Dos and Don’ts of Painted Ceilings

November 13, 2018

Painted ceilings can make a big difference in how a room looks and feels. The color you choose for the ceiling can end up making or breaking the room. So, you want to make sure you work with your custom home designer to get it right. In general, design rules should be taken with a grain of salt. Depending on how the rest of your room is structured and designed, you may be able to get away with breaking some rules and still have a gorgeous room. With that in mind, here are some general dos and don’ts of painted ceilings to keep in mind:

3 Dos of Painted Ceilings

Painting your ceiling is one of the ceiling design ideas to help it stand out. When you start thinking about painted ceilings, here are some tips to follow in general.

1. Do Follow the Wall Colors

Any easy way to choose a paint color for your ceiling is to follow the wall colors. In some cases, you can get away with painting the ceiling the same color as the walls. This is often a popular decision for bathrooms and bathroom ceiling ideas, but can sometimes fall flat in rooms with larger ceilings.

2. Do Cut the Color by Half-Strength

If you do end up choosing the same color as the walls for the ceiling, go with half-strength for the ceiling. Since ceilings tend to look darker than the walls because of their placement, going half-strength on the color will offer a slight contrast. This also ensures it doesn’t end up being too dark in comparison to the walls. This rule usually does not apply with dark colors or very pale colors.

3. Do Stick to a Palette

You do want to make sure you stick to a color palette for the room. Too many bright colors can be overwhelming and too many neutrals can be boring, so it’s important to strike a balance that works for you. A palette can help keep you on track as you plan out that balance. It is possible to incorporate a few bright colors into a room for a dramatic flair without overwhelming a room, but it’s usually better to tackle this with the help of a custom home designer.

3 Don’ts of Painted Ceilings

As you think about painted ceilings, here are some general don’ts to avoid:

1. Don’t Ignore Your Tray Ceilings

Tray ceilings are a great architectural feature and they add a lot of options for various painted surfaces. You can paint the tray of your ceiling, the perimeter, only the vertical surface, only the horizontal surface, work with stencils for a unique design, and more. You can also paint the vertical surfaces of the tray ceiling the same color as the walls for an interesting look. There are a ton of options to choose from and you don’t want to miss out.

2. Don’t Paint the Ceiling a Darker Color

There are definitely exceptions to this rule as there are plenty of ways to pull it off for a creative and elegant look. For the most, you want to avoid a darker color than the walls on the ceiling unless it is a high ceiling. Lower ceilings with a paint color darker than the walls can often come across as heavy, like it’s pressing down on the room, and can make a room look and feel smaller.

3. Don’t Saturate Textured Ceilings with Color

This is another rule that can be broken with high vaulted ceilings or for a creative twist if it’s done right. In general, you want to stick with whites or creams with heavily textured ceilings. Texture draws the eye anyway and color will only draw it more, which can be overwhelming. Depending on the height of the ceiling, the type of ceiling texture, and the paint color, it can create a heavy atmosphere. There is also the chance that the texture on the ceiling creates too many shadows, which will look odd with more vibrant or saturated colors.

These are all general dos and don’ts of painted ceilings, which is one of the types of ceilings to consider for your custom home. When it comes to design, sometimes the rules don’t apply and are meant to be broken. As you work with your custom home designer to narrow down a palette and paint colors, keep these tips in mind while also staying open-minded to breaking the rules if your designer recommends it.