Can I use Wall Paint on My Ceiling?

Ceiling Paint vs Wall Paint
What You'll Need
Brushes and rollers
Paint tray
Paint solvent
Eye protection
Protective clothing
Masking tape

Ceiling paint is specifically designed for painting ceilings and covering any grime in one coat without too many spatters. It can be cheaper than colored wall paint and is often on sale. However, there is a small problem with these finishes when compared with other paints. While wall paints come in a huge array of colors and shades, ceiling paint most generally comes in just one color, white. This can be problematic if you want to paint your ceiling the same color as your wall or trimming.

So, before you settle for plain, white ceiling paint, know the difference between the two types. You may be surprised at what you find out!


Specifically manufactured to dry faster and splash less than wall paint, ceiling paint easily hides defects and covers grimy edges. Because it is designed to dry faster, it tends to be easier to work with when painting overhead.

On the other hand, wall paint is manufactured to be more durable, wipe better, and burnish less, therefore making it just as suitable for ceilings as ceiling-specific paint.


Ceiling paint is meant to help the user while painting. In fact, most brands of ceiling paint look pale blue or pink while still wet and turn white when dry so that you can easily notice any missed spots. Moreover, ceiling paint comes in a variety of finishes.

However, unlike ceiling paint, wall paint comes in a huge array of color shades making it easy to match any colors pre-existing in your room. Nevertheless, this problem can be easily fixed by taking it to a paint or hardware store and having them add pigment or tint to the white paint to give it color. In this way, both the ceiling and walls can be within the same color tones of your room.


Although in the past, oil-based wall and ceiling paints used to be the standard available on the market, nowadays the best type around is the latex, which is water-based and is ideal for both ceiling and wall paints. In fact, the latex type dries faster and doesn’t have as much solvent odor as oil-based ones.


Ceiling paints are purposely created not to reflect any light but to scatter it while hiding imperfections. Their flat sheen is specifically designed not to reflect glares from light coming through windows or doors. Moreover, thanks to this finish, ceiling paints hide many defects and minimize roller marks. However, it is also possible to use eggshell or satin paint for your ceiling because these have similar finish properties.

Edward Kimble, a professional painter, and the author of Interior House Painting Blog contributed to this article.