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Best White Ceiling Paint for a Clean and Bright Finish

When it comes to home decor, the ceiling is often overlooked. I call the ceiling the “5th wall.” It’s actually becoming a trend to paint the ceiling a color other than white. As a matter of fact, I painted my daughters ceiling a soft pink hue a few years ago. We still love it!

Even though colored ceilings are trending, white is still the most popular choice for ceiling paint as it creates a bright and airy atmosphere.

pink ceiling

So what color white do you choose and what brand?

There are a handful of factors to consider. This includes the type of paint, the finish, and the coverage. A good quality paint should also provide excellent coverage, so that you don’t have to apply multiple coats. Let me show you some of the best white ceiling paints available, and provide tips on how to choose the right one for your home.

best white ceiling paint products

Key Factors

There are a few things you need to know before purchasing paint for a ceiling. Consider these factors first;


Opacity refers to the ability of the paint to cover up the existing color or texture of the ceiling. A high-opacity paint will provide excellent coverage and can help to hide imperfections in the surface of the ceiling. Look for a paint that is labeled as “high-hiding” or “one-coat” to ensure that you get the best possible results.


Coverage refers to the amount of surface area that can be covered by a single gallon of paint. A paint with good coverage will allow you to cover a large area with a minimal amount of paint, which can save you time and money in the long run. Look for a paint that is labeled as having a high coverage rate, such as “400 square feet per gallon” or higher.


The finish of the paint can have a significant impact on the overall look and feel of the room. A matte finish will provide a smooth, flat look that is ideal for ceilings, while a glossy finish can add depth and dimension to the space. Look for a paint that is labeled as having a “matte” or “flat” finish for the best results.

Do you need to clean the ceiling before painting?

Yes, it is generally recommended to clean the ceiling before painting it. This is because the ceiling can accumulate dust and dirt over time which can affect the quality of the paint job. Cleaning the ceiling will ensure that the paint adheres properly and looks smooth and even. You can use a damp cloth or sponge to wipe down the ceiling, or you can use a vacuum cleaner with a soft brush attachment to remove any loose debris.

What is the difference between ceiling paint and wall paint?

Ceiling paint and wall paint differ in their composition and application.

Ceiling paint is specifically designed for use on ceilings, which are often subject to different conditions than walls. Ceiling paint is typically formulated to be thicker and more viscous than wall paint, which allows it to be applied more easily to overhead surfaces without dripping or splattering. Also ceiling paint is often formulated to dry more slowly than wall paint, which allows the painter to work with it for longer periods of time.

Wall paint, on the other hand, is designed for use on vertical surfaces. It is typically thinner and less viscous than ceiling paint, which allows it to be applied smoothly and evenly to walls without leaving brush or roller marks. Wall paint is also formulated to dry more quickly than ceiling paint, which allows the painter to apply multiple coats in a shorter amount of time.

The main difference between ceiling paint and wall paint is their consistency and drying time, which are tailored to the specific needs of each surface.

brush with white latex paint on it

What is the most popular type of paint for a ceiling?

The most widely used ceiling paint is a flat finish because it reduces the glare from the ceiling and artificial lights. Since the ceiling shouldn’t be touched, you won’t need to worry about using a higher gloss finish for durability. Like I said before, ceiling paint is thicker than wall paint and has a slower dry time so it’s designed to have a smooth even finish.

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Let’s get back to the best white ceiling paint shall we?

White ceiling paint comparison

INSL-XKILZHGTV Home SWBM Ceiling PaintBEHR ceiling
Price$40 gallon$50 gallon$45 per gallon$55 per gallon$40 per gallon
Coverage400-450 Sq Ft250-400 Sq Ft400 Sq Ft400 Sq Ft400 Sq Ft
Reviews5 stars5 stars5 stars5 stars4 Stars
Recoat time2 hours2 hours2 hours2 hours2 hours
Mildew ResistantNoNoYesNoYes

Best White Ceiling Paint

INSL-X Color-Changing Acrylic Ceiling Paint

When it comes to one of the best white ceiling paint, INSL-X Color-Changing Acrylic Ceiling Paint is a highly rated product on Amazon. It is also easy to apply and has a low odor. The color changing effect helps prevent missed spots.

This product is also known for being spatter resistant and self-priming. Recoat time is 2 hours and the coverage is 400 – 450 square feet per gallon.

INSL-X color changing Ceiling paint

You can purchase this paint from Amazon, Home Depot and Ace Hardware.

KILZ Stain blocking Ceiling Paint

Kilz stain blocking ceiling paint is another top contender in the white ceiling paint market. This is a great white paint product to use if you are covering any sort of discoloration from something like old water spots. Paint covers approximately 250 square feet per gallon on porous surfaces and up to 400 square feet per gallon on smooth, non-porous surfaces. Recoat is in 2 hours.

This is one of the higher priced ceiling paints on the market. That being said, if you are looking for extra coverage for stains, this is the product to go with.

KILZ stain blocking ceiling paint

You can buy KILZ paint from Amazon, Walmart and it’s sometimes found at Lowe’s.

HGTV HOME by Sherwin-Williams Flat White Ceiling Paint and Primer

Sherwin Williams is a well-known name in the paint industry, and their white ceiling paint is no exception. Their paint is known for its excellent Stain-blocking paint and primer formula confidently covers up old stains. The flat sheen covers minor surface imperfections with a brilliant white finish.

The reviews for this paint are one of the highest. The price point for this product is mid range compared to the others.

HGTV HOME by Sherwin-Williams Flat White Ceiling Paint and Primer

You can purchase this paint mainly from Lowe’s or a Sherwin Williams store.

Benjamin Moore Waterborne Ceiling Paint Flat White

Waterborne Ceiling Paint is the flattest finish offered by Benjamin Moore. It delivers ample open time to ensure minimal lapping, has minimal spatter, and dries quickly for fast recoats. Coverage Area: 400 – 450 square foot and recoat time is 2 hours.

Benjamin Moore ceiling paint

Overall this is a decent ceiling paint with no extra bells and whistles. It does get great reviews but is also priced at the higher end compared to the rest of the products.

BEHR Ultra Pure White Ceiling Flat Interior Paint & Primer

This is a great and affordable Stain-blocking paint & primer delivering excellent durability. It is spatter & drip resistant formula that is tintable to light colors only. It is non-reflective, antimicrobial-mildew resistant paint finish.

This paint is probably known for its mildew resistant qualities. The reviews are not as good as some of the other products, but overall for the price it’s a great buy.

Overall, these top brands offer some of the best white ceiling paints on the market. Each brand has its unique features and advantages, so it’s essential to choose the one that best suits your needs and preferences.

Related Posts;

Before you go, make sure to check out these related posts on other paint products and colors;

Best Sherwin Williams White Paint products

Best Paint colors for Low Light Rooms

How to Choose the Right Type of Paint

2023 Best Greige Paint Colors for Transitioning Away from Gray Trends

Do You Paint Walls or Trim First? A Comprehensive Guide

Best White Paint for Kitchen Cabinets

Best Paint Color for Garage Walls

Application Tips

How to prevent roller marks

There are several ways to prevent roller marks when painting a ceiling:

  1. Use a high-quality roller: Invest in a high-quality roller with a thick nap, which will hold more paint and distribute it evenly.
  2. Use a paint extender: Mix a paint extender into your paint before you start painting. This will help the paint to dry more slowly, which will give you more time to work with it and reduce the appearance of roller marks.
  3. Paint in small sections: Paint in small sections, working in a W pattern. This will help you to keep a wet edge and avoid roller marks.
  4. Use a light touch: Apply the paint with a light touch, using minimal pressure on the roller. This will help to distribute the paint evenly and reduce the appearance of roller marks.
  5. Paint in the right conditions: Paint in a room with good lighting and moderate temperature and humidity. This will help the paint to dry evenly and reduce the appearance of roller marks.

Technique to paint a ceiling

I would start by cutting in around the edges of the ceiling with a brush. If you are a messy painter, I would suggest using painters tape too. This will ensure that the edges are neat and tidy. Once the edges are painted, the roller can be used to paint the rest of the ceiling. It is recommended to use long, even strokes and to work in small sections at a time. It is important to avoid overloading the roller with paint because it causes drips.

Make sure to use the exact same type of paint when “touching up”

Not all ceiling paints are created (or look) equal. You can see below where I tried to “touch up” a scuff mark on the ceiling. I definitely pulled the wrong “ceiling paint” for this job.

I hope this post has provided some good information and has helped you choose which product you need to purchase!

Happy painting! Let me know if you have any questions.


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