The DIYers Guide To The Best Paint For Home Interiors

by Eli
2 Materials
12 Minutes

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, we’ve got you covered. 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.

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 or worse live 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,So 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 a 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.

Aura Waterborne Interior Paint


  • Consistent Coverage, Rich Finish
  • Zero VOC
  • Designer Colors
  • Quick Drying Time To Recoat


  • It’s expensive

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.

HGTV HOME by Sherwin Williams Infinity


  • One- Coat Coverage
  • Stain Blocking
  • Scrubbable
  • Money Back Guarantee


  • Longer Drying Time

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.

Behr Ultra Scuff Defense


  • Covers A Wide Variety Of Surfaces
  • Moderately Priced
  • Scuff Resistant
  • Comes In Extra Durable Flat


  • Not A Reliable One- Coat Option

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. 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.

PPG Diamond


  • Low Priced
  • Low Odor
  • Available In 5 Gallon Size For Larger Jobs
  • Paint and Primer Combo


  • 4 hours Between Coats

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 nursery walls to 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.

Benjamin Moore Regal Select Interior In Chantilly Lace


  • Crisp Pure White Color
  • Comes In Five Finishes
  • Long Lasting
  • Great for Trim Work


  • Might Be Too White For Certain Applications

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 mouldings 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 mouldings. 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. White 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:
  • Wood
  • Wood
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