When choosing paint for interior walls in your living room, there are a few key factors to consider:
Types of Paint
The main types of paint for interior walls are:
|Latex||Water-based paint made from acrylic resins. Easy to apply and clean up. Dries quickly and is durable and scrubbable.|
|Enamel||Oil or latex-based paint that dries to a hard, glossy finish. More durable than standard latex paint.|
|Matte||Flat paint with no shine. Hides imperfections well and is good for ceilings and walls.|
|Eggshell||Slightly glossy finish. Easy to clean. Good durability.|
|Satin||Subtle sheen. Resists stains and scuffs. Easy to clean.|
|Semi-gloss||Moderate sheen. Very durable and scrubbable. Good for high-traffic areas.|
|High-gloss||Very shiny finish. Most durable against scrubbing, stains, moisture. Good for trim.|
Best Type for Living Room
For living room walls, many experts recommend eggshell, satin, or matte paint. Here’s why:
– Eggshell has a soft, velvety appearance that provides subtle shine. It’s easy to clean and more durable than flat paint. The subtle sheen also helps hide imperfections. Eggshell is a great choice for living rooms and other low-traffic areas.
– Satin paint has a silky smooth appearance. It’s slightly more shiny than eggshell but less glossy than semi-gloss. Satin is easy to clean, hides flaws well, and stands up to occasional scuffing. It’s ideal if you want a bit more durability without too much shine.
– Matte or flat paint has no sheen. It can help hide imperfections and is good for ceilings. Matte paint lacks the durability and stain-resistance of eggshell or satin. But it provides a classic, elegant look for formal living rooms.
So in summary, eggshell or satin paint are good choices for most living rooms. Matte paint also works well for more formal living rooms. Semi-gloss is too shiny for most people’s liking on walls, while high-gloss is best reserved for trim and accents.
The paint’s finish impacts how the color looks and feels:
– **Eggshell** – soft, velvety, subtle shine
– **Satin** – smooth, slight gloss
– **Matte** – no shine, flat finish
Eggshell or satin are recommended for most living rooms. Matte provides a formal, elegant look. Semi-gloss and high-gloss are too shiny for most living room walls.
Choosing the right paint color can transform a room. Here are some popular color schemes for living rooms:
– **Neutrals** – elegant and soothing; gray, beige, and tan are popular
– **Earth tones** – rich and warm; browns, tans, reds
– **Blues** – calm and inviting; light blue is especially popular
– **Greens** – natural and tranquil; sage is a popular green shade
– **Bold colors** – make a dramatic statement; deep reds, navy, dark greens
Look at color swatches in the room to see how lighting changes the look. Neutrals and lighter shades help rooms feel more open and airy.
Watch out for undertones in paint colors. These subtle hues can make a big impact on how colors look.
– Warm undertones – hints of red, yellow, brown
– Cool undertones – hints of blue, green, gray
Warm paint colors fit great with wood accents. Cool paint colors pair well with stone and metal.
The sheen refers to the paint’s glossiness. Sheen impacts durability and washability.
|Matte||No shine. Shows flaws.|
|Eggshell||Soft velvet look. Subtle sheen.|
|Satin||Smooth with slight gloss.|
|Semi-gloss||Some shine. Very durable.|
|High-gloss||Very reflective. Hardest finish.|
Eggshell or satin sheens are ideal for living room walls.
The paint’s finish impacts its sheen and durability:
– **Flat/matte** – no sheen, not durable
– **Eggshell** – velvety, washable
– **Satin** – smooth, fairly durable
– **Semi-gloss** – very durable, shiny
– **High-gloss** – extremely durable, very reflective
Eggshell or satin are recommended finishes for living room walls.
Higher quality paint provides better coverage. You’ll need fewer coats.
Look for paint with an Hiding Power Ratio (HPR) of 90% or more. This means one coat covers 90% of the surface.
Paints with poor coverage can require 3 or 4 coats. High-HPR paint may only need 1 or 2 coats.
Higher hide paints ultimately save time and money.
Trusted paint brands include:
– Benjamin Moore
– PPG Paints
Stick with top brands to ensure high quality and coverage. Ask for samples to test colors.
Benjamin Moore and Sherwin-Williams paints are considered among the best. But Behr and Valspar also offer quality interior paints.
Using separate primer and paint creates a more uniform finish. The primer seals the surface so paint goes on smoothly.
Many premium interior paints now contain paint-and-primer-in-one. This simplifies the process without sacrificing quality.
If using separate primer, tint it to match your wall color. This maximizes the coverage of the topcoat.
Proper paint application helps ensure an even coat and uniform appearance.
– Use a high-quality brush for cutting in edges and corners. Look for tapered bristle brushes.
– Use a 1/2 or 3/8 inch nap roller for large areas.
– Roll in sections 3-4 feet wide using up and down strokes.
– Maintain a wet edge to avoid lap marks.
– Finish by rolling in one direction for a uniform look.
Sanding between coats will create a perfectly smooth finish. Using painter’s tape on trim prevents messes.
Proper prep work leads to better paint adhesion and smoother results:
– Fill holes and cracks with spackle. Let dry and sand smooth.
– Sand glossy surfaces lightly to roughen and remove gloss.
– Clean walls thoroughly to remove dirt, grease, and grime.
– Use TSP substitute cleaner, then rinse walls well.
– Mask trim, ceilings, and floors with painter’s tape.
– Patch and prime damaged drywall before painting.
Allow spackle, joint compound, and primer to dry fully before painting. Proper prep prevents bubbles and roughness.
The cost to paint living room walls depends on:
– Square footage – Bigger rooms require more paint.
– Primer – Adding primer increases material costs.
– Paint quality – Premium paints cost more than basic grades.
– Labor – Hiring professional painters is more expensive.
– Prep work – Extensive repairs, filling holes raises costs.
According to HomeAdvisor, the average cost to paint a 12×12 foot room is $200-$350. High-end paints can push costs higher.
DIY vs Professional
You can save money by painting living room walls yourself. But professionals provide expertise and perfect results.
**DIY Painting Pros:**
– Saves on labor costs
– Sense of accomplishment
– Customize to your tastes
**Professional Painting Pros:**
– Perfect results with fewer mistakes
– Expert skills for tricky prep work
– Smooth professional finish
– Saves time and hassle
Hiring pros is easiest but doing it yourself saves money. Weigh the time and effort needed for your situation.
Regularly touch up living room walls to maintain the paint’s look and performance.
– Clean walls with mild soap and water. Avoid harsh cleaners.
– Immediately wipe spills and stains to prevent set-ins.
– Touch up scuffs and marks to prevent further damage.
– Repaint high-traffic areas every 2-3 years.
– Repaint entire room every 4-5 years to refresh the color.
Use painter’s tape when touching up to help blend repaired areas. Proper maintenance preserves your paint job.
The best living room wall paint has an eggshell, satin or matte finish. Top quality latex paint provides excellent hide and durability. Neutral and earth tone colors work well. Prepping properly and applying with care creates beautiful results. With regular touch-ups, your paint job will last for years before needing redone.