Best Ceiling Paint Review & Buying Guide [2019]

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Buying an interior paint can be complicated. Many brands keep releasing new paints that bear similar names and a similar look. This can easily confuse you. You may end up choosing low-quality paint.

We have reviewed the best ceiling paint available on the market to help you choose the ideal paint for your needs. You will also learn what makes each of the paints stand out. Keep reading to find out more.

Our Top Ceiling Paint Reviews

Brand
Best Overall
Renaissance Chalk Finish Paint
Best for the Money
KILZ Color-Change Stain-blocking
Best Cheap Pick
KILZ Tribute
Product
Retique It Chalk Finish Paint by Renaissance - Non...
KILZ Color-Change Stainblocking Interior Ceiling...
KILZ TRIBUTE Interior Satin Paint and Primer in...
Size
1 gallon
1 gallon
1 gallon
Coverage
400 sq. ft.
250-400 sq. ft.
400 sq. ft.
Rating
Best Overall
Brand
Renaissance Chalk Finish Paint
Product
Retique It Chalk Finish Paint by Renaissance - Non...
Size
1 gallon
Coverage
400 sq. ft.
Rating
Best for the Money
Brand
KILZ Color-Change Stain-blocking
Product
KILZ Color-Change Stainblocking Interior Ceiling...
Size
1 gallon
Coverage
250-400 sq. ft.
Rating
Best Cheap Pick
Brand
KILZ Tribute
Product
KILZ TRIBUTE Interior Satin Paint and Primer in...
Size
1 gallon
Coverage
400 sq. ft.
Rating

Best Overall Ceiling Paint: Renaissance Chalk Finish Paint

Retique It Chalk Finish Paint by Renaissance - Non...

The Renaissance Paint is one of the best chalk finish paints available. This is because of the high-quality silky smooth chalky finishes you will get after painting your interiors. It is also easy to use. It makes it an excellent choice both for professional painters and homeowners.

There are many features to check when choosing chalk paint. The hypoallergenic property makes a great addition to any paint. The Renaissance Chalk Finish Paint provides this feature with zero VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds) as it is non-toxic.

Consequently, you can safely use this paint indoors without experiencing any side effects. This is good especially if you have an adverse reaction to paints. The paint also offers superior coverage. You will only have to apply one to two coats to get the coverage you want.

This makes it one of the most sought after paints on the market today. Additionally, no priming or sanding is required. Other notable features that make the Renaissance Chalk Paint a favorite include the many interactive colors to choose from and no odor. It is also perfect for cabinets and furniture

Renaissance offers more than 40 different colors to give you a variety of choices. The paint also dries usually within 20 minutes. It makes it possible for you to perform other tasks within the same area. The 128-gallon container can cover up to 400 square feet.

This paint is the most expensive on our list. However, the few side effects it has and the many great features make it an attractive choice. If you are looking for the best quality, go for this paint.

What We Like

  • More than 40 different colors to choose from
  •  Priming or sanding is not required
  • No irritating odor while painting
  • Dries quickly after applying
  • Non-toxic paint
  •  Zero VOC
  • Superior coverage

What We Don’t Like

  • Sometimes one coat may not give you quality finishes
  • Expensive
Retique It Chalk Finish Paint by Renaissance - Non...
  • Superior coverage - Usually 1 to 2 coats!
  • No sanding or priming required!
  • Non-toxic, , zero VOC’s, Safe to use indoors

Best Ceiling Paint for the Money: KILZ Color-Change Stain-blocking

KILZ Color-Change Stainblocking Interior Ceiling...

The KILZ Ceiling Paint boasts a unique combination of a dry time indicator stain-blocking technology. The paint is designed to ensure no stains occur on your ceiling. This makes it easier to paint the ceilings.

Kilz manufactures a range of stain-blocking paints. Therefore, you may have to choose a different type of paint depending on the intensity of the stains. In light of this, the Kilz Color-Change paint is effective against all types of stains whether moderate or minor.

You can use this paint to prevent stains that hinder color changes or those that are caused by water. It will make your ceiling to look brighter. The color of the Stain-blocking Ceiling Paint is a subtle pink.

However, after applying it to your ceiling with a brush, it dries and changes to white. The paint covers 400 square feet per liter on smooth non-porous surfaces and up to 250 square feet per liter on porous surfaces.

The spatter-resistant formula makes this paint an ideal choice for any room due to low odor. Recoat after four hours for maximum stain-blocking. Apply multiple coats if you want the stains to be hidden completely.

Other impressive features that the Kilz paint possesses include high-quality coverage, zero VOC’s and one-hour drying duration.  This paint provides the best solution to address minor stains that usually occur in the kitchen and dining room.

What We Like

  • Excellent for preventing minor to moderate stains
  • Spatter-resistant formula ensures low odor
  • One hour drying duration
  • High-quality coverage
  • Great for concealing cracks
  • Self-priming

What We Don’t Like

  • Some people don’t like the white color after the paint has dried
  • Expensive
KILZ Color-Change Stainblocking Interior Ceiling...
  • KILZ Stainblocking Ceiling Paint is a unique combination of stainblocking technology and a...
  • This ceiling paint rolls on with a subtle pink color that dries to white in under an hour.
  • Dries to touch in 1 hour. Recoat in 2 hours. For use on all interior ceilings.

Best Budget Ceiling Paint: KILZ Tribute

KILZ TRIBUTE Interior Satin Paint and Primer in...

The KILZ Tribute is a high-quality paint that is environmentally friendly. It is also ideal for indoor use because it dries effectively and quickly. The paint has been awarded the Greenguard certification due to the low number of VOCs it emits.

Most paints cannot be washed or scrubbed once they become dirty. However, you can clean the Kilz paint any time you notice dust build-up and other dirt on the paint. It can be used on coated or uncoated wood, drywall, and plaster.

This paint offers you up to 100 different colors to choose from. The company has made checking the color easy by including a peel and stick sheet you can use. The sheet is removable and sometimes you can find the samples in cans measuring 8 ounces.

Some paints can be applied to any surface. This paint requires the surface to be free from dust, mold, grease, peeling paint, and rust. This is to make the paint adhere easily to the surface.

The Kilz Tribute combines paint mix and primer for superior coverage. The paint also boasts of low VOC and comes in four sheens. Additionally, it is 100% acrylic. One gallon can cover up to 400 square feet on smooth surfaces.

This is the most affordable paint on our list. This doesn’t mean the quality of the paint is compromised. It meets the expectations of many users due to its durability and combination of primer and paint.

What We Like

  • Excellent paint color
  • Easy application
  • Delivers great finishes
  • Washable and durable
  • GreenGuard certified paint
  • Affordable

What We Don’t Like

  • Strong odor after application
KILZ TRIBUTE Interior Satin Paint and Primer in...
  • KILZ TRIBUTE Satin is a low VOC, 100% acrylic advanced technology paint and primer in one formulated...
  • A bleached shade of aqua, Misty Morning will create a cool and expansive vibe in your space. Our...
  • Pearl-like, luminous, durable satin paint will beatify your home. This remarkable formula can be...

Best Versatile Ceiling Paint: Montage Signature

Montage Signature Interior/Exterior Eco-Friendly...

If you are looking for a versatile paint to transform the decor of your house, get the Montage Signature Eco-Friendly Paint. It is the number one choice for professional painting needs. This includes large commercial buildings, small residential spaces, and indoor/outdoor spaces.

The paint is of good quality and can last for many years without having to think about repainting. The improved sealing technology ensures the paint offers protection against mold, moisture, and mildew.

The company’s products are free from pollutant materials as they undergo a rigorous testing and engineering process. Montage also uses a manufacturing process that is ecologically friendly. The paint uses recycled paint that is made from raw latex and post-consumer paints.

The paint boasts of low odor and is equipped with a water base you can effortlessly apply without hassle. The paint also helps in cleaning up stains that occur due to everyday use without affecting the color and finish.

Additionally, it provides superior coverage as it allows you to brush evenly and smoothly while delivering outstanding coverage. The company has a lot of trust in this paint because it comes with a 10-year warranty. The Montage Signature Paint is an excellent choice if you are always looking for eco-friendly options.

It is also a great option if you want to give your exteriors or interiors a stunning look. You will also enjoy a lengthy 10-year guarantee and protection from mold and mildew.

What We Like

  •  Offers protection from mold and mildew
  • Improved sealing technology
  • Minimal odor
  • Great coverage
  • Easy to clean
  • Eco-friendly

What We Don’t Like

  •  Identifying the color is difficult due to the small swatch behind the container
Montage Signature Interior/Exterior Eco-Friendly...
  • EXTREMELY VERSATILE - Montage Signature is the #1 choice for all of your professional painting needs...
  • SUPERIOR COVERAGE & PROTECTION - All of our specialty finishes let you brush smoothly & evenly while...
  • ECO FRIENDLY - We're committed to the highest quality environmentally-friendly & pollutant-free...

Best Low Odor Ceiling Paint: Diamond Brite 21050

Diamond Brite Paint 21050 1 Quart Semi Gloss Latex...

The Diamond Brite 21050 is a semi-gloss paint that is great if you are looking for something to give your home a subtle shine without being glitzy. The paint comes in a wide range of colors so you will find a color that works for your interiors.

With its minimal odor, you can use the paint in your office, kid’s room, dining room, bedroom, and other places without being irritated by the smell. It also provides a powerful semi-gloss finish for your walls and trims.

The Diamond Brite paint can be applied either by spraying, rolling, or brushing depending on the method you prefer. Regardless of the method you choose to use, you can be certain you will give your home the best look. You can also use it on primed wood, masonry, metal, and drywall.

Additionally, the paint is resistant to dirt and grease. You can be sure your wall will not be stained with dirt after you have finished painting especially if you have children in your home.

Each gallon of this paint offers 300 to 350 square feet of coverage. If you are looking for an interior paint that is grease and dirt-resistant with low odor and comes in a range of appealing colors, then look no further than the Diamond 21050 paint. It provides all of these and more.

What We Like

  • Can be applied by spraying, rolling or brushing
  •  A range of different colors to choose from
  • Great coverage
  • Dirt and grease resistant
  • Powerful semi-gloss finish
  • Low odor

What We Don’t Like

  • Some users complain that the paint is thin
Sale
Diamond Brite Paint 21050 1 Quart Semi Gloss Latex...
  • Provides a tough semi-gloss finish for walls and trim
  • Use it on drywall, masonry and primed wood or metal
  • Dirt and grease resistant

Best Ceiling Paint for Superior Coverage: Rust-Oleum 285140 Ultra Matte

Rust-Oleum 285140 Ultra Matte Interior Chalked...

The Rust-Oleum Chalk Paint offers great features. Like most chalk paints, it is excellent for painting interior surfaces like metal, plastic, ceramics, wood, and other materials used for decorating indoors. One notable feature of this paint is that it dries to a creamy white finish after 30 minutes of application.

This allows you to perform other jobs without waiting for the paint to dry. Wiping off the paint is also easy using mineral spirits. The Rust-Oleum paint features the latex formula to make cleaning up easy with water and soap.

If you want to apply the paint comfortably, use a spray paint tip sprayer. The sprayer makes it easy to spread the paint to awkward positions and hard-to-reach corners.

Additionally, the pad of the sprayer puts less stress on your fingers because it is wider. The low odor paint covers up to 150 square feet and offers easy application with minimal preparation.

One incredible feature of this paint is that a single coat is enough to cover most of the surfaces you will be painting. The paint also has a chalked matted finish to make it more durable than other paints.

The Rust-Oleum Chalk Paint also adheres neatly to surfaces. It can be sprayed if you have some corners you can’t reach using a brush. You can also use the paint to create a vintage look in your home.

The paint is reasonably priced and provides a lot of quality features you will appreciate. Although the can is small, you will still get reasonable quantity and value for your money.

What We Like

  • Can be sprayed in case you have corners
  • Latex formula to make cleaning up easy
  • Smooth finish after drying
  • Dries fast after application
  • Easy application
  • Reasonably priced

What We Don’t Like

  • The odor can sometimes last for a long time
Sale
Rust-Oleum 285140 Ultra Matte Interior Chalked...
  • Use on a variety of interior surfaces like wood, metal, ceramic, canvas and easily distress to...
  • Low-odor, latex formula allows for easy clean up with soap & water
  • Dries to the touch in just 30 minutes and covers up to 150 sq ft, 1-coat coverage allows projects to...

Ceiling Paint Features and Considerations

Ceiling paints are available in a variety of finishes and colors. However, the color should not be your only consideration when choosing paint. There are other important things you should pay attention to. Here is a guide to help you choose the best ceiling paint:

Type of Paint

A woman painting a ceiling with a brush

This should be your first consideration depending on what you intend to use the paint for. There are three main types of paint which include:

Water-Based Paint

The majority of interior paint you will find in stores today is water-based due to its ease of use. However, you need to be cautious when changing to water-based paints if your surface was coated with oil-based paints previously.

We recommend washing your surface before roughening it with a smooth to medium sandpaper. This will make it clean, dry, and dul. It will also prevent the new coat from peeling.

Advantages

  • Elastic finishes that are resistant to cracking
  • Can be used on various surfaces
  • Doesn’t need a pre-treatment
  • Has low levels of VOC’s
  • Easy clean up using water
  • No mildew growth
  • Stable color overtime
  • Quick-drying

Oil-Based Paint

This type of paint can be used on any surface due to its rich finish and durability. However, it is important to mention that you can’t wash the paint with water. It also emits strong fumes which can overwhelm you while painting.

If you decide to use oil paints, ensure you have solvents like turpentine. These will come in handy when washing brushes and other materials with unwanted paint.

Advantages

  •  Great for rooms with high moisture like kitchens and bathrooms
  •  Excellent for making fixes due to longer dry time
  •  Smooth and durable finish
  •  Attractive gloss
  •  Ideal for moldings and wood trims

Latex Paint

Latex paints vary significantly as they include all water-borne paints like 100% acrylic, alkyd modified latex, and vinyl-acrylic. High-performance indoor paints are equipped with 100 percent acrylic formulas meaning better adhesion and color retention.

On the other hand, high-quality outdoor paints have either alkyd modified latex or 100 percent acrylic formulas. Both provide excellent results. However, if the siding is chalky or was painted previously with alkyd, use an alkyd modified latex. It does a great job of anchoring on chalky surfaces.

Advantages

  • Ensures paints have fewer blisters making it perfect for walls
  • Can be cleaned easily
  • Lasts longer
  •  It does not fade
Decorator using a roller extension to paint a ceiling white

Type of Sheen

Sheen options differ from one manufacturer to another. However, they share some common characteristics. Additionally, many users have found creative ways to match and mix them especially as durability continues to improve across various sheen levels.

You can also become experimental in your use of paint finish to make real textures within a scheme. For instance, try painting a stripe of full gloss in the same color on a mate wall to create a textured look. The types of sheen include:

Matte or Flat Finish

Paint tends to start out glossy. However, with time it losses luster due to the addition of titanium dioxide which is a chalky material. Matte finishes have the most luster which makes them low on reflectivity. This means they hide imperfections on irregular surfaces.

The most ideal place for mate paints would be the ceiling because of less reflection. However, when used on walls, they can enhance a deep color. One problem with this type of paint is that it can be difficult to clean.

Satin Finish

Satin finishes are excellent for door or well-prepped window casings. The finish is resistant to stains, scuffs, and fingerprints. It works well for bathrooms and kitchens due to easy cleanup. However, satin is too glossy for other indoor spaces.

Eggshell Finish

This type of finish should be used on smooth surfaces because their shine can magnify flaws on the walls. The paints can be used in hallways, children’s rooms, and family rooms. However, when scrubbed, they may change sheen.

High-Gloss Finish

This paint dries to a hard sheen and is the shiniest finish available. Brilliant oil-based glosses are perfect for furniture or paneled interior doors because they reflect light like mirrors. However, they are very shiny for ceiling adornment or intricately carved moldings.

Semi-gloss Finish

These paints are also shinier and are designed to prevent stains. They are the easiest to clean. Some can dull when scrubbed. The semi-gloss paints are ideal for bathroom and kitchen window sills and walls. The paints require surfaces that are smooth and well-prepared with few flaws.

Scrubbable Paint Ratings

Interior paints come with a scrubbability rating that is arrived at through standardized testing. The rating will enable you to know the paint’s quality and whether it can withstand physical abuse such as scrubbing.

One major challenge with using mate paints is that the existing paint on the wall will be ruined due to scrubbing You can scrub the wall with a wet cloth to remove the dirt. However, exposed pigment particles will be burnished and ruin the finish. It’s advisable to choose a high-quality eggshell finish to avoid this.

Coverage

This is also referred to as hiding. So, when you come across a can that reads “one-coat hiding”, double-check the fine print. Ensure that one coat is enough when applied well without any exceptions.

A paint that offers coverage in one coat is worth the additional cost even if it comes at a premium price. You will save time and energy. To determine good hiding, check the amounts of titanium dioxide paint has.

If the levels are high, hiding will be good. Be aware of some flat paints as they use fillers that are cheap to achieve better hiding. However, they tend to lack in some of their characteristics like scrubbability.

Undercoats vs. Primers

When choosing a coat, check whether it is compatible with primers and undercoats. Before you can start painting, get professional advice from the supplier or read the instructions on the painting container to avoid issues that can arise as a result of painting existing paints.

For example, to paint with matte finish over existing vinyl silk, prepare the surface and use a single coat of a primer before applying the new paint. Let’s take a look at what undercoats and primers are:

Undercoats

An undercoat is usually oil-based and is painted on top of primers. It is used to ensure previous colors do not show through on walls and to even out the grain on pieces of wood. However, you will need to pick the right color to provide the correct color base for the finish coat you will have chosen. Ideally, use a coat and primer from the same brand.

Primers

Primers are water or oil-based and are used to cover the unpainted surface before applying paint. This is usually done to ensure the paint doesn’t soak in. Metal and raw wood should be primed to provide a base for the coat. All-purpose primers can be bought and used on two or more surfaces.

Color

This is another factor you should consider depending on what you intend to use the paint for. For instance, white or an off-white color is an excellent choice for walls if you are planning to sell your home. It will allow potential buyers to paint over it with their preferred color.

You can also buy small cans of paint you like for testing. Paint colors on paper. Move the papers to different places in your house without painting the walls to observe the effects. After you have narrowed down your choices, pick the most attractive shade.

VOC’s and Odor

If you have kids in the house, have a medical condition, or use paint frequently, you may want to choose paint with low VOC ratings. That is why we have featured paints with zero VOCs on our list. The smell of your paint should also be considered. For this reason, avoid buying a paint due to bad smell.

Spatter & Ease of Use

Spatter refers to the small drops of paint that drip from your brush when painting and can be annoying to you. The drops get all over your body and on the floor. So, you should choose paint with a spatter-resistant formula and ensure your furniture and floors are covered to avoid creating a mess.

Paint Quantity

It is also important to determine the amount of paint you will need to ensure you don’t end up with little or too much paint. Generally, a gallon can cover 350 to 400 square feet which is enough to cover a big surface area.

Price

This is a crucial factor you should pay attention to when buying your paint. You are likely to get low-quality paint if you choose to go for cheap paints. We recommend buying paint you find affordable or one that is within your budget.

However, avoid buying the cheapest paints. The paints on our list have prices you can be confident about. The list also features paints that are pocket-friendly for people on a budget.

Wrap Up

Leaving your ceiling unpainted is not an option because a well-painted ceiling will make your room look larger and brighten it. It’s also crucial to protect the material and textures from unexpected abuse and water damage.

We hope you will find our reviews useful and will help you choose the best ceiling paint to make your home look better. Before heading to the store, check our guide to help you know what to look for when shopping for a can of ceiling paint.