Ceilings have frequently been decorated with fresco painting, mosaic tiles and other surface treatments. Ceilings are often the Forgotten Fifth Wall in a room. Too often, little thought is given to a ceiling’s contribution to the overall room design, which is typically just coated in some ubiquitous white paint.
While hard to execute (at least in place) a decorated ceiling has the advantage that it is largely protected from damage by fingers and dust. In the past, however, this was more than compensated for by the damage from smoke from candles or a fireplace. Many historic buildings have celebrated ceilings. Perhaps the most famous is the Sistine Chapel ceiling by Michelangelo.
Look at your ceilings from a new perspective. Color, sheen, pattern, and texture on the ceiling can transform the entire look and feel of a room. So the next time you’re ready to refresh the look of a room and don’t know where to begin—look up!
Below are a few ceiling color tips and ideas to help transform your space:
Warm it Up
A large room with high ceilings can feel impersonal or unbalanced when furnishings, floor coverings and accessories visually occupy the bottom half of a room, leaving the top bare.
In this case, experiment with a ceiling color in a deeper shade. For example, a rich cocoa in a soft sheen, such as eggshell or pearl, will cozy up and balance a large open space.
Dress it Up
Consider experimenting with glazes on your ceiling, including metallic and pearlescent effects. Benjamin Moore offers a complete line of specialty finishes. Watch videos to learn how-to techniques for glazes.
Our specialty plasters can elevate your ceiling to an art form, adding texture, color and dimension. See ideas you can try yourself or explore with your professional specialty finish contractor. You can also get great ceiling color and design ideas for decorative paint finishes from our book, Paint Style.
Open it Up
Make a small room or room with a low ceiling feel larger by keeping the color contrast between the walls and ceilings to a minimum. The pale yellow ceiling over wheat-colored walls in this room allows your eyes to gently travel upward without the stark demarcation created by a bright white ceiling (think of how the sky naturally lightens in an ombre effect as it approaches the sun).
For the best effect, choose ceiling colors in a flat sheen. Benjamin Moore Waterborne Ceiling Paint has been specially formulated for an ultra-flat finish. It absorbs light, and has the lowest reflective quality of any ceiling paint on the market, so it hides imperfections and prevents light from bouncing off in distracting directions, leaving you nothing but pure, beautiful color overhead.
So Don’t Forget Your “Fifth Wall”
Ceilings truly are a blank canvas for your creative expression, and as a bonus, you don’t have to worry about smudgy fingerprints or furniture nicks. And painting your ceiling is a budget-friendly way to give any room in your home a new, inviting look. With a stunning ceiling to look at, it’ll be easy to keep your chin up!