Choosing the best ceiling paint means you’ll be getting something that not only looks good and lasts years but is easy to apply too.
But how do you know which paint is best for your job? After all, if you get the choice wrong you could end up with something that doesn’t spread well, leaves terrible looking patterns on your ceiling or drips too much during the application process.
So what should you look for? Well, it all depends on which type of ceiling you’re going to be painting on. A bathroom ceiling is going to have entirely different environmental circumstances than say a bedroom for example. And that’s just the start. You also need to take into account factors such as durability, ease of application and the colours and shades available.
The process of buying ceiling paint can certainly seem confusing. Fortunately, our paint experts have tried and tested a variety of the most popular ceiling paints currently on the market in the UK and chosen our favourites according to the job at hand. Find out more below!
Best Ceiling Paint Overall: Dulux Once Emulsion
We’ve chosen Dulux Once Emulsion as our best ceiling paint overall and a lot of our decision making process came down to the fact that it scores highly in all of our categories.
The matt emulsion paint is suitable for use on any interior walls and ceilings including living rooms, hallways, bedrooms and even bathrooms.
The thickness of the paint means that you’re guaranteed to get a great finish after just one coat and this is where the Once emulsion really shines. Painting ceilings is a bit of an awkward job, especially for those who are less experienced so getting the job done in just a single coat saves a lot of time and hassle.
In terms of the thickness of the paint you’ll be getting an extra benefit too – it ensures the paint doesn’t drip during application.
With a coverage of roughly 11m²/L combined with powerful spreading capabilities you can easily cover multiple rooms with just one tin and comes in a variety of different light shades to choose from.
- Is durable and will last a long time
- One coat ensures you save on time and effort
- Suitable for use in any room in your home
- It doesn’t yellow over time
Best Ceiling Paint for Bathroom: Johnstone’s
As mentioned above, different environments require different paints and it’s for that reason that in the best ceiling paint for bathrooms category we’ve chosen Johnstone’s bathroom paint.
Whilst Johnstone’s bathroom paint is an emulsion, it has been specifically formulated to be 10 times tougher than the types of emulsions you would use to paint a bedroom wall for example. This toughness makes it ideal for use in high condensation areas such as bathrooms.
This paint has a lovely flow and is one of the easiest paints you’ll ever use in terms of application. It’s got a nice thickness with good coverage and dries fairly quickly but not so quick that you can’t work in large areas. Like the Dulux Once, the thickness of the ceiling paint ensures you’re not going to be creating any mess with drips and drops.
Theoretically you could use just the one coat if you’re simply using it as a refresher but for best results, two coats is more than enough.
Once fully set, the paint dries to an attractive mid-sheen finish which works well when it comes to brightening your bathroom. In terms of colours, you have so many to choose from I wouldn’t be able to mention them without writing an essay!
- Is very easy to apply
- Can be used as a one coat paint if used as a refresher
- Low odour and low VOC makes it more environmentally friendly
- Has an attractive mid-sheen finish
- Comes in a load of different colours
- Can be a bit of a nightmare to clean rollers afterwards
Best Ceiling Paint for Kitchen: Dulux Easy Care Kitchen
Much like bathrooms, kitchen ceilings have their own environmental demands which is why it’s always a better idea to go for a paint that’s been specifically formulated for use on kitchen ceilings. In this instance, we’d go with Dulux Easy Care Kitchen.
This tough matt emulsion has been specifically formulated to have grease and stain proof characteristics making it perfect for use on kitchen ceilings or walls.
Unlike Once and Johnstone’s, this paint is best when using at least two coats and may require more depending on the colour change. It’s got good covering power and suits application with a roller perfectly.
In terms of durability, you can expect some excellent results. Unlike typical emulsions, this one works well protecting your ceilings from stains that are especially common in kitchens where ventilation might be below average.
It also covers around 13m²/L so a 2.5L tin should suffice, regardless of how big your kitchen is. They do have a 5L option however if you’re planning to paint a large kitchen ceiling with more than two coats.
The Easy Care paint comes in a variety of different whites and creams which keep their colour over the long run.
- Is durable and can be washed
- Resistant to kitchen stains
- Keeps its colour over the course of a few years
- Has great covering power
Best White Ceiling Paint: Dulux Matt Emulsion
Painting your ceiling white does a great job of brightening up your rooms and making them look more spacious and inviting. If you’re looking for the best white ceiling paint, you don’t need to look too much further than Dulux’s Pure Brilliant White.
This emulsion is specifically made for interior walls and ceilings and the matt finish is perfect for hiding any imperfections you might have on your surfaces. The low VOC content of the paint makes it ideal for use anywhere in the house, including children’s bedrooms.
It’s very easy to apply and after it has dried and the colour pigments are fully bonded, Dulux’s Chromalock technology creates a barrier to protect the colour from wear and tear. Being water-based also means it’s not going to yellow or fade over time and thus is our choice as the best white ceiling paint.
- Gives a smooth, matt finish that doesn’t have any patchiness
- The white colour is maintained over the course of a few years
- Low VOC makes it ideal for any ceiling in your home
- You’ll only need to use water to clean any equipment used
- Whilst it can be used in kitchens or bathrooms, we’d recommend a more specific paint for those rooms
Highly Reviewed Option: Polycell Crack-Free Ceilings
A lot of ceiling paint, especially in older homes, have a tendency to crack and peel. Having a ceiling paint that sets with a flexible film should be your first priority if your ceilings face this problem. For this, we’d recommend Polycell which not only works well to prevent cracks but is also one of the best ceiling paints to hide imperfections.
This one coat ceiling paint is thick enough to cover cracks and once fully cured also prevents cracks from reappearing. It’s definitely worth trying if you’ve got some hairline cracks in your ceiling.
The only downside to the product is that it’s only available in white but personally I would only use this as a base coat and then use a different ceiling paint as a top coat to get a nicer looking finish.
- Best ceiling paint for hiding imperfections
- Works well to cover cracks
- Easy to apply with minimal splashes
- Prevents cracks from reappearing
- Might need to use a different ceiling paint as a topcoat
- Only available in white
Great Value for Money Option: Macpherson’s Eclipse
Oftentimes, choosing a paint based on its price alone can be a terrible idea but ceiling paints typically require much less maintenance than other surfaces. If price is a big priority for you, Macpherson’s Eclipse might be a good option to consider.
Macpherson are part of the Crown Paints family and tend to focus on making paint for the trade. This 10L tub of water-based emulsion is perfect if you’re looking to paint plenty of rooms in your home.
- Great value for money
- Low odour and low VOC making it more eco-friendly
- It keeps its colour
- Has great coverage
- Dries quickly
- It’s not often in stock in the UK and can only be bought in store in the Manchester area
Ceiling Paint Buyer’s Guide
As mentioned at the start of this article, there are a variety of things to consider when buying a new ceiling paint. Let’s dive a bit deeper…
How Many Coats Should You Use for Ceiling Paint?
This all depends on the type of ceiling paint you have. Some paints like Dulux Once will only require a single coat whereas others will require two or three. You also need to factor in whether you’re painting over a darker colour with a lighter colour. If this is the case, multiple coats or a primer will be required.
Ceilings (obviously) are a low-traffic area so it’s unlikely that your paint is going to require regular maintenance. That being said, durability becomes a factor if you have a history of your ceiling paint cracking and peeling.
In this instance, we’d recommend a paint that has a flexible film, like Polycell. Otherwise, a regular emulsion should last you a good few years.
Best Ceiling Paint Colour
Traditionally speaking, lighter shades have been the best option when it comes to ceiling paint colours. Whites, creams and beiges work well to make the room look bigger and more spacious whilst providing a good reflection to naturally increase the amount of light in the room.
With that being said, you don’t only have to stick to these colours. Darker shades have the opposite effect to whites and work well in making the space feel cosier – especially when your rooms have higher ceilings than normal.
You also need to bear in mind that interior decor trends are constantly changing, especially with the advent of social media sharing. Painting your ceiling darker and then changing your mind means you’ll need to put in extra effort next time.
Lastly, you’ll want to choose your ceiling paint depending on the area or room of your home that you’ll be painting. Different environments pose different challenges, especially when it comes to the bathroom and kitchen.
Speaking from experience, the kitchen and bathroom should always use a specific paint. For example, using a regular emulsion in your bathroom can work but you’ll be increasing your chances of having mould growth as it’s not exactly great at repelling water.
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Want to learn more about different paints? Feel free to take a look at our recent “best shed paint” guide!