Ceiling Decorating Tips

Painting a ceiling
  • 2-20 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 0-1,000

People often spend a lot of time picking out their wall coverings and floor coverings, but totally ignore their ceilings. In fact, most white ceiling paints barely contain any pigment. The pigment is important because white is a color and not simply the absence of color. The right color, texture, and trim can enhance the proportions of a room, change the feeling in a room, and compensate for any physical drawbacks while bestowing it with a specific style.

Ceiling Colors for Colored Walls

While white is popular because of its neutrality, it is not the best color for a ceiling. White can make a ceiling appear closer in a room with a low ceiling, yet will also make a ceiling seem farther away in rooms with high ceilings. Whenever possible, try to add some color to your ceiling.

A simple way to do this is to use a shade of the wall color. The perfect hue can be created by mixing one part of the wall's paint with two or three parts pure white. Moldings can be painted the same color or a shade darker than the ceilings. By using shades of the same color, you ensure all the tones look good together.

Ceiling Colors for White Walls

Even if your walls are white, this doesn't mean your ceilings have to be white. Color on the ceiling gives a room dimension and flair. Using soft hues will make the room open up because they evoke feelings of the outdoors. It can be sky blue, sunset peach, or sunlight yellow. If you want to bring the ceiling down, consider painting it a dark color such as navy, chocolate, or charcoal.

Ceiling Colors for Dark Rooms

If you have a dark room, consider painting the ceiling with a high-gloss finish that will amplify the room's available light. This can be tricky because high-gloss paint will highlight any flaws in the surface. In small spaces, such as an entryway, a mirror can be installed on the ceiling. It will add height and light to the small space.

Covering Ceiling Imperfections

If your ceiling has flaws, there are numerous ways to mask them. False beams can be used to mask electrical wires or patched cracks. An ugly ceiling could be covered with beadboard panels or wainscoting.

Ceiling Decorating Tips

The panels can be stained or painted depending on the style you want to create. Fabric can also be used to hide the surface of the ceiling. A tented fabric ceiling will give the room a more intimate feel. However, you can also shirr the fabric.

Ceiling Wallpaper

Wallpapering the ceiling is also a good way to cover up an ugly or damaged ceiling. Heavily embossed wallpaper can add an old-world flavor to a room and do not have to be used over the entire ceiling. They can be framed with a wallpaper border or wood molding.

Tin Ceilings

Tin ceilings can also interest and cover flaws while reflecting more light in a dark area. They come in a variety of colors and finishes including brass, copper, chrome, tin, antique pewter, and antique copper.

Ceiling Decorating Tips

If a tin ceiling is out of your price range, you can get faux tin ceiling tiles made from recycled paper that simulate the look of tin. The tiles are lightweight and can be attached to the ceiling with adhesive. They also have a tongue-and-groove design that makes them very easy to install.

Ceiling Effects on Room Noise

If you want to make the room quieter, acoustical ceiling systems are also available. Soserene is a company that makes both fabric and wood ceiling systems that are designed to absorb sound. The wood ceiling comes pre-finished and is available in three different finishes. The fabric ceiling is available in white and resembles a plastered ceiling. In addition, they are easy enough to install that you can do it yourself.

Ceiling Accessories

Crown moldings are a great way to frame a beautifully painted ceiling.

Ceiling Decorating Tips

If you apply it to both the tops of the walls and the edges of the ceiling, you can give the illusion that the ceilings are higher than they really are. If you have a room with a really low ceiling or one where cabinets take up most of the wall space, place the molding or a wallpaper border only on the ceiling. This will bring the eye up and make the ceiling appear higher.

High Ceilings

You can also take your ceiling color and carry it down onto your walls about one foot. This turns the ceiling into a sort of lid and the subtle color contrast between the lid and the walls will make the ceiling appear higher. This should only be done if the ceiling is painted a lighter hue of the wall color.

Partial Ceiling Paint

If you do not want to paint the whole ceiling, consider painting only portions of it. Three large diamonds, a few circles, or another pattern can add visual interest to the room but will be easier to do than painting the entire ceiling.

Your ceiling doesn't have to be boring or ignored. Use it to emphasize and enhance the decor of a room. Every time you lie in bed or on the couch, chances are you'll be looking at the ceiling. Why not give yourself something to look at by adding a little style to it. You might be surprised at how things start looking up.