Painting your rooms will require some serious thinking on the effects you’re trying to achieve, and the audience that ought to be impressed. Social experiences matter in interior design, especially to those who host people on regular basis.

Another aspect that has to be considered is young audiences (children and teenagers) because they require décor different than any neutral and sophisticated scheme. If you’re painting a room for them, you have to come up with some durable and vibrant solutions.

Why would rules for painting ceilings be any different? You may think that ceilings are not as important as the rest of the walls, but that’s far from the truth. Picking the best ceiling paint color can change the overall feel in a room, and that’s very important to know when painting your home.

Tilton-Coffered-Ceilings-1 What Color Should I Paint My Ceiling?
Image source: Tilton Coffered Ceilings

You’re probably asking yourself: What color should I paint my ceiling?

Should I paint my ceiling white to keep it neutral?

White is indeed the most common choice for a ceiling because of its lightness and loftiness, but that doesn’t make it a universally good solution.

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Some rooms need extra drama or elegance, and that can be achieved with darker ceilings. As we already said, ceilings have significant influence on how a room looks and feels.

How to make the right choice?

Let us draw your attention to the most important things that need to be considered when heading to paint your ceilings:

Warm them up

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Large rooms that have high ceilings are not that warm or homey, and they happen to look impersonal despite of the effort you invest to furnish them, paint them, or choose proper flooring. Most of the time, efforts will lead to a half-empty room, and you’ll have no idea what to do next.

Experimenting with deeper shades is allowed in this case, because it helps you balance even the biggest and most open space. We recommend soft sheens of rich cocoa, pearl or eggshell.

There is nothing to worry about: there is just enough space from the ceiling to the floor, meaning that even a darker one won’t disrupt the illusion of space you were trying to achieve. Even more: you will get a bold and beautiful accent piece to attract attention.

With all that in mind, you should consider darker and bolder colors only for ceilings higher than 8 feet. Dark and low is not a good combination, as it produces heavy interiors that are not pleasant to the eyes and the mind.

Light colors make ceilings look higher

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The paler a ceiling is the further away from us it would appear, especially if the room has access to plenty of natural light.

That’s exactly why small room’s owners tend to choose semi-gloss or high-gloss whites for their ceilings. However, this is a knife with two blades: light colors will reflect, rather than hide the flaws and patchiness of your ceilings.

Light preferences

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Of course, it is completely up to you to choose a ceiling color you like, but you need to consider the type of room you have before doing whatever.

The first things to evaluate are spaciousness and ‘space illusion’, according to which light ceilings are always a better option (they are even compulsory in darker rooms). A good reason to opt for light nuances is that they make ceilings appear higher and the room bigger.

Light ceilings are good balancing tools that ‘calm’ spaces filled with dark tones, creating a visual connection and a united flow in every room.

It won’t be noticeable at first sight, but guests will definitely understand there is a natural bond that ‘pulls the place together’. Textured ceilings are also better when they are light, since any darker tone would reduce the power of their beautiful, rough patterns.

Give wall colors a purpose

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Both angled and arched ceilings will look dramatic if you apply the same color you have on the walls. The focus will automatically shift from the ceiling to those architecture elements that you want to see standing out.

There are many solutions you can apply on high, arched ceilings, molded and detailed trims in order to make them look unique. You can obtain a monochromatic look by applying the same paint on walls and ceilings, but using off-whites for the trims.

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Rooms with compatible walls and ceilings can also use a bit more of contrast, achieved with crowns, baseboard moldings, and chair rails. You can even go a bit darker with the crown molding to make the environment look more dramatic. Even if this solution ‘lowers’ the ceiling, it has an overall effect of warmth and coziness.

The importance of light

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The point with lighting is that it is usually positioned downwards, and that’s the way we need it to be. However, this means that the ceiling ‘stays in the shadow’, which is something you should have into account when choosing its colors.

You should pick a balanced tone, one that is neither too dark nor too light. However, darker tones are acceptable for rooms that have access to plenty of natural light.

Eye deception

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Consider the 6-12 inches brand around the ceiling’s perimeter and paint it to match your walls. There are many tricks that can help you make the walls look taller, and the room higher than it actually is.

Colorful ceiling solutions for children

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Fancying up a youngster’s room is a challenge, but the good side of the process is that there are endless possibilities. We would recommend you to wake up the artist inside you, and take a look through your child’s eyes in order to understand what he/she wants.

This is a ‘win-win’ solution, meaning that you will employ entertaining painting across for children to enjoy, but not to be able to touch at the same time. Paint the ceiling with your youngster’s favorite color, but add few double-toned stripes to keep the room open.

Does plain white ever work?

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It does, all depends on the circumstances. Painting an entire ceiling white is a good solution for rooms where you’ve already worked on eye-catchy artwork or intriguing wallpapers. The role of the white ceiling would be to direct focus on those parts, rather than itself.

What you need to remember here is that there are many types of white, depending on its undertones and varying reaction to daylight. For instance, you could buy ‘warm ceiling white’ from many popular paint brands, a specially produced self-priming paint which looks rich and beautiful even with one coat.

Ceiling murals

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Mural paintings are ideal for creative and brave people, who can paint them on their own or hire professional help. Murals should cover ceilings in reception rooms, because they ‘behave’ as sophisticated conversation incentives.

Wondering whether murals would attract attention? Take the Sistine Chapel as an example! Of course, we don’t expect you to be Michelangelo and to create something as awesome as the Creation of Adam, but a slice of your personal inspiration can have an awesome effect too.

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Besides, there are many affordable replicas of famous murals that have comparable museum-quality, and are at the same time easy to stick and pill.

Make sure that special ceilings look special

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The reason why we opt for grid or coffered ceilings is their potential to use paint in an eye-attractive manner. Instead of making your ceiling plain white, you can do that with the raised grid and ‘coordinate’ the inner part with your walls. If you applied stained wood on the trims/ceiling, paint the inner panel white in order to ensure interesting contrast.