What Kind Of Interior Paint Is Washable- Pick The Right One

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Painting your walls a fresh new color can help breathe life into your home. But apart from its aesthetic appeal, you also want your paint job to last. While some wear and tear is inevitable, choosing a washable interior paint can help keep your walls looking clean and as good as new for a longer time.

As a rule of thumb, high-gloss paints are the easiest to clean, but semi-gloss, satin, and eggshell paints are also washable. Usually, flat paints aren’t washable, but a few water-based variants can be wiped clean. On the other hand, matte finishes cannot be cleaned or washed so easily. 

When selecting paint finishes for your home, you must decide which rooms are more suited to a particular paint. Here, you will find out what interior finishes are washable and which rooms are best for them.

Are all interior paints washable?

There is a basic rule when it comes to choosing paint sheens- the more shiny the paint, the more durable it will be. High-gloss paints have the most brilliance, whereas matte paints have the least. Therefore, the former is more durable, and washability is a major factor contributing to its strength.

Here is a rundown of how each paint type fares in terms of washability.

High-gloss paints

High-gloss paints dry to a hard finish and have light-reflecting properties. It is the most durable and easiest to clean out of all paint sheens. The only downside of the paint is that it highlights imperfections on the wall. However, if you prep the surface correctly, you should get quality results.

Semi-gloss paints

Semi-gloss paints are highly durable and are formulated to reflect light like high-gloss paints. However, its sheen is lesser than its predecessor. Semi-gloss paints are washable and easily cleaned thanks to their hard, shiny surface. Homeowners prefer this paint because it instantly adds luster to any object.

The only problem with the finish is that it also brings out any imperfections of the walls it’s applied to.

Satin paints

Satin finish has a subtle sheen that is often described as velvety. If you don’t prefer a lot of shine on the walls, a satin finish is perfect for your home. The paint is easy to clean and also stands up exceptionally well to scrubbing. However, its glossiness brings out imperfections like cracks or poorly patched areas.

If you plan to use satin paints, prep your walls thoroughly for a perfect finish.

Eggshell paints

The eggshell finish lies right between satin and flat paints, and it has a very subtle sheen that resembles a chicken’s egg hence, the name. These paints are durable but not as sturdy as their shinier counterparts. However, it is washable to an extent, and you can wipe off stains more quickly from an eggshell finish than from flat walls.

The upside to using this paint is that it effectively hides imperfections to give a flawless finish. It’s shinier than flat but not as glossy as satin, so an eggshell is a good option if you’re undecided on the two.

Matte or flat paints

If your walls have a story of wear and tear to tell, matte paints are your best friend. The finish can absorb light; therefore, it hides any flaws underneath. Flat paints also have the most pigment, which is why they deliver excellent coverage. The only downside to this paint is that it’s not easy to clean. So, if you get grime on your walls, chances are you will take the paint off as you attempt to wipe it.

Best washable paint for interior walls- Which finish is better for which room?

Every paint finish has different properties; therefore, one type may suit specific surfaces more than others. For example, you would want washable paint for kitchen walls, but the bedroom can get away with a less durable finish.

Let’s find out which paint type is best for individual rooms in your home.

High-gloss finish

High-gloss paints are the most durable paint for walls and the easiest to clean, making them perfect for high-traffic areas in the house. While you can use them on interior walls, the excessive shine might not be everyone’s cup of tea. But you can always use high-gloss paints in playrooms or the kitchen. In fact, this paint works best on kitchen cabinets, doors, and trims. Just make sure not to skip on prep work before applying high-gloss paint.

Semi-gloss finish

Semi-gloss paint can withstand moisture, drips, and grease stains. Since it provides a hard finish, it is a wall paint that can be wiped clean. Semi-gloss is a good candidate for high-traffic areas in the house. You can apply it on trims, chair rails, and woodwork, and it’s also ideal for rooms like the kitchen and bathroom.

Satin finish

The satin finish is washable, making it ideal for hardworking rooms such as the kitchen and bathroom. You can also apply this durable paint to family rooms, foyers, kids’ bedrooms, and hallways.

As a rule, paints with a sheen are perfect for low-lit areas or rooms that don’t get a lot of sunlight. It helps your home look bright and lively.

Eggshell finish

Eggshell paint is unsuitable for high-traffic areas like the playroom, kitchen, etc. Since it offers low to medium durability, you can use it in hallways, living rooms, and bedrooms. Eggshell paint can camouflage minor imperfections, so if you prepare the surface well, you can expect it to last a long time.

Matte or flat finish

Matte paints offer medium to low durability and should be used in low-traffic areas. Since you cannot easily wash away dirt and grime, it’s not a good candidate for bathrooms, kitchens, living rooms, or other areas more prone to stains.

However, you apply a flat finish in adult bedrooms and other spaces that are not used throughout the day. Compared to other finishes, matte paints are less durable and require high maintenance.

How to clean different types of paints on walls

Regardless of the sheen you select, a freshly-painted wall always looks immaculate. However, the same cannot be said two to three years down the lane. Your walls start showing signs of wear and tear in the form of scuff marks, spots, etc. That’s when you start wondering,’ Can I clean my walls without washing off the paint?’

Fortunately, the answer is yes! Here is a quick guide that tells you how to clean different paint finishes.

Water-based painted walls

Water-based paints are the easiest to clean. All you need is some warm water and a non-abrasive all-purpose cleaner.

  1. Mix the cleaner with warm water in a bucket.
  2. Fill another bucket with clean water.
  3. Now, dip a sponge in the cleaner solution and gently wash the walls using the mixture.
  4. Next, take another sponge and immerse it in clean water.
  5. Gently wipe away the cleaner from the walls with the clean sponge.
  6. Dry your walls with a towel.

This is the best way to wash water-based painted walls. However, some stains are tougher to clean. Try rubbing a paste of baking soda and water with a sponge. The stain should come right off.

Oil-based wall paints

Oil-based paints are not as easy to clean as water-based paints, but it’s not impossible. You will need liquid detergent, white vinegar, and warm water to clean the walls.

  1. Mix 1 teaspoon of liquid detergent, a quarter teaspoon of vinegar, and warm water together in a bucket.
  2. Dip a sponge in the cleaning mixture and gently scrub the walls.
  3. Once the stain is gone, clean the area with a clean wet sponge.
  4. Finally, dry the walls with a towel.

Flat wall paints

Flat finishes are the least durable and the toughest to clean. It’s better not to use any harsh chemicals, or you might strip the paint with it. Instead, wash any dirty spots with just water. You can also use a mixture of white vinegar and water but always test it on a small area to ensure it doesn’t damage the paint.

Best washable paint for interior walls

Keeping your interior paint looking fresh and clean can be challenging, but your job gets more manageable if you know what kinds of paints are washable. As a rule of thumb, premium paints are more lasting and provide truer color. In addition, they are more scrub-resistant than cheaper paints and can be washed easily.

Here are my picks of washable paints that you can try for your home.

Diamond Brite Paint Latex Gloss Enamel

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The Diamond Brite Paint offers a high-gloss finish that mimics the appearance of enamel or plastic. If you like bold and bright looks, this is an excellent option since you can choose from 8 colors. Make sure to prep your surface correctly before applying paint, as the shiny finish magnifies surface imperfections. 

Montage Signature Eco-Friendly Paint, Low Sheen

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The Montage Signature is an excellent choice for interior and exterior walls. It is water-based and offers a low-sheen finish which is easy to wash. The paint is perfect for interior walls in your main living areas, such as dining rooms, lounges, and bedrooms.

The ONE Paint & Primer for Interior/ Exterior

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Here is a premium chalk-based paint that delivers excellent coverage. As it is a 2-in-1 paint, you don’t need to prime your walls before applying it. It has a water-based formula; you can choose between gloss, satin, and matte finishes. The ONE paint is highly versatile and can be used on walls, window frames, wood paneling, skirting boards, kitchen cupboards and more.

RECOLOR Paint Recycled Interior Latex Paint Wall Finish

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The RECOLOR paint offers a finish that is between flat and eggshell. It’s a durable latex paint process from screened feedstock to ensure the highest quality recycled content paint is produced. If you want a greener alternative to virgin paint, this is an option, as it can be cleaned up easily with soap and water.

Boomerang Eco-Friendly Interior Paint, Eggshell Finish

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The Boomerang egg-shell finish is a premium, eco-friendly latex paint that can be used on ceilings and walls. Since it is not as shiny as semi-gloss or satin finishes, it has excellent hiding power. It is available in 8 modern colors, so you have plenty of hues to choose from.

Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch Latex Paint, Gloss

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The Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch delivers a semi-gloss finish that effectively resists chipping and fading. It is a multi-purpose product that can be applied to masonry, wood, metal, plastic, or unglazed ceramic. The water-based acrylic paint formula is low-odor, so you can easily use it on indoor surfaces. 


What does washable interior paint mean?

Many interior paints are described as washable, and what it really means is that you can wash away marks, grime, and other impurities from the wall with water.

What is the difference between wipeable and washable paint?

You can clean washable paint with soap and water, but wipeable paint can be cleaned gently using a damp cloth. Washable finishes are more durable than wipeable paint.

Is it worth buying washable paint?

Theoretically, washable paints are more durable than non-washable paints. So, if you’re buying paints that you can clean easily, you’re investing in a finish that will be lasting and easy to maintain.

How do you know if the walls are washable?

If you want to test whether your walls are washable or not, mix some dishwashing liquid with water and apply some on the corner of the wall with a clean cloth. If you see color transferring onto the cloth, your wall paint isn’t washable.


Buying washable paints for your interior walls is a great idea because they are easier to maintain and remain vibrant and fresh for a longer time. If you have young children at home, then you should definitely go for washable interior paints but if you prefer a matte finish over shiny ones, be prepared for more maintenance and frequent touch-ups.

Also, make sure to know about the use of primer before painting your interiors, and check out the best time of the year to paint your interiors

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