Need to know the difference between ceiling versus wall paint? Read on to find to find out all you need to know.
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When I did my office makeover, I wanted to paint the ceiling and wondered if I could use the same wall paint I was using on my board and batten.
So I started researching all about ceiling paint versus wall paint. I learned a few things.
What are the Differences?
Honestly, before I started painting things in my own house, I never would have known there was paint meant specifically for the ceiling.
Ceiling paint has a higher viscosity than wall paint making it thicker, less likely to drip, and easily covers blemishes on the ceiling. It can be used on walls. Usually found in a low sheen like flat or eggshell.
Wall Paint is thinner and more runny than ceiling paint with a low viscosity. It’s not recommended for ceilings because it can drip and splatter easily. Can be any sheen from flat, eggshell, satin, semi gloss, or high gloss.
Can The Same Paint Color Be Used on the Walls and Ceilings?
Yes, it can. When designing a room, a way to make a room feel more cozy is to paint the walls and the ceiling the same color. It would be so convenient to be able to use the same paint color for both the ceiling and the wall.
For instance, when painting a room white, it is a good idea to make the ceiling and walls the same white to avoid conflicting undertones.
In a room you want to paint with color, choose a sheen that is commonly used on ceilings such as flat or eggshell. Since ceiling paint can be used on the ceiling and walls, grab some ceiling paint in either a flat or eggshell sheen to use on both the walls and the ceiling.
Painting with the same color also helps cut the cost of being a paint for the walls and one for the ceiling. We used the same color in eggshell on the walls and ceiling of my son’s room. Follow me on instagram to see my son’s room.
It has an angled vaulted ceiling that reaches 10 ft. The fluid color helps make the room feel big, bright and warm.
I came across a lot of the same questions about this topic so I’ll answer them here.
Can Ceiling Paint Be Used on Walls as a Primer?
Yes! If you are going to use a ceiling paint on the wall, this is a great way to use it! It can also be used on door and window trim as well. Ceiling paint is a good sealant to use on the wall, so if you have a spare can of white ceiling paint lying around, use it.
Can Ceiling Paint Be Used on Walls?
Ceiling Paint is thicker than wall paint so it would do really well on the wall. Applied with a roller, ceiling paint will have less drips and go on that wall really smoothly.
But, there are significantly less options when it comes to color, so it can work well as a primer. There are some instances where thicker wall paint would possibly be a good thing.
Basement playrooms, high traffic mudrooms, stair wells, front and back door entryways with lots of muddy boots and kids things could all benefit from a thicker wall paint that is durable and wipeable.
Can Wall Paint Be Used on Ceilings?
Wall paint isn’t as thick as ceiling paint and is not recommended for ceilings. The thinner formula is prone to drip drop, especially on the flat ceiling.
I can see if your ceiling is a popcorn ceiling or you are painting with a paint sprayer, then wall paint may be the way to go.
Is Ceiling Paint Thicker/Cheaper Than Wall Paint?
Cheaper: Yes! Since ceiling paint comes in a flat sheen, they typically run 15-20% cheaper than paints with other sheens meant for walls and trim.
Thicker: Yes also. Ceiling paint is thicker in viscosity than wall paint. This helps when painting a ceiling because there are less drips.
Can Ceiling and Wall Paint Be Mixed?
Technically, they can be mixed. The important thing if you are going to mix ceiling and wall paint is to mix the same types of paint and the same types of sheen.
For example, mix only latex paint with latex paint and flat with flat. I would try this in small batches and use as an undercoat only or a top coat only.
What is the Best Paint to Use on Ceilings?
There are lots of different ceiling paint choices out there. I am highlighting the best overall, best stainblocking, and the best budget ceiling paints.
Behr Premium Plus Ceiling Paint: This formula is designed specifically for ceilings that have been painted or primed before. It’s made of an acrylic latex for a durable finish. It works really well for popcorn ceilings also.
We are talking about Behr’s Premium line here, so it’s kind of a no brainer. This version is obviously ultra white, but Behr’s ceiling paints are also tintable so you can get it tinted to a lighter color.
Valspar Ceiling Paint and Primer: Paint and primer together means coverage. This ceiling paint can hide stains and offer great one coat coverage. It’s very budget friendly also. I would choose this one in a bathroom because it blocks out mold and mildew. You can also tint this paint.
KILZ Stainblocking Ceiling Paint This is an interesting one. When this paint is applied, it goes on subtle pink. It turns white in under an hour and is dry to the touch. You can recoat in two hours. It needs multiple coats, but KILZ is a brand with a great reputation with paint & primers.
Ceiling Paint Finishes
Flat-Flat paint is know as a concealer paint because it hides all imperfections. It has the most pigment of any other finish. Also known as matte, it is not reflective and doesn’t bounce any light it absorbs. This finish is super easy to apply with low costs and is low impact.
Eggshell-This is my favorite finish. It is one of the lower sheens that has a soft look, like an eggshell, hence the name. Eggshell is kind of middle of the road, not glossy, not matte, but it can still be wipeable.
Pro Tip-Whatever sheen you chose for your room, use the same sheen for the walls and ceiling so everything blends seamlessly together.
At the end of the day, the differences between these two paint types are pretty easy to understand. Knowing the difference and where to best use each one is key.
Pick your sheen for your ceiling, consider the color and the angles of your room and you’ll be fine. Good luck!