Colour Ideas For Painting the Ceiling

Colour for the ceiling not white
Ceiling in Benjamin Moore Chestertown Buff HC-9

Discussing painting ideas for the ceiling never seems to be a priority during  colour consultations. Not painting the ceiling is an easy way to save money when painting the house. Sometimes it is in good condition or heavily textured and not painting it makes a lot of sense. What is often overlooked is the decorative value of a painted ceiling. There is now an increasing trend to decorate with colour, what some decorating professionals call the fifth wall.

If you think about it, your ceiling is one of the largest, unbroken, uncluttered areas of space in your home.

Chances are it’s probably also one of the only areas you haven’t given any decorative thought to. While there are many different ways you can update and enhance your ceiling, paint is one of the simplest and least expensive. Best of all, paint gives you a lot of different options to enhance your ceiling with.

5 Ways Paint Can Enhance Your Ceiling

Colour can do a lot of things, from brightening a room to visually changing the size and shape of a space. Therefore, it’s not inconceivable to think that it can also help transform your room when applied to the ceiling. These 5 ideas will help you make the most of this previously unutilized space.

Create a Dramatic Design

If you’ve painted a room a fresh new colour, but it still isn’t quite popping the way you think it should, consider adding a coat of paint to the ceiling as well. Putting a bold or dramatic colour in this unexpected area can make the look and feel of the entire room different.

The key is to find a colour that coordinates with – but doesn’t clash or blend with – the wall colour. Examples of this include painting the ceiling burnt orange when the walls are chocolate brown, or painting the ceiling a light blue/gray when the walls are red.

Make the Room Look Taller

Is your ceiling close and right overhead? If so, consider using paint to make it look further away. The key here is to use two different colours of paint, and create the look of a faux-tray ceiling.

Begin by extending the wall colour about 12-inches onto the ceiling. This will create the optical illusion that the walls are taller than they really are. Next, paint the ceiling a very light, cool colour. This may be white, but if white is too stark against the wall colour, consider using a very light gray, blue, or taupe instead. The effect is a ceiling that is further away in the center, with taller walls around the sides.

Create a Playful Design

If you have a child’s bedroom or playroom that needs a little extra colour, look to the ceiling to bring to the space. Pick a single bold colour, like yellow, red, or blue, and add it to the ceiling in a pattern. This may mean painting bold yellow stripes across the ceiling, or it may mean painting some blue polka dots. Have some fun with colour and decorating in this area.

Add Some Texture

While you wouldn’t ordinarily think of wallpapering your ceiling, there is a type of paintable wallpaper designed just for ceiling use. It comes in rolls like ordinary wallpaper, but is meant to be cut into squares. It has a raised, repeating pattern on it that – when applied to the ceiling – mimics the look of an old fashioned tin ceiling. The wallpaper itself has no colour, so once it’s up it’s meant to be painted. Give it a solid coat of white for a subtle look, or consider painting it with metallic silver or gold to create the look of a real tin ceiling.

White is  not the only ceiling colour

Cool whites have their place but try a softer white

Brighten a Room

While white is certainly a bright colour, in the room shade it can cast a blue-white glare that is not only harsh on the eyes, but doesn’t do anything to brighten the interior of the room as well. If the room you’re working in has natural light, but isn’t as bright as it could be, consider adding a very soft, warm colour to the ceiling. The key here is to use just a wash of colour that will tone down the bright white, brightening the room below without adding any glare.

Update Your Ceiling

These are just a few of the ways that paint can be used to transform a room through the ceiling. Consider painting your ceiling to give your whole house a makeover. When meeting with your painting contractor discuss these options. The cost difference may not be substantial and the colours and textures available may surprise you.

Decorating tips were created for Ecopainting by Sarabeth Asaff .

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