Randy Charles
Professional Painter

Randy Charles is the owner of PaintCentric.com, a website dedicated to providing information, tips, tricks, and news about all things paint. With over 10 years...Read more

Randy Charles
Professional Painter

Randy Charles is the owner of PaintCentric.com, a website dedicated to providing information, tips, tricks, and news about all things paint. With over 10 years...Read more

What’s the Difference Between Ceiling Paint and Wall Paint?

Randy Charles
Professional Painter

Randy Charles is the owner of PaintCentric.com, a website dedicated to providing information, tips, tricks, and news about all things paint. With over 10 years...Read more

When it comes to painting, it is important to understand the differences between ceiling paint and wall paint. Ceiling paint is made for ceilings and is designed to stick and handle humidity. Wall paint is for walls and is formulated especially. Knowing these differences can help you have the best results from your project.

Let’s look closer at the contrasts:

Definition of wall paint and ceiling paint

Differences Between Ceiling Paint And Wall Paint
Differences between ceiling paint and wall paint

Wall paint and ceiling paint have different uses. Wall paint is for walls in a room or house. It makes the walls look better and stops dirt, grime and moisture from getting in. It usually has two layers, a base coat and a topcoat. Topcoat has lots of colors and finishes to choose from.

Ceiling paint is different from wall paint. It sticks better and doesn’t drip as much when it’s applied. Ceilings are often painted with one or two coats of flat white paint. This brightens the ceiling, makes it look even and helps to spot any damage. Flat white also reflects light, making the room brighter.


Ceiling paint and wall paint have contrastive features. Ceiling paint is made to resist stains and moisture, and wall paint is for a basic hue. Both come in various formulas to give additional qualities such as lastingness, cleanability, and glimmer.

Let’s examine the properties and contrasts between ceiling paint and wall paint closer:

Differences in composition

Ceiling Paint
Ceiling paint

Ceiling paint has a flat finish and low VOC ingredients for a friendlier environment. It also has high-hiding coverage so that you can use fewer coats.

Wall paints offer a variety of finishes, from matte to glossy. These give you a tailored look and durability. Wall paint has higher gloss levels and hiding coverage. This means more coats may be required for deep tones or hiding old colors and textures.

Differences in sheen

Most wall paints have a flat or matte finish. It absorbs light and hides imperfections. Wall paints also come in eggshells, less shiny than high-gloss sheens. Ceiling paints are usually made to resist dirt and mildew.

High-gloss sheens are great for baseboards and trim work. They reflect more light and create the illusion of sharper lines. When using high-gloss paint, apply carefully to avoid brush marks. Use a quality primer, suitable for high-gloss, for best results on a feature or accent wall.

Differences in coverage

Ceiling paint and wall paint appear similar when purchased. Yet, several differences exist between the two. Let’s take a look at the coatings used for walls and ceilings.

  • Coverage is different. Ceiling paints are thicker than wall paints. This stops dripping, spattering and running as they dry. This is important if you are on a ladder painting the ceiling. Thicker rollers and brushes, as well as long strokes, are needed. Thicker ceiling paints make this job easier.
  • Wall paint must be thinner. This means it can be applied faster and with less work. Less cleanup is needed compared to thick ceiling paints on walls or other surfaces that tilt away from gravity. Wall paint also has different color requirements due to ambient lighting conditions on ceilings.


Interior painting? No problem! Wall paint is for vertical surfaces. But ceiling paint? That’s for ceilings only! Let’s take a peek at their differences. What’s the difference between wall paint and ceiling paint?

Differences in application methods

Ceiling Paints
Ceiling paints

Ceiling paint must cover large, smooth surfaces with a single layer. It usually has a low VOC formula to facilitate application. Brush or roll strokes should go up and down the ceiling length in an overlapping pattern. The number of coats depends on the coverage of the product chosen and given adequate drying time between coats.

Wall paint application depends on whether a glossy or matte finish is desired. The glossy finish should be rolled in one direction or feather-dusted. This prevents lap marks from forming. For matte finishes, brushing in overlapping motions is enough. Allow wall paint enough drying time before adding another coat.

Differences in surface preparation

Surface prep is key for the best paint for your walls and ceilings. While they may look similar, wall and ceiling paints can differ greatly in their sticking power and stain resistance. Ask a pro or read product labels to find the best one.

When painting ceilings, two layers of primer are recommended before applying two coats of ceiling paint. This ensures a strong foundation for the top coat. Topcoats, two coats of primer and one coat of wall paint are normally used. Ceiling paints are often formulated for semi-gloss finishes like popcorn textures, while wall paints are made for flat or glossy looks.

Ceiling paints are mildew-resistant due to anti-microbial ingredients and stain blockers. Wall paints may need more maintenance if they get stained or discolored over time. Check that both types of paint have mildew protection if you’re working in humid places – such as shower rooms – as this will help keep your paint job in good condition.


Paint can make a big difference to the look and feel of your home. You must know the dissimilarity between the ceiling and wall paint. Different types of paint have different levels of sturdiness, coverage, and defense against fading, dampness, and staining.

Here are the benefits of each and why it is important to be aware of the difference:

Benefits of ceiling paint

Wall Paint
Wall paint

The ceiling paint is special. It is thicker and sticks well, preventing drips and splatters. It also hides minor cracks and defects. Ceilings need less paint as they are flat surfaces.

Ceiling paint has mildew resistance, guarding against mold or algae. It is also easier to clean over time. Ceiling primers can make recoating quicker if needed.

Benefits of wall paint

Wall paint has both decorative and practical uses. It can brighten and improve living spaces and add unique visual interest. There are many benefits to using paint in your home. Here are some ways to utilize paint to enhance your home:

  1. Adding Depth – Glossy finishes imitate the look of leather or glass at a lower cost. High-end matte paints offer rich colors and will last much longer than cheaper options.
  2. Design Elements – Paints can be used strategically to evoke certain vibes or aesthetics. Warm tones like reds and purples create coziness. Cooler hues like blues create a modern industrial look. Shimmer paints offer glam or edgy alternatives.
  3. Cost-Effective Renovations – Instead of replacing fixtures or finishes, refresh a room with a layer of paint! Create vertical stripes or stencils for a unique look. These can be wiped away when new trends come into view.
  4. Durability & Cleanliness – Quality paints are scrubbable, mildew resistant and better suited for humid environments. They stand up to wear-and-tear better than traditional designer fabrics.
Types Of Wall Paint
Types of wall paint


It can be hard to pick the correct paint for walls and ceilings. Both are made to protect surfaces and create a stunning finish.

Ceiling paint is crafted to reflect light, cover evenly with no brush marks, and withstand mildew and moisture. It’s thicker than wall paint and has a shinier finish to hide flaws.

Wall paint comes in more colors and finishes, from matte to shiny. Also, you can get specialty paints, like washable and scrubbable ones.

Ceiling paint should be used on ceilings and wall paint on walls. However, some special paints can be used on both. Check with a pro for the best paint for the job – whether you’re painting the entire house or just sprucing up your walls.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best ceiling paint to use?

The best ceiling paint depends on the application and desired finish. Some ceiling paints are specially formulated for use on popcorn textures or other textured surfaces.

Can I use wall paint on my ceiling?

Yes, you can use wall paint on your ceiling, but it may not provide the same protection or durability as ceiling paint.

Randy CharlesProfessional Painter

Randy Charles is the owner of PaintCentric.com, a website dedicated to providing information, tips, tricks, and news about all things paint. With over 10 years of experience in the painting industry, Randy has become an expert in the field and is passionate about helping others learn more about painting. He has written numerous articles on the subject and is committed to providing accurate and up-to-date information to his readers.

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