Buying Guide

Best Ceiling Paint for Your Home

Types of Ceiling Paint
Paint cans displaying various paint colors are laid out.

Contrary to what some people think, there is a difference between ceiling paint and regular interior paint.

  • Ceiling paints are designed to provide a uniform surface as it should have the ability to hide and obscure stains and spots for a clean finish.
  • If your ceiling is made of drywall, plaster, masonry, stucco, acoustic tile or wood, you may need to find a paint that offers stronger adhesion qualities.
  • Ceiling paint should be durable enough to resist peeling and cracking.
  • Painting ceilings is easier with a sprayer or spray-on paint, and flat latex is the best choice for textured surfaces like popcorn ceilings.
  • Glazes can be used to coat paint and create a reflective sheen.
  • Eggshell and satin finishes offer a slight sheen as well.
An entryway ceiling is painted dark grey to accent beige walls.

Ceilings are most often painted white to reflect light and brighten up a room.

  • White ceilings also keep the focus on the color of the walls while making the walls appear brighter.
  • Should you decide to opt for a true color on your ceiling, do not use the same color on your walls.
  • Painting ceiling trim and borders to act as an accent might be a better way to go.
  • Darker colors can add warmth and make larger rooms feel cozy.
Surface Preparation and Application
Woman paints a ceiling white.

Prior to applying new ceiling paint, you may need to remove existing loose paint and wash the ceiling.

  • Consider applying a primer before painting, or use ceiling paint with primer added to it.
  • If you are painting the entire room, do the ceiling first, and then proceed to the walls.
  • Glossy surfaces may need to be scuff sanded prior to painting.
  • Use a vacuum attachment to remove dust and cobwebs before painting.
  • Only apply paint between 50 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
Color Types
A living room ceiling is painted cream to complement green wall colors.


  • Provides a cozy, intimate feel
  • Visually shortens tall ceilings
  • Can dramatically alter the appearance of a room


  • Makes rooms feel larger
  • Brightens up rooms
  • Offsets darker colors
  • Can be used on surrounding trim to offset white or dark colors
  • Many neutral colors available to complement a range of decor


  • Brightens up rooms
  • Reflects light
  • Makes rooms feel larger
  • Complements all decor
  • Can be mixed with colored paints to create a lighter, complementary shade

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