Thursday, September 2, 2010

To Paint Or Not To Paint ...The Ceiling

While we're talking about painting tips and tricks this week, I'd like to share a favorite tip - adding color to your ceiling. I love adding a color to ceilings. It adds dimension and depth to a room. More importantly, however, it softens the harshness of a very white ceiling. Case in point is this music room, where the white ceiling absolutely shouted  and detracted much of the attention from the beautiful and unique room.
Our solution was to paint both the wall and the ceilings a different color. However, had we wanted to keep the red walls, the ceiling could have been softened with a complementary beige or gray. (If you'd like to know why we changed the color to a golden beige instead of the red, that is a whole other set of tips on paint colors. It's explained in a previous post Before & After: Choosing Wall Color.)

A technique that I use very often is to choose the wall color (read this post on Choosing Paint Color), then have that same color mixed to 50% strength to use on the ceiling. This technique was used in the above photo of the music room and also on the bedroom below. The ceiling slopes upward and the lighter color is used in the center most ceiling section.

 Why a 50% tint? 
First, you know that the colors will work together and you won't have to worry about the undertones and selecting coordinating colors. Also, it is important to paint the ceilings a lighter color than the wall color. First, a lighter ceiling does help a room feel taller. Secondly, colors on a horizontal surface will always appear darker than on a vertical surface, particularly with the way that interior lighting hits walls and ceilings.  Again, looking at the music room, the ceiling paint is a 50% tint to the wall color, but it looks the same as the wall color in this lighting. Had it been a 100% tint, the ceiling would have appeared darker.

The 50% does not work well with very bold colors such as reds or blues, however. A 50% tint will give you pink or a light blue ceiling. In these cases you are better served by finding a neutral beige or gray to compliment the wall color. I'll be looking for more beautiful rooms with painted ceilings to share with you.

Beautiful Habitat: Interior Design & Decoration

1 comment:

Jane @ The Borrowed Abode said...

Oh yes. I love a painted ceiling. It just seems so much more streamlined. I first realized it could work out of laziness. When I painted my old bedroom, I kept getting paint on the ceiling. So I just decided to keep the paint going. It was so cozy, and so much nicer to lie in bed looking up at a pretty color. However, it was terra cotta...definitely wish I'd gone with 50% tint.

We painted the ceiing in the new bedroom, which has white molding, so I really love how it looks!


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