THE BEST HOME INTERIOR WALL PAINT PRODUCTS & COLOURS
To freshen up the interior of a home with wall paint is easy. But to find the right home interior wall paint and colours is often overwhelming.
Latex or oil-based? Matt or sheen? Neutral or vibrant colours? With so many choices available, how to choose the best one?
We can’t help you decide which colour or finish is the best for you. But we can help in identifying the best interior wall paints on the market. Our expert team has tested and rated some of the most popular products suitable for all rooms and environments. Check out our top picks below.
OUR BEST PICK INTERIOR WALL PAINTS
Best Of The Rest
Comes in 38 contemporary hues designed to vamp up all interior designs. Unsuitable to use in a bathroom or kitchen.
Special formulation encloses Dulux’s Chromalock technology; the paint maintains a fresh look for longer.
Ideal for wood and metal painting works, this product boasts a great coverage and is easy to apply.
POPULAR INTERIOR WALL COLOUR PALETTES
Contemporary interiors burst with colour. Pastel shades are a thing of the past and nowadays, architects hardly use them in environments other than the kitchen or the bathroom.
An important consideration to make when choosing an expressive colour palette is the size and the lighting of your home. Dark colours look amazing in a large interior but suffocating in a small room. On the contrary, white adds brightness to a tiny or insufficiently illuminated space.
Red and yellow are two of the most popular colours used in a living room. Warm and stimulating, these tones boost brain power and enhance energy. Orange is a vibrant hue that stimulates learning abilities and concentration, being perfect for an office area.
Secondary colours, like green and purple, often match with other intense shades. Green shows its full potential in the dining room while purple makes a bold choice for an opulent bedroom. To tone down purple, pair it with earthy tones like olive green, sand, or brown.
Blue is another popular choice for the bedroom, but this lively colour is ideal to use in a coastal home. Enhance blue’s Mediterranean vibes with a dark brown parquet floor and wooden furniture.
In a traditional home, opt for contemporary neutral colours including earthy browns and greens. Grey and beige are two other wonderful shades to consider.
Perma-White by Zinsser is an all-purpose interior paint so good we love it. The main feature we like is the paint’s resistance to even the harshest conditions. An active biocide formulation protects the dry film against fungal degradation for up to five years, preventing mould and bacteria growth.
This feature makes the paint ideal to use in poorly ventilated or humid environments, including bathrooms and kitchens. The satin finish is easy to wipe clean; the paint needs little maintenance and the paint film resists to peeling, flaking, and blistering for up to 7 years.
Another thing we like is the self-priming formula that adds further convenience. Perma-White bonds seamlessly over existing solvent-based or glossy finish paint. It also seals new or flat paint surfaces in a breeze, while redecoration costs are also reduced by eliminating the use of a primer.
Covering up to 10m²/litre, Perma-White is easy to apply with a paintbrush or roller. The paint gets touch dry in half an hour; it accepts a second coat after two hours and it cures in about a week.
Last but not least, Perma-White is tintable to any NCS, RAL, or BS4800 colour through the appropriate tint base. While we recommend asking for professional help if you want to change colour, it’s nice to know this is an option.
Dulux Matt Paint offers an affordable yet quality alternative to Perma-White. Coming in 44 colours and boasting a quick drying formulation, this product is ideal to use on all walls. The unique creamy texture is easy to apply with a brush or roller, and it’s even possible to apply thinned paint with a sprayer.
The water-based formulation is low in volatile organic compounds, it has a low odour, and it’s safe to use in all spaces. A convenient 5L package provides sufficient paint to cover up to 65m² and the sophisticated matt finish hides slight wall imperfections in a smooth, velvety look.
Designed for both ceilings and walls, the paint has a good viscosity and it doesn’t drip from the roller. However this product isn’t all sugar and spice; its economical price is explained by the lack of some desirable features.
One slight defect is that the paint dries to a colour paler than expected. While this isn’t a major drawback, it’s limiting and annoying.
A greater drawback is the product’s resistance. The dry paint is not washable and is prone to mould.
Johnstone’s Matt Emulsion Paint is a versatile product available in 38 neutral tones and vibrant colours. We tested the Manhattan Grey, which dries to a contemporary shade ideal to use in both traditional and modern style homes.
The voguish tonality dries to a smooth matt finish, disguising minor surface imperfections and looking stylish in all contexts. But that’s not the only thing we like about this paint.
The water-based formulation is safe to apply on all walls and ceilings. The low odour and quick dry time make the product easy to work with while the non-reflective finish needs little maintenance and is easy to wipe clean with a damp cloth.
We also like the coverage of the paint. One litre can cover up to 13m², although this depends on the porosity of the wall. Two coats deliver satisfactory results and the product dries in less than two hours, accepting the second coat after four hours.
One downside is that this paint dries to a colour different than expected, while the viscosity is inconsistent between tins. If you need more than one can, we recommend mixing the paint in a larger container to ensure consistent results.
Dulux Natural Hints is a creamy emulsion paint ideal to use on interior walls and ceilings. It comes in 44 modern colours inspired by the colours of nature and it dries to a beautiful matt finish that hides wall imperfections, enhancing the design of the room.
This water-based colour makes use of Dulux’s exclusive Chromalock technology, which creates an invisible protective barrier between the colour and the environment. This helps to protect the dry film from everyday wear and tear.
Ultimately this translates into lower maintenance and a longer lasting result, two important characteristics of a non-washable paint.
On a positive note, the product has an excellent coverage. A litre of paint is sufficient for an area up to 13m². A second coat can usually be applied after 4 hours, depending on the environmental conditions.
For the best results, we recommend painting over a primer and allowing the first coat to cure for 24 hours before a second application.
Walls and ceilings are not the only interior surfaces to paint in a house. Wood and metal surfaces like door frames, doors, skirting, windows, and radiators also need revamping from time to time. That’s why we tested Dulux Once Gloss Paint too.
This solvent-based paint dries to a sleek gloss finish, it comes in 1.25L tins and it covers up to 12m²/litre. One coat is usually enough to achieve a consistent result while the Pure Brilliant White matches all interior paints and colours.
Suitable for both interior and exterior use, this product is also ideal to apply on a fence or shed. The self-undercoating formulation minimises work and cuts off repainting costs, which is another characteristic we like.
What we like less is the solvent-based formulation that discolours in time. The paint might not need a primer, but it needs a protective top coat that can prevent the appearance of yellow stains. Other than this, the product is easy to apply with a paintbrush and resists well to elements.
HOW TO PAINT AN INTERIOR WALL
• Interior wall paint
• Painter’s tape
• Drop cloth
• Paint roller
• Bucket with a roller grid
Step 1 – Set up the surface
Painting walls is a messy job, so a proper preparation of the surface is essential. Remove all obstacles, such as furniture, rugs, hanging decorations, accessories, and any shelves fixed to the wall. Cover the floor with a drop cloth and cover the larger objects, like wardrobes or sofas, with a plastic sheet if you can’t move them out of the room.
Apply painter’s tape to all surfaces that shouldn’t be painted, such as door trims, windows, or edges. Remove any electric outlet and switch covers.
Repair any cracks or holes with a sealer, then smoothen the whole surface of the wall with sandpaper. Wash the wall, paying particular attention to removing all dust and debris and leave it to dry properly before proceeding.
Step 2 – Apply the primer
If the surface you’re painting over is in good condition and in a similar or lighter colour to the one you’re applying, you can skip this step. However, we recommend priming all surfaces to achieve a professional result.
Priming is important, not only because the undercoat improves paint adhesion, reducing maintenance and increasing resistance in the long run – but it also ensures a better coverage of the surface, which can significantly reduce the quantity of paint needed to finish the job.
To reduce work, experts recommend mixing a small quantity of topcoat into the primer. This simple trick enhances the ability of the top paint to hide the primed surface quicker and easier.
Step 3 – Apply the paint
To reduce mess and maximise efficiency, experts also recommend using a roller grid instead of a tray. Pour the paint into a bucket with roller grid for a mess-free operation.
An efficient way to paint the wall is by first painting the edges with a paintbrush, then the rest of the wall with the roller. When the edges are defined, soak the roller in paint, drain off excess product using the roller grid in the bucket, then draw “W” shapes on the wall. Fill the remaining spaces, paying attention to apply an even layer of paint.
Leave the first coat to dry as instructed before applying a second coat.
A consistent result can also be achieved with a paint sprayer if the paint is compatible with the system. However, be prepared to clean up a big mess if choosing this method.