The ceiling represents one-sixth of the space in most rooms, but too often it gets nothing more than a coat of white paint, even when a Waterloo Region home is carefully being staged for sale. In fact, for decades, in the minds of many – including lots of interior design and decor experts – white has been considered not only the safest but also the best choice for ceilings.
There are undoubtedly times when white really is the perfect solution, but if you never consider anything beyond ordinary white, you may be missing an opportunity to add excitement and flair and extra aesthetic appeal to a room. Here are some things to keep in mind when deciding on a colour for your ceilings.
Light vs. Dark Ceiling
In most cases, ceilings that painted a colour that is lighter than that used on the walls feel higher, while those that are darker feel lower. However, lower does not have to mean claustrophobic: Visually lowered ceilings can evoke cozy intimacy, especially in large rooms.
Just as is the case for walls, natural light will play a big role in just how a paint colour appears on a ceiling, which may be rather different than it does on a paint swatch, in the can and even on the walls. Yes, it’s extra work and may even be something of a pain but try to find a way to swatch the ceiling with the paint shade you are considering and vire them in several different lights.
Ceiling paint is usually flat, but an eggshell or satin finish paint offers just a hint of reflective sheen, which is actually a plus if you’re using a darker color. However, that a ceiling must be in near-perfect condition to take a sheened paint as they can seriously call attention to even the smallest flaws.
White Ceiling Tips and Tricks
So you are going to go with a white. But there are right and wrong ways to go about it in order to make the most of what a white ceiling has to offer, as well as some little tricks that can elevate its aesthetic appeal even further:
A white ceiling offsets intense wall color: bold coloured walls look crisp and sharp, and the ceiling feels higher. If the walls are pale and therefore space-expanding, a white ceiling opens the space even more.
In rooms that receive very little natural light, a white ceiling helps boost the perceived illumination by reflecting whatever light is available.
Like any other color element in the room, a white ceiling needs an echo, something to help integrate it into the scheme: Woodwork, carpet, draperies, and even bedding can serve the purpose.
Which white is right? The basic ceiling white can look too stark and clinical, but paint companies offer a range of cool and warm whites, so select one with the warm or cool undertones you’d like to bring into your room.
Want to break away from white altogether? Here are some terrific pastel colors to consider for a ceiling:
— Sky blue
— Pale peach
— Butter yellow
— Blush pink
— Warm tan
These softer shades are all still very light and neutral, and when paired with a complimentary, and perhaps a little bolder, shade for the walls the combination can breathe new life into even the dullest of rooms.
Other Ceiling Painting Tips
Here are just a few more ideas to keep in mind if you are planning to give your ceiling the extra TLC it really does deserve.
- If you’d like to repeat your wall colour on your ceiling, but want the look to be lighter, dilute the wall paint with white in a ratio of about 80 percent white to 20 percent wall color.
- If a room is oddly shaped and has a multiangled ceiling, carrying the wall color across the ceiling can simplify the shape and unify the space.
- A same-color ceiling seems lower, so it makes a room with lofty proportions feel more intimate. Applying the same color to walls and ceiling also makes your painting job easier, because you won’t have to tape off the molding at the ceiling line.
- Whether you show off the crown molding and other trim with a contrasting color or paint them to blend in depends on your personal preferences. Highlighting the trim accents the architecture and calls attention to its shape.
- Vaulted, cathedral, or multiangled ceilings can pose a special problem. Where do you start and stop color? In low attics, carrying the same color across the ceiling from wall to wall is a practical solution.