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Can I Use Wall Paint On Ceiling? Is Ceiling Paint Different From Wall Paint? [Unexpected Answers In 2023]

Do you want to give your space a facelift? If yes, you can’t ignore the ceilings as it is that part of a space that gives the maximum illuminating feeling. 

But when it comes to painting ceilings, a lot of people think of using wall paints on ceilings. 

Now the question arises, can I use wall paint on ceiling?

If you are also into this dilemma and want a certified answer to your query, you are on the right page.

Whether using wall paints on the ceiling is suitable or not and how can u get the perfect product for your project, everything is answered in this post!

What Is Ceiling Paint?

can i use wall paint on ceiling

As the name suggests, ceiling paints are designed to apply specifically to ceilings. These paints are thicker than wall paints and are usually latex-based. 

Such paints have a strong resistance to stains, mildew, and soils that result from cooking vapors and smoke.

With most ceiling paints, you can get the job done in just one application because it is highly viscous and dry quickly. 

is there a difference between ceiling paint and wall paint?

When it comes to comprehending the difference between ceiling paints and wall paints, there is a considerable amount to consider.

Both these paints differ from each other in a lot of aspects. Let’s consider them one by one.

1. Durability

Flat ceiling paint is a finish that offers higher durability than high-gloss and semi-glass paints. It is a great choice for homeowners who have walls with scuffs or scratches. This paint enhances the appearance and keeps walls protected for a longer duration. 

2. Viscosity

  • Paints vary a lot in terms of thickness or viscosity. Ceiling paints are more viscous than wall paints. For this reason, they are easy to apply and stick well to the ceiling. 
  • Ceiling paints have a more solid texture and they don’t drip much when you roll them. They have a smooth application and are suitable to use as a primer for doors, trim, and walls. You can use them to cover mildew stains resulting from poor ventilation. 

3. Finish

  • With ceiling paints, you can expect a sheen, flat finish. It means that such paints have no shiny texture or reflective nature. It is because a too glossy finish on the ceiling would bring more attention to the surface. Flat white paint appears excellent with all kinds of ceilings like boxed, popcorn, etc. 
  • You can combine flat ceiling paint with eggshell, satin, pearl, or flat finishes. This gives you some color and a sheen on the ceiling without witnessing too many reflective properties.
  • Compared to this, wall paints come with an eggshell finish. This finish is similar to flat white ceiling paint, but it has a reflective nature. Though there is no shine in the paint, it looks semi-glossy, particularly in pearl and satin finishes. Such finishes give a shiny, clean surface, letting you remove the handprints or marks more easily than flat paints.

4. Coverage 

  • Ceiling paints give a uniform and smooth finish. It provides opaque and full coverage in a single coat. It means that it will cover discoloration and stains on the ceiling with little effort. 
  • If you wish to use a paint sprayer, ceiling paints will give you the correct consistency to paint the surface. Even, you could consider the various levels of consistency with the ceiling paint. 

5. Color Options

  • Usually, ceilings are designed to be undecorated and uniform. Hence, ceiling paints come in limited color options. You get more color options in wall paints.
  • But you can mix one ceiling paint with another color to achieve a unique color for your ceilings. 

6. Price

  • When it comes to the cost, ceiling paints are cheaper than wall paints. The price is 15-20% lower than paints for walls. Ceiling paints can be used as a primer and can save money from purchasing additional items. 
  • Ceiling paints have the ability and coverage to hide marks on walls in one coat. It means you are spending less money. But there are a few ceiling paints pricier than latex paints. 

Finishes Of Ceiling Paint

Usually, ceiling paints come in two finishes:

1. Eggshell Finish

  • This is a commonly used finish that is not fully matte but is also not too glossy. It is the safest choice for ceilings to get the desired sheen and clean appearance. 
  • Eggshells have a more reflective nature than flat paint but are not too high to get noticed. For ceiling paints, you must avoid using things like satin. It is because satin has a low sheen and is highly reflective than the eggshell. It will make the ceilings shiny and is eye-catching. 

2. Flat Finish

  • Matte or flat ceiling paint finish has the lowest maintenance as it does not need cleaning. It gives touch up instantly and has a smooth texture. 
  • A flat finish comes with no reflection that helps to hide imperfections you may witness in the ceiling. If your ceiling has uneven areas, dents, or popcorn design, you must consider using a flat finish. 

When Can Ceiling Paint Be Used On Walls?

Using ceiling paint on walls is a wonderful idea that makes the painting process a lot simpler and easier. This reduces the duration required to fix drips because ceiling paints have abundant thickness.

But there are limited colors available in ceiling paints. So, you have to choose among those colors for your interior walls. For this reason, a lot of painters use ceiling paint as a primer for the walls. 

This is a great choice if you paint in high-traffic regions.  Ceiling paints are suitable to paint walls of basements, areas prone to moisture, or mudrooms. 

Can Ceiling Paint Be Used As A Primer?

Ceiling paints work great as a primer for doors, trim, and walls. It is convenient to apply this paint and you can easily sand it for a smooth, top finish. 

The trim and doors need a semi-gloss or gloss paint that lets you clean the surface. 

Are Flat White Paints And Ceiling Paints The Same?

Ceiling paints and flat white paints have a matte shine or finish that offers a uniform texture and smooth appearance. You may use flat white, flat latex paint for the ceiling even if it is not mentioned. 

But ceiling paint gives a smoother appearance as it produces few drips and splatter. Also, ceiling paints provide better coverage for imperfections. 

Can I Use Wall Paint On Ceilings?

You may use wall paint on ceilings if you wish. There are a few limitations to this. 

  1. Wall paints are not as thick as ceiling paints. Hence, there will be more drips than usual. Also, you have to do more preparation on the front end and will have more stuff and splatter to clean up.
  2. It is better to use wall paints on ceilings if the latter one is textured like popcorn or any other pattern. 
  3. Another option is to use a paint sprayer instead of a paint roller. 
  4. In comparison to wall paints, ceiling paints are better at covering stains. Just make sure you pick a good brand. Ceiling paints are designed to be more durable, and easy to clean and wipe, which is not the case with wall paints. But if there is an urgent need, you can use high-quality wall paint on your ceiling. 

Can I Mix Wall Paint With Ceiling Paint?

  1. Yes, you can mix both ceiling paint and wall paint. Make sure that the two paints mixed are of the same kind. It implies mixing the latex ceiling paint with latex wall paint. 
  2. By mixing two types of paints, it is easier to work in a single direction. When you combine two colors, it gives you a custom color. However, on mixing you will get paint with low viscosity that could lead to dripping. As a result, the final paint may not dry adequately.
  3. To get the best of both worlds, you may first apply an undercoat using the ceiling paint and then an overcoat mixed with both paints. This offers great efficiency and long-lasting usability of the ceiling paint on the wall that highlights the beauty of real wall paint. 

Can Ceiling Paints Be Used On Doors?

Ceiling paints can be applied to doors, but you can’t use them as paint. It is because the doors need to withstand heavy traffic and wear and tear. 

If you paint the door with ceiling paint it wouldn’t last long. Also, the flat ceiling paint is difficult to clean and since doors are exposed to mess, painting them with the ceiling paint is not a good idea. 

Can I Use Ceiling Paints On The Trim?

If you have additional ceiling paint and want to use it on trim, you must gain some knowledge beforehand. 

  1. Ceiling paint is the same color used on woodwork, baseboards, and trim. But just like doors, trim is prone to hefty traffic and damage. 
  2. Trim needs high-gloss paints that are easy to clean. It is best to use semi-gloss paints to bring attention to trim like flat ceiling paint. Flat paints are not cleanable, they are less expensive than paints for walls.
  3. Hence, paint trim using ceiling paint as a primer and cover the top coating with semi-gloss paint. 

Is There A Difference Between Flat White Paint And Ceiling Paint?

Ceiling paint is not the same as flat paint. But most ceiling paints function like flat paint.

  1. The flat white paint comes with a non-reflective and matte surface. It holds a strong pigment than other types of finishes. It means you cannot see much when you wish to cover previous color or stain marks on the wall. 
  2. Flat paint blends well with surroundings rather than drawing attention. They are apt to hide imperfections just like block paints.
  3. This paint is useful to conceal a slightly damaged wall. It does not fix the damage but makes the wall looks good. So, if there are nail marks, slight indentations, or scuff marks, you can use flat paint. Furthermore, flat paint holds great light-absorbing capacity. 
  4. The similarity is that flat paint and ceiling paint makes a topcoat. The major difference between flat white paint and ceiling paint is that the former is less viscous. It means flat white paint is drippier than the ceiling paint. 

What Are The Best Paints For Ceilings And Walls?

Ceiling paints are available in plenty of varieties these days. Let’s check some of our best picks for ceiling paint.

1. Behr Premium Plus

This is a premium quality paint that comes at an affordable price. It comes in numerous light and tinted shades. Hence, you can choose a specific color for a custom ceiling design. 

The best color options are creamy white and beige tint which gives your ceiling a subtle and appealing appearance.

2. KILZ Color-Change Stain Block Paint

This is a proven brand to cover stains. It can efficiently tackle minor stains and uneven color. The paint holds resistance to stains that keep the ceiling looking best for a longer duration. 

It has low spatter and rolls smoothly. It has a quick drying feature and a few coats are enough to get the desired look.

3. Zinnser Ceiling Primer And Paint

This is a regular paint that can be used as a primer for ceilings. It comes in a spray bottle and the nozzle allows easy painting directly on the surface.

You can spray a couple of times without worrying about drips. 

4. Rust-Oleum 285139 Ultra Matte

This is an ultra-matte ceiling paint that is available in various colors. The matte paint offer coverage in one coat.

It provides an easy and quick application process. The paint can dry fast in just 30 minutes. The good thing is that this ceiling paint is useful on various surfaces such as metal, ceramic, canvas, wood, etc. 


You may use ceiling paints on walls as they are vicious and offer better coverage over stains. However, using wall paints on ceilings is not a great thing to do as wall paints are less thick. Wall paints have more dripping nature and to give your ceiling a clean look, you need to apply multiple coats of the paint, which can be expensive.

It is always best to use the best ceiling paint to cover your ceilings. The good part is that you can use ceiling paint as a primer on doors, walls, trim, and other surfaces to get more durability and a smooth finish as the outcome.

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