Can You Use Ceiling Paint on Walls?

Ceiling paint, as the name implies, is paint that has been designed to be used for ceilings. As a result of the specificity of its use, it has some special properties that are desirable. It also tends to be left over after a painting project. These two reasons often lead to the question, “can you use ceiling paint on walls?”

Ceiling paint can be used for painting walls. None of its properties prevents it from staying on your wall. Instead, there are some advantages to using it. Using ceiling paint for both ceiling and wall can help reduce painting time as you will no longer have to worry about cutting in paint. It can also be economical upfront. While it can be used, it’s not highly recommended as stains cannot be cleaned which reduces its durability.

If you’re still interested in using ceiling paint on your wall, you should read the rest of the article to be better informed.

Can You Use Ceiling Paint on Walls

What Is the Difference Between Ceiling Paint and Wall Paint?

Ceiling paint and wall paint are both designed for different purposes so there are bound to be differences in their composition. These differences are evident in their properties. Let’s compare and contrast these two types of paints under certain categories.

Related: Acrylic Paint Vs. Enamel

Ability to Hide Minor Imperfections

Ceiling paints usually have a flat sheen which makes them non-reflective. This makes it possible for your paint to hide minor imperfections like bumps and bruises on your ceiling. Eggshell and glossy sheen, which are the common sheen for interior wall paints, are reflective and so, are unable to conceal even minor imperfections.


In terms of viscosity, ceiling paint is more viscous than wall paint. The highly viscous nature of ceiling paints makes one-layer painting likely and does not splatter while wall paints are usually thin with low viscosity, hence, require more attention to avoid and correct the drips.

Ease of Use

Due to the high viscosity of ceiling paint, it is much easier to work with in comparison to wall paint. Ceiling paint saves both time and effort because painting once is usually enough and there’s no dripping paint to clean up afterward. Newbies will find it easier to work with ceiling paint. Wall paint on the other hand, because of its low viscosity will drip while you work and will require that you go in more than once to ensure a smooth and nice finish.


Ceiling paints are usually not as durable as wall paints because they are not designed to receive much wear and tear. Since most ceiling paints are flat sheen, stains cannot be wiped off easily. Walls that are painted with semi-gloss or glossy wall paints can be easily cleaned without damaging the paint.

Few Color Options

With ceilings, a lot of people do not experiment with colors, and for good reason. Manufacturers of ceiling paints produce only a small range of colors consisting majorly of different shades of white. It’s not impossible to get ceiling paint color but you will have to do the mixing yourself. This is not the case with wall paint where any color you can think of is most likely available on the store’s shelf.

Can You Use Ceiling Paint as a Primer?

Ceiling paint can be used as a primer for your walls. It can act as a paint seal and its property of hiding stains well helps it to act as a good primer. It is important to note that when it is used in place of a drywall primer, you are likely to use more ceiling paint to achieve the same result.

Can you Use Ceiling Paint on Trim?

Ceiling paint can be used on tries but it is only recommended for use as a primer and should be further top-coated with paint that has a semi-gloss finish. This recommendation is because trims are more open to wear and tear from the frequent hand contact with them on your window or door areas.

Ceiling paint finishes like semi-gloss is a preferred option because you can clean stains off it while ceiling paint which usually has a flat sheen will require constant retouching. Using wall paint will ensure that your painting lasts longer and retains its aesthetic look for a longer period.

Can I Use Ceiling Paint on Closet Walls?

Ceiling paints can be used on closet walls but it is not recommended for the same reason its use on trim is not. Your hands will likely be in contact with the walls of your closet over and over again which makes it much more exposed to stains. Ceiling paints cannot withstand cleaning and will require frequent touch-ups so you might as well use a wall paint that has a glossy finish.

Can you Use Ceiling Paint on Bathroom Walls?

For bathroom walls, there’s always more to consider than aesthetics. You will have to think about water resistance, mildew resistance, and durability. If these are not considered, you will end up with a messy and have to repaint often.

Asides from the stress of a repainting project, there are also expenses involved. If you’re going to use ceiling paint in your bathroom wall, you cannot afford to use the flat finish type but rather the semi-gloss finish. Paints with a semi-gloss finish can repel moisture.

This same recommendation is valid when you’re also choosing the type of ceiling paint for your bathroom ceiling.

How to Use Ceiling Paint on Walls

Ceiling paints can be used on walls as the main coat of paint or as a primer although the latter is the recommended use of ceiling paints on walls. If it is used as the main coat of paint, you can make use of it the way you normally would use wall paint.

You will need to start with a primer first to prepare the wall for your paint application and then go in with your ceiling paint. You will not need as many layers of paint as you would with wall paint because there is usually no unsightly drip to correct.

For use as a primer, you need to ensure your surface is free from dust and that all the surfaces you don’t want to be painted are adequately covered with painter’s tape or cloth. Once your surface is ready, you can go in with your ceiling paint. Drywall tends to absorb a lot of ceiling paint so you might have to paint several layers before it is well covered.

Can I Mix Ceiling Paint with Wall Paint?

It is possible to mix ceiling paint with wall paint. This question can come up either because you want to use up leftover material or you want to create a custom color. It is important to note that the wall paint and ceiling paint have to be of the same type to mix well.

For example, you can only mix oil-based ceiling paint with oil-based wall paint. Another thing to note is that when you mix with the intent to create a custom color, it might be difficult to recreate the color when you need to retouch your space.

You will need to make a record of the brand of paint you used, the exact color codes, and the quantity of each painting. Before you proceed to mix it is advised that you carefully consider these two points. A more efficient way to use ceiling paint and wall paint together is to make the ceiling paint act as a primer and use the wall paint as a topcoat.

Is Ceiling Paint Cheaper Than Wall Paint?

There are different manufacturers of paint and they all have their various price ranges. Some are regarded as high-end products while others are low-end products so prices of ceiling paint and wall paint will differ.

In general, ceiling paints are usually cheaper than standard wall paint. This is likely a result of the difference in their composition. Ceiling paint contains less titanium oxide which is one of the most expensive ingredients in wall paints.

Is Ceiling Paint and Flat Paint the Same?

Flat paint is a kind of paint that has a flat or matte finish. This kind of finish is preferred to be used on a ceiling because its non-reflective nature helps to hide damages and scratches.

Ceiling paint is sometimes wrongly called flat paint because most ceiling paints are designed to have a flat finish. Even though they are sometimes used interchangeably, it is not always correct to refer to them as each other.

Some ceiling paints have semi-gloss finishes and would be wrongly described if they are also termed flat paint.

Will Using Ceiling Paint on Walls Yield Similar Results as Using Wall Paint?

When deciding to paint a master bedroom and bathroom, it’s essential to use the right type of paint. While using ceiling paint on walls might seem like a cost-effective solution, it may not yield similar results as using wall paint. It’s best to use the appropriate paint for each surface to achieve the desired finish.

Can You Use Wall Paint on Ceilings?

If for whatever reason, you’re curious to know if you can use wall paint on the ceiling, the answer is yes, you can. The possibility of using it does not mean it is encouraged. The low viscous nature of wall paint will make it difficult to paint your ceiling. You will need to paint in several layers and there’s no way to avoid dripping which will create a mess and make your painting project more stressful.

Wall paints are generally more expensive than ceiling paint because they are designed to be durable. This kind of durability is not required for ceilings since nobody will be touching them, therefore, reducing the rate of wear and tear. It is therefore not a cost-effective decision to use wall paint for your ceiling.

What is the Best Paint for Ceilings and Walls?

There are several options of paint brands available in the market today. When you add the number of shades of white you have to pick from, it can make your decision process overwhelming.

A good recommendation will go a long way in easing the process. Our top pick for the best paint for ceilings and walls and is the Rust Oleum 285139 Ultra Matte Interior Chalked Paint.

This paint is latex paint that can be used on various interior surfaces like ceramic, wood, and metal. You can use it on many different projects and get creative with leftover paint. You don’t have to spend a lot of time preparing your surface because it has great adhesion. It dries fast on application, within 30 minutes, and you only need to apply a single layer for full coverage.

You can expect a matte and velvety look at the end giving you that vintage feels you need. You can go the extra mile to create a distressed look for an even more vintage look. The Rust Oleum 285139 Ultra Matte Interior Chalked Paint is praised by many users as the perfect choice for their many different projects.


Ceiling paint without any doubt has great properties like high viscosity and flat sheen specifically tailored for use on ceilings. Your question, “can I use ceiling paint on the walls?” has been answered in the affirmative although there are particular considerations to be made especially since it can’t be easily cleaned.

Generally, when it comes to the use of ceiling paint on walls, using it as a primer is your best option.

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