Free UK mainland delivery on orders over £50*

What is the best paint for ceilings?

Generally speaking, a water-based flat finish paint is best for ceilings as it hides a multitude of sins thanks to its low light-reflecting properties. Our recommendation would be Tikkurila Anti-Reflex 2 or ‘AR2’ as it’s commonly known. 

Tikkurila Anti-Reflex 2 is a water-based latex paint that eliminates flashing and hides imperfections on ceilings such as small dents and uneven surfaces. With an exceptionally high opacity, it produces a deep, flat matt finish regardless of the light angle. It has a non-drip formula and is very easy to apply, either by brush, roller or spray. 

It also offers excellent coverage so although it may appear pricier than other flat white emulsions available, its high opacity and coverage capabilities make it worth the extra few pounds. 

The best ceiling paint for bathrooms is slightly different. Painting the ceiling in a bathroom where there are high levels of humidity means the surface is prone to condensation and mould or mildew growth. In this instance, we’d recommend Zinnser Perma White Mould Resistant Paint. Rich in a biocide to protect against fungal degradation, it's designed to resist cracking, peeling and blistering for up to 7 years before first maintenance which is perfect for problem areas like the bathroom ceiling. 

If you’re on a budget, you can’t go wrong with Macpherson Trade Eclipse Emulsion. A water-based emulsion for interior walls and ceilings, it offers high levels of opacity and a great value price without compromising on performance. It’s a matt finish so helps to hide ceiling imperfections but not quite to the levels of Tikkurila AR2. It’s great for new builds too as it can be applied directly to fresh plaster or render.


  1. Tikkurila Anti Reflex White 2
    Tikkurila Anti Reflex White 2
    From £29.76 £24.80


  • Rich and deep flat matt finish regardless of how the light hits it
  • High opacity
  • High coverage rate, a little goes a long way


  • Slightly more expensive than others on the market
  • Can’t be tinted to colours
  1. Zinsser Interior Perma White Matt
    Zinsser Interior Perma White Matt
    From £18.17 £15.14


  • Rich in active ingredients that fight against mould and fungal growth
  • Designed for use in high humidity areas like bathroom ceilings where mould and condensation is an issue
  • Can be scrubbed clean without damaging the finish


  • Only available in white


  • Budget-friendly 
  • Can be applied to fresh plaster
  • Available in tinted colours as well as white


  • Not as flat a finish as Tikkurila AR2

Can you use wall emulsion to paint ceilings?

You can use a wall emulsion to paint ceilings, all interior wall emulsions are technically suitable for ceilings too but for the best finish, a flat matt paint on a ceiling gives the best overall look. It helps to hide any uneven areas or surface imperfections that are often highlighted by the light.

If you’re about to paint a ceiling, we’d recommend reading our guide on how to paint a ceiling first followed by our article on the correct order to paint a room to save yourself some time.