How Durable is Interior Paint? Our Experts Tell All

Interior paint doesn’t cost a lot, it’s an instant décor boost and it can last up to 10 years, depending on the paint quality and the technique used to apply it, meaning it’s a good bang for your interior-design buck. But can you make it even more durable? Our experts share their interior painting tips.

How Long Does Interior Paint Last, Anyway?

Most interior paint jobs last for several years. If you don’t have kids or busy pets, you might be able to stretch that to 10 years. However, if you’re updating your décor, you have a room with lots of wear and tear, or a room that gets loads of sunlight, you may need to repaint more often.

As a rule of thumb, here are the rooms you should repaint every five to seven years:

  • Living rooms
  • Dining rooms
  • Adults’ bedrooms

Redo these every three to four years:

  • Bathroom
  • Kitchen
  • Laundry room
  • Trim and baseboards

Repaint these every two to three years:

  • Hallways
  • Kids’ bedrooms

And finally, look up: Ceilings can last up to 10 years between paint jobs.

What Makes Paint Last Longer?

While no paint will last forever, there are some things that can help make it more durable.

Pick a high-quality interior paint – Choosing cheap interior paint is a false economy. You’ll save money up front, but the paint won’t wear as well or last as long, meaning you’ll be repainting sooner and touching up more often. Look for higher-quality paints with a high level of acrylic resin. Resin makes paint more washable and durable. If it’s in the budget, consider a super-premium paint. They contain more than twice as many pigments (the finely ground minerals that make up the paint’s color), meaning you’ll get brighter hues in fewer coats, and the paint will wear longer.

Paint professionally – In this case, painting professionally refers to technique, not to the person doing it. Almost anyone can learn how to paint interior walls. Doing the job right, including prepping, priming and painting two to three coats, gives your paint job a leg up.

Choose the right sheen – Sheen is the level of gloss in a paint. Sheens range from flat (the least amount of gloss) to gloss (the highest amount of shine). Low-luster paints create a more even coat, hiding surface flaws, but they can be hard to clean. Shinier paints create a more durable surface, but they show imperfections. Most painters use high-gloss on doors and trim, reserving satin or eggshell – the middle-of-the-road sheen – for walls.

Keep up the maintenance – Cleaning your paint regularly, especially high-traffic areas, can make your paint job last longer. Pay attention to high-touch areas, like light switches, kid-height spots, and spaces near the tub and cooking surfaces. And while you’re dusting the house, don’t forget the walls and trim. Use a microfiber duster or a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment to suck up dirt and debris. And finally, notice where the walls are peeling or chipped. Touch up the damage regularly so walls look their freshest.

Hold on to leftover paint – Always keep some leftover paint in storage so, when your interior paint job inevitably gets dinged, it’s quick and easy to touch up. Transfer leftover paint to smaller containers, then label the containers by paint name, room and date to make them quick and easy to find.

Having a house painter add a new coat of interior paint is the easiest way to transform your home. Whether you’re looking for free paint swatches, you need your whole house painted or just want to freshen up the living room with this year’s PPG paint color of the year, Paintzen interior house painting services are equipped for all of your painting needs.


Kelley Rebori

Kelley Rebori has written for national brands like Paintzen, HGTV, the DIY Network and Trulia for more than a decade. She loves home renovation projects, chocolate icing and small poodles. She and her husband split the year between their homes in Tennessee and Italy.