 85 F) that’s decorative and easy to clean.
We’ve invested considerable time testing this paint. We are impressed with the thick coverage and depth of color. We found that one coat will do when you expect to need two. Since we know that picking a color can feel daunting, we narrowed down our colors to 32 curated shades that are elegant and versatile. You can’t go wrong with any color you pick. Low odor was also important to us; our product is low VOC and low odor. You can apply this paint with a nylon or polyester brush, a roller, or an airless paint sprayer. It is available exclusively on Amazon.
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Best Splurge:Backdrop Standard Finish Interior Paint
Backdrop Paint Review
If you're in the market for luxury wall paint, you might want to splurge on a can of Backdrop Standard Finish. This premium, water-based paint is formulated with acrylic resin, which makes it easy to apply. This self-priming, low-VOC formula goes on smoothly and dries quickly with minimal odors.
Backdrop Standard Finish delivers a rich pigment with a perfect low-sheen, semi-matte finish. Choose from tons of stunning colors with irresistible names, like Rose Quartz, Skywalker, and Drive-Thru Safari. There's a mix of bold colors that are perfect for accent walls or big design moments and more neutral shades that will work in any home.
What Our Testers Say
"No need for a primer! The paint had great coverage. It was thick, spread well, and dried fast. I did two coats over an existing dark grey, and it was perfect." — Deanna McCormack, Product Tester
Best Low-VOC:Clare Wall Paint
If you prefer low-VOC products, you'll appreciate the VOC-free formula of Clare Wall Paint. This Greenguard Gold-Certified paint emits zero volatile organic compounds. Plus, it has an ultra-low odor, so you can breathe easy not only while you apply it but for long after.
While this 100 percent acrylic paint is a bit spendier than most other brands, you'll get what you pay for. It offers impressive coverage and a remarkably smooth, durable finish that resists dirt, mold, and mildew. Get super convenient peel-and-stick color swatches before you purchase a full can.
Best Chalk:Rust-Oleum Chalked Ultra Matte Paint
Your best bet for chalk paint is Rust-Oleum Chalked. The ultra-matte formula creates a charming, semi-distressed look that's ideal for rustic and vintage-inspired interior design schemes.
Besides painting your walls, you can use Rust-Oleum Chalked to transform wood furniture, metal fixtures, and ceramic items around your home. This low-odor latex paint is easy to apply, effortlessly adhering to most surfaces, and is dry to the touch in 30 minutes.
Best Matte:Valspar Signature Flat Tintable Interior Paint
If you like a matte finish, we recommend Valspar Signature Flat. The tintable interior formula is a paint and primer in one. Unlike other matte paints, it has special "scuff shield technology" that protects against scuffs and stains. It's also resistant to fading, scratching, and scrub marks.
Valspar Signature Flat goes on smooth and effortlessly conceals any existing paint, marks, or imperfections on your walls. As a Greenguard Gold-certified product, this is a low-VOC paint.
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Best High-Gloss:Valspar Ultra High-Gloss Paint + Primer
For an extra glossy finish, Valspar Ultra High Gloss is the way to go. Like its flat counterpart, this paint/primer formula resists stains, scrub marks, scuffs, and general wear and tear. It has a washable finish, meaning most marks and stains will wash away with soap and water.
This acrylic paint is suitable for indoor and outdoor use. No matter where you apply it, you can count on this burnish-resistant finish to retain its glossy appearance.
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Best White:BEHR Premium Plus Semi-Gloss Enamel Interior Paint & Primer in One Ultra Pure White
If you're looking for the perfect stark white color, check out Behr Premium Plus Enamel Ultra Pure White. This combined acrylic paint and primer come in five sheens, including flat, eggshell, satin, semi-gloss, and high-gloss.
The low-odor formula glides on easily and covers your existing wall color—even dark shades. It resists mildew and is ideal for bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, basements, and other moisture-prone spaces.
Best for Ceilings:Benjamin Moore Waterborne Ceiling Paint Ultra Flat
Benjamin Moore Waterborne is the best interior paint for ceilings. The ultra-matte sheen hides any imperfections on your ceiling, leaving a virtually flawless finished appearance. It's easy to use and resists gravitational dripping and splattering. This low-odor ceiling paint emits zero VOCs, giving you peace of mind about the air you breathe in your home.
The best paint for interior walls is Sherwin-Williams Cashmere Interior Acrylic Latex (view at Sherwin-Williams). You can't beat the buttery smooth application and rich, low-stipple finish. However, if you're having a hard time choosing a color, you can't go wrong with The Spruce Best Home by KILZ Interior Paint & Primer (view at Amazon). The 32 shades are curated, providing foolproof versatility and an elegant appearance.
What to Look for in Paints for Interior Walls
The color you pick is likely your biggest consideration when selecting interior paint. Even if you already know what color interior paint you want, there are many shade choices. Most major paint manufacturers offer an extensive selection of color chips. Use them to narrow down your options, then consider purchasing a pint-sized paint tester to try out the color at home if you’re still torn.
If you can’t find an exact match in the color swatches, typically, you can have a custom color mixed at your local paint store. Bring in a sample of the shade you’re imagining—it can be anything, even a pillow or a favorite sweater—and a color code machine called a spectrophotometer scans and deciphers the color. The machines aren’t perfect, so visually check the color to see if it’s on target with what you were imagining. The paint mixer should be able to tweak it further, if necessary.
Another option is a small device, the Color Muse (view on Amazon), which can scan a wall, counter, or other object and find you the closest color match among top paint brands. The device reads the RGB (red, green, blue) values of the color and identifies paint choices that match. If no matching shade is found, the device provides you with the RGB code to create a custom paint shade. Paint color options are limitless. The bigger task is selecting your top choice for your space, style, and furnishings.
You have three basic finish categories to choose from, and sometimes paint is categorized by these finish types. Select from a flat finish, low-luster, or glossy finish.
Flat paint is exactly as it sounds—the resulting finish doesn’t reflect much light. It’s also called a matte finish. This type of interior paint is good for surfaces that won’t see much action, like ceilings. It’s usually the least expensive type of interior paint, and it can be difficult to keep clean and look fresh. Only use flat paint if you’re on a tight budget and using it on an out-of-the-way location in your house. On the plus side, matte paint will hide imperfections better than shinier finishes.
The next type of finish is low-luster, which only offers a slight reflection of light. Low-luster paints include both eggshell and satin finishes. Of the two, the eggshell is slightly more matte. This type of paint is prevalent since it’s versatile and offers increased durability and cleaning ability compared to flat paint. You’ll likely want to use interior paint with a satin or eggshell finish in the majority of areas within your home, such as living room and bedroom walls, hallways, bathrooms, and more; all are good places to use a low-luster finish.
Finally, paints with a glossy finish offer a high amount of sheen or light reflection and a harder finish than flat paints. This category includes semi-gloss paints that are slightly more matte than their glossy counterparts. Glossy paint is used for windowsills or handrails, while semi-gloss paints are popular in higher humidity areas, like kitchens or bathrooms. Glossy paints look beautiful but magnify any imperfections in the surface they’re painted on, so take this into account when selecting your paint finish.
The finish you choose will depend on where you are painting and how resilient you want the finish. Aesthetics also play a role; high gloss finishes add drama, while a more matte appearance might play into calmer surroundings.
Volatile organic compounds are commonly referred to as VOCs, and it’s important to know if your paint has them. If the thought of a freshly painted room makes your nose wrinkle, it’s because you’ve smelled VOCs before.
To keep the chemistry lesson brief, VOCs are compounds that are emitted from some solids or liquids. Many latex-based paints are considered low VOC formulas. These are a better option for interior painting since they will minimize the exposure you have to VOCs during painting and afterward.
Oil-based paints have a higher concentration of VOCs, and so do the paint thinners needed to clean the brushes and rollers you use to apply the paint. If you opt for oil-based paint or paint that isn’t low VOC, take extra precautions to ventilate the area.
Some interior paints have additives to enhance the application or finish of the paint. Consider what you’re trying to achieve with your painting project to determine which—if any—additives are necessary for your purposes.
Enamel is one of the most common additives you’ll find in interior paint. The addition of enamel to the paint formula reduces the paint's porosity and results in a harder, more durable finish. This could be important for high-traffic areas where dirt might infiltrate the paint or if the finish is subjected to lots of touching and bumping.
Acrylic is often added to oil-based paint to prevent yellowing. This is a common downfall of oil-based interior paint. By adding acrylic, the paint stays true to its original hue longer. You’ll also see acrylic added to latex paints to improve their durability and finish.
How do you paint a wall?
First, tape the trim so you don't accidentally paint over it. Apply primer to your wall to ensure the paint sticks and then carefully apply the paint. Paint at least two coats for a solid wash and always allow the paint to fully dry between coats.
How can you match new paint to the paint color already on the wall?
Consider eyeballing it if you don't need an exact match. If it does need to be exact, you can take a photo on your phone and use a paint matching app to get the right match or match the color to a piece of fabric or spool of thread.
How long does wall paint take to dry?
Most interior wall paint will dry in about one hour, but it all depends on the type of paint you use. Check the instructions on your product to learn more about how long it takes to dry completely.
Why Trust The Spruce?
Theresa Holland researched and wrote this roundup. As a professional writer and homeowner with a DIY spirit, she has substantial experience testing and reviewing home improvement products. In addition to The Spruce, she also writes for MyDomaine.
Additional reporting and research was done byLauren Murphy,an experienced writer and editor who specializes in DIYs, home upgrades, and other home-related topics.
The best interior paint brand in 2022 is Benjamin Moore. A majority of professional painters agree that Regal Select by Benjamin Moore is the best quality interior paint you can buy. Sherwin Williams is the second-best interior paint brand in 2022.What is the most popular paint finish for interior walls? ›
Satin: Satin finishes are the most common interior paint finish. They have a velvety sheen and are easier to clean than flat and eggshell paints, which makes them a great choice for high-traffic areas like kitchens, playrooms, family rooms, bathrooms, and laundry rooms.What type of paint is best for interior walls? ›
Flat, eggshell and satin paint are best for interior walls, whereas semi-gloss and gloss paint are best for trim and woodwork.What is the best Sherwin Williams paint for interior walls? ›
Best Overall: Sherwin-Williams Cashmere Interior Acrylic Latex. Our top choice is Sherwin-Williams Cashmere. This acrylic latex paint/primer combo stands out for its buttery smooth application. It automatically levels out into an even layer.What is the new color for walls in 2022? ›
Pantone's 2022 Color of the Year is making history with its best reveal yet: an entirely new hue created, for the first time ever, to serve as Color of the Year. They call it Very Peri (17-3938).What is the most popular Sherwin-Williams color for 2022? ›
Introducing Evergreen Fog SW 9130, the 2022 Sherwin-Williams Color of the Year.What paint do professional painters use? ›
By and large, most professional painters use either Sherwin-Willaims or Benjamin Moore paint products. In fact, 50% of painting contractors chose Benjamin Moore's Regal Select line as their favorite paint.What is the best paint finish for living room walls? ›
In the living room and dining room, opt for an eggshell or satin finish. It hides flaws and imperfections — especially on uneven walls — and makes the room look more high-end, which you definitely want when you're showing your house.Which wall paint lasts the longest? ›
A: If you're searching for colors that make a room look bigger, look for light colors, like off-white, dusty blue, light gray, and sage green.
You can't really go wrong with eggshell finish on your walls. Sometimes called satin finish, eggshell has slightly more luster than a flat finish, but you won't be left with shiny walls. It also resists stains better than flat and can be wiped with a wet rag.What is Sherwin-Williams most durable interior paint? ›
Latex – Get the longest-lasting finish with the best gloss retention. Sherwin-Williams latex paints are easy to work with, dry quickly and are extremely durable.What is the highest rated house paint? ›
1. Sherwin-Williams. Founded in 1866, this Cleveland, Ohio–based company is viewed by many as the best interior paint brand.What Colour is replacing GREY? ›
What will replace it, they predicted – and also Benjamin Moore's colour of the year for 2022 – is a light, silvery green. Or, as they called it: greeneige.What is the most popular color for living room in 2022? ›
Green, grey, and navy are the most popular living room colours for 2022. New research by Swyft Home found that we are making bolder choices in our living spaces, embracing bright and rich shades, as well as some more unexpected colours.What is the most popular colors for decorating in 2022? ›
- Gray-Green. Brie Williams. ...
- Earthy Tones. Björn Wallander. ...
- Citron. Annie Schlechter. ...
- Deep Aubergine. Brie Williams. ...
- Chartreuse. Kelly Marshall. ...
- Warm Neutrals. Thomas Loof.
Spring 2022 Color Trends
Yellow, pink, and green dominated many of the collections. Often used as a striking solid, these bold colors sometimes accented a neutral but often were used alone for a bright blast of fun color. Aqua, royal blue, and beautiful reds round out a full and vibrant spectrum.
2022 Color of the Year, Evergreen Fog SW 9130 | Sherwin-Williams.Do professional painters wash walls before painting? ›
Do professional painters wash walls? Yes! For exterior painting, we usually power-wash the surface, or sometimes hand-scrub, to make sure it is free of surface contaminants. Inside, pressure washing is not an option, but in many cases the walls need to be washed prior to paint application.Do professional painters use 2 coats of paint? ›
As a rule of thumb, you should always expect to apply two coats of paint regardless of what the label says. Colors such as reds, bright yellows, and oranges may require three or more coats. However, there are situations where one coat of paint is perfectly acceptable.
To sum up, generally speaking, darker colors and flat finishes can hide wall marks while lighter colors and glossy finishes can expose them.Should living room be satin or eggshell? ›
A satin finish delivers higher durability than an eggshell finish. It's scuff-resistant, making it a great choice for painting molding and walls in high-traffic areas such as living rooms, family rooms, dining rooms, kids' rooms, and entryways.What paint finish is most forgiving? ›
Oil based paints tend to be thicker and more permanent, while water based paints can be washed more easily and can be diluted for a thinner coat.Which paint is best for long term? ›
Acrylic paint is a good option since it is UV resistant. However, paint deteriorates when exposed to wind, rain, humidity, and sunshine over an extended period. Choose paint that is resistant to the predominant weather condition.What colors brighten a living room? ›
Go for pale shades of grey and blue for maximum lightening effect. If it's warmth you're after, don't be afraid to use light terracotta or yellow paint colours – a sunny hue can brighten and warm a dark, dingy space.What colors make a room look cozy? ›
Cozy colors are saturated tones, and they tend to be dark shades of a warm hue, such as red, orange, and gold. A cozy color also can be a neutral, such as chocolate brown, caramel, fawn, or charcoal.What color makes room brighter and bigger? ›
Lighter paint colors like off-whites, light neutrals, pales, and pastels give the illusion of larger, brighter rooms.What do you paint first in a room? ›
The ceiling should always be painted first. This allows you to effectively cover the surface with at least two coats while not having to worry about any over-spray (the effect of excess paint being sprayed onto the walls) by the roller. When painting the ceiling, you should always use a roller with a double arm frame.What order should you paint a room? ›
Once the room is ready to paint it's best to work from top to bottom, start on the ceiling and work your way down. Start by stirring your paint well and then on a secure ladder cut in along the ceiling with a brush. Then using a roller attached to an extension pole you can paint the rest of the ceiling.
Paint your wall from top to bottom
From preparation to painting, work from the top of your room down, for best results. Start with the ceiling and the architrave. Then, paint your walls from the top down with your roller.
"It is the easiest paint to wipe clean and is great for all areas of the home, including bathrooms and kitchens," she says. "I only use a gloss or semi-gloss paint on base, case, trim, and cabinetry."
Matt white paint
'For walls with an uneven surface, matt paint is a great option as it will hide any imperfections that you're keen to conceal or detract attention from. '
Semi-gloss is also the toughest paint against wear and tear. "The most lustrous of this group, semi-gloss paints typically resist stains better than the other finishes, and are easy to clean," says de Paz. Just as with satin paints, you'll want to make sure your walls are smooth and free of any debris before painting.What color home sells fastest? ›
"Generally, going with neutral colors like shades of white, beige, taupe, and grays lead to a faster sale," she shares. "Neutral colors are also more appealing to potential buyers because many want the creative freedom of a blank canvas to add their personal touches to when looking for a new place to call home.What Sherwin Williams colors does Joanna Gaines use? ›
Sherwin Williams – Silver Strand
This gorgeous muted gray/green is Joanna's go to color for interior walls in many of the homes she's filmed on Fixer Upper.
The most popular color in the world is blue. The second favorite colors are red and green, followed by orange, brown and purple. Yellow is the least favorite color, preferred by only five percent of people.What is the most common paint for walls? ›
One of the most popular types of wall paint, eggshell finish provides a low sheen and a soft, smooth finish just like a true eggshell. Perfect for low- to mid-traffic areas like hallways, living rooms, entryways and family rooms. Eggshell paint is more washable than flat sheens, and it resists stains and scuffs.Is Benjamin Moore or Sherwin Williams better? ›
When it comes down to Benjamin Moore vs Sherwin Williams, they're both great brands. When it comes to the paint quality it's not about the brand but about the actual paint. Both have lower and higher quality paints. Benjamin Moore tends to be more durable and touch up better.Which is the No 1 paint in the world? ›
Leading paint companies Benjamin Moore, PPG, and Sherwin-Williams all agree: 2022 is the year for gray-green. The sophisticated hue symbolizes balance and harmony often seen in the natural world.What is the best color for living room 2022? ›
Green, grey, and navy are the most popular living room colours for 2022. New research by Swyft Home found that we are making bolder choices in our living spaces, embracing bright and rich shades, as well as some more unexpected colours.What is the color choice for 2022? ›
Very Peri by Pantone
Last but certainly not least, industry leader Pantone announced its color of the year for 2022 in early December. The selection was Very Peri, a perfectly purple blue shade of periwinkle.
By and large, most professional painters use either Sherwin-Willaims or Benjamin Moore paint products. In fact, 50% of painting contractors chose Benjamin Moore's Regal Select line as their favorite paint.What is the decorating trend for 2022? ›
"Darker, more saturated colors are going to be everywhere in 2022," shares designer Hope Austin. "Think wallcoverings and fabrics in bold blues and bright citrines paired with rich espresso and slate finishes."What color should I paint the inside of my house? ›
Popular classic interior colors are beige, gray, white and warm, Earthy tones. Trendy interior and calming colors include blush pink, true blues and soft pastels. Check out the paint colors of the year for more trending ideas.Who has the highest quality paint? ›
1. Sherwin-Williams: Best Overall. If price isn't an issue and you want trusted, premium paint, Sherwin-Williams is the best brand of paint. Many believe it is the best interior paint brand on the market today.Do painters clean walls before painting? ›
Do professional painters wash walls? Yes! For exterior painting, we usually power-wash the surface, or sometimes hand-scrub, to make sure it is free of surface contaminants. Inside, pressure washing is not an option, but in many cases the walls need to be washed prior to paint application.