I’ve been a professional decorator for almost two decades and I’m a little bit of a product geek. In this blog, I want to talk about the very top choices for the best ceiling paint on the market.
If you use a sub-standard emulsion to paint your ceiling, you can experience problems such as roller marks and picture framing. These are particularly visible on large, open-plan ceilings, or in light critical areas. Luckily enough, we now have specialist ceiling paints available which are developed to perform as well as they possibly can do, thus eliminating all issues and leaving you with a gorgeous finish.
Seems odd to me, but I’ve read blogs on other websites and the authors seem to put forward a mix of standard trade and retail vinyl matt products. I haven’t found a single blog on the subject, other than one of my own, that I agree with.
Here’s a tip though; never use “brilliant white” emulsion to paint a ceiling, and always use matt, rather than eggshell or silk. Regardless of whether you take one of my product recommendations or not, flat matt always looks better on a ceiling.
Coloured emulsions are becoming increasingly popular for ceilings, so that may be something to bear-in-mind too. Particularly if you have coving you can use as a break between the ceiling and wall colour. I prefer pale colours, but I have seen bolder colours look awesome too.
Anyway, let’s get on with the product recommendations. These are the products I believe are the best ceiling paints on the market.
Tikkurila Anti-Reflex 2
Tikkurila Anti-Reflex has been voted the best paint to use on a ceiling many times by professional decorators on a well-known Facebook forum. This was the original specialist ceiling paint. Available online, in white, or any pale colour from Tikkurila’s vast range.
This is one of my all-time favourite paints for ceilings, but it can also be used on walls.
Opacity isn’t very good, and the paint doesn’t go very far. However, the finish is so deep and luxurious, there is nothing on the market to rival it! Ease of use is fantastic too!! Just get it on nice and thick and it’ll dry back crisp and flat.
We do have a full Tikkurila Anti-Reflex review which you may find useful.
Opacity and ease of use are spot on. We need a new word to describe the finish of this paint, because “matt”, doesn’t come close. It really is a very dull matt, with no sheen at all. This is exactly what you need in most cases.
Anyone can achieve a good finish with this stuff on any ceiling, but it is best suited for very large, open plan ceilings. Simply because Teknoceiling will never show a single roller mark!
Johnstone’s Perfect Matt
Not a specialist ceiling paint this time!! Johnstone’s perfect matt is a premium product which is available online, or any Johnstone’s Decorating Centre. Opacity is ok in white and awesome in any tinted colour. When ordering online, you can have it matched to any colour from any brand.
Johnstone’s developed Perfect Matt to outperform premium brands like Little Greene and COAT. You do pay a little bit more, but it’s a genuine masterpiece. You can see quality any time you look at a surface painted with it.
This paint is durable too, meaning you can use it in places such as kitchens. Oh, this is also one of my favourite wall emulsions!! The finish is nice and flat, making it perfect for light critical areas.
Another bonus of this paint is it touches up without leaving a mark. Even if you touch it up a few weeks down the line.
Armstead Vinyl Matt
Contrary to what I said in the opening section of this blog, sometimes an ordinary vinyl matt can be one of the best ceiling paints around. If you don’t want to spend big money on a specialist paint, have a look at Armstead vinyl matt instead.
You could spend more money on a better paint, but this is probably the best of the cheaper trade vinyl matt emulsion products available.
Best Tools to Use to Paint a Ceiling
OKOK. Now you know the best emulsion to paint a ceiling, but your choice of paint isn’t the only factor you should consider when trying to achieve the best possible finish. Your choice of tools will also make a huge difference when painting a ceiling.
In particular, the roller. I recommend using a Purdy Colossus roller with a pole. You will need to de-lint this roller before using it, but it holds huge amounts of paint and distributes it evenly. What’s more, it applies the paint in thick coats, which means better opacity for your paint, and a longer working time for you. This is perfect for avoiding roller marks and picture framing. Click here to see online prices.
Slightly less important is your choice of brush. Providing you use a good-quality trade emulsion brush that holds plenty of paint, you can’t go wrong. My favourite is the ProDec Ice Fusion, which is perfect for cutting sharp lines. Click here to see online prices.
What Ceiling Paint do Professionals Use?
We know from running poles on social media that Tikkurila Anti-Reflex 2 is the most popular ceiling paint amongst Professional Decorators. This is a low-sheen matt emulsion available in white and pale colours.
Can you paint over hairline cracks on a ceiling?
In an ideal world, you’d repair hairline cracks before painting. However, there is a product called Bedec Interior-Flex that doesn’t only bridge hairline cracks, but also goes some way to preventing cracks from reoccurring.
Should you paint ceiling or walls first?
You should always paint the ceiling before the walls. This is because drips of paint fall downwards, so if you were to finish your walls first, you may damage them again when painting the ceiling. Besides which, you’ll find it easier to cut the walls into the ceiling rather than the other way around.
Do you need to sand a ceiling before painting it?
You don’t need to sand the ceiling before painting, but it’s good practice. If it’s nice and smooth before you start painting, you are more likely to achieve a good finish.
Best Ceiling Paint for your Home – By Mike Gregory
What Do Other Decorators Think?
Tikkurila Anti Reflex 2 for me on ceilings. I have never personally found it lumpy. It covers well and has that very flat matt finish that helps with slightly uneven plastering.
I have also tried Caparol Capislan which had amazing opacity but wasn’t brilliant white, which is fine with coloured walls, but is an issue with white below it.
I had taken to using a lot of contract matt paints as they were dead flat and were easy to touch up if there was anything missed. No one really needs a vinyl wipeable ceiling, and any sort of slight sheen can be problematic, but as I said Anti reflex is still the best.
I must give Teknos a try.
For a contemporary, flawless finish I would choose Tikkurila Anti-Reflex White 2. On a tighter budget I would opt for Macpherson Eclipse Emulsion.
After using the three main available candidates; number one being Dulux Trade Ultra Matt, two being Tikkurila Anti-Reflex2 and three being Teknos Teknoceiling 02. I have to say that Teknos Teknoceiling is the best ceiling paint.
The Tikkurila Anti-Reflex is good, but it’s become expensive and also full of bits. It doesn’t roll out like it used to when I first started using it.
IMO Dulux Ultra Matt was good until they changed the formula and now flashes a little bit. It is also more expensive than the other two.
Teknos Teknoceiling however, is the cleanest paint I’ve ever used. I have never had a single bit in it and never had to put more than two coats on a ceiling. It also has the quickest recoat time of the three. It covers most previously painted ceiling in one coat. 🏆🏆🏆 definitely a clear winner for me.
I’m using Dulux trade Supermatt on ceilings at the minute. Great finish 👌🏻 used Dulux ultra matt, which is good too.
Tikkurila Anti Reflex 2, I use it for all my ceilings (unless it’s a what I call a wet room I.e. kitchen, bathroom ect). It covers in 2 from bare plaster and leaves a brilliant finish no picture framing or flashing.
The best ceiling paint used to be Tikkurila Anti-Reflex, but now you need to sieve every bucket to get the bits out. I tried Teknoceiling, which was recommended on the Decorators Forum UK, and never looked back.
Capasilan overpriced in my opinion.
Tikkurila Anti-Reflex for me. The first coat is not great to apply, but the second is a dream, I haven’t had any issue with bits as some have.
Tikkurila Anti-Reflex for me, just the absolute best paint for a ceiling. I can’t see why anyone would use anything else.
People say it’s on the expensive side but in all honestly, I’d rather pay another £10 or £15 per 10L, make sure my ceilings cover in two and look spot on. Surely the extra tenner is worth it to save the labour cost of doing another coat.
Also, it dries completely flat. And almost hides imperfections. It’s brilliant. Even customers have commented on my ceilings saying how good they look!
Oh, and I’ve never had lumps or anything like that. Always good gear when I’ve had it 👌
I’ve used Crown Clean Extreme for years, and I have had no problems with it. It covers lovely. For fresh plaster, I use MacPhersons Eclipse 80/20 mix covers really well
Been using Tikkurila Anti-Reflex for years. Great when it’s not full of bits lol
I generally use Johnstone’s Covaplus on most ceilings. It’s not too expensive, easy to use and gives a decent finish. On larger ceilings and/or where the light is a bit more “critical”, I’ve found that Tikkurila Anti-Reflex solves most of the usual problems and leaves a nice flat finish.
I generally use Tikkurila Anti-Reflex on ceilings, but I have started using Valspar Express Coat. I like the Anti-Reflex; you can touch it up after sparks have been in messing up ceilings. Express coat is literally an all-rounder. Good for misting/white washing darker colours/prime. It goes on like milk but as dries, it flattens off nicely, leaving a nice finish coat to ceilings.
Macpherson eclipse is pretty good on a ceiling. If you want a great finish, I would use Tikkurila Anti-Reflex
Tikkurila Anti-Reflex for me. Regards👌
I use Dulux Ultra-Matt which I get for a decent price and touches up well. I did use Tikkurila Anti-Reflex, but got fed up of straining it all the time!!!
Leyland Super Leytex on a ceiling for me. A little chalky, but no flashing and it always turns out perfect.
Tikkurila Anti-Reflex is always my ‘go to’ 👌🏻You can’t go wrong on a ceiling!
Tikkurila Anti-Reflex for me on a ceiling. I have also had lumps in the tin, which I have put this down to how its stored. This paint does not like getting hot in the van. I now don’t leave the AR-2 in the van, not had any issues since.
Did a ceiling in a hallway last week using good home durable matt and it was amazing. No flashing and very easy to apply with no spatter. Very good value too, it was only £30 for 10L.
For all things lime based, flaky and delicate, I can’t recommend Grade 1 enough. Amazing coverage! One coat in the pic on lathe ceiling and walls. Quick drying self-priming, non-cracking, oil based with low Smell. Avoid at all costs in colours as it leaves tramlines worse than any paint I’ve used. But in white and off whites it’s a mighty product.
Bedec day light
Wickes ultra Matt
You always need options. You can’t always get what you want as Mick Jagger sang.