The Best Paint Types For Kitchen And Ceiling (Expert Choice)

If you are an interior design enthusiast like me, you might have wondered if the type of paint you use to decorate your walls and ceilings is significant. However, it is important to ensure that the correct paint gets used for the right job. Therefore, we will discuss which paints are best to spice up your kitchen and ceilings.

paint for kitchen ceiling

The best paints in the kitchen are water-based, semi-gloss, oil-based, shellac, glossy, paint sheen, and satin paint. In addition, the best paints to use for ceilings are flat acrylic, satin sheen acrylic, and semi-gloss acrylic. Paints used within the kitchen differ from paint used for ceilings.

There is still more to learn, like how much these paints cost, the best brands to choose, the difference between wall and ceiling paints, and the pros and cons of each type of paint. Let us look at all these topics to help you reach an easier conclusion on what kind of paint to use within your home.

The Difference Between Wall Paints And Ceiling Paints

There is a reason why wall paints are not suitable for painting your ceiling. Many wall paints are water-based, also known as latex, which means even though it helps the paint go smoothly on the wall, it is prone to a lot of dripping during the painting process. 

If you were to use wall paints to paint your ceiling, your floors would become a dalmatian with all the spots of paints that have dripped from the ceiling. That is why ceiling paints are thicker to prevent this messy outcome from happening. 

When looking at the viscosity of both paints, which gets measured in Krebs Unit (KU), ceiling paints have a higher KU than wall paints.

Whenever you visit your local paint shop, when holding a gallon of the wall paint in one hand and a gallon of ceiling paint in the other hand, you will recognize that the ceiling paint container weighs heavier despite having the same amount of paint. This outcome is because ceiling paints contain more solid than wall paint.

Types Of Paints For Your Kitchen

There are so many different kinds of paint perfectly suited for being used in your kitchen. Therefore, you must take a moment to assess all the properties of your potential choices to ensure that the best choice gets made. So, let us look at various types of paints for your kitchen and the pros and cons of each.

Water-based (Latex) Paint

latex paint

Water-based paints are a wonderful choice for most surfaces except for glossy surfaces. However, one of the best properties of latex-based paints and primers is that it dries very quickly. In addition, a small tip for when covering an old layer of oil-based paint, you should first apply a bonding primer before beginning your coats with the water-based paint.

Below are the pros of water-based paints.

  • Resistant to mold
  • Resistant to fading
  • Lack of odor
  • Quick-drying

Below are the cons of latex-based paints.

  • Less durability than other paints such as oil-based or shellac paints
  • Highly visual staining and swelling
  • Not compatible with wood or oil-based painted surfaces
  • Requires an application of multiple layers

Oil-based Paint

oil based paint

Regularly during cooking, there is a lot of steam, creating a few wet surfaces. Hence, oil-based paint is a wonderful choice as it is more durable than other wall paints within areas exposed to water. However, there is the main problem with this type of paint. When painting a room, you have undoubtedly smelt an odor known as the “new paint smell.”

This smell is due to the paint emitting volatile organic compounds (VOCs). When decorating your wall with oil-based paint, I would suggest that certain precautions get taken, such as having efficient ventilation in the room and wearing a paint respirator for a safer environment. 

Below are the pros of oil-based paint.

  • Efficient durability
  • Excellent coverage
  • Provide great sealing for wood surfaces
  • Perfect for medium-density fiberboard (MDF)

Below are the cons of oil-based paint.

  • Highly visible brush marks
  • Extensive time to dry
  • Yellowing after a long time
  • Volatile organic compounds

Shellac Paint

Some kitchens go through a lot of bustling, requiring very durable paint to avoid chipping and peeling. However, there is a disadvantage with its remarkable endurance and that upon application, it can be quite troublesome to remove or correct any mistakes that become potentially made.

Below are the pros of shellac paint.

  • Simple application
  • Good resistance to stains
  • Great durability and adhesion
  • Possibility of skipping sanding

Below are the cons of shellac paint.

  • Very prominent odor
  • Troubling to clean up

Paint Sheen

paint sheen

Once you complete the painting process, you will most likely finish everything off with a paint sheen. This element determines how glossy or reflective the paint will be once it has dried. There is a long list of different finishes in paint sheens, such as flat, matte, eggshell, satin, semi-gloss, and high-gloss.

However, I suggest using glossier paint sheens for more busy rooms such as the kitchen as they have properties showing resistance to moisture and its smooth surface makes it easier to clean.

Satin Paint

It is not surprising that a satin finish is immensely popular due to its velvety texture, making it a better choice for bustling kitchens than other finishers such as eggshells or mattes. In addition, satin paint is exceptionally compatible with textured walls such as splatter knockdown and skips trowel.

This paint type also makes certain that there is a minimalization of any textures that might date your kitchen while simultaneously providing a simple surface to clean.

Below are the pros of satin paint.

  • Protects against unwanted textures and imperfections
  • A surface that is easy to clean

Below are the cons of satin paint.

  • Extensive time to fully dry

Semi-Gloss Paint

This glossy finish is a wonderful choice for all surfaces within the kitchen, including the island’s walls, should you have one, of course. A semi-gloss paint that is extremely durable is perfect for the kitchen as it is resistant to heat and water, making it an excellent candidate for humid conditions, such as within the kitchen.

Below are the pros of semi-gloss paint.

  • Shortened time to dry
  • Provides simple surface to clean
  • Guaranteed durability

Below are the cons of semi-gloss paint.

  • High visibility of mistakes or imperfections

High-Gloss Paint

high gloss paint

With its dramatic shine, high-gloss, also known as enamel, finishes provide a lovely finishing shine while still applying the durability needed within a kitchen. It becomes mostly used for shutters, trims, cabinets, and doors, but this type of paint is perfect for surfaces like kitchen cabinets and kickboards when looking at a kitchen context.

Below are the pros of high-gloss paint.

  • Highest quality durability
  • It makes surfaces easy to clean.

Below are the cons of high-gloss paint.

  • Extensive time to dry
  • The visuality of mistakes and imperfections
  • Longest time to fully cure

Cost Of Painting With Kitchen Paints

Like ceiling paint, purchasing paint for the kitchen ranges between $20 to $60 per gallon purchased. Therefore, the average cost within the US to fully paint a kitchen is between $600 to $1320. These figures come about from the average cost you would pay to paint 200 sq. ft., which would be $800, including materials and labor.

However, when looking at the lower side of the scale, you could predetermine paying around $500 to paint a kitchen measuring 150 sq. ft, but when looking at the opposite side of the stick, we get a different outcome. 

However, on the pricier side of the scale, you could pay as much as $1500 to paint a kitchen measuring 250 sq.ft., including work done behind any fixtures.

Best Brands Of Paint For The Kitchen

Below is a list we have gathered stating all the best brands that manufacture paint for kitchen use. These brands provide multiple types of paints that we have previously discussed. Here are all the brands that you need to know.

  • Dulux
  • Ronseal
  • Colors Premium
  • Rust-Oleum
  • Johnstone’s

Types Of Paint For Your Ceilings

It is crucial to look at the functioning of the room before selecting which type of ceiling paint to use. The range of ceiling paints is vast, including flat acrylic, satin sheen acrylic, and semi-gloss acrylic. Let us look at all these types individually and see which type is suited for each situation.

Flat Acrylic Ceiling Paint

This paint is one of the most popular as it becomes commonly used within rooms with low humidity, such as living rooms or bedrooms. In addition, this flat paint does not reflect large amounts of light, which is conveniently appropriate for most rooms within your home.

Satin Sheen Acrylic Ceiling Paint

In contrast with flat acrylic paint, this type is better for more humid rooms such as the bathroom, the laundry room, or any other room with warmer temperatures. 

This outcome is the case because flat paint is susceptible to staining, chipping, or cracking in rooms with high humidity; therefore, the better option for humid rooms would be satin sheen acrylic paint.

Semi-Gloss Acrylic Ceiling Paint

This type of paint becomes used within highly humid areas such as above the shower or the stove to elevate the level. In addition, semi-gloss acrylic paint is immensely durable against cracks and staining within rooms with high humidity percentages.

General Pros And Cons Of Ceiling Paint

Painting your ceiling could range from going beyond and bold or staying with the usual and merely applying a new coat with the same color. One might see repainting the ceiling as an overwhelming task with little to no reward, yet this is not true. 

It is quite interesting how a simple repaint can do various things such as brightening the room or ridding any old stains from view. In addition, should you wish to do it by yourself, in other words, DIY, it might prove a quite intriguing and relatively inexpensive weekend project.

Below are the pros of ceiling paints.

  • Higher viscosity equaling in less of a mess made
  • Individuals can complete it at a lower cost due to DIY
  • A large spectrum of color choices to freely choose from

Below are the cons of ceiling paints.

  • Preparing to paint a ceiling can take a long amount of time
  • One is often left with paint to spare upon completing the painting process.
  • Better to call for a professional if your ceilings are vaulted

Best Brands Of Paint For The Ceiling

Below is a list we have collected that names certain excellent brands to purchase from when wanting to paint your ceiling.

  • Benjamin Moore
  • Harmony
  • Zinsser
  • Seymour (for tiled ceilings)
  • Behr (for wood ceilings)

Cost Of Painting With Ceiling Paints

As stated previously, one gallon of ceiling paint ranges between $20 to $60. In addition, one gallon will be enough to fully cover a space equal to 400 square feet, which means a 20-by-20-foot room

Even though the DIY idea promises to make your expenses less, if you do not possess the necessary tools such as paintbrushes, rollers, roller covers, drop cloth, and painter’s tape, you will need to add those costs with the paint.

However, when hiring a professional and looking at a 10-by-12-foot room, the average cost you would probably pay is $250. In addition, certain factors will cause this price to fluctuate, such as the color of the paint, the texture of the ceiling, the height of the ceiling, and various others.


When looking at paints that you should look at when painting your kitchen, you have many different choices. Therefore, choosing which one is crucial as one painting may have a different purpose. In addition, the cost of painting a kitchen has the potential to be quite expensive.

However, when looking at the range of ceiling paints to choose from, there are not as many as kitchen paints, yet the choice of color is more freely available as ceilings are not often very strict with the color combination. The pricing of the painting process is also very flexible as you can either hire a professional or DIY. The choice is yours to make.

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Barry Gray

Hi, I’m Barry. I’ve loved woodworking and bringing things back to life for more years than I care to remember. I hope my passion for tools comes across loud and clear in everything you read here on The Tool Square.