A look at the best interior paint brands in New Zealand

Understand your needs to  choose the best interior paint

Whether you are setting up a restaurant, a home, an office, a store, or some other interior space, choosing the best interior paint is the fastest way to get the feel and style you want in a space. One of the biggest choices – and commitments – you make when you buy or update a building is the interior paint. You can follow current trends or create a space that is just you, but the right preparation, the right finish, the right colour palette and, above all, quality is what makes the difference between an interior design success and a fail.

It may seem simple, but then you get to the Dulux colour wall in your local Bunnings and realise just how endless the choices are – and those are just the whites. Add to that aspects like satin or eggshell and you may feel out of your depth. To make the choice easier, we have put together this explanation of the different paint finishes, the colour combinations that are always winners, and a list of the best interior paint brands in New Zealand.

Don’t finish last – finishes from flat to gloss

While ‘gloss’ and ‘flat’ may be self explanatory, things get a bit hazier when the eggshells and satins start appearing. Not only that, but there are ways in which these finishes are used and ways in which they are not – unless you want to be unconventional it helps to understand which surfaces normally use which paint. These conventions also apply for outdoor paints. The different sheens and uses of these paints 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 high traffic wood surfaces such as skirting boards, doors, mouldings, window, and other trim (also known as gloss enamel). 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.

Classic, modern, on trend – colour and interior paint

You may think that you have a handle on colours and that white is white. The world of interior paints has news for you – you know nothing, Drifting Snow (thanks, Dulux). Dulux even has a top 8 “Most Loved Whites” selection to help you navigate the blinding array of white shades without getting lost. And it isn’t just white! You may think green is safe, but then you find yourself sitting on a mound of paint swatches of very slightly different hues desperately trying to decide whether your living room is more ‘Sink Hole’ or ‘Toad’. The key is choosing a colour that won’t fight your furnishings, fixtures, and flooring, and that won’t make you regret ever watching The Block. Some good tips to follow are:

  • Test, test, test – Colours do not look the same in the tin as they do on the wall. Always check that the light and the substrate colours do not alter the paint beyond recognition.
  • Think about the use of the room – The paint colour you choose will set the mood of the room. Dramatic, subtle, cosy, stylish – all of these can be set by the colour, and it is important to choose the mood based on how you use the room. A bedroom with a bright and insistent colour will not create the calming space you need to relax, but if you want a living room that pops, a bright white with feature of a bright colour like indigo will really bring out the space.
  • Do not make rash decisions – So you’ve painted the test patch and you like it, now what? Now you wait. Sleep on it. Do not just get stuck in and wake up with a paint hangover. Light changes in a space and you may wake up feeling differently.
  • Choose for what you have not want you wish you had – Though the internet is a wonderful tool it can also lead to mistakes. Seeing a colour work amazingly in one space does not mean it will work amazingly in all spaces. Light, ceiling height, furnishing and fixtures all play a role.

The biggest colour trends right now

The big movement in interior trends at the moment is JOMO – the Joy Of Missing Out. JOMO is behind the drive for cosiness in our interiors, using colours that inspire comfort and relaxation. Muted tones for relaxation are popular, from grey hues to beiges, pale pinks to faded green tones, these colours promote rest. And of course if you want a space to clear and empty the mind, there are always all those whites.

As well as the JOMO palette, the trend for pairing bold colours with a simple monochrome is still going strong. Bold, dark wall colours like Farrow & Ball’s ‘Hague Blue’ or PPG Paint’s ‘Black Flame’ regularly make most popular lists. Though Millennial Pink may be on the way out, arsenic greens are still making their mark.

The Top 5 Best Interior Paint Brands in New Zealand

No matter the colour or finish you choose, New Zealand has a range of high quality interior paint brands to choose from. What qualifies as “the best” comes down to the paint that provides the best finish, value for money, range, and overall satisfaction. Ultimately the best interior paint is the one that gives you the colour, finish, and quality that you want. Below is a list of 5 of the top paint brands in New Zealand, including international and home-grown brands.

Interior Paint BrandBrand DescriptionProduct Example
Accent by WattylAccent by Wattyl is a high quality paint that comes at a great value price. Exclusively available at Mitre 10 and Mitre 10 MEGA stores nationwide and available in a selection of 300 colours.Accent One Coat Ceiling – A low odour,low splatter ultra matt finish, ideal for use on ceilings in living areas.
British PaintsBritish Paints has been trusted by New Zealanders for over 50 years. Their website has a handy colouriser tool for visualising room ideas.British Paints Clean & Protect Low Sheen – A resilient, interior finish which protects against mould, mildew and bacteria.
DuluxOne of the best known paint brands, Dulux has been providing quality paints to New Zealand households for decades. Their website includes how-to guides and palette inspiration and ideas.Dulux Wash&Wear +Plus – A staple of the Dulux range, this paint covers any colours in two coats, is mark and stain resistant, and withstands daily wear and tear.
PPG PaintsPPG Paints is the International behemoth behind some of the world’s leading paint brands. In New Zealand, their flagship interior coating range is Endure, previously Taubman’s Endure.Endure Walls – A washable, fast-drying, mould and mildew resistant coating for walls.
ReseneNew Zealand’s largest privately-owned and operated paint manufacturing company. Their wall and ceiling paints are 100% manufactured in New Zealand, for New Zealand conditions.Resene Room Velvet – A low odour, low sheen, silky finish for interior walls and ceiling.