white interior paint and a white paint brush spread over a red paint can lid

Interior Paint

Originally contributed by Jeff Butler • last updated 1/21/2021

Shopping for an interior paint can be a difficult task for even the most experienced DIYer. With thousands of colors, various sheens and glosses, and considerations around health and safety, you might be left wondering what exactly “interior paint” is.


Interior paints are specifically formulated for use inside, containing low or zero dangerous chemicals. There are several types of interior paints available for different projects. Some interior paints are formulated to be more durable for high traffic areas or to resist moisture; whereas, others are designed to create specific looks and focus less on durability. Interior paints are also generally designed to be more user-friendly, with less preparation, quicker application and drying times, and an easier clean-up.

Some Things To Consider When Choosing An Interior Paint

With so many options available, it’s important to note that not all interior paints are created equal. Knowing which one to use for which project can save you disappointment and frustration down the road:

  • Some interior paints are designed to be used in high-traffic areas, such as kitchens, bathrooms, and kids bedrooms. These durable paints are specially formulated to stand up to scratches, stains, and water. However, they are typically on the harder and shinier side, which may not match design expectations.
  • Some interior paints are designed to achieve a softer, flatter appearance. However, these paints are typically less durable, less resistant to moisture, and harder to clean, making them a poor choice for high-traffic areas that see a lot of water usage.