Stroll down the produce aisle and you'll see some of the hues that will be this year's popular interior paint colors. Apple, asparagus, celery, honeydew, lime and mint are just some of the shades of green that the Paint Quality Institute predicts will be brushed on walls across the nation. The year's other hot hues are blues ranging in shades from robin's egg to midnight and any combination of green and blue such as teal and turquoise.
Unlike Pantone, the color experts that chose bright emerald green as their color of the year, the PQI recommends paler shades of paint. That's because walls painted in dark colors can stop prospective buyers in their tracks. If you're putting your house on the market, it's better to use neutral colors that allow the eye to move from one space to another without interruption.
Of course, you don't need the excuse of a sale to freshen your walls and ceilings. But you do need good paint, which you can find at your nearest home improvement store. In Consumer Reports latest tests of interior paints we found winners at Ace, Home Depot and Lowe's including some CR Best Buys that cost well under $30 a gallon. And many of our picks were self-priming paints that let you skip that step.
In our tough tests, we review a paint's ability to cover a contrasting color with one coat and then with another. We also test its resistance to stains, mildew and fading as well as how it holds up when scrubbed clean. To find the right hue for your walls, check out the free color palette app from the Paint Quality Institute.
—Mary H.J. Farrell