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The Fifth Wall: How Painting Your Ceiling Can Transform Space

Posted by Nolan Painting on October 16, 2015
employees painting walls and ceiling

Most of us take great care in selecting paint colors for the walls in our home to create the precise look we want. Often, however, we overlook the potential of the largest paintable surface of the room: the ceiling. Ceilings act as the fifth wall, and it’s possible for you to transform the feeling of a room simply by picking the right hue for its ceiling.

While accent ceilings have become popular in recent years, painted ceilings are largely thought of as a passing trend – but erroneously so. Whether you are adding ceiling color throughout your house or want to create a special look in a single room, painting the fifth wall creates a truly customized appearance that adds to the overall appeal and beauty of your home.

Beyond the Pale

Pale paint colors can be a way of introducing vibrancy to ceilings to create a sophisticated, polished appearance without overwhelming the room. Light hues add or accentuate ceiling height and are ideal for rooms where you want to maximize the feeling of openness, including smaller spaces and areas with low ceilings. Painting your ceilings a lighter shade of your primary wall color creates visual unity while adding dimension. Pale shades are also a wonderful opportunity to bring the feeling of nature into your home: light blues mimic the color of the sky and create airiness, while light shades of yellow add the warmth of sunlight without creating the illusion of lower ceilings.

Continuity of Color

Painting your ceiling the same hue as the walls gives your home a cohesive, elegant look, enveloping you in color. The versatile nature of monochromatic paint schemes can pull a large room together while creating a soothing ambiance in smaller spaces. Here, you have the option of also painting trim the same shade for a continuous plane of color that can create an immersive, modern feel that is very pleasing to the eye. On the other hand, you can still take advantage of contrast with a continual wall-and-ceiling color scheme by putting baseboards, crown moldings, and door trim center stage and painting them white. This can be an opportunity to let the details of your home shine while breaking up the space.

If you want your walls and ceiling to appear chromatically identical, you may need to get creative with your paint selection. Ceilings naturally appear darker than walls due to the difference in light exposure. To compensate for this, we recommend that you use a ceiling paint that is half the strength of your wall color. Using samples to test the hues on the surfaces you want to paint is particularly critical in this instance to ensure that you know what they look like outside the paint can and on your walls and ceiling.

Increasing Intimacy

Large rooms and spaces with very high ceilings can look cold and stark when the ceilings are white. Using a hue several shades darker than the wall color will visually draw the ceiling down while adding warmth and coziness to transform a sterile space into an inviting oasis. Choosing paints with a hint of sheen can enhance the appeal of darker ceilings and keep them from feeling oppressive. Because darker colors make ceilings appear lower, this technique should generally be avoided in spaces without ample ceiling height.

Making the Most of Design Features

Ceiling paint offers you numerous possibilities for accentuating design features in your home. Painting tray or coffered ceilings in deeper hues draw the eye upwards and make architectural detailing stand out while adding dimension to your space. If you have wallpaper in your home, painting the ceiling the same color as the background of the paper finishes the look and keeps your ceiling from looking bare in contrast to the richness of the paper. The intricacies and charm of ceiling medallions can also be brought to the forefront by surrounding them with contrasting hues.

Bringing in the Pros

While painted ceilings sound great in the abstract, many people are hesitant to try them both due to uncertainty regarding color choice and the difficulty of DIY ceiling painting. At Nolan Painting, we have the expertise and professional interior painting experience to alleviate both these concerns. We offer free paint color consultations with our color consultants to help you select the perfect palette for your ceilings. Once you have chosen your colors, our experienced painters will realize your vision while taking great care to protect the surfaces of your home. If your ceilings have texture variation or irregularities that will interfere with an ideal finish, we can address those prior to painting to ensure a beautiful, consistent result. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you beautify your home.