Five Great Ceiling Paint Ideas

Ceiling paint

When the ceiling needs a fresh coat of paint, most of us go with a safe shade of white. But depending on the look you’re going for, white might not always be right. With so many alternative hues to choose from, you can give an otherwise traditional room a contemporary punch simply by paying some extra attention to the “fifth wall.” Here we showcase five non-white ideas:

Painted ceiling


Go monochromatic

Painting the ceiling the same color as the walls is a simple, yet effective way to give a seamless flow to a space. But remember, this method can make the entire room feel larger – or smaller – depending on the color you choose. So a small living room with a light color on the walls and ceiling feels larger, but a dark color in the same space could make it feel too confined. In a larger room, a medium to dark shade generally makes the room feel cozier, while a light shade might feel too roomy. When going with a monochromatic palette, it’s also important to add accent colors to create some visual interest and keep the room from looking flat. And if the color feels too saturated, you can always break it up with a crisp white trim.


Ceiling paint

Credit: Santarossa Mosaic & Tile Co. Inc.

Change it up

Instead of keeping the ceiling white with colored walls, change it up by doing the reverse. Leave your walls, cabinets and ceiling beams white, and give the ceiling an infusion of color. In other words, make the ceiling your accent wall. This can make an otherwise plain white room look fresh and modern. Keep in mind that ceiling paint is usually flat, but an eggshell or satin finish paint offers a hint of sheen, which can enhance a darker hue. But remember that a ceiling must be in near-perfect condition, as higher-sheen paints can draw attention to any flaws.

Ceiling murals

Credit: DKOR Interiors, Inc.

Make the ceiling the feature wall

Do something unexpected with your ceiling and make it the feature wall of the room. A splatter-painted ceiling can add an edgy element to a teen’s bedroom, while a wall mural on the ceiling can give a kid’s room something special. You could also add simple, yet bold stripes to give a classic space a burst of personality. Repeating the colors used on the ceiling in accent pieces throughout the room (think pillows, rugs and lampshades) can really pull the space together.


Painted ceiling


Create an optical illusion

Lowering the crown molding with a darker color on the ceiling can bring an added dimension to the room. This method works especially well in a room with high ceilings because it can make a large space feel a bit cozier. It gives the space a contemporary vibe, yet still feels cozy and inviting. An interesting chandelier or ceiling fan completes this look.


Painting ceilings


Merge two styles

With an exposed ceiling in a basement or a workout room, a splash of paint on those steel beams, ductwork or rafters can lower the ceiling so the room doesn’t feel quite so industrial. For a job like this, you’ll need a paint sprayer instead of a brush and roller. While this does typically require more paint, it isn’t as time consuming. What’s more, it instantly adds some contrast to the room, so your otherwise typical basement or bonus room can work with a ceiling that says “modern industrial.”

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