10 Best Interior Paints in 2019

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  • Matt
  • Sticks to multiple surfaces
  • Quick to dry

Tracking down the best interior paint for a particular room in your home isn’t as easy as it sounds, and it can take a lot of time to figure out exactly what you’ll need. There’s no single ‘best paint’ on the market, and now that there are dozens upon dozens of major brands to choose from, you’ll often need to look into the tiniest details to work out which one fills your requirements the best.

You might not be able to use a single kind of paint across your entire home – certain rooms will need to dry faster than others so they can be usable the next day, others might be too humid for certain paints, and you might even have some walls that need a special paint primer or bonding layer before you can paint over them properly.

Down below are ten paints we’ve found that could help simplify your search, along with a quick explanation of what they offer over other paint brands.

Related; exterior paint.

View the Best Interior Paint, Below.

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1. Rust-Oleum 285140 Interior Chalked Paint

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This ultra-matte paint can be used on a wide variety of different surfaces, even if they haven’t been treated with a priming agent, including things like bare metal and flat wood walls. It can handle materials as hard as ceramic and as soft as canvas in equal measure, making it great for a room using walls that aren’t all made of the same material.

This is mainly thanks to its high adhesiveness, which generally allows you to forgo primers and bonding agents in favor of applying the paint directly. A thirty-minute dry-to-touch time and one-hundred-and-fifty square feet of coverage mean that you can easily paint entire small rooms with a single can of paint, and you won’t need to wait long until you can apply another coat.

The paint’s latex formula means that it can easily be cleaned with something as simple as soap and water after it dries, and it won’t release any toxic fumes or annoying odors.

Why We Like It
  • Matt
  • Sticks to multiple surfaces
  • Quick to dry
  • Easy to clean
  • No odor
Type
Ultra-matte
Volume
30 oz
Dry Time
30 minutes
Our Verdict

This paint is quick to dry, easy to apply and surprisingly protective, making it great for humid areas.

Editor Rating
premium choice rating

2. Montage Signature Eco-Friendly Paint

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Each can of this paint offers an excellent level of protection against mold and moisture damage, something that can come in incredibly useful while trying to paint a kitchen or bathroom. This doesn’t mean that you need to use it just for those rooms, though – it also offers a low-sheen finish that adds a nice reflective feel to any surface without looking over-the-top, and as a water-based paint is incredibly easy to clean after it’s dry.

The paint's formula lets it dry quickly without feeling rough or bumpy, meaning that you can make uneven surfaces like wood look completely smooth once the paint is in place. Being an eco-friendly paint, it also won’t let out any dangerous substances while it’s still wet, so you don’t have to leave the room evacuated and ventilated – it’s still not safe to let pets or small children get too close to it in case they try to eat it, but if you accidentally touch it or get some on your clothes, washing it off takes hardly any time at all.

Why We Like It
  • Smooth
  • Mold-resistant
  • Easy to clean
  • Low-VOC
  • Low-sheen
Type
Water-Based
Volume
5 Gallon
Dry Time
30 minutes
Our Verdict

This eco-friendly paint is simple and safe, meaning that it’s great for painting an interior wall of any kind.

Editor Rating
great value rating

3. KILZ Original Interior Oil-Based Primer

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This primer uses an oil base and specially-designed formula to stick directly to almost any surface, blocking out things that could disturb other types of paint such as moisture, grease, strong odors and even smoke fumes. Materials that would normally reject some normal paints, such as plain brick or painted metal, can easily be coated with the primer to make them usable again.

Thanks to its quick-drying nature, this KILZ primer is safe to touch within thirty minutes and can be covered in another layer of paint in just under one hour, making it a great choice for short-notice work in rooms that need to be fully painted and ready to use again as soon as possible.

One gallon of this KILZ oil-based primer can cover between three-and-four-hundred square feet, meaning that a single one-quart can will manage up to one-hundred square feet: a single can is ideal for smaller rooms or rooms that have a single wall that needs to be primed.

Why We Like It
  • Adhesive
  • Dries quickly
  • High coverage
  • Durable
  • Sticks to many surfaces
Type
Oil-Based Primer
Volume
1 Quart
Dry Time
30 minutes (to touch), 1 hour (topcoat)
Our Verdict

This primer can make rough surfaces smooth enough to paint on, even uneven brick walls.

Editor Rating

4. Retique It Liquid Wood

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This real-wood-based paint lets you turn any surface into a stainable bare wood, using real wood parts to create an intermediate layer that you can then re-paint or stain whichever color you want. Since its main ingredient is completely natural, you don’t need to worry about volatile chemicals or dangerous fumes being emitted while you’re trying to work, meaning that you can keep using the room as normal while the paint dries.

Not only is it easy to clean this Liquid Wood paint – water and soap can work perfectly, usually with a cloth or soft brush – but it’s also very versatile. It can be used on metal, plastic, stone, plaster, canvas and even other wooden surfaces, meaning that you can completely change one wood type for another – a dark oak color can easily be turned into something lighter without needing to replace the entire wall or smother it in multiple coats of the same paint.

Why We Like It
  • Uses real wood
  • Low-VOC
  • No odor
  • Easy to clean
  • Versatile
Type
Water-Based
Volume
32oz
Dry Time
2 hours
Our Verdict

The real wood used in this paint makes it great for a natural look, no matter what surface it’s used on.

Editor Rating

5. KILZ Color-Change Stainblocking Interior

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This stain-blocking paint helps protect walls from water damage, including visible leaks, moist patches, mold, and mildew. One of its most impressive features is the way it changes colors – although the paint starts with a bright pink color, it slowly turns white as it dries, making it easy to do a room in sections or patches without re-treading the same ground by accident. This visible change compliments that fact that it dries to a touch-safe level in only one hour, and is ready for a second coat within two.

The splatter-resistant formula helps ensure that you’re only putting paint in the places you’re intending to, stopping it from splashing over to other surfaces or items of furniture. If you’re only needing to block stains from a certain wall or spot, this can help keep the surrounding walls safe from being accidentally dotted with flecks of paint and ruining the way they look.

Each one-gallon can cover up to four-hundred square feet of smooth surfaces, but this can be reduced by just over half if you’re using it on a porous surface that the paint needs to harden inside.

Why We Like It
  • Blocks stains
  • Changes color
  • Splatter-resistant
  • High coverage
  • Mold-resistant
Type
Stain Blocker
Volume
1 Gallon
Dry Time
1 hour (to touch), 2 hours (second coat)
Our Verdict

This color-changing paint dries quickly and can be great for longer projects that need a strong, protective outer layer.

Editor Rating

6. Prestige Interior Paint and Primer

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This paint-primer combination lets you do two coats in one, priming the surface and drying onto it without needing an extra layer beneath to help it stick. The eggshell finish is plain enough to accept extra top layers if your wall needs it, but a single one-gallon can of this paint and primer should be enough to repaint an entire room from scratch. Its formula makes it surprisingly smooth, letting you apply it with ease and making it simple to flatten or even out if you put too much in one area.

Once the paint and primer both dry, you won't find it hard to clean – not only is it fairly durable, able to take quite a bit of physical and moisture damage before showing any notable signs, but it can also be cleaned with water, soap, and a cloth, meaning that you won't need any special chemicals and tools to wipe away dirt and stains. As a low-VOC paint, it's safe to be around even if you're sleeping in the same room, and it won't harm you if you end up touching it accidentally.

Why We Like It
  • Paint and primer combination
  • Eggshell finish
  • High coverage
  • Smooth
  • Low-VOC
Type
Acrylic (with primer)
Volume
1 liters
Dry Time
1 hour (to touch), four hours (second coat)
Our Verdict

This paint includes its own primer mixed in, making it a single-coat solution to bare or damaged walls.

Editor Rating

7. Regal Select Waterborne Interior Paint

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This smooth eggshell-finish paint is incredibly durable, and can easily be cleaned without needing to be heavily scrubbed for hours at a time. Its stain-release technology means that stains and liquid-based marks can be wiped away easily, even if they've started to dry on your wall, and it's also moisture-resistant enough to fight off mildew and mold damage. When it comes to actually painting with it, the smooth formula means that it will stay even across an entire wall so you won't need to worry about applying too much or too little accidentally.

This paint also includes a primer layer that's mixed straight into it so you can use it on non-primed surfaces and rougher materials without needing to add an under-layer first. Despite this, it's also very low-VOC and low-odor, meaning that it won't create any long-lasting bad smells or dangerous fumes once you've finished painting, making it ideal for rooms that see frequent use.

Why We Like It
  • Durable
  • Easy to clean
  • Stain-releasing
  • Primer layer
  • Low-odor
Type
Acrylic
Volume
1 gallon
Dry Time
1 hour (to touch), 1-2 hours (second coat)
Our Verdict

This paint can deal with stains all on its own, making it great for kitchens and other messy areas.

Editor Rating

8. ECOS Paints 00817292022678

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This varnish helps to keep existing paint safe and shiny without bringing any dangerous chemicals or fumes into your home, making it ideal for glossing up something like your kitchen in a safe, easy-to-arrange way. The special formula used to create it avoids any unnecessary fungicides, pesticides, and antimicrobials to be more eco-friendly, which helps prevent it from harming plants or pets in the same room, but this also helps to avoid triggering chemical allergies, sensitivities and asthma attacks in anybody standing nearby.

Each quart can cover about one-hundred-and-fifty square feet of space, enough to completely varnish small rooms without needing a second can, and the drying process only takes about two hours (although it’s safe to touch in less than forty-five minutes). It doesn’t just have to go over paint, either – you can use it to protect and revamp bare materials, like treated or stained wood. If you’re a fan of what you have already, the best interior paint you can find might be something like this that simply improves an existing wall rather than replacing it.

Why We Like It
  • Shiny
  • Low-VOC
  • Eco-friendly
  • Allergy-friendly
  • High coverage
Type
Varnish
Volume
1 Quart
Dry Time
48-72 hours (dependent on weather conditions)
Our Verdict

This eco-friendly paint is incredibly safe to be around: great for people with allergies and sensitivities.

Editor Rating

9. Economy Interior Latex Flat Wall Paint

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This latex paint is great for quickly covering up an old wall with a new paint, rather than spending hours carefully rolling it on. You can use it to hide imperfections in your walls and touch up an existing design or decorated room without needing to completely replace anything, especially if you’re using temporary wall materials like drywall and bare bricks that you’re hoping to eventually cover up with another layer of materials.

This paint dries to the touch in less than half an hour, being ready for a second coat in up to four hours of waiting, making it a great ‘fire and forget’ product for situations where you don’t necessarily need a wall painted fast, but still need it to be done sooner or later. Each one-gallon can cover up to four hundred square feet in ideal conditions.

While it may not be the best interior paint for people who want style and carefully-thought-out designs, it can be an excellent choice for a homeowner that simply wants their walls repainted quickly and easily.

Why We Like It
  • Latex-based
  • Quick to apply
  • Dries quickly
  • High coverage
  • Simple to use
Type
Latex
Volume
1 Gallon
Dry Time
30 minutes (to touch)
Our Verdict

This paint is flat, simple and very easy to use, making it great for any kind of normal painting work.

Editor Rating

10. Rust-Oleum Transformations Cabinet Kit

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This DIY kit was originally designed for use on cabinets, but it also doubles as an excellent way to refresh and re-paint your wooden walls without completely overshadowing the original materials. Covering up to one-hundred square feet, it has an optional glaze to alter the way a surface looks after it’s dried, which can help turn a plain wood wall into something more majestic with very little effort. The kit includes a strong and durable top coat, a bonding coat to help it stick and a de-glosser to help turn glossy wood into something more receptive to paint in general.

While you might need to use a primer to prepare it, you can even use this kit on raw wood, meaning that DIY enthusiasts can quickly build and paint dividing walls or wall extensions if they want to split an area in two. It can also be great for temporary walls that you’re hoping to eventually replace with something solid – you even can make a basic wood panel much more durable, stylish and generally attractive to look at.

Why We Like It
  • Optional glaze
  • Strong bonds
  • Works on raw wood
  • Great for DIY
  • De-glosser
Type
Acrylic
Volume
1 Quart
Dry Time
1 hour (deglosser), 2-3 hours (bond coat), 24 hours (topcoat)
Our Verdict

This paint can make a wooden wall or accent much more attractive in only an hour of work.

Editor Rating

Interior Paint Buyer’s Guide

Buying paint isn’t easy, and choosing the first thing that catches your eye can often backfire. It might not be compatible with the surface you paint, or could even be emitting dangerous fumes while it’s drying – there are a lot of factors to consider before you commit to a certain type of paint or start buying primers to prepare a surface that might not need it, so you should make sure you’ve checked everything before going in and making that purchase.

The Formula

Different paint formulas will react to surfaces in different ways, and can also sometimes be affected by the conditions you’re painting in – humidity, heat, sunlight, moisture leaks, and smoke can all impact how your paint settles, dries and looks after it’s done. There are dozens of different formula variants out there, but some are far more common than others: latex and acrylic paints are the easiest to clean and generally resist water really well, whereas oil-based paints can smooth out faster for a more even coverage.

If you’re trying to find the best interior paint you can, make sure you’re looking at the formulas carefully to get an idea of where and how each paint should be used so that you don’t end up putting some in the wrong place.

The Finish

While the finish of paint doesn’t usually change much on a functional level, it can make a big difference to how the room looks after the painting process is complete. Glossy and shiny paints reflect a lot more light, meaning that it can seem unusual if you cover a large room’s walls in it – especially if it has large windows or powerful artificial lights that can cause light glare. Matte is the opposite, reflecting very little light and making dark corners seem even darker since there’s no way for sunlight and artificial light to bounce off.

Primers, and Bonders

Not all paint is meant to be seen directly – some help complement other types of paint with more protection, shine or color than they would normally have by themselves. Primers are the most common, helping to prepare a surface for painting: usually by making it smoother or adding a layer that normal paints can settle on easier. Bonders do a similar job, making normally-incompatible surfaces and paints work together better without flaking or cracking over time.

Should I use my Paint Outdoors, too?

A paint that seems to work outdoors would always react poorly if the weather changes, so don’t rely on it by itself – if you can get any kind of protective layer, even something as simple as a light varnish, you might be able to make it more suited to outdoor use without affecting the color or sheen too much. Moisture is the biggest threat since many paint types aren’t designed to be in contact with rain and snow, so choose a type with high moisture resistance.

Should I mix Paints?

Mixing two paints can be an easy way to ruin them both if you aren’t sure what you’re doing. If you don’t have any previous DIY experience, make sure that both paints use the same base type of material – putting two wildly different paints in the same can or pot might lead to them not mixing properly, leading to them forming two distinct, discolored layers that you can’t use for their original purpose, and at worst might lead to them reacting with one another, rendering them utterly useless to you.

Expert Tip

Even if you don’t need to use a primer, consider adding a layer just in case – they’ll improve the quality and lifetime of your paint, and won’t be visible underneath the top layer anyway.

Did you know?

Some paints are designed to work on glass. While this means you could accidentally paint on part of your window, it also gives you an easy way to block ones you’re intending to brick up later if you’re renovating your home.

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