Looking for ceiling/s paint buying recommendations, along with how to paint a ceiling help.

Below you'll find painting a ceiling tips including the proper products to use for the job at hand.

There are also links to other pages on this site that assist you with more in depth information regarding ceiling repair, painting your ceilings, recommended primer/stain blockers and texture removal or ceiling texturing guidance.


I will list the actual types of paints used when doing a ceiling painting project (or ceiling/s paint job) and then give a few recommendations and extra information regarding that particular paint.

Some paints actually have the term ceiling paint on the label, with that said, keep in mind that certain paints are not labelled as ceiling paint but will still get the job done. In fact, top quality paints that are mainly manufactured for other surface use may work better than a ceiling paint (depending on the type of project being done).

Finally and most importantly, if you are painting a stippled or splattered ceiling (textured) and it has never been painted before it's recommended to use an alkyd or oil based product (either a flat paint, stain blocker or primer) as a first coat. Otherwise, your just completed ceilings paint job may end up laying on the floor in front of you.

  • Labelled ceiling paint:
    Paints that say Ceiling Paint on the label, can be either an alkyd (oil) or latex based product and some alkyd ceiling paints are made specifically for textured (popcorn, splatter, or knockdown etc.) type ceilings.

    Most labelled ceiling paints are manufactured to have less splattering and a good bright white color.

    More expensive higher end ceiling paints can also be manufactured to include mold or mildew inhibitors, stain blockers and bridge (fill) small cracks, gaps and holes once dried.

  • latex paint:
    There are cases when a regular high quality flat latex paint will work better than a labelled ceiling paint. When I see ceilings that are quite gray or light brown in color or the ceiling has been painted with a darker colored paint, then a regular interior flat latex paint can tend to work best. Such good quality paints are more expensive than labelled ceiling paints though so keep that in mind.

    As mentioned above, if the ceiling is textured be sure that it has been coated with an oil based paint (or primer/blocker) prior to using a latex product on it. If you're not sure if the ceiling has been painted you can rub your hand over it's surface to see how much debris falls to the floor. No falling debris usually means a painted ceiling. This is not a fool proof way to check so if in doubt use an oil based (alkyd) undercoating prior to a latex top coat.

  • Alkyd paint:
    Quality alkyd paints (or alkyd ceiling/s paint) tend to have the same benefits as regular latex ceiling paints but are usually applied when a textured ceiling has not been primed or painted in the past. Alkyd paints are also used on commercial ceilings such as those one would see in an indoor swimming pool area or restaurant and school type kitchen environment etc.

  • Paint, primer, sealer combos for ceilings:
    These types of products can be expensive but do a very good job blocking most stains when you have a ceiling that's covered in a number of stained or dis-colored areas. I do find that the latex based products don't work as well (as the solvent type coatings) and most stains should be (in my opinion anyways) blocked with a product made specifically for blocking stains. Latex blockers can do a good job of blocking a ceiling that was previously painted in a darker color though.

    If you are spot priming with a stain blocker then use a top coat that is a paint/primer/sealer combo product. Doing so will usually (after one or more coats) keep the stain blocker itself from showing through your finished paint job.

  • Modified oil ceiling paint:
    Modified oils are alkyd or oil base paints that clean up with water, while at the same time do not give off the same strong odour that most oil type paints do. Even so, Latex still has the advantage when it comes to dry time, as modified oils still take some time to set up.

    Modified paints are a new product and may actually replace regular oil base paints, only time will tell though.

    I myself have yet to try a modified paint on a ceiling so my verdict is still on hold.

  • Primer/sealers (blockers):
  • There are an assortment of primer sealers for you to choose from when removing smoke, water, wood or other type stains and dis-colorations. I recommend using blockers that cover a multitude of issues (depending on the stain of course). Primer sealers work best when applied to the entire surface as opposed to spot priming, as your spot priming can show through the paint once the job is completed. If you have a lot of staining apply your blocker, let it dry, sand (if needed) then roll or spray on two to three coats of quality flat paint./

The type of ceiling/s paint you use depends on the project at hand. Be sure to tell your paint store representative the exact ceiling situation that you're dealing with including type of room, whether the ceiling is textured, has the ceiling been painted before, is the previous surface colored or dis-colored and are there cracks, holes or stains on the ceiling itself. The ceiling paint , alkyd paint and latex paint pages should give you more product information if that's the kind of thing that your interested in you're interested in.


Painting a ceiling is probably one of the most difficult DIY jobs that you can take on. Not only is it confusing (at times) to choose application products but the work itself is smelly, hard on the body and the results at times are quite short of what you might have been expecting.

With that said, here's the how to ceiling painting page, page, by reading the page you should be able to get the job done quickly and with the least amount of grief as possible.

Other DIY interests might include the ceiling repair, page spraying ceiling texture on or removing a textured ceiling help.


You can buy stain blockers in either an aerosol can (bomb) or regular type roll/brush on gallon/quart containers. If your only dealing with one or two stains then spray painting them might be the best option.

Also, spraying your ceiling (with a paint spraying machine) is another ceiling painting choice as opposed to using a brush and roller. With that said, everything would have to be bagged or covered prior to using a paint sprayer. Spraying can be faster though and easier on you physically, especially if you have a large area to paint.

Even so, you'll need to rent or purchase a paint sprayer, otherwise the old fashion ceiling painting process of using a brush and roller will work just fine.

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