3 Best Interior House Paints Ranked for Quality and Cost

Open Plan Contemporary Kitchen with Wood Flooring
Open Plan Contemporary Kitchen with Wood Flooring. Getty / Spaces Images

Ranking best interior house paints is about managing expectations.  Virtually no paint exists that is without bad comments or reviews.  If a paint wins on texture and ease of application, it loses on price.  If a paint wins on price, users are critical of its thin body that multiple applications and the lack of color choices.

Below are noteworthy interior paints that stand out, while conditioned for certain factors such as those listed above.

Glidden Premium:  Great Balance of Quality and Cost

  • Good quality for a fair price.  Glidden Premium is the most balanced product of all listed in this guide.
  • Easily available at Home Depot.

Walk the aisles of Home Depot's paint department and the most prominent paint brand is Behr.  Behr is Home Depot's chosen house brand paint.

Glidden Premium is a high-quality interior paint also found in Home Depot that receives less shelf space but deserves praise.

For both base paints and white paints, Glidden Premium is cheaper than all other Behr paints (except the Pro line).  

Despite its budget-level price, Glidden Premium receives high marks for smooth application and texture.

Finally, if you have coveted expensive Ralph Lauren Paints at Home Depot, you can duplicate the same thing for less money by purchasing Glidden.  Why?  Because Glidden makes Ralph Lauren Paints.

Benjamin Moore Aura:  Best Quality But Highest Cost

  • Gorgeous finish.  Use Aura when you want to pull out all stops for a high quality interior paint job.
  • High expense may bar some homeowners from using it for large scale projects.

Benjamin Moore Aura is self-priming, lays down smooth, and has excellent adhesion. Aura's maximum hideability means that one coat--two coats, max--hides most anything underneath.

But you do pay a price for quality, a price that can be calculated in actual dollars.  At an MSRP of $69 per gallon, Aura may max out your painting budget if you use it for whole-house applications.  

If cost is an issue, though, you can still use Aura for a special small area, such as a guest bathroom or a bedroom.

Valspar Professional:  Lowest Cost at Decent Quality

  • One of the cheapest interior house paints you can buy.
  • Widely available not just at Lowe's but at Ace Hardware, too

You pop into Ace Hardware to pick up an electrical box or potting soil.  But few homeowners may think of Ace as a paint destination.

Ace offers the advantage of being compact in size, meaning you can get in and out in no time at all.  It also means that, unlike Home Depot or Lowe's highly impacted paint sections, Ace Hardware's paint areas can get to you right away.  

Valspar Professional Paint is found at Ace.  Typically, any paint in the "Professional" category, also known as contractor-grade, means a thinner bodied product which is usually not splatter-proof.  Your insurance against splatter is patience, loading up the roller with less paint, and a sure hand.  

Valspar Professional is right for those big, sweeping projects, such as cathedral-ceiling great rooms or entire house interiors, where the order of the day is maximum coverage at minimal cost, with an acceptable degree of quality.