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Can You Use Wall Paint on Ceiling? (Explained)

The interior of your house speaks about how you see things around you. Whether it’s the paint on the walls or the couch in the living room, they express your point of view. If you are planning on painting your house then you surely want to uplift your home.

However, if you are somehow wondering whether you can use wall paint on the ceiling or not, then you are at the right place. We are going to have a detailed discussion on the topic. 

So, to get rid of all your confusion, bear with us till the end. Let’s get started, shall we? 

Can you use wall paint on ceiling?

You can’t use wall paint on the ceiling. However, wall paint has a low viscosity, which means it’s most likely to drip off the ceiling. The paint used on the ceiling should not have any texture. Additionally, ceiling paints are latex-based and tend to give way to a smoother finish.

Therefore, you cannot use your white wall paint on the ceilings. 

Flat wall paints and ceiling paints do not come with the same viscosity. There are multiple reasons why you cannot use your flat wall paint to paint down your ceiling.  

Different Viscosity: 

The first and foremost factor why you cannot use wall paint as ceiling paint is the viscosity. According to paint terminology, the viscosity of the ceiling paint needs to be more than wall paints. That means the thickness of the ceiling paint needs to be more than the wall paint. 

Otherwise, it will drip off the ceiling as you paint them. As the viscosity is higher the ceiling paint does not splash and splatter. Additionally, it also dries up faster than wall paints.               

Different Coverage: 

Another reason why wall paint can’t be used on the ceiling is they offer better coverage. With ceiling paints, it’s easier to get a better finish. A paint that comes with higher viscosity provides a smooth finish with only one coat.

Therefore, it is recommended to use ceiling paint for painting your ceilings. This way you get better results.

What type of paint is used on walls?

Acrylic paint is one of the most recommended paints that can be used on walls. 

Apart from acrylic paints, you can use Emulsion paints to paint your interior walls. Emulsion paints are water-based. They are considered almost odorless which makes them an amazing option for interior walls. Emulsion paints are also low in VOCs which makes them quick drying.

Whereas, acrylic paints have higher color intensity in comparison to latex-based and oil-based paints. So, if you are looking for intensively colorful walls, then you can go for acrylic paints. 

Additionally, flat, satin, and eggshell paints can also be used on walls. You have plenty of options available. Consider all the factors before choosing the right paint. 

Is ceiling paint different to wall paint?

Ceiling paint is different from wall paint. 

Ceiling paint is not the same as regular interior paint. However, you can use your wall paint on the ceiling. But the results won’t impress you. Regular wall paint is thin in texture and comes with a low viscosity. 

Therefore, the paint is most likely to drip off the ceiling once the paint is applied. However, ceilings need paint that is thick and comes with a higher viscosity. 

Additionally, ceiling paints are usually latex-based. And latex-based paints give away a smooth finish only in one coat. For that reason, you won’t have to spend tons of money as your ceiling won’t need multiple coatings of paint.  

What is the difference between ceiling paint and wall paint?

The basic difference is the texture and thickness of the paints. Apart from that, various reasons differentiate between ceiling paint and wall paint. 

Here are a few differences: 


The durability of the paints is a great factor. Ceiling paints usually give away a stronger adhesive finish to drywall and plaster. These paints are considered way more durable than many wall paints. 

As they are more durable than most other wall paints, it doesn’t affect your pockets much. 

Water-based and Oil-based paints: 

Wall paints are mostly water-based. On the other hand, ceiling paints are usually latex-based or oil-based. These types of paints give away a better finishing. 

The good thing about water-based paints is that they are less toxic. Additionally, they are almost odorless, which makes it easier to breathe in the home. Water-based paints dries up quickly, also it does not fade in sunlight. 

The usage of water-based plants on the walls is profitable as they prevent the growth of mold and debris. 

Different thickness: 

Wall paints and ceiling paints have different thickness and texture. Wall paints usually have a light texture and less thickness. It is easy to apply and requires multiple coats to achieve a smoother finish. 

Whereas, ceiling paints have a thicker texture. They do not require multiple coats. Also, these paints dry up fast. 

Coverage ability: 

The coverage ability of wall paints and ceiling paints are different. As ceiling paints are thicker and have higher viscosity, they come with better coverage. 

Whereas, wall paints have a lighter texture and consistency. Therefore, it requires more coats to give away the perfect coverage.             


The costing of the two paints are different. For each square foot of wall paint you’d need to spend at least $3 on the wall paints. Whereas, you’d need to spend a lot less for painting your ceilings. 

What kind of paint is best for ceilings? 

Latex-based or matte acrylic paints are best for ceilings. 

There are a lot of things you need to compare before you go on and choose the paint for your ceiling. The ceiling paint will most likely get striked by mildew if it is used in the bathroom. 

Therefore, when choosing paint for your bathroom ceilings, try to ensure that your bathroom has enough ventilation.  

However, if you are looking for something water-resistant then you can use semi-gloss paint. Semi-gloss paints are good water resistors. You do not have to worry about water splash marks on your ceiling once you have used semi-gloss paint on your ceilings. 

Satin sheen acrylic paint is also a good option for such areas. Mostly, ivory or white is used for the ceilings as these colors pop up more and reflect ambient light.   

However, if you are not interested in much of a glossy finish, you can always go for the matte options. A flat white is always a good option for ceilings. 

Should a ceiling be painted the same color as the walls?

A ceiling can be painted the same color as the walls. However, it is not mandatory. You can always mix-match the colors. Additionally, when you paint your walls the same as your walls it creates an illusion and makes the rooms look bigger than they are.  

Apart from this, painting your ceiling the same color can also be proven time-saving and affordable. Painting the ceiling in the same color can make your room look seamless. Additionally, it makes you feel more cozy.  

What color white should ceilings be?

You can paint your ceilings Dove white, cloud white or Decorator’s white. 

Apart from these, you can also do a 80:20 ratio. For that, you can mix 80% white and 20% color. This will make your ceiling pop up. White is the best choice if your room does not get enough light. It is a great option if you also prefer a low contrast look for your room. 

When you choose to paint the ceiling white, there is no chance of conflicting undertones on your walls. 

Final thoughts

You cannot use wall paint on the ceiling. Wall paints tend to have a lighter texture and a low viscosity. Due to which, the paint may drip off the ceiling. Whereas, ceiling paints have a thicker texture and a higher viscosity. Therefore, you cannot use wall paints on the ceiling.