Painting Your Ceiling a Color: the Forgotten Fifth Wall

painted color ceiling

Dramatic crown molding is set off even more by the colored ceiling.

When painting a room, we focus on the walls. The ceiling is a room’s surface, also, but that is most often painted the default white. This fifth wall shouldn’t be forgotten as it’s a great opportunity to inject interest and drama by using color on the ceiling.

The photo here shows a room with a great deal of architectural interest with the crown molding around the ceiling. But what takes it up a notch is the ceiling painted a color. The woodwork pops against with the contrast and your eye is drawn up; it also makes the room feel taller.

Here’s a few tips for colored ceilings:

  • If your room doesn’t have crown molding, don’t despair. Painting the ceiling a contrasting color from the walls will add a similar effect. Taping off and painting a line of slightly darker color a couple of inches high at the seam of the wall and ceiling will heighten the effect.
  • If your walls are dark, go lighter on the ceiling.
  • If the walls are light colored, consider extending that color up into the ceiling: the wall lines disappear, making the room feel taller. This works well for a small room, also, making it appear taller and larger.
  • The opposite is true if your rooms are tall; paint a dark color on the ceiling to make the room feel less cavernous and more cozy.
  • Go bold. You don’t have to stay in the same color family as the walls. For example, contrast blue walls with a soft peach (its complement) on the ceiling. See this post on complementary colors for tips.
  • A bedroom is a perfect place for a colored ceiling. You spend a lot of time looking at it when in bed: make it something pleasing to be the first thing you see when you wake.

See our Pinterest board on creative ceiling colors for inspiration!


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