Best Paint for Kids Room: What Type is Best? (2023 Guide)

By KidSpaceStuff •  Updated: 06/13/24 •  6 min read

As both a credentialed interior designer and a mother, I understand the significance of creating a space that fosters growth, stimulates creativity, and ensures safety for our little ones.

One fundamental aspect of this process is choosing the right paint for your child’s room.

In this article, I’ll share my insights about the different types of paint available, and how to select the best paint for kids rooms. Let’s dig in!

Given the balance of aesthetics, durability, and safety, the best paints for children’s rooms are typically satin or semi-gloss finishes in low-VOC or VOC-free formulations. These paints are resilient, easy to clean, and pose minimal health risks, making them the top choice for your child’s sanctuary.

Why Does Paint Type Matter?

Painting Kids Bedroom

The type of paint you choose for your child’s room goes beyond just color and aesthetics. It also concerns practicality, durability, and safety.

Durability and Cleanability

Children’s rooms are hubs of activity, and the walls can take a lot of wear and tear. Fingerprints, crayon scribbles, and sticky handprints are all part of the territory when you have kids. That’s why it’s essential to choose a paint that’s durable and easy to clean.

In terms of durability and ease of cleaning, a high gloss finish is often the best choice. This type of paint is extremely resistant to dirt, grime, and other imperfections. That said, a gloss finish can be a poor interior paint depending on the room. For example, if your room has plenty of natural lighting, the reflection from the gloss paint can be overwhelming.

In these cases, a semi gloss paint can be a better choice. While you’re sacrifice some durability, the room will look and feel more natural.


Another crucial aspect is safety. Many paints contain Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), which can emit harmful gases. Lower VOC paints or VOC-free paints are safer options, particularly for children’s rooms and home interiors.

Brands like Benjamin Moore, Sherwin Williams, and Behr offer low-VOC or VOC-free paints that not only ensure the health and safety of your child but also contribute to a more sustainable planet.

Understanding Paint Finishes

The finish of the paint determines its sheen and functionality. Here are the most common types:

Matte or Flat

Matte or flat paint offers a non-reflective finish that absorbs light, creating a soft, muted effect. However, it’s less resistant to stains and harder to clean, so it’s generally not the best choice for a child’s room.


Eggshell paint has a slight sheen and is more washable than matte paint, but it may not hold up against heavy-duty cleaning, making it a slightly better, but not ideal, option.


Satin finish is a popular choice for children’s rooms. It’s more durable and easier to clean than eggshell, resisting mildew, dirt, and stains, and it can usually withstand scrubbing.


Semi-gloss paint is very durable and easy to clean, resisting moisture, stains, and wear. Its shiny finish, however, tends to highlight imperfections on the walls.


Gloss paint is the most durable and easiest to clean of all paint sheens. It’s highly reflective, making it suitable for doors and trim, but it can be too shiny for a whole room.

Low or No VOC Paints

When it comes to safety, low-VOC or VOC-free paints are the best choices. VOCs can cause headaches and respiratory issues, and they’re not good for the environment. Many paint brands now offer low-VOC or VOC-free versions of their products, making it easier to choose a safer option for your child’s room.

The Best Paint for Kids’ Rooms

Considering durability, cleanability, and safety, the best paints for children’s rooms are usually satin or semi-gloss finishes in low or no-VOC formulations. These paints can withstand the lively activities of children, are easier to clean, and pose fewer health risks.

When it comes to brands, there are plenty to choose from, but I recommend some of the more expensive options. Cheaper paints do not last nearly as long and if you’re anything like me, painting every couple of years sounds miserable.

Best Paint for Walls with Kids

If you’re painting walls with kids, the best paint finish is a semi gloss or satin paint.

You can find these in many neutral colors that are perfect for your child’s bedroom walls. You can even find them in more dark colors like a navy blue paint.

Looking to paint your child’s bedroom? Here are some great tips!

Other Considerations When Choosing Paint for Your Kid’s Room

  1. Color: The color you choose can have a profound impact on the mood of the room. Bright, vibrant colors can stimulate creativity and energy, while softer, cooler tones can promote calmness and concentration. You can check out these analogous paint color schemes for a few ideas!
  2. Theme: If the room has a specific theme, you’ll want to choose colors that complement it. For example, for a space-themed room, you might opt for dark blues and purples, or for a garden theme, greens and florals would work well. You can check out these baseball themed room ideas for more inspiration.
  3. Lighting: The amount and type of natural light a room gets can drastically affect how a color looks. Colors might appear different under artificial light, so it’s always a good idea to test a small amount of paint on the wall at different times of the day.
  4. Size of the Room: Lighter colors can make a small room feel larger and more open, while darker colors can make a large room feel cozier.
  5. Age of the Child: For younger children, you might want to choose more playful and vibrant colors. As children grow older, they might prefer more subdued or sophisticated palettes.
  6. Child’s Input: If they’re old enough, include your child in the decision-making process. They’re more likely to enjoy and take care of a space that they helped create.

Consider a Chalkboard or Magnetic Wall

For an interactive twist, consider using chalkboard finish or magnetic paint on one wall.

Chalkboard paint allows your children to draw directly on the wall, while magnetic paint can hold up magnets, providing an extra spot for children to display their artwork or school projects.

Final Thoughts

Choosing the best paint for your child’s room is about balancing aesthetics, practicality, and safety.

You want to opt for a durable paint that can withstand the wear and tear that children yield. That said, you also want to consider the look of the paint.

Ultimately, I recommend going with a satin or semi gloss paint finish as these are stain resistant but still look tremendous.

By understanding the different types of paint and their characteristics, you can create a vibrant, healthy, and durable space that your child will love spending time in and that you’ll find easy to maintain.

Here’s to adding a splash of color to our children’s lives, in the safest and most beautiful way possible!