Matt Or Silk Paint For Ceilings

If you’re in the process of renovating your home and have noticed some unsightly ceilings that could do with a refreshing lick of paint, you might be wondering: should you use matt or silk paint on your ceilings?

In today’s article, we’re going to look at the pros and cons of both types of paint in relation to using them on ceilings which will hopefully result in you being able to make an informed decision on which one to go with.

An example of silk paint applied to a ceiling. As you can see, it’s caused unsightly flashing.

Is Matt Or Silk Better for Ceilings?

Whilst many things come down to personal preference, modern decorators would almost always choose matt paint over silk paint for ceilings. There are a number of reasons for this including its superiority in hiding blemishes and plastering defects as well as its flat, modern look.

Why Using Silk On Ceilings Is A Bad Idea

If you know your paint, you’ll know that silk emulsion has more sheen to it than matt emulsion which essentially means it reflects more light. And as it reflects more light, plastering defects, paint marks and blemishes would be easily highlighted.

To let you in on a little secret of the trade – during the decoration process of new builds, decorators are now being asked by plasterers what type of paint they will be using to finish the walls and ceilings. If we say matt, chances are, the standard of plastering will drop as they know they can get away with it. That in itself is a terrific advert for using matt paint on ceilings!

And that isn’t just hearsay – The Guardian reported that one of the biggest builders of homes in the UK, Bovis Homes, had to pay £7 million on repairing new builds that had been sold to customers.

Why You Might Choose Silk

The redeeming quality of silk is that it’s easier to clean and is more durable than matt paint and reduces the chances of the paint coming off when scrubbed (although with soft sheen now on the market, that sort of leaves silk defunct).

With that being said, if you have pets that are prone to making a mess around the home and sometimes need to clean your ceilings then you might choose silk over matt. It can also perform better in environments such as kitchens and bathrooms where splattering food or condensation is more likely to occur! However, certain matt paints have been formulated to outcompete silk paint in terms of durability so it’s worth looking at those first (assuming you can afford them).

Why You Should Choose Matt Paint for Ceilings

Matt or flat matt paint should be a formality when choosing paint for your ceilings, the main reason being that they don’t reflect light and thus hide imperfections. So if you have poor plastering or an unsightly Artex ceiling, matt paint is going to make it look MUCH better. Furthermore, if you choose a matt paint with a high scrub rating it’s going to last just as long as silk paint.

You should also keep in mind that when it comes to redecorating in the future, painting over matt is going to be a breeze compared to painting over silk paint. Painting over silk with matt can cause all sorts of problems including blistering.

Final Thoughts

As you can probably tell after reading this article, there aren’t too many reasons to go with silk on your ceilings so if you want a better, modern look along with solid durability, it’s worth going with matt paint. More specifically, you can go with Tikkurila Anti Reflex 2 which is what most tradesmen would advise (but of course comes with a higher price point), or go with Dulux’s Easycare range which isn’t quite up to trade standard but is still high quality and the best retail paint you can buy.