Should You Paint Your Ceiling a Color? See When to Say Yes

If you look at Pinterest and Instagram, chances are you are seeing lots of rooms with painted ceilings. By painted I mean, a color choice that is not ceiling white. Some of my favorite design blogs (Chris Loves Julia bonus room) have been showcasing some incredible rooms where the walls are the same color as the ceiling.

I’m in the process of painting bedrooms in my house and I wondered, should I change the ceiling color? I love the way painted ceilings look, but will I grow tired of this?

Would you consider painting your ceilings the same color as the wall? I’m going to give you a few reasons to consider it and a few others that might convince you to stick to white ceiling paint.

PROs Of Painting Your Ceiling A Color

Here are four reasons to consider painting your ceilings a color along with a few pictures.

  • 5th Wall – Many professional interior designers consider the ceiling to be the fifth wall. It’s often overlooked and painting it can add a really finished look to your entire room. Ceilings are rarely painted a color, so it can give you a new look and set your room apart.
  • Cozy Vibe – Monochromatic rooms, where the ceiling, walls and trim color are all the same can have a dramatic effect. This monochromatic look gives the room a very cozy, comfortable feeling and highlight any unique architectural features. This can work well in places like a bedroom, a library or a media room.
  • Larger Feeling – In some rooms, like a basement, painting the ceiling the same color as the walls can make the room look and feel larger. If you have lower ceilings, this is a good trick.
  • Stand Outs – I found more examples in European rooms than in the US. If you want your room to stand out, paint your ceiling.

Cons of Painting Your Ceiling

Now for the downside of painting your ceiling.

  • Difficult to DIY -If you are painting the ceiling yourself, it can be a neck breaker unless you have the right tools. Rolling for an hour with you head back is painful.
  • Expensive -If you’re hiring professional painters, the ceiling is an added expense.
  • Makes Ceiling Feel Closer – If you have high ceilings, painting the ceiling the same color as the walls can make them feel lower. If you have high ceilings, this is a good feature, so keeping the ceiling a light color makes the room feel brighter and more open (less cozy).
  • May Be Bad For Resale – You might notice if you’re looking at houses for sale that NONE have the ceilings painted different colors other than bright white. Unless the buyer loves your color palette, the best thing for resale is to keep the celings white. A painted ceiling won’t be a selling feature.

Should Ceiling Paint Be Flat?

Most ceilings are painted flat white paint because the flat finish hides imperfections. If you decide to paint the ceiling the same color as the walls, consider painting it with flat paint instead of eggshell unless the ceiling is wood.

If you’re lucky enough to have wood planks on your ceiling, don’t use flat paint.

Should The Ceiling Be Painted First?

I spoke with a professional painter, Dan Keenan, to get the answer. He’s been painting houses for 30 years. According to Dan, if you’re painting a room, you paint the ceilings first.

Why does this make sense? If the ceilings are a different color than the walls, it’s easier to go back and clean up any mistakes when you paint the walls.

When it comes to choosing the best ceiling paint colors, it really comes down to personal preference, but it’s good to know white is not the only option. It depends if you are going for a moody, cozy space with a darker hue or bold color or an open, bright space with a light hue or neutral color. You also should consider if you have a large space or small space and the height of your ceilings. I hope this helps you if you’re trying to decide whether you should paint your ceilings a color and if so what the best color is for your particular space.

Before you go you might be interested in 13 questions to ask a painter before you hire them or why painters don’t use rollers to paint.

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