Is Matte Paint Good for Ceilings?

Your main focus when painting your ceiling might be choosing the right color. But it’s also important to consider the type of finish you want to use. So, is matte paint good for ceilings?

Matte paint is the optimal choice for ceilings. Since it does not reflect light, it won’t create any glare from direct lighting or windows. Additionally, since ceilings don’t face much wear and tear, high-gloss paints are unnecessary. Matte paints also hide imperfections well and can be easily touched up if needed. 

Matte paint is the ultimate choice for ceilings, but how do other finishes measure up? Read on to check whether a glossier finish might be better for your situation.

The 5 Benefits of Choosing Matte Paint for Your Ceiling

Matte paint is one of the best paint finishes for ceilings in living rooms and bedrooms. Here is a list of the 5 reasons why.

More forgiving 

Matte paint is perfect for ceilings because it hides imperfections better than other finishes. This makes it a great choice if you are working with an older ceiling or one that has some minor surface damage.

Affordable and versatile 

It’s more affordable than glossier options and available in various colors and shades. This means that no matter what kind of style you’re going for, you should be able to find a shade of matte paint that works for you.

No glare

Matte paint does not reflect light, making it the ideal choice for ceilings. This means there won’t be any glare from the ceiling, and you can enjoy your room without being distracted by a shiny surface overhead.

Easy to apply 

Unlike other types of paint, matte paint is easy to apply. The consistency of the paint makes it easier to spread evenly across the surface, ensuring that you get an even finish every time. Its matte finish also ensures a seamless, non-streaky result that blends in perfectly.

Touch-ups are a breeze

With matte paint, you can quickly spot-treat areas of the ceiling without having to repaint the entire surface. Touch-ups will blend in seamlessly with the existing paint and preserve the overall look of your ceiling.

The Top 3 Drawbacks of Choosing Matte Paint for Your Ceiling

Grime buildup 

Matte finishes do not have the same level of shine as reflective surfaces, making them more susceptible to grime build-up. If your ceiling is regularly exposed to grease or cigarette smoke, this could be an issue. Matte may not be suitable for kitchens as it can stain easily from grease splatters.

Mold and mildew risk 

Matte paint also has a greater risk of mildew growth than other finishes due to its porous nature. This means that you could be dealing with mold and mildew in areas of the home with high humidity, like bathrooms or laundry rooms.

Low durability 

Matte paint is not as durable as glossier finishes, so it won’t last as long. You may need to repaint your ceilings sooner than with other paints.

How Does Matte Paint Compare to Other Finishes?


Flat paint is a type of finish that has no glossy sheen, whereas matte paint has a 5-10% sheen. Both paints are suitable, but using flat paint on ceilings is better for concealing surface imperfections as its lack of sheen does not reflect light.

Flat paint is slightly less durable than matte, making it more susceptible to scratches and wear. Matte paint has a bit more durability due to its higher sheen.

In terms of application, both flat and matte paints tend to cover surfaces easily and have a smooth finish when dried. They both last just as long.


Ceilings painted with eggshell paint are known for their slightly glossy finish that can enrich a room, while matte paint provides a more subtle look with less shine.

Eggshell paint is more durable and offers good coverage, while matte paints provide even coverage without highlighting any imperfections on the surface. Eggshell paint is more expensive than matte, given its higher-quality finish.

Touch-ups can be tricky on eggshell-painted ceilings due to their slight glossiness. In contrast, matte paints are easy to touch up since they do not reflect light in any particular direction that would emphasize imperfections on the walls or ceiling. 


Satin-painted ceilings have a stronger color with a slight sheen, making them appear glossier than eggshell but flatter than semi-gloss. However, its sheen level is still too glossy for most ceilings.

In terms of durability, satin is much more flexible and tough than matte paint. Satin has a slight resistance to mold and mildew due to its glossy finish.

For maintenance, satin provides reasonable coverage but may be harder to apply and touchups often show up quite easily. Additionally, matte paint is much cheaper than its satin counterpart and requires less effort in upkeep.


Semi-gloss is a good choice for kitchen and bathroom ceilings due to its durability and resistance to moisture, while matte is more subtle and can be used to hide blemishes. Matte is better suited for areas with no grease or water splattering.

In terms of appearance, ceilings painted with semi-gloss have a shinier finish than matte. Matte has a flatter finish that can reduce glare in rooms with harsher lighting or with many windows, as it absorbs more light than semi-gloss. 

In terms of cost, semi-gloss costs more per gallon than matte paints. It is also more difficult to touch up. Because of its high sheen, any imperfections will be more visible when touched up.

Do Ceilings Need a Primer?

Primer is unnecessary for ceilings that are already textured or painted with water-based paint. However, primer is needed if you are installing new drywall or if the existing ceiling has texture, is stained from grease, or has water stains.

Primer helps to seal the surface and provide a better base for paint application. It also helps to ensure an even and durable finish. Primer is a protective sealant and can also help improve sheen and color durability. Therefore, assessing your ceiling’s existing conditions before starting your painting project is important to determine if a primer will be needed.

Joshua Milton

I want to share everything I know about home improvement in order to help you. Whether you're a home enthusiast or an industry professional, I have the information that you need.

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