The Top 5 Home Interior Paints for 2021

5 Materials

You don’t have to be a pro to get professional painting results. What you do need is a great interior paint. However, with so many varieties on the market today, how do you know which is the best paint for home interiors? Well, we’re here to help.


From the big box stores to specialty labels, we’ve looked at them all and ranked the top 5 interior paint brands. Whether you’re a DIYer looking for a quick one-coat solution or one that will stand up to heavy use and abuse, these suggestions will help you find the right paint.


Furniture, walls, ceilings and trim might be different jobs, and require a variety of finishes, but the process always starts with evaluating your needs and choosing a quality interior paint that will get the job done well, without breaking the bank. The good news is, no matter your goal, there are some superb options out there.

Best Overall Interior Paint - Aura Waterborne Interior Paint 

Price: $79.99


Favorite Feature: Its rich finish


Why it ranks: It has great coverage and color that stays true and lasts


Perfect for: DIYers at any experience level and for any room in your home



Best One-Coat Interior Paint - Sherwin Williams Infinity

 

Price: $48.98


Favorite Feature: Full coverage in one coat


Why it ranks: It makes easy work of home interior painting


Perfect for: Those homeowners who are looking to get the job done quickly



Best Interior Paint for High Traffic Rooms - Behr Ultra Scuff Defense

Price: $34.98


Favorite Feature: Offered in an extra durable flat finish for walls


Why it ranks: This one will stand up to anything your active family can throw at it


Perfect for: DIYers painting rooms that tend to take a beating



Best Value - PPG Diamond

Price: $25.98


Favorite Feature: The price


Why it ranks: It lowers the cost to paint the interior of your home


Perfect for: The budget-conscious DIYer who wants a reliable product 



Best White Interior Paint - Benjamin Moore Regal Select Interior In Chantilly Lace

Price: $63.99


Favorite Feature: It comes in a pearl finish


Why it ranks: It has true color clarity and great quality


Perfect for: The homeowner who wants pure white moldings and trim


Picking the best interior paint involves more than just examining the color wheel. We based our ranking on several important factors to ensure you achieve a quality result.


Price: Paint prices can vary widely, even if you’re shopping at a big box store. We looked beyond the price tag to find the value in each brand.


Coverage: Let’s face it, when it comes to paint, this really is the most important factor. If it doesn’t cover well, nothing else matters. You’ll end up spending more money and more time and that’s not ideal.


VOC Level: No one wants to work or live in a room that smells bad or triggers allergies for days or weeks as the paint cures. Thankfully, today, low- or no-VOC paints are readily available to protect you and your family. These paints give off fewer and less harmful gases, so you can paint without a respirator and without worry, which is hugely important when working inside.


Durability: Painting a room properly takes time, there’s no way around it. Once it’s done, it’s not a job you want to repeat over and over again. However, it’s not always easy to keep it looking its best, especially if you have kids or pets. For that reason, we strongly considered interior paints that are resistant to scuff marks or tough enough to handle a good scrubbing and still look fabulous.


There were other features we considered, as well.


Drying time: We looked at drying time so you could get moving again quickly if a second coat is required.


Ease of clean up: We’re not fans of harsh chemicals, so all the interior paints we ranked are acrylic-based and clean up with soap and water.


Home interior paint colors and finishes: We investigated all the options.

Best Overall Interior Paint


Aura Waterborne Interior Paint by Benjamin Moore


Pros:

Consistent Coverage, Rich Finish

Zero VOC

Designer Colors

Quick Drying Time To Recoat


Cons:

It’s expensive


Where to buy:

Benjamin Moore: Aura Waterborne Interior Paint - Eggshell



Benjamin Moore is a specialty brand with an excellent reputation and Aura Waterborne Interior Paint lives up to it. You get professional looking results even if you’ve never painted before. No special techniques or tools needed here, it’s a reliable interior paint that offers superior coverage and deep, rich color that lasts, among many other notable features. Out of all the paints we tried, it delivered the most consistent results across colors, finishes and uses. It worked the same on ceilings, walls, furniture and trim. Its zero VOC levels ensure a very low odor, so working with it and living with it as it cures is not an issue. While it is a paint and primer in one, two coats may be necessary to achieve the truest version of color, but you can reapply in just one hour. It has a mildew resistant coating, so it’s an appropriate choice for bathrooms and kitchens. While it’s very durable and resists marks, it is washable. Plus, Benjamin Moore offers Aura in a variety of designer home interior paint colors and four finishes.


On the cons side, it does come with a hefty price tag per gallon. However, the fact that your project or room will look brand new for years after you painted it, is priceless.

Best One-Coat Interior Paint


HGTV HOME by Sherwin Williams Infinity


Pros:

One-Coat Coverage

Stain Blocking

Scrubbable

Money Back Guarantee


Cons:

Longer Drying Time


Where to buy:

Lowe’s : HGTV HOME by Sherwin-Williams Infinity Satin Ultra White Tintable Interior Paint (1-Gallon) Lowes.com


One-coat paints are a DIYer’s dream. Unfortunately, really good ones are notoriously hard to find. Sure, they all promise a quick result, but few deliver. That’s where HGTV HOME by Sherwin Williams Infinity is different. If you’re a weekend warrior, looking for a quick interior paint solution, its low price and one coat coverage will save you time and money. It's not only formulated as a paint and primer combo that will cover in one coat, but it’s actually guaranteed. That’s right, if it doesn’t do the job the first time, Sherwin Williams will give you your money back. It covers stains easily, it’s durable, scrubbable and comes in four finishes, from semi-gloss to flat, satin and eggshell, so you can paint a room top to bottom, including the trim and tables in it. It’s a low VOC paint and moderately priced, but keep in mind you’ll need less paint if you’re only applying one coat.


So what’s the downside? Well, since it is a one-coat paint, drying time really shouldn’t be an issue, but if you want to add a second coat for some reason, you’ll have to wait about 2 hours to do so. If you’re good with one coat though, it’s dry to the touch in under an hour.

Best Interior Paint for High Traffic Rooms


Behr Ultra Scuff Defense


Pros:

Covers A Wide Variety Of Surfaces

Moderately Priced

Scuff Resistant

Comes In Extra Durable Flat


Cons:

Not A Reliable One-Coat Option



Where to buy:

Home Depot: BEHR ULTRA 1 gal. Ultra Pure White Extra Durable Eggshell Enamel Interior Paint & Primer-275001


Behr Ultra Scuff Defense is the workhorse of interior paints. If you’re a homeowner, looking for a paint that will take a beating and still look great, this is the one for you. While all the paints we ranked are washable or scrubbable, without damage, this one goes a step further. It’s actually formulated to resist scuff marks in the first place (great for painting entryways, especially). The surface is coated with a durable film that protects so you don’t have to worry about washing. It’s a primer paint combo that offers great coverage and blocks existing stains on the wall when applied. It’s also mildew resistant and low VOC/odor. One of the best features is the unique extra-durable flat finish for kids’ rooms or other high traffic rooms where the walls might not be perfect and a flat finish is preferred. It’s different from the ceiling flat which is also offered, along with eggshell, satin and semi-gloss.


On the downside, while the manufacturer boasts that it will take fewer coats to reach that higher level of durability, it’s certainly not a one coat paint. In most cases, you’ll need to add a second coat for optimal protection. Second coats can be applied after 2 hours

Best Interior Paint Value


PPG Diamond


Pros:

Low Priced

Low Odor

Available In 5 Gallon Size For Larger Jobs

Paint and Primer Combo


Cons:

4 hours Between Coats



Where to buy:

Home Depot: PPG Diamond 1 Gal. Pure White Eggshell Interior Paint and Primer-PPG53-310-01


If you’re a budget-conscious DIYer and you’re looking for an interior paint to cover a large area, this Home Depot interior paint has your name all over it. It’s the least expensive product on our list, but don’t let that fool you. This paint can proudly stand alongside the others. It’s durable, washable, and scrubbable. It’s also a mildew-resistant, zero VOC paint and primer combination that comes in four finishes, flat/matte, eggshell, satin, and semi-gloss. So you can use it on any interior job you can dream up from painting nursery walls to redoing kitchen cabinets. Best of all, since you can get it in an economical 5 gallon container, you can paint the walls or ceilings in every room of your house without breaking the bank. Overall, the colors are true, two coats are recommended and you might need more to get the fullest coverage on rougher textures. It’s also backed by a lifetime warranty.


There is one trade off here, though. While you’ll get the job done for less, it won’t be quick. PPG Diamond requires 4 hours of dry time between coats. That’s the longest on the list. However, if you’re not in rush, this is a suburb option.

Best White Interior Paint


Benjamin Moore Regal Select Interior In Chantilly Lace


Pros:

Crisp Pure White Color

Comes In Five Finishes

Long Lasting

Great for Trim Work


Cons:

Might Be Too White For Certain Applications


Where to buy:

Link: Regal Select Waterborne Interior Paint - Eggshell | Shop Benjamin Moore


No matter what color you paint the walls, most homeowners opt for white trim. For those jobs, Benjamin Moore Regal Select Interior In Chantilly Lace is our choice. Whether it’s doors, window trim, and moldings this pure white interior paint will provide the perfect contrast. Classified as a zero VOC, low odor product, it provides great coverage, a mildew-resistant coating for humid areas, and excellent coverage whether you’re applying it to new or previously painted surfaces. It’s even appropriate for metal. It dries for recoating in about 1-2 hours and its acrylic formula cleans up with soap and water. The big plus here is the pearl finish. It fills that gap, on interior doors, for example, when you want them to be shinier than the eggshell/satin walls, but not quite as showy as the high-gloss moldings. The pearl sheen does tend to show imperfections a little more easily, so if your wall has bumps or tape marks, it might be better to choose one of the other four finishes available. Although, that’s generally not an issue on wood trim.


Another con is really more about personal choice. While it’s one of Benjamin Moore’s most popular colors on walls, Chantilly Lace may be too stark for some.


So there you have it, five outstanding interior paints ranked for the DIY homeowner who is looking to make their house a more colorful home, even if you’ve never painted before. We’ve taken the guesswork out of the process, outlined the most important considerations, and given you facts detailing everything from how much it will cost you, how rugged the finish will be and how long it should take you to complete the job.


Armed with our simple rankings, you can transform a room, cover that stained ceiling or make over your latest curbside furniture find with confidence, knowing you’ve chosen a quality product appropriate for whatever home interior paint ideas you can dream up.

Suggested materials:

  • Aura Waterborne Interior Paint by Benjamin Moore
  • HGTV HOME by Sherwin Williams Infinity
  • Behr Ultra Scuff Defense
See all materials

Frequently asked questions

Have a question about this project?

Comments

Join the conversation

Next