7 Best Ceiling Paints | Reviews & Buying Guide

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Whether you’re trying to create a cozy bedroom with an elegant Victorian touch or want to let loose in your private man-cave, ceiling paint is the perfect way to add some personality and style.

ceiling paints

Ceilings are often overlooked when it comes to home improvement. However, they can make or break the look of your room and create a mood for the space.

When renovating, many homeowners think about painting walls but neglect ceilings. You must know which type will work best for your specific needs before buying!

Ceilings are an essential part of any room. They not only look great, but they also serve as a functional design element that can be used to create the perfect ambiance. Ceilings come in all shapes and sizes, so it’s essential you know what type of ceiling paint will work best for your specific needs before buying!

Here are seven of the most popular ceiling paints and how each is best suited for different needs.

Best Ceiling Paints Compared

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7 Best Ceiling Paints | Reviews

1. KILZ Color-Change Stainblocking Interior Ceiling Paint (Best Overall)

  • Recoat in 2 hours
  • Can use a paint sprayer to apply
  • Zero VOCs
  • Multiple coats required to cover stubborn stains
  • Best applied in thin layers

2. Rust-Oleum 1990502 Painter’s Touch Latex Paint (Best Value)

  • Eco-friendly, water-based product
  • Dries in minutes for quick project completion
  • Easy to apply
  • Some prep work required
  • It may not be flat white ceiling paint

3. INSL-X PC120009A-01 Color-Changing Ceiling Paint

  • Works on both smooth and textured ceilings
  • Quick-dry – can recoat in 2 hours
  • Up to 450 sq. ft. per gallon coverage
  • The pink color change is minimal
  • May splatter and drip

4. KILZ TRIBUTE Interior Matte Paint and Primer in One

  • Pros
  • 1 Gallon covers 400 sq ft
  • Huge variety of colors to choose from
  • Paint and primer combined
  • Cons
  • Color may vary
  • Longer cure time

5. Rust-Oleum 285140 Ultra Matte Interior Chalked Paint

  • 150 sq ft coverage
  • Low odor
  • Soap and water cleanup
  • Expensive
  • Will wipe off with water

6. Rust-Oleum 276087 Mold Killing Primer

  • Interior and exterior use
  • 1 hour cure time
  • Easy cleanup
  • Requires a lot of stirring

7. Homax Roll On Wall Texture

  • Textured finish
  • Easy to apply
  • Great coverage
  • Hides imperfections, but no cracks
  • Interior use only

Video: How to Paint a Ceiling

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Best Ceiling Paints Buying Guide

Type of paint finish

Flat paints are great for ceilings because they provide a nice, even tone that won’t be interrupted by light and dark splotchy areas. Flat finish paint will absorb any inconsistencies in the surface underneath, so your ceiling will always look its best.

Matte finishes are great for ceilings because the lack of shine gives the ceiling a more natural look. Matte paints absorb light, so they help make your ceilings feel taller.

Satin paint is perfect for ceilings because it gives the surface a subtle sheen to catch the light. This added shine also makes any bumps or imperfections disappear, leaving your ceiling looking elegant, smooth, and clean.

Semi-gloss paint has a shine that is just above matte but won’t be too reflective. Semi-gloss paint is perfect for ceilings because it gives them an added glow while also easy to clean.

Textured paint is perfect for ceilings because you can apply it in a variety of patterns. It also hides minor imperfections for a smooth surface that enhances light.

KILZ Color-Change Stainblocking Interior Ceiling Paint, White, 1-gallon


Paint quality is crucial because it’s the key to maintaining the look and feel of your home. Beyond protecting your home from wear and tear, paint offers an essential sense of continuity across rooms by creating a unified aesthetic.

Three factors can measure paint quality:

  • Thickness (the best paints will offer excellent coverage).
  • Sheen level (flat, semi-gloss, or high gloss).
  • Durability.

Durability depends significantly on the type of paint you’re looking for – some paints offer up to 20 years’ worth of protection, while others only last for two seasons. When evaluating these three qualities together, you’ll find that one has a significant impact on price – higher paint sheen always costs more than lower ones.

Higher durability paints will cost more than less durable ones, but they won’t be as affected by wear and tear.

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Easy to use

Paint where little prep is needed gives a lot of conveniences since no heavy scraping or sweeping has to be done.

The paint is very forgiving. If you have a few bubbles, missed nail strokes, or touch-ups that didn’t turn out as planned, all you need is some extra paint and a roller for the filler coat. The more effortless it is to use, the more likely people will want to put it on – with good reason!

The best ceiling paints provide a finish that is easy to apply, covers the most surface area, has low VOC emissions, and lasts for a long time.

We can’t stress how important it is to choose paint that is easy to use. This isn’t much of an issue if you’re replacing the ceiling, but if you need to paint your current ceiling because of wear and tear, choosing paint that will stain and peel less is essential.

Paint that is easy to apply will save you time and energy. It will also help protect the finish of your home. This means that there is less of a chance that you will have to repaint, which will save you money in the long run.

ceiling paints

Hides cracks

One thing about paint is that it can be used as a covering to hide small cracks and imperfections. This will allow you to get the most out of your color while making sure that your ceiling is smooth and even.

If you have a minor crack in your ceiling, covering it with paint will almost make it unnoticeable, so you won’t have to spend money on repairs.

Paint is also excellent for when the finish of your ceiling becomes worn down. If there are any marks on the paint, all you have to do is repaint it, and it will look brand new for a fraction of the cost of hiring someone to fix it or replacing it.

Low odor

When it comes to low-odor paint, you must protect your airways from any harmful chemicals. If you have already been diagnosed with breathing difficulties or asthma, this is an even more critical point.

In addition to protecting your lungs from inhaling chemicals, there are also certain kinds of paints that have volatile organic compounds (VOCs) as part of their ingredients. Many people react negatively to these VOCs, and they carry potential health risks like headaches, nausea, and dizziness. Low-odor paints can come in handy for those who have a sensitivity to these chemicals.

The best paint for your home will be the one with the least amount of VOCs in it, which means it will neither add harmful chemicals to your air nor make you feel sick when you breathe it in.

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Good Coverage

When searching for the perfect paint, it’s essential to think about how much of it you will need. Many factors go into how much coverage a tin will give, and this includes details like whether you’ll use a roller or brush to apply the paint, what type of surface it’s going on, and how porous that surface is.

For this reason, it’s essential to think about your budget and the amount of surface area you’ll be painting. If you have a large ceiling painted in cracked paint, there is no need to spend extra money on something that has more coverage if all you have to do is spruce up what already exists.

Some paints will require many coats to cover up the old shade, while others can do it with less. Higher sheen or gloss paints might also need more coats which will make your project take longer.

Temperature also affects paint coverage. The paint may be too hot and peel off during application, or it may be too cold and will not adhere well to the surface. Always read the label and make sure to purchase the correct paint for the outside temperature.


Be mindful of the type of paint you buy because mold can cling to certain types of surfaces. Anti-mold paint is a great way to prevent mold from growing in your bathroom or kitchen, as it helps repel it away from the surface. If you have a high-humidity environment, this type of paint is perfect for you.

It’s essential to know the best paints for certain rooms because of high humidity. For instance, there are special paints for your bathroom and kitchen ceiling where humidity is higher. These paints are usually gloss, satin, or semi-gloss to maintain their sheen and will be more resistant to moisture.

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Easy to clean up

It is essential to buy paint that will be easy to clean from brushes and rollers using soap and water. This will help you avoid problems with dried paint, which you’ll find challenging to remove and will invariably leave a stain on the surface. Always read the manufacturer’s instructions before buying.

Paints that are easy to clean up will save you some time and trouble when it comes time to clean the space.

Cleaning up afterward is a breeze with these types of paint because there is no need for heavy scrubbing or chemicals to remove them from hard surfaces thoroughly.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can ceiling paint be used on walls?

Yes, it can, but be sure to check the label first. Some are specially formulated as wall paint and are not designed for ceilings. If you notice that your paint is peeling or bubbling up after application, then it’s possible that you used it on a surface where it wasn’t supposed to go.

What is different about ceiling paint?

Ceiling paint is specially formulated for ceilings or flat surfaces because it will adhere well when rolled and dry in a relatively short amount of time. It is designed to eliminate ceiling imperfections when light bounces off it.

What color should a ceiling be painted?

The best paint color for your ceiling is the one that you like. If you don’t like it, you probably won’t enjoy spending time in your room and won’t be inspired to decorate or make much use of it. There is no rule about your ceiling color being the same as your wall color or not, so feel free to go with whatever suits your style and preferences.

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What are the different finishes for ceiling paint?

Ceiling paints are available in flat, matte, satin, semi-gloss, and high gloss. You can also buy eggshell paint, but this is limited to mainly white color.

Is it better to use a roller or brush for painting ceilings?

If you’re painting your ceiling, it’s best to cut in areas around the edges of the ceiling close to crown molding or trim with a brush. For more significant ceilings, you’ll want to use a roller.

Roller paints are suitable for big jobs that cover large surfaces in one go or if you want an even finish. Rollers also allow for more coverage in less time with fewer coats compared to brushes. Brushes are suitable for cutting in and getting into hard-to-reach places.

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How many coats do paints generally need to cover up surfaces properly?

You’ll need one coat if the ceiling is a flat paint color and two coats if you’re trying to cover up another color. To get an even finish with no streaks, you may want to apply three coats. If you are covering stains, mold, or mildew, you will need special paint, which may require multiple coats.

Is there a certain kind of paint for anti-mold surfaces?

In high humidity, you want to use mold-resistant paint in rooms like your kitchen or bathroom. These paints will repel moisture that makes the ceiling surface unfavorable for mold to grow. The product label will identify these types of paints.

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Many types of paint, both high-quality and low-quality, will do the job, but always read to know which type is best for your needs. It’s essential to consider factors like location, coverage, cost, odor, and color buying.

Our Best Overall pick was KILZ Color-Change Stainblocking Interior Ceiling Paint because this ceiling paint offers spatter protection, has almost no odor when applied, and dries quickly in under an hour for use on all interior ceilings. Apply with any high-quality nylon brush, 3/8″-1/2″ nap roller, or sprayer. The quick-drying properties make this the perfect option in any room of the home or office.

Our Best Value pick was Rust-Oleum 1990502 Painter’s Touch Latex Paint because this water-based acrylic formula has low odor, limits chips, provides long-lasting protection, and goes on smoothly.

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Walter Snyder

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