I understand that the interior of closets needs to be white, or just off-white, so one can see the colors of clothing, etc.

I also understand that semi-gloss will enhance visibility by reflecting more light, even in the closets with interior lights.

But do I need to maintain yet another supply line of paint "interior semi-gloss white enamel paint", or can the cans for painting the ceiling ("ceiling paint, ultra pure white") have a second use as closet paint?

I'm reluctant to experiment and find out—because my first attempt at doubling the use of a can, "all-in-one primer and sealer", turned out to be a rather poor choice. The inside of the closets becomes far too dull, and more than one layer is needed to cover what is underneath.

"Scrubability" is not a factor. I'll assume that if something gets spilled, it warrants washing and repainting.

3 Answers 3


i hate to break it to you, but closets are usually left with ceiling paint all over them. its not for the reason of "seeing the colours of your clothes" (thats a good one that i havent heard before), its because when a builder puts paint on, its with a gun. if you dont mask the inside of the closet, you save time and money. ceiling paint is pretty tough, hides imperfections in the drywall (very common in closets), and most importantly, is cheaper than wall paint.

builders dont use semigloss anywhere unless the customer specifically requests it (and pays the difference in finishing and painting costs) because semigloss highlights imperfections, whereas flats or eggshells minimize them.

its all about the dollarino


Every house I've ever lived in, closets have been the color of the adjoining room. Ceilings get painted with wall paint. Generally I expect to use 4 products when painting an interior.

  • Primer
  • Gloss paint for high-handling areas (trim, kitchen, bathroom)
  • Flat paint for walls and ceilings (well they don't call it "flat" anymore due to VOC regulations unfavorable to paint called "flat", but I mean not gloss.)
  • An accent color of some kind, when appropriate

One purpose of primer is as a barrier coat, so that differences in the substrate affect the primer, not the topcoat. As far as the topcoat is concerned, it's sticking to the same surface throughout: the primer. Primer is not topcoat.


Change your light bulb (if you have any) to a Daylight or Full Spectrum color, 4000k to 6500k color is what you want to confirm on the bulb's box. Then, you can use any sheen & color you want.

Unless you're doing something odd in the closet(s) you shouldn't have to re-paint for decades & you shouldn't be keeping any paint that long. Scuff marks scrub right off with Isopropyl Alcohol Swabs & will save you from repainting.

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