Do you feel overwhelmed when it’s time to paint? I’ve been there.
The sheer variety of interior paint available on the market is enough to make anyone’s head spin. Over the years, I’ve tried a lot of different paints, and I’m here to share all the deets on how to choose a quality paint and my go-to best paint brands.
But first, let’s answer the most important question:
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What Makes a Good Interior Paint?
To get the result we all want – a flawless finish, mildew resistant and stain resistant paint that’s going to last for years to come – there are a few elements to look out for:
Covering paint can be a challenge, especially if deep colors are involved.
Wondering how many coats of paint you need for good coverage on your surface? The general rule is you need two coats of paint. This depends on the quality of the paint and the surfaces you’re painting.
A good paint contains more prime pigments, mainly titanium dioxide. This pigment is high in opacity compared to other paint fillers such as talc, clay, or calcium carbonate found in lower-grade paints.
Its extremely high refractive index means it absorbs light and will provide you with excellent coverage.
The impact of light on how a paint color appears is a factor not to be ignored – you can find out more about it here.
The type of sheen you choose has an impact on the look and durability of your paint.
Most brands offer a variety of sheens. The common ones range from a flat finish, namely matte (no shine) to satin (shiny) and high gloss (glossy sheen).
When it comes to finishing, a quality paint choice depends on what you’re looking for and which room of your house you’re painting.
A shinier finish tends to be more durable and easier to clean. That’s something to keep in mind for high-traffic areas like a kitchen or bathroom.
A flat or matte finish on the other hand is more forgiving and hides flaws. It’s a good option for ceilings since they don’t require as much cleaning.
Whether you’ve chosen a deep color or a neutral for cozy vibes, you want it to look good for years to come. Good paint provides durable color richness. How? By having high-quality custom resins and colorants.
Look for paint with ColorLock technology or tinted with proprietary Gennex® colorants.
Good paint is a healthy paint. No one likes to inhale chemicals.
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) are responsible for paint fumes. As such, you want to look for paint brands that have a low or zero-VOC index. That’s equivalent to a VOC content of 50 grams per liter or lower.
Latex-based paints are likely to have low or zero VOC compared to oil-based paints which have a higher concentration of VOCs. In addition to oil-based paints, paint thinners (used to clean paint brushes and rollers) are high VOC paint and emit a strong odor.
Shelf life depends on the type of paint you’re using. If unopened and kept away from extreme temperatures, oil-based paint can be used for up to 15 years while water-based acrylic and latex paints will stay good for about 10 years.
Leftover paints kept in airtight containers and stored in a cool and dry place should be used within 2 years.
A good rule of thumb? If your paint has solidified at the bottom, is hard to mix, or smells foul, it’s spoilt.
Even the best of paints will have low durability and a poor appearance if you skip priming.
To make sure this essential step is done properly, you need to use a primer that is well suited for the paint you’re covering.
For painting over latex or oil paints, an all-purpose water-based primer is a good choice.
Another great option that reduces your time spent on painting interior walls, is paint and primer in one. They are thicker and have good coverage.
Assuming you’ve done the proper surface prep (read how I prepped my kitchen for paint for more info), a good paint will adhere smoothly and most importantly will be resistant to the test of time.
High-quality acrylic latex interior paints are best suited to withstand ordinary wear and tear from daily life, including seasonal changes in humidity inside your home.
My Top 3 Go-To Best Paint Brands
Now that you know what to look out for in quality interior paint, I’m happy to share with you my very favorite paint brands so you can save on time and get right to painting!
3. Behr ($25.98-$49.98)
My favorite Behr paint line is the Marquee, durable and stain-blocking paint for your walls, and the Behr Urethane Alkyd, self-leveling paint for cabinetry and trim work.
Both paint lines emit zero volatile compound (VOC) and low odor which is safe for your household. All Behr paints are good budget-friendly options.
2. PPG ($25.98 – $51.98)
PPG Timeless Interior paint is easy to clean and has full coverage for a smooth application. It is also durable and superior paint with zero VOC and low odor.
I love that it is affordable and also a great option for your home project.
1. Benjamin Moore ($41.99- $83.99)
Benjamin Moore has a great line of paint that has excellent hide, maximum coverage, zero VOC, and low odor. Their paint line applies smoothly with minimum splatter. In addition, I love the richness of their paint colors.
My top pick among Benjamin Moore’s paint is the Regal and the Advance line. Benjamin Moore Regal paint has a matte sheen option that is washable and can be used in high-traffic spaces in your home.
Benjamin Moore Advance paint is waterborne alkyd-based, highly durable, and self-leveling.
I highly recommend Benjamin Moore Advance paint for painting cabinets and trim, and the most used sheen is the satin finish. I used the semi-gloss finish in my kids’ playroom.
What’s Your Favorite Interior Paint Brand?
Is it one of my top 3? Is there one you think is missing from my list?
Either way, I’d love to know your thoughts.
Let’s chat in the comments below!