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Should I Paint My Ceiling White?

Should I Paint My Ceiling White?

Ceilings are the oft-forgotten piece of many home design projects. While there are many ways to spruce up a ceiling, the most recent trend has been to simply paint it something other than white.  But, is that a good idea?  Read on for some tips to help you decide what will be best in your space…

In the past ceilings were typically painted “ceiling white.”  White ceilings tend to recede in the room, making them almost unnoticeable in the space.  Lately, though, designers and homeowners alike have been opting for more interesting colors over their heads.  While there can be great reasons to paint your ceiling a different color, it doesn’t work well in every situation.

Ceiling white

If you have very high ceilings – 12 feet or more – painting them a color deeper than white could be a great option.  Darker colors on the ceiling make the ceiling feel lower.  While this can be a problem in a room with shorter ceilings, in a room with vaulted ceilings this effect can be just what you want.  A deeper ceiling color can bring the ceiling down to a more “human scale,” so the room doesn’t feel so high and cold.  It can serve to warm up the space, making a giant room feel cozier.

Specialty spaces sometimes call for a darker ceiling color, as well.  In home media rooms, where the primary purpose of the room is watching movies and television, painting the ceiling dark can enhance the home theater effect.  Movie theaters are always dark, making the movie screen the focus of the space.  Keeping the ceiling white in a media room can just feel too bright and reflective, drawing attention away from the film.

In other spaces, there are some things to think about before choosing a ceiling color for the room.  First, take a look at the ceiling and see if there is a way to paint the ceiling a new color without continuing that color throughout the entire house.  In many newer homes with open floor plans, there are few walls to serve as breaking points in the ceiling.  So, if you decide to paint your living room ceiling a different color, you may end up having to run that color throughout your kitchen, dining room and entry foyer!  If that doesn’t appeal to you, it may be a better option to stick with white ceilings.

ceiling color

Also, consider how often you tend to change your wall colors.  If you like to change up your wall colors regularly, and you paint your ceiling a color that works with your current wall color, you may have to repaint your ceiling every time you paint your walls.  Since many folks despise painting ceilings, take this into consideration before you paint your ceiling a color other than white.

Typically, smooth ceiling textures look better in color than do ceilings with popcorn or knockdown textures.  Make sure you like the look of your ceiling color with your ceiling texture before you proceed.

The advantage to painting your ceiling white is that it reflects light in the room, making it feel brighter and more spacious.  It also allows you to repaint your walls without repainting your ceiling every single time.

foyer ceiling

If you decide to go for a color on your ceiling, how do you choose one?  You have several options, depending on the look you desire.  First, you can paint your ceiling in a lighter shade of the color you used for the walls.  This is an easy way to make sure everything coordinates and that the ceiling doesn’t get too dark.  Another option is to paint the walls and the ceiling the same color.  Your wall color will look darker on the ceiling due to shadowing, so this option works best with lighter hues or in home theaters where a dark space is desired.  The third option is to paint the ceiling a color that contrasts with the wall color.  For example, in a sunroom, you could paint the walls a warm ivory while painting the ceiling sky blue to bring the feeling of the outdoors inside.

Whether you decide to keep your ceilings white or experiment with a deeper hue, don’t forget to look up when you redecorate your next room.  What you do on the ceiling can have a big impact on the feeling and the function of the space.

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One Response to Should I Paint My Ceiling White?

  1. […] Treatments Posted on January 30, 2013 by Teri • 0 CommentsIn an effort to follow-up on yesterday’s article about ceiling colors, I thought this would be a great time to post some inspiration for fabulous ceiling treatments. […]

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