How to Choose a Ceiling Color

Whether you’re selecting colors for an extensive interior revamp, or would love a minor refresh to jazz up your space, we have four words for you: don’t forget the ceiling! Sometimes called the “fifth wall” our ceilings are, after all, a sixth of our living space. But unlike floors and walls, ceilings are usually an afterthought, sometimes treated with a texture but nearly always painted a generic, flat shade of white. Have you ever wondered if a white ceiling is the end-all? While it is certainly the norm, it doesn’t have to be the rule.

Why a White Ceiling Works

White ceilings have long been the go-to choice for both residential and commercial projects. And this is with good reason––there are pros to choosing white ceilings. 

Light: White reflects light, making your entire room brighter.

Uninterrupted view: A well-painted flat white surface appears to go on indefinitely and makes any room feel larger.

Visual illusion: White ceilings can create the look of a taller space.

It’s important to pay attention to how white ceilings interact with the other colors in the room. If walls are dark, the contrast of a white ceiling could draw the eye and make walls seem taller. If walls are on the pale side, white ceilings recede, keeping the focus on décor. And if a room is filled with bright colors, white ceilings could provide a spot for the eye to rest. They also highlight architectural features, like an ornate crown moulding. And if the ceiling has any imperfections, flat white paint will hide those.

If you’ve settled on white, you’ll also need to decide on a shade. Best Buy Painting professionals can help you to select the ideal white paint with the right hue to complement your room’s scheme.

When Color is a Good Idea

At times, a white ceiling can come off as bland, or as a way to make it disappear. But if the surface is in good condition, there’s no reason to hide. Painting a ceiling a hue other than white will immediately change your space in at least two ways:

Atmosphere: a darker ceiling can make rooms feel smaller and more intimate

Effect: colored ceilings can create a statement or even lend a modern feel

Of course when we talk about painting the ceiling something other than white, the options are wide and varied. Here are a few examples of common techniques:

Matching: painting ceilings the same color as walls can be restful and soothing, giving a complete feel to the room that envelops the viewer

Tone-down: slightly diluting the wall color for use on the ceiling will still unify the space while reducing the contrast from a white ceiling

Contrast: a stark color difference between contrasting walls and ceiling can be used to create a specific look or make a statement

Clearly, ceilings are an opportunity to define your space and to add character, style and individuality. If you’re unsure of which color would work best in your space, Best Buy Painting experts can offer suggestions.

Factors That Affect Your Choice

Before settling on a ceiling color, we would suggest that you think about a few key factors that can affect the outcome. Getting these points pinned down will make the choice easier and help to direct Best Buy Painting pros in their efforts to find the ideal shade for your room.

Light. Know the amount of natural light that a room receives both throughout the day and when you use the space most. The direction and intensity of both natural and artificial light sources will determine your best shade.

Ceiling shape. Asymmetrical, vaulted, or angled ceilings could employ color to either downplay or accentuate irregularities. Dark shades will unify and create closeness, while light shades tend to create an airy effect.

Finish. Flat paint prevents a shiny reflection of light that creates a visible boundary. In high-moisture environments satin or semi-gloss paints help protect ceilings from steam and allow for more abrasive cleaning.

Alternative finishes. Paint finishes beyond flat are typically employed to achieve a desired effect or deliberate style. Besides a solid coat of paint, faux finishes and paint effects can also be done. 

Color effects. Dark colors can make a room that receives a lot of natural light heat up during the day. Direct sunlight can also fade deep colors more quickly. And dark shades can highlight even very minor imperfections. 

Design features. Any color of paint can draw attention to crown moulding and other architectural features that contrast with surrounding colors. A monochromatic scheme will deemphasize these details.

Repainting. If you ever decide to repaint, deep shades are harder and more time consuming to cover. Dark shades can also be a matter of taste and might not be ideal if you are planning to sell.

Another point of interest is that ceiling-specific paint is different from paint used on walls. It is created to speed dry time, reduce splatter and dripping, require less coats, and produce a flawless, durable finish. At Best Buy Painting, we use top-quality products that are low-VOC and look great for years to come. Working with our pros you can take control of your project while still benefiting from our industry expertise and years of experience. 

Work with a Pro

Ceiling painting is a messy, awkward business. It requires the right set up and tools, especially in unusually small or large rooms. You could be tempted to tackle this project yourself, but once you take stock of everything involved, you might reason that it’s better to hire a professional. 

At Best Buy Painting, our customers’ needs are top priority. Like design professionals working in luxury homes, we give as much attention to ceilings as we do to walls, from repairing surfaces to ensuring a perfect paint finish. If you’re in the Greater Cleveland area and are interested in discovering how Best Buy Painting can change your ceilings for the better, please get in touch! 

Give us a call at 216-255-5134 or email us to set up a free, in-home consultation to discuss your project. We look forward to working with you!