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Can you use sherwin williams pure white on ceiling?

Painting a ceiling white can really help open up and brighten a room. But choosing the right white paint is important to get the look you want. Sherwin Williams Pure White is a popular option for ceilings, but there are a few things to consider before using it overhead.

About Sherwin Williams Pure White

Sherwin Williams Pure White is part of their Color Preview Collection. It’s a crisp, clean white with a faint cool undertone. Here are some key details about this paint color:

  • LRV (Light Reflectance Value): 86
  • Sheen Options: Flat, Eggshell, Satin, Semi-Gloss
  • Bases Available: Latex

With an LRV over 80, Pure White reflects a lot of light. This makes it a good choice if you want a bright, open look on your ceiling. The higher the LRV, the more illuminating the paint color.

Benefits of Using Pure White on Ceilings

Here are some of the benefits of using Sherwin Williams Pure White paint on ceilings:

  • Brightens the space – The high LRV of Pure White helps reflect light around the room, making it appear brighter and more open.
  • Clean look – Pure White has a crisp, bright appearance for a clean, fresh look on ceilings.
  • Matches many colors – Since it’s a basic white, Pure White complements many wall colors and décor styles.
  • Hides imperfections – The lack of undertones helps disguise flaws or uneven areas in the ceiling surface.

Considerations for Using Pure White on Ceilings

Before painting your ceiling Pure White, keep these considerations in mind:

  • Undertones – Pure White leans slightly cool in tone. If you prefer a warm white, choose a different color.
  • Bright for some – With a high LRV, Pure White may be too intense and stark for some. Consider an off-white if you want a softer look.
  • Shows flaws – While Pure White hides many imperfections, any significant cracks, uneven patches or stains will still be noticeable.
  • Not self-priming – Pure White requires a primer coat if going over a dark color. For best results, use a high-hide primer before the Pure White.

Prep Work for Painting Ceilings

Proper prep work is crucial for getting great results with Pure White or any ceiling paint. Here are some tips for prepping a ceiling for painting:

  • Fill any cracks, holes, or imperfections with spackle. Allow to dry completely.
  • Sand any rough areas to smooth them out.
  • Clean the ceiling to remove any dirt, grease, or flaking paint.
  • Lightly sand to degloss shiny areas and help the paint adhere.
  • Caulk around trim, corners, and joints.
  • Patch any nail holes or imperfections.
  • Prime if painting over a darker color.

Taking time to prep ensures the Pure White paint goes on smoothly and lasts longer before needing a touch up.

How to Apply Pure White to Ceilings

Follow these steps for painting Pure White on ceilings:

  1. Use painter’s tape to tape off walls, trim, lights and vents. This keeps splatter and drips off other surfaces.
  2. For cutting in around edges, use an angled brush. Paint a 2-3” border along the ceiling line before rolling.
  3. Pour the Pure White paint into a paint tray. Load your roller with paint, then roll it on the ramp of the tray to distribute evenly.
  4. Use an extension pole and roller with a 3/8” nap to reach ceilings easily. Load roller with paint and apply in a “W” pattern.
  5. Blend the edges together by feathering out the paint where cutting in and rolled areas meet.
  6. Apply two coats allowing proper dry time between coats. The high hide of Pure White usually provides full coverage in two coats.
  7. Let the paint cure fully for 30 days before washing or touching up paint.

Tips for Painting Ceilings Pure White

Keep these tips in mind for great results painting Pure White on ceilings:

  • Paint ceilings first before walls – This allows you to be messy and not worry about drips on walls.
  • Work in sections – Paint 3×3’ sections at a time to prevent lap marks as you go.
  • Watch lighting as you paint – The color may look different in natural vs. artificial light.
  • Apply when humidity is low – High humidity can affect absorption and dry times.
  • Consider ventilation – Proper air flow helps the paint dry correctly.
  • Load roller properly – Too much or too little paint on the roller can cause issues.
  • Blend edges for uniform look – Feather out borders to blend cutting-in and rolled areas.

Choosing Sheen for Ceiling

For painting ceilings, flat or matte finishes are ideal. Here’s an overview of sheens to consider for Pure White ceiling paint:

Sheen Properties Good For
Flat -Non-reflective
-Hides imperfections
-Prone to stains/marks
-Low-traffic areas
Eggshell -Soft velvety sheen
-Shows some imperfections
Satin -Soft gloss
-Durable and washable
-Hides some imperfections
-Kids’ rooms
Semi-Gloss -Shiny finish
-Most durable/washable
-Shows imperfections

Flat or matte finishes are ideal for hiding imperfections on textured ceilings. Satin or semi-gloss have too much shine and will accentuate flaws.

How Much Pure White Paint is Needed for Ceiling

To calculate how much Pure White paint you need for a ceiling, you’ll need:

  • Room dimensions (length x width)
  • Ceiling height
  • Square footage of ceiling area

Use this formula:

Ceiling area (sq ft) = Room Length (ft) x Room Width (ft)

For example, for a room 20 ft long x 15 ft wide with a standard 8 ft ceiling:

Ceiling area = 20 x 15 = 300 sq ft

For estimated paint coverage:

  • 300-400 sq ft per gallon for flat paint
  • 300-350 sq ft per gallon for eggshell paint

So for a 300 sq ft ceiling painted in flat Pure White, you would need around 1 gallon of paint. Get an extra gallon if doing two coats.

Painting Ceiling Same or Different Color from Walls

There are a few options when choosing whether to paint your ceiling the same Pure White color as the walls:

  • Same color – Having ceiling and walls match can make a room feel bigger. The flow between wall and ceiling color is seamless.
  • Different color – Contrasting wall and ceiling colors define each surface more. This can create visual interest.
  • Lighter ceiling – Choosing a lighter color like Pure White for ceiling than walls helps open up a space.
  • Darker ceiling – Going darker on the ceiling can feel intimate and cozy. Works best with light colored walls.

Consider the vibe you want for the space when coordinating ceiling and wall colors.

Should Ceiling or Walls be Painted First?

When planning your paint project, decide whether it’s better to paint the ceiling or walls first. Here are some factors to consider:

Ceiling First Walls First
Drips/Splatters No need to protect walls Must cover floors and walls
Touch-ups Can fix when doing walls Hard to fix ceiling without damaging walls
Lighting Consistent lighting Changing sun/shadows can alter wall color
Cutting in Crisp ceiling line More challenging at ceiling line

In most cases, it’s best to paint the ceiling first. This allows you to be neater with walls and touch up any drips later.


With its high light reflectance and clean, bright look, Sherwin Williams Pure White can be an excellent choice for ceilings. Proper prep work is key to ensuring it adheres well and provides maximum coverage. Flat or matte finishes give the best hide over textured ceilings. Allowing adequate dry time and using proper painting techniques will also give you great results. So if you’re looking to really open up and illuminate a room, Pure White is a ceiling paint worth considering.