All About Ceiling Paint

There's no ceiling paint police—no one to tell you what color you can and cannot paint your ceiling. But just go to any store that carries paint and you'll find the shelves filled with cans of white ceiling paint. White is by far the most common color for ceilings; even though the ceiling paint you'll find isn't really a pure white. There is however, a big difference between ceiling paint and wall paint.

Ceilings aren't so easy to paint, so ceiling paint is formulated so that a single coat hides grime. This type of paint also has less of a tendency to splatter so that you don't end up with paint in your eyes and face as you paint overhead. Ceiling paint is most often flat so that it doesn't reflect light from ceiling light fixtures or from the sun. Flat paint also helps to minimize bumps and irregularities as well as roller marks.

Interior Painting

Flat paint isn't washable and doesn't last as long as other types, but the ceiling isn't likely to get much wear and tear or need a washing often. For these reasons, you wouldn't want to substitute ceiling paint for wall paint, though it's less pricey. Glidden makes a paint that looks blue or pink until it dries, when it turns the more typical white of other ceiling paints. This nifty paint helps you identify missed spots.

Water-based latex paints have replaced the old standard oil-based paints. Latex paints are easier to use, dry fast, and have little odor. Some prefer the kitchen or bathroom ceilings to have a bit of a gloss to match the walls, so it is possible to find ceiling paint in a satin or semi-gloss.

Ceiling paint isn't really white. A true white wouldn't hide grime as well and would also require more than the usual one coat for ceiling paint. Ceiling paint always contains a bit of black or brownish umber tint. The tint makes for a more opaque covering. If you examined the paint next to a sheet of white paper, you'd see that the color of ceiling paint is closer to a very light gray.

Paint Colors

While white is usual for ceiling paint, you may want to try beige or honey colors to warm up a room and add character. This is a great look in combination with brighter wall colors. Or paint the ceiling darker than the walls and you'll get a look of drama. This works well on very high ceilings. For a children's bedroom, try a pale sky blue and add some white "clouds."