Print Friendly and PDF

Use Flat or Matt Paint for Ceilings

My entire house is getting a makeover, including the ceilings and it gave me the opportunity to mention why you should paint ceilings - especially popcorn ceilings - with flat or matt paint.


Shoot me now since I'm guilty! The last time I painted the kitchen ceiling I had some paint leftover, which was a satin sheen white paint. I didn't even think about how this would leave a shine on the ceiling and have had to live with a shiny finish for the past 4 years.

Now that I am decorating the entire house, it's time to get rid of the shiny ceiling and cover up with flat white paint. This project gives me an opportunity to discuss why it is better to use a flat or matt paint on ceilings, especially if you have a popcorn ceiling (as I do), or a ceiling that has lots of imperfections or joins.

Why you should use a flat or matt paint on ceilings

Different levels of sheen in paint offer a different finish on whatever it is being painted. We all know that a gloss paint leaves a high shine, while a sheen paint is not quite as shiny. A matt or flat paint, on the other hand, has no reflective qualities and it is this quality that makes it the perfect paint for ceilings or walls with lots of imperfections.

During the process of painting the (popcorn) ceiling in the kitchen, I managed to snap a photo of the ceiling only half painted. While there are still a few spots of wet paint at the top of the above image, towards the front of the suspended ceiling you can quite easily see that the ceiling has a shiny finish. Although it is difficult to see from the image, the matt paint that is being used to paint the ceiling - Plascon One Coat Ceiling - also helps to disguise the bumpy plaster effect that covers the ceiling. Once the entire ceiling has been painted and is dry, the matt / flat finish will not reflect any less and thus make any imperfections less visible.

I know of more than a few people that like to use enamel paint on ceilings and this is not a great idea. Most enamel paints, especially the oil-based types, tend to yellow with age. Enamel paints also have more sheen than a matt acrylic paints and will definitely show defects and make them appear more visible.



back to top