Choosing Interior Wall Paint for Every Room

Luxe, glam, modern or Scandi, we have the interior wall paint for you

Winter is coming (isn’t it always?), we are all retreating inside, and it is time to tackle those projects you have been putting off all summer. But before you get stuck in, take a moment to consider – are you sure Dulux Drifting Snow in eggshell finish is what you want for every wall? Come to think of it, what precisely is “eggshell”? The world of interior wall paint has a vast array of colours and finishes to choose from, and it is not always clear how best to use them. So we have put together a guide to the colours and finishes of paint for walls and what you can do with them, as well as listing the top 5 interior wall paints available in the UK!

The top 5 interior wall paints and finishes

The wall paints on this list vary from the good quality at a low price to the luxury end of the market. What matters with interior paint is the quality and what you are using the paint for – the best emulsion paint is the one that does everything you need. Head further down for our a finish and colour guide, or check out the top paints below.

Farrow & Ball – The Luxury Colour Experts

Interior wall paint
Farrow & Ball Estate Emulsion Paint

If you are looking for a colour with depth and powder look no farther than Farrow & Ball. Their range of 132 colours are beautiful, sophisticated, and rich because they are a blend of up to five pigments, which reveal their undertones in response to differing lighting conditions.

The Farrow & Ball Estate Emulsion (pictured) is a water-based paint for interior walls and ceilings which dries to their signature chalky matt finish. Use on low traffic areas like bedrooms and living spaces, or choose a bold hue for an outstanding feature wall.

They also have a Modern Emulsion which is mould resistant (perfect for bathrooms, kitchens, and hallways), and an Eggshell finish for woodwork.

Dulux – Let’s Colour!

Best interior wall paint
Dulux Silk Polished Pebble

Dulux needs no introduction to a UK audience, as the brand and its big fluffy dog are immediately recognisable. But they have more than just a very good dog – Dulux has over 1,200 colours to choose from in a range of finishes.

If that number is daunting, never fear; their helpful online tool allows to filter their most popular colours based on room, surface, and finish.

Dulux Silk Polished Pebble (pictured) is a smooth and creamy emulsion paint for use on walls and ceilings which is ideal for a delicate shine finish.

Crown Paints – It‘s Not Just Paint, It’s Personal

Best interior wall paint
Crown Suede Textured Matt Emulsion

Textured effect finishes are in. A number of paint manufacturers have jumped on the trend, including Crown Paints who have released a line of textured paints including Crown Suede Textured Emulsion (pictured):

  • Gives the walls the look and velvety feel of brushed suede
  • Provides a wipeable, matt finish with low odour
  • Suitable for plastered walls and ceilings, and available in 8 colours

Johnstone’s Paints – Making the Most of Your Home

Johnstone’s Matt Emulsion

Johnstone’s Paints are a reliable and trusted name in the UK for their quality and range. They even have colour ranges to inspire your plans called “Feature Walls” and “Colour Vibe”, the first to help you choose your feature wall paint, the second a limited edition colour collection based on current interior design trends.

Johnstone’s Matt Emulsion Paint (pictured in Manhattan Grey) is an interior wall and ceiling paint with a smooth, rich and non-reflective finish, perfect for a contemporary look and to hide any surface imperfections.

Dulux Trade – Where the Professionals Shop

Interior wall paint
Dulux Trade Eggshell White

It will come as no surprise that retail paint and trade paint are different beasts. Retail paint is ready to slap straight onto the wall as is, but trade paint is formulated so that it can be altered if the decorator using it wishes to thin it beforehand – it often has higher opacity.

Dulux Trade Eggshell White (pictured) is a mid-sheen finish for interior wood and metal. It is self-undercoating, tough, and durable.

Wall paint ideas – how to use finishes

Flat, satin, eggshell… what exactly a paint will look like and how best to use it are sometimes not clear. Emulsion is the most commonly used paint for interior walls and ceilings and there are three main types of finishes you need to know about. The different sheens are:

  • Flat and Matte – These paints have the lowest levels of glossiness of all the finishes available, at roughly 0-10% sheen. This means they are non-reflective and will hide surface blemishes and inconsistencies, effectively smoothing the surfaces on which they are painted. These are mostly used for walls, and have a smooth and velvety appearance.
  • Eggshell and satin – These are the “mid-sheen” finishes. They have some reflectivity (satin is slightly glossier than eggshell, which looks like its namesake), and are more durable than the flat and matte finishes. Because of this, they are often used in more demanding spaces like kitchens and bathrooms, and satin is often used for doors and trim.
  • Semi- and high gloss – The most reflective of the decorative paints, these are traditionally used for skirting boards, doors, mouldings, window, and other trim. It is also the toughest finish. Due to their high levels of sheen, gloss finishes show up imperfections, so it is important to prepare the substrate beforehand.

Feature wall paint ideas and wall paint colours

When you go to choose a paint colour, it is a good idea to think about what you want from the space, the furnishings (if any) that you already have, the architectural features in the space, and the light in the room. All of these will interact with the colour in meaningful ways. Don’t stand mesmerised in front of the Dulux colour wall, think about these factors beforehand:

  • Architectural features – If you are lucky enough to have fireplaces, skirting boards, mouldings, and other architectural features, working with these elements when choosing a colour will make your room pop. White woodwork with a colourful wall is the tradiational look, but make sure to match the white with the colour. Darker woodwork with lighter walls will create light and space. The same colour on woodwork and walls is a strong, clean, contemporary look.
  • Light – Contrast darker colours in hallways with lighter rooms to create the illusion of more light. Small spaces with low light can be made more intimate with darker colours. Depending on the direction in which the room faces, light is cooler or warmer, and you should look at colour schemes with that in mind. Farrow & Ball’s range is formulated to respond differently in different lights.
  • Matching colours – No matter how much you like a colour, if it does not work with your scheme it will not lead to happiness. Find colours within your already existing belongings to highlight or match to create a home with flow that doesn’t feel at odds with itself. Be aware of sight lines between rooms, too.
  • Setting the mood – The current trend in interior design is for soft, relaxing neutrals that inspire comfort and cosiness. These colour palettes can work in any space where you want to unwind and feel at home – tv room, bedroom, or bathroom. But offices or dining rooms might want different colour palettes. Bedrooms should avoid bright, stimulating tones like orange, where playrooms can be a rainbow-coloured hive of energy. Think about how a colour makes you feel before you stick it on a wall.
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