If you’re contemplating painting a room, don’t overlook the ceiling.
When deciding on paint colours for a room, many of us forget to consider the ceiling as a fifth wall. While painting the ceiling white is often the best way to finish it, don’t overlook other colours and treatments for this frequently overlooked surface.
Keep it simple with white
Neutral, light-coloured rooms will look great with a traditional white or off-white painted ceiling. Choose a good creamy white if you want a light and bright appearance.
Use the wall colour
For added drama, consider painting the ceiling the same colour as the walls in rooms with an angled or arched ceiling. This will avoid making the ceiling a focal point in the room, and will let the architecture stand out.
Traditional spaces with high, arched ceilings and detailed trim and moulding can be treated several ways. For a monochromatic look, paint the ceiling and walls the same colour, but choose off-white for the trim. Chair rails, and crown and baseboard moulding treated this way will add just the right amount of contrast in a room with ceiling and walls painted the same colour. For a more dramatic turn, paint the ceiling above crown moulding darker than the walls. This will visually lower the ceiling, but will add a warm, cozy feel.
Take it dark
Using dark colours for ceilings need not be limited to oversized traditional spaces. Dark ceilings can also look great in small spaces. Add an eye-catching pendant such as a crystal chandelier and a small space, such as a vestibule or hallway, will immediately take on an intimate feel. In a sparse, modern space, a dark ceiling can actually become the focal point, emphasizing the structure and expanse of the surface.
Consider crown moulding
Ceilings in rooms without crown moulding are more difficult to paint. In this type of room, painting the ceiling the same colour as the walls avoids creating an uneven colour transition. If you don’t want the ceiling to be too dark, consider tinting white paint with a hint of wall colour; cut in the ceiling colour with a steady hand or be sure to mask the top of the walls to avoid mistakes.
Highlight special ceilings
Coffered or grid ceilings also offer great potential for adding interest with paint. Instead of covering the entire ceiling with white, paint the inside of the grid the same colour or a coordinating colour as the walls and paint the raised grid white. If the trim and ceiling grid is stained wood, paint the inside panels white for contrast.
Tip: Flat paint is best for ceilings as it masks bumps and imperfections.