How to Choose a Ceiling Paint Color
Mar 13, 2012
Ceiling White: it's a name, not a rule. White ceilings may be the norm, but contrary to popular belief, they don't "go" with everything. And they do very little to brighten a room. Pale flooring is more effective in that regard. So if the ceiling really is the fifth wall, how do you choose the right color? You have to consider wall color, architecture, light, and mood. Here are some basic guidelines for selecting an effective ceiling paint color, and some inspiring images.
1 | Paint ceilings the same color as the walls.
A monochromatic plan creates a sense of endlessness in a room. Rooms painted this way with pale colors tend to be soothing and calm. Darker colors create cozy, enveloping spaces. And with a space like the one above, where angles create a transition to the ceiling, it makes sense to cover it with a continuous shade.
2 | Paint ceilings lighter than the walls.
Photo: Dodson and Daughter ID via decorpad
This popular technique dictates selecting a paint that's a few shades lighter than the wall color, on the same swatch. The difference is in value, not hue. The effect is a visual heightening, so it's appropriate for rooms with average or low ceilings.
3 | Paint ceilings darker than the walls.
Photo: Atmosphere Interior Design via Houzz.com
Painting ceilings one to three shades darker than the walls is effective in rooms with high ceilings or awkward variations in ceiling height. Deep colors in a flat finish can also camouflage flaws on ceilings in poor condition. Dark ceilings make large spaces feel more intimate, which is why the technique is often used in restaurants. Above, deep charcoal paint on the ceiling really cozies up this dining room with gray grasscloth walls.
4 | Paint ceilings a contrasting color for balance or emphasis.
Photo: David Christensen via decorpad
A contrasting ceiling can be a pleasant surprise if the right color combination is selected. Choosing a warm-colored ceiling in a room that's cool, or vice versa, is a good way to create balance. It's also a nice way to introduce a bold color when there is not an appropriate accent wall. A ceiling color can tie a room to an adjoining space in a subtle way. In the gorgeous marble-tiled kitchen above by David Christensen, the peacock blue ceiling adds a jolt of color that would be hard to achieve any other way.
How to Paint Sloped or Slanted Ceilings in a Dormer Space
If you have dormers with angled surfaces, paint the angles the same color as the wall. This is a mistake builders make all the time, and it's a major design peeve for me. The contrast breaks up the room and causes awkward changes in the lines of the space. Look at the difference:
Need a confidence boost before painting your own ceiling? I can help you choose the perfect color before you break your neck applying the wrong one. Just email me. —Diane Kolak
TAGS: color on the ceiling different color from walls contrasting ceiling how to paint slanted sloped ceilings choosing paint for ceiling
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