Can You Use Ceiling Paint on Walls? A Hilarious Guide to Painting

can you use ceiling paint on walls

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, painters and paintees, welcome to the world of painting! Today, we’re going to dive into the fascinating, yet somewhat controversial topic of whether you can use ceiling paint on walls. Buckle up and put on your painting overalls, because we’re about to embark on an informative and (hopefully) hilarious journey!

Affiliate Disclosure:

Hey there, Amazon affiliate links may be lurking in this content! That means if you click on one and end up buying something, we might earn a few pennies to keep the laughter rolling. Don’t worry, it won’t cost you anything — we just earn a tiny commission that’ll help support our comedic and helpful endeavors. So go ahead, click away, and let the hilarity and advice ensue!

1. The Great Paint Debate: Ceiling Paint vs. Wall Paint

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty of whether you can use ceiling paint on walls, let’s address the elephant in the room: what’s the difference between ceiling paint and wall paint?

Ceiling Paint: The Chosen One for Ceilings

As the name suggests, ceiling paint is designed specifically for painting ceilings. It has a higher viscosity (meaning it’s thicker) than wall paint, which helps it resist splattering and dripping when applied overhead. Ceiling paint is usually available in flat or low-gloss sheens and is formulated to resist staining, soiling, and mildew growth.

Wall Paint: The Jack of All Trades

Wall paint, on the other hand, is designed for—you guessed it—painting walls. It’s thinner in consistency than ceiling paint, making it easier to apply on vertical surfaces. Wall paint comes in various finishes, from flat to high-gloss, and is generally more durable than ceiling paint, making it better suited for high-traffic areas and regular cleaning.

2. Flat White Paint: The Ceiling Paint Impostor?

You may be wondering if flat white paint can be used as a ceiling paint. The short answer is, not exactly. While both flat white paint and ceiling paint have a matte finish and can hide imperfections, they’re not quite the same thing. Ceiling paint has less sheen, which minimizes light reflection and prevents your ceiling from looking like a disco ball.

3. The Million-Dollar Question: Can You Use Wall Paint on the Ceiling?

Technically, yes, you can use wall paint on the ceiling. However, there are some drawbacks to this approach. Wall paint is thinner than ceiling paint, which means you’ll likely have more drips and splatters during the painting process. You may also need multiple coats to achieve full coverage.

4. When Ceiling Paint Meets Wall: Can You Use Ceiling Paint on Walls?

Now that we’ve addressed using wall paint on the ceiling, let’s flip the script: can you use ceiling paint on walls? The short answer is yes, but it’s not always the best choice.

Pros of Using Ceiling Paint on Walls

  • The higher viscosity of ceiling paint can make it easier to apply and hide imperfections.
  • Its matte finish can create a subtle, sophisticated look on walls.

Cons of Using Ceiling Paint on Walls

  • Ceiling paint is not as durable as wall paint, making it less suitable for high-traffic areas or rooms that require frequent cleaning.
  • It has a limited color selection compared to wall paint.

5. Mixing it Up: Can Ceiling Paint Be Mixed With Wall Paint?

You might be curious if you can mix ceiling paint and wall paint to create a hybrid paint baby. While it’s not advisable to mix paints with different formulations, you can mix ceiling paint and wall paint if they have the same base and type (e.g., water-based) and the same sheen (e.g., flat).

6. Painting 101: Types of Paint Finishes

Now that we’ve covered the ins and outs of ceiling paint and wall paint, let’s take a closer look at the different types of paint finishes available.

Flat or Matte

Flat or matte paint has no reflection, making it ideal for hiding imperfections and providing a smooth, even finish. It’s often used on ceilings and in adult bedrooms or home offices.


Eggshell paint has a slight sheen and is more durable than flat paint. It’s a popular choice for living rooms, dining rooms, and hallways.


Satin paint has a soft, velvety sheen and is more washable than flat or eggshell paint. It’s great for high-traffic areas, kids’ rooms, and bathrooms.


Semi-gloss paint has a shiny finish, making it easy to clean and ideal for kitchens, bathrooms, and trim.


High-gloss paint has the shiniest finish and is the most durable and easy to clean. It’s best used on doors, cabinets, and trim.

7. Choosing the Right Paint for Your Ceilings

When selecting the best paint for your ceilings, consider the following factors:

  • The amount of solvent in the paint: Choose paint with no more than 45% solvent for a thicker consistency.
  • The sheen: Stick to flat or low-gloss sheens to minimize light reflection.
  • The color: While white is the most common choice for ceilings, you can also opt for a light or creamy tint to add some variety.

8. Recommended Ceiling Paints

Here are some of our favorite ceiling paints to help you achieve that perfect ceiling finish:

9. Tips for Painting Ceilings and Walls

Now that you’re armed with all this paint knowledge, here are some tips to make your painting experience a successful (and funny) one:

  • Always clean and prep your surfaces before painting.
  • Use painter’s tape to protect trim, fixtures, and adjacent walls.
  • Invest in the right tools, like a quality paintbrush, roller, and extension pole.
  • Apply a primer before painting, especially if you’re covering dark colors or stains.
  • Paint in a consistent direction, using a “W” or “M” pattern to ensure even coverage.

10. In Conclusion: Can You Use Ceiling Paint on Walls?

Yes, you can use ceiling paint on walls, but it’s not always the best choice due to its limited durability and color options. When it comes to painting your home, it’s essential to choose the right paint for the job, whether that’s ceiling paint, wall paint, or a mix of both.

Now that you’ve learned all there is to know about ceiling paint and wall paint, go forth and paint with confidence and humor! And remember, laughter is the best primer for a successful painting project.

John Whitford
Scroll to Top