I've got ceilings that need to be painted, and I don't have any ceiling paint but I have a bunch of leftover white paint from painting my walls. Is there any reason I shouldn't just use my leftover wall paint for my ceilings? The wall paint has eggshell finish and the color is actually slightly off-white (white with a hint of cream)

1 Answer 1


Ceilings are typically painted with a flat sheen paint, as it's good at hiding (or at least not highlighting) imperfections, nor does it need to be particularly durable. Those two qualities tend to lead to a less expensive paint, and if you can save money where you can, why not. If you've already got some leftover (non-glossy) paint, there's no real reason not to use it. I wouldn't use gloss or semi-gloss on the ceiling, but eggshell should be OK.

  • 2
    Exactly what we were taught when I sold paint at Sherwin Williams ages ago. Also, flat paint tends to reflect light in a more general and diffuse way.
    – Paul TIKI
    Commented Jul 30, 2018 at 20:02
  • Some ceiling paint has a special (purple) dye that fades as it dries which makes it easier to see what you have already painted. Also I think most ceiling paint is a flat pure white so that all the rooms are painted with the same ceiling color which simplifies touch up work. Commented Jul 30, 2018 at 21:36
  • For ease of use the same color on wall and ceiling is a plus. However paint appears darker on ceiling due to light refraction. Some choose to use the brightest flat white possible. Ceiling paint usually is very poor at resisting marring.
    – Kris
    Commented Jul 30, 2018 at 22:39
  • All correct (+1) except I would use only totally flat paint, no "eggshell". Commented Jul 31, 2018 at 4:38

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