Can I Use Wall Paint on Ceiling Image

Can I Use Wall Paint on Ceiling? | Differences & Usage

If you’ve got a new house or are renovating your existing one, designing its walls and ceilings is a key aspect. One most common solution to designing walls is to use paint. Colors have been used to decorate walls for the longest. If you’ve got some paint already and wondering can I use wall paint on ceiling or the other way around, we’ll guide you on both scenarios today.

Ceiling Paint Vs Wall Paint

Some people might say that if we can use wall paint on ceilings, then what’s the actual difference between ceiling paint and wall paint. Well, you’ll be surprised to know that there are some major differences between them. One good distinction is the contrast between them which is quite high. Let’s look at them in brief:


Firstly, components present in wall paint have some significant elements that ceiling paints don’t have. One is that wall colorants are pretty thin and need several coatings or layers to get the desired color. In comparison, ceiling paints are relatively thicker and only require a single coating since they are formulated for application on ceilings.


To put it simply, both these are for the application on walls and ceilings, respectively. But if we talk about wall paints, they have different features depending on their purpose of use. For example, bathroom or kitchen walls may require more durable paint than others. Also, there are other versions like bacterial, stain, or dust resistant along with options like odorless.

Altogether, wall paints can differ in their features depending upon the room, its interiors, and exteriors. However, when we talk about ceiling paints, there’s no specific characteristic required since all ceilings are in the same place. Even so, ceiling coats need to have proper finishing without splattering for a polished and decent look.

Color Options

Lastly, you’ll find that wall paints are available in tons of color combinations, shades, patterns, and designs. This is because walls are a prominent facet of any house or construction and thus need to look perfect and durable. On the other hand, ceiling paints do not come in fancy color options and are generally white.

Can Wall Paint Be Applied to the Ceiling?

Wall paints may differ from ceiling paints, but that doesn’t mean one can’t use them on ceilings. However, look at the below points before deciding to use a wall paint for ceiling:


Ceiling and wall paints have different uses. Ceiling paints are usually the type that dries quickly and are convenient since they are overhead. Moreover, they also get wiped better and can be a suitable pick to use on ceilings. In contrast, wall paints are durable by nature, making them fit for tough conditions.

Colors Available

Ceiling paints are usually available in one color: White. While applying, they may look a bit bluer, but they will turn white in no time once dried completely. Wall paints, on the contrary, offer individuals a wide range of color options to choose from. Whether it be a simple color such as green or blue or a complex shade such as crimson, wall paints can be engineered to give us the exact color you’re looking for. Furthermore, these alterations don’t affect the paint properties by and large and can be safe to use on ceilings. This can help if you’re keen on a mono-color design all over your house.


Wall paints, until recent times, have had a common element to them: Oil. However, that has changed now, and many firms today use water-based (latex) paints, commonly observed in ceiling paints. This feature allows them to dry much quicker and, if anything, can be an ideal choice for any house’s ceilings.

Can You Paint Walls with Ceiling Paint?

Before learning how to use, you must know how is ceiling paint different from wall paint. Ceiling paints, as their name itself says, are specifically for ceilings. Since they consume little space than all walls in a house, they require less amount. Ceiling colorants are limited to only one color, White. If an individual wants their wall to have a color other than White, then they won’t or shouldn’t go for this kind of option.

However, those who are interested in going for ceiling paints can take a look at the below information to know using ceiling paint on walls:

  1. Ceiling paint finish often come with no or less reflective properties, unlike wall paint, called an eggshell finish.
  2. This kind gives a more sheen and flat finish, which does not distract people from the main attraction, which is walls.
  3. Whether in a formal space or house use white paint for ceiling to keep it quite simple not to draw too much attention.
  4. Given these properties, they are useful as a primer for walls.
  5. As primers provide a smooth and uniform surface, using ceiling paints will hide any imperfections, prepping walls for a cleaner appearance.
  6. Areas that often require a much smoother and clean surface are the trim (molding frames applied on openings) and doors. When it comes to sanding, which is an essential part of a painting, ceiling paints are generally easier to sand, eliminating rough spots on walls and preventing uneven finishing.

When to Use Ceiling Paint on Walls?

You can use ceiling paints in various situations. Foremost, they are a great option if wall paints are too expensive and go out of your budget. Ceiling colorants are between 15 to 20% cheaper comparatively. Further, these will also save people the cost of spending on a primer, thanks to their coverage. Painting ceilings and walls also assist in hiding flaws such as:

  • Stains
  • Marks or scratches
  • Loose peels or cracks
  • Splashes from cooking
  • Dents
1. Is it safe to apply wall paints on the ceiling? Will I damage anything?

Ans. As mentioned above, one main difference in the components of wall and ceiling paints is thickness. A person can feel free to apply wall paints to their ceilings without any worries. However, for best results, we recommend using latex-based ones.

2. Can I use my remaining ceiling paint as a primer?

Ans. Yes. Ceiling paints and primers both share similar properties. It is entirely normal to use ceiling paints as a primer. A lot of people do use their leftover as a sealant. If you want to get a paint primer separately check these top rated primers.

3. Should I paint wall or ceiling first?

Ans. Paint the ceiling first. Even if you use latex or ceiling paint on your ceiling, chances are it may not dry in time and drop a little or start coming down through a portion of a wall.

4. What paint to use on ceiling?

Ans. If you are talking about finish then opt for a thicker paint like latex to avoid any dripping. If it is about color then use white or ivory colored ones which can reflect more light and create great ambiance.

5. What type of paint for kitchen ceiling?

Ans. It is better to choose a thicker one like latex with flat sheen to hide all imperfections. If you have a smaller kitchen choose to paint wall and ceiling with same color to make the room appear bigger.


To wrap it up, wall paints can indeed be used on ceilings and vice-versa. Is there a difference between ceiling paint and wall paint? Yes but somehow, that doesn’t affect their leading utility very much. However, ceiling paints are usually more durable and resist any stains. Besides, with technological advancements in home colorants, we may not be far off from a type used on any area and surface types.