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Which interior house paint should I get?

What interior house paint is best?

A coat of fresh paint can transform any room. And it’s a cost-effective way to do it. Painting the interior of a room can be messy if you don't use the appropriate tools. For example, while a paint roller is great for tackling large areas, excess paint can splatter. This is why it’s important to put down a drop cloth or newspaper to collect paint drips and spills, so it doesn’t get on carpet, tile or hardwood floors.

Choose a paint formula

Before purchasing interior paint, consider what type of formula you want. Interior paint is composed of two types: water-based formula and oil-based formula. 

Water-based interior paint

Also known as latex paint, water-based paint is what many people prefer because it has fewer volatile organic compounds than oil-based paint. It also dries quickly and withstands cracking and chipping, making it the most ideal choice for those who are in a time crunch. However, because it dries quickly, you may see brush strokes easier than when using oil-based paint. 

Oil-based interior paint

This type of interior paint usually has alkyd in its formula, which is a synthetic oil base. This element makes oil-based paint easy to apply, and it also masks stains well. Compared to water-based paint, the oil-based variety releases a significant amount of VOCs. Additionally, cleanup is messier because of the oil, and it takes a long time to dry.


Sheen is another element to consider when choosing an interior house paint. Flat or matte sheen is best for covering imperfections and is the least reflective finish. Eggshell is very popular because it works well on almost any surface and the finish has a light shine. 

Semi-gloss is more noticeable and highlights flaws because of its composition. Glossy is the shiniest finish. Similar to a semi-gloss finish, a glossy sheen requires extreme caution and prep work because it also highlights imperfections — more so than semi-gloss. While it cleans up easily, it's on the more luxurious end. 

Best interior house paint

It’s always a good idea to consider the VOCs that are in interior paint, because they can be harmful to the environment. Another consideration is that some paint formulas are paint and primer in one. However, keep in mind that this formula doesn’t work on all surfaces. Aside from primer, if your walls are in good condition, they may only require one coat.

Interior house paint, for the most part, is fairly inexpensive, costing around or below $25 per gallon. While this is a good price, especially if you're on a budget, application and finish may not be as smooth. Midrange prices for interior paint is $30-$60 per gallon. These paint formulas usually don’t require a second coat and they emit low VOCs. On the luxurious end, interior paint that costs $60 and up gives you the best results and often only requires one coat. Furthermore, the application is smooth and even. These are a great choice if you’re looking for a unique or trendy color.

Top interior house paint

KILZ TRIBUTE Interior Matte Paint and Primer in One

The paint and primer in one formula makes this high-quality interior house paint excellent for hiding imperfections. It also resists mildew and requires only one coat of paint, creating a matte finish. It dries smooth on all wall surfaces and bonds to many surfaces, like drywall, uncoated wood and cured plaster.

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Glidden One Coat Interior Paint and Primer

Available in a variety of gray hues and finishes, this interior paint is perfect for beginners. The paint and primer in one combination blocks stains, won’t fade and provides a one coat coverage. It contains low amounts of VOCs and dries evenly without leaving streaks.

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The Spruce Best Home by KILZ Interior Paint & Primer in One

Sold at a cost-effective price, this interior house paint applies smoothly without the need for primer. Made in 32 colors and a variety of finishes, KILZ is a high-quality, durable, 100% acrylic, low-odor interior house paint that dries in about one hour after application.

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Montage Signature Interior/Exterior Eco-Friendly Paint

Environmentally friendly and extremely versatile, this paint option offers many coverages. Excellent coverage and protection allow for smooth application. It’s also easy to clean due to the sealing technology formula, and it protects from common water issues.

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THE ONE Water-Based House and Paint Primer

This paint is easy to use, dries fast and is safe for the environment. The water-based paint and primer in one combo requires only one coat and adheres to most surfaces like glass, stone, wood, brick, metal and plastic.

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Glidden Essentials Interior Paint

The budget-friendly interior house paint features a latex formula with low VOCs and low odor. Sold in 3 sheens and over 1,000 colors, it applies easily and provides maximum coverage, with a smooth, washable and scrubbable finish.

Sold by Home Depot

Rust-Oleum Chalked Paint

Perfect if you want a rustic or unique look, this interior house paint is easy to apply and dries in an ultra-matte velvety, smooth finish in just 30 minutes. The low-odor latex formula allows for easy cleanup using soap and water. You can use it on a multitude of surfaces, such as wood, canvas, metal and ceramic.

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BEHR Premium Plus Interior Paint and Primer

Certified GREENGUARD, the semi-gloss sheen seals both coated and uncoated surfaces and is extremely durable and resistant to grime and dirt. The 100% acrylic base formula has a low odor. This high-quality paint can block and resist stains.

Sold by Home Depot

BEHR Ultra Scruff Defense Interior Paint and Primer

On the luxurious end, this antimicrobial, mildew-resistant, 100% acrylic interior house paint has a formula with an extremely durable paint film. The radiant semi-gloss sheen creates a sleek and sophisticated look. The advanced stain-blocking ability makes it highly resistant to stains and doesn’t require excess coats to cover imperfections.

Sold by Home Depot

PPG Diamond Interior Paint and Primer

Made of 100% acrylic, this interior house paint and primer provides ultimate durability and stain resistance. The finish is smooth, scrubbable and washable, creating an overall slight shine. It also has a mildew-resistant coating.

Sold by Home Depot


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Tessa Schaal writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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