Best White Emulsion for ceilings

Updated Feb 27, 2024 | Posted Mar 11, 2019 | Professional insight, Product Advice | 3 comments

We ran a poll on  The Decorators Forum UK to determine once and for all the best white emulsion to use on ceilings. It was an absolute landslide!! According to professional decorators, Tikkurila Anti-Reflex is officially the very best product to use for the job. Tikkurila Anti-Reflex is a durable paint which leaves a very flat matt finish, eliminating roller and brush marks. Opacity is it’s weakness, but as long as you apply nice thick coats you will never have an issue.  You can pick it up online from Tikkurila, as well as a few independent merchants. If you’d like to know more about the paint, we do have a full Tikkurila Anti-Reflex review which outlines the good and bad qualities of the paint.

The second most popular product was Macpherson’s eclipse, which is a contract matt, meaning it is perfect for new plaster, but not very durable. That said, you often don’t need a durable paint when decorating a ceiling. Again, Macpherson’s eclipse is a dull, flat matt emulsion which makes it perfect to use. Opacity and finish are great, however because it’s a contract matt it can drag a little bit. This is a much cheaper option. Click here to see online prices.


What Decorators Think is The Best White Emulsion for a Ceiling?

Tikkurila Anti-Reflex is probably the best emulsion for ceilings. It does take an extra coat, but it leaves a nicer finish than Johnstone’s Perfect Matt, which is supposedly a premium product. I wouldn’t use a contract matt as a finish unless I needed to.

James Sykes

It’s crazy really. A few years ago, we could use any matt emulsion on ceilings, and they’d look mint. Something has changed in the paint, and now you can see roller marks and flashing unless you use something specific. Stick to specialist ceiling paints like Tikkurila Anti-Reflex or Teknos Teknoceiling. At least you know they’ll look mint.

Jim Green

I use Dulux Vinyl Matt most of the time. The opacity is good, and it’s a pure-bright white. A lot of decorators have switched to very low-sheen emulsions, which also look good. It’s a different finish though.

Tony Gibs


It has got to be Tikkurila Anti-Reflex for me. It has by far the best finish out of any white emulsion paints I have used and on top of that, it’s fairly durable. I order mine online at the start of every month, and use it on every job I do. People get it into their heads that they want a “pure brilliant white” on their ceilings, but it looks naff. Tikkurila Anti-reflex is a rich luxurious paint which eliminates imperfections. It’s just a shame the bigger brands don’t stock it, which is why I order online.

Mike Gregory

Tikkurila Anti Reflex, because it’s the nuts! Anti-reflective paint that hides all the imperfections. No roller marks, no brush marks, no flashing and it’s a durable matt!! The only issue it has is its coverage. Definitely 2 coats needed but it will look bang on.

Tim Courtney

Dulux brilliant white vinyl for me. A ceiling needs to be crisp and pure white. Opacity is bang on too! Plus, you can buy it anywhere.

Gary Wheeler - the best white emulsion for ceilings

Tikkurila Anti-Reflex 2, super stuff, leaves a super flat finish on ceilings and anyone can use it. I think most decorators use it nowadays. It’s a shame Dulux and the other big suppliers can’t make a product like this for ceilings.

Craig Smoggy Adams

Macpherson’s eclipse, cheap, excellent opacity, doesn’t flash and can be touched up. I personally don’t use anything else unless client asks. You can’t really use it in kitchens and bathrooms though.

Paul Negus

The are a few great paints I use on ceilings. Armstead white is the best “off the shelf” paint, but avoid “brilliant white”, as the finish isn’t as good.

WRX ceiling paint is a full acrylic and leaves a gorgeous finish, but it’s expensive.

Tikkurila Anti-Reflex is my favourite, but the opacity isn’t very good. The finish is gorgeous!!

Teknos Teknoceiling Is amazing paint too. It is similar to Anti-Reflex in terms of finish, but has better opacity.

I don’t understand why anyone would use contract matt on a ceiling. There are specialist ceiling paints around nowadays which takes things to a whole new level.

Brian Johnstone


Tikkurila Anti-Reflex 2, mist coat and 2 top coats, superb finish on any ceiling.

Craig Smoggy Adams

Tikkurila Anti reflex is by far the best Ceiling paint around. The finish it leaves is second to none and it’s cheap as well.

Ryan Micheal Foulger

Teknos Teknoceiling is the best white emulsion for ceilings for me!! I was using Tikkurila Anti-Reflex for years, but this is slightly cheaper and has better opacity. The finish is almost the same. It’s just a rich, dull, luxurious finish. Great for open plan or light critical areas.

Mike Dean

Tikkurila Anti- Reflex, leaves a flawless finish, doesn’t pull in the corners and doesn’t flash after touching in. It sprays lovely too.

Michael Price

I use Armstead vinyl matt brilliant white, great coverage and good price from stax at the moment. You don’t need to spend big money to get a top quality trade paint.

Paul Doddrell

I like crown covermatt, Armstead contract or Leyland. All pretty good for the price.

Chris Bull

McPherson eclipse cheap and dries solid. What more do you need on a ceiling?

Shaun Wilson

Macpherson eclipse hands down. I haven’t used Tikkurila Anti-Reflex, but most other decorators seem to love it.

Mark Barnes

Eclipse, it doesn’t flash, is solid and cheap .

I want to try anti reflex 2 as heard so many good things about it

Darren Fleming

Tikkurila Anti-Reflex 2… simply superb… totally flat… can be touched up if you have missed a bit without that area flashing. I think a well painted ceiling is the most noticeable part of a job and AR2 never fails

Peter Kirkham

Covermatt, no streaks, no roller marks, bleaches out lovely

Steve Boiler Rowley

Tikkurila Anti-Reflex 2. Brilliant stuff, nothing better for ceilings

Tony Pfeiffer

Tikkurila Anti-Reflex 2 is the best cheap white paint for ceilings. Nothing comes close.

Ted Teddy

I’ve been happy with Johnstones premium contract matt, but use eclipse on problematic ceilings

Mick Green

Fleetwood, hands down

Adie Connolly

Tikkurila Anti-relfex, followed by super Matt

Steven Goldsmith

Dulux supermatt, dead flat and good coverage

Brian Sweeney

Dulux ultra matt!! Fantastic, designed for critical lighting from windows and up lighting.

Andrew Lee

Polycell cracked ceiling paint. Cracked or not, I use it. Excellent coverage and finish.

Elizabeth Pollard

Tikkurila Anti-Reflex 2, but if money is no object, the Benjamin Moore ceiling paint

Paul Cameron

Tikkurila Anti-Reflex 2 or Tikkurila nova 2

Dean Wilkes

Tikkurila Anti-Reflex 2 is the best white emulsion for ceilings.

Rowan Mayer-Hughes

Crown Trade Covermatt, bleaches out superb and covers solid, doesn’t flash when touching up.


Best White Emulsion for ceilings

Anthony Johnston

Tikkurila Anti-Reflex2 is by far the best emulsion to use on a ceiling. It is a shame about the opacity, but everything else is spot on. I don’t get why anyone would use a contract matt

Mark Koi


WRX ceiling paint is fantastic, but expensive and has a long recoat time. It’s brilliant for a bathroom ceiling because it’s waterproof.

Ben Fury

Teknos Teknoceiling is the best emulsion for a ceiling. There is no comparison. It covers well and leaves an awesome finish.

Ste Cooper

Tikkurila Anti-Reflex is the best finish by far, particularly on light-sensitive ceilings. It’s easy to use, doesn’t show any roller marks and comes up lovely.

John Marks

Updated Feb 27, 2024 | Posted Mar 11, 2019 | 3 comments


  1. Jake Abbey

    Dulux supermatt or McPhersons eclipse, both great coverage and perfect on newly plastered misted ceilings!

  2. John

    How much is the tikkurila anti reflex 2 for 10ltrs ?

    • Mike Cupit

      It’s about £30 including VAT for 10L, but it doesn’t go as far as some other brands. That’s trade price


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