Can You Use Ceiling Paint On Trim? [Answered!]

Ceiling paints are not ideal for use on high-traffic surfaces in the home, such as trim. These paints are flat and do not resist dirt and stains well. In addition, they tend to chip more easily from scrubbing and scratching than glossier trim paint.

If you do decide to paint trim flat, make sure that you understand the limitations and be ready to deal with any problems that may come up.

Rather than trying to reuse a spare can of ceiling paint on trim, you can use it as a primer followed by a higher gloss topcoat. Ceiling paints dry faster than normal latex paint, and makes it easier to sand trims before applying the final coats of paint.

Is Trim and Ceiling Paint the Same?

No, trim paint and ceiling paint have differences in their viscosity, finish, coverage, durability, and colors. It’s okay to use ceiling paint on the trim but only if you’re planning top coating with a higher gloss finish.

Differencing ParametersTrim PaintCeiling Paint
DurabilityLess durableHighly durable
CoverageLow coverage, multiple coats requiredOne coat is enough because of the high coverage
ColorsVariety of optionsLimited option
FinishSatin, pearl, or eggshellFlat sheen

Most ceiling paints are flat which makes them good at covering up imperfections on the surface. In addition, ceiling paints are also thick, so they won’t drip as much and will stick to the ceiling better than low viscous paint.

Trim paint is mainly designed for high-touch areas to resist wear, stains, smudges, dirt, grime, and mildew. They usually come with a higher gloss finish which makes them easier to clean.

Since a high gloss finish might call too much attention to a ceiling, ceiling paints come in a flat, sheen finish. On the other hand, trim paints come with a touch of reflection. For this, you should never use trim paint on the ceiling; using ceiling paint on trim or walls would be fine.

Ceiling paint is a more durable option compared to a high-gloss finish. And, for being less expensive, it’s a money-saving option to use ceiling paint on trims.

What Type of Paint Should Be Used on Trim? 

Trims require a durable paint finish because you are likely to come into contact with them frequently. Semi-gloss is a solid option for these heavily touched areas. It is less shiny than high-gloss but has a higher gloss level than a satin. For trim areas that needs regular cleaning, high-gloss is preferable.

Semi-gloss paint finish is glossier than an eggshell. The shiner finish improves durability while also making it easier to clean thanks to a more rigid dried film that is tougher and can withstand more wear and tear. However, the drawback is higher sheen paint reflects more light, allowing the imperfections to become more noticeable.

That being said, not every paint finish is made equally. Traditional semi-gloss paint can range in sheen level from 35 to 70%. If you are covering up imperfect walls with divots, cracks, or uneven patches make sure to choose one from the lower end of the spectrum.

Eggshell is a versatile paint finish that looks great in every room of your house, so you can also use it on your trim! Even though we refer to it as wall paint, it can be used on any surface for a polished appearance with a subtle sheen. The finish is called eggshell because it resembles a chicken egg in appearance, being mostly flat with a hint of luster.

The best eggshell wall paint provides exquisitely rich color with a delicate, barely perceptible sheen and durability to be cleaned up easily as well as resist dirt and grime. Additionally, it resists mildew, making it appropriate for rooms with high moisture levels such as kitchen and bathroom.


Can You Paint Crown Molding With Ceiling Paint?

It’s not recommended that you paint crown molding with ceiling paint because the sheen of the two paints will be different and the colors may not match perfectly. Crown molding is usually painted with a semi-gloss or high-gloss paint to give it a shiny, finished look. Ceiling paint is typically flat or matte, which would make the crown molding look dull in comparison. If you’re set on using ceiling paint for your crown molding project, test out a small section first to see if you like the way it looks before painting the whole thing.

Do You Paint the Ceiling the Same Color As the Trim?

There’s no definitive answer to this question – it depends on personal preference and the overall aesthetic you’re going for in your home. Some people prefer to paint their ceilings the same color as their trim, as it can create a cohesive look. Others opt for a different color ceiling to add contrast and visual interest. Ultimately, it’s up to you! If you’re unsure, you could always try painting a test swatch on your wall to see how you like it before committing to the whole room.


It’s important to use the right type of paint (semi-gloss) on your trims so that they are easier to clean, last longer, and resist dirt and grime buildup. So, we do not advise painting trim with flat ceiling paint. But you can use it as a primer on trim and top coat with a semi-gloss paint.

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