Ceilings Really Are the Fifth Wall: Choosing Paint Colors for Your Ceiling

Ceilings Really Are the Fifth Wall

Hello friends!  We have a question for you.  How much time have you spent thinking about your ceilings?  If you’re like most people, the answer is, probably not very much.  When your ceiling needs to be painted, you go to the paint or hardware store and grab a few gallons of flat white ceiling paint, right?  You paint your walls a pretty color, maybe freshen up the trim, slap on that white ceiling paint, and call it a day.  Is that wrong?  Well, no, of course not.  In many cases our ceilings should just fade into the background and let other elements take center stage.  But not in every case.  Sometimes your ceiling should get to be the star of the show, or at least get to play a best supporting role, and that is why people say that your ceiling is the fifth wall.

How Plaster and Drywall Affect the way Ceiling Paint Looks

What are some factors that can affect the way your ceiling looks and/or accepts paint?  To begin, a smooth skim-coat plaster wall or ceiling produces the smoothest, most seamless look and receives paint the best, in our opinion.  Secondly, a drywalled ceiling also receives paint well and offers a smooth painted finish.  We recommend flat paint so any seams or blemishes are not highlighted; paints with shiny finishes make imperfections more noticeable.  Textured ceilings can be painted, but tend not to blend as seamlessly into the wall.  For that reason, we recommend a soft white paint in a flat finish.  

Since ceilings are your fifth wall, if your budget allows, give them a little attention with beadboard, beams, wood panels, colored paint, or even wallpaper or tin panels.

What Color Should you Paint Your Ceiling?  

Well, that depends on what you are trying to accomplish.  If you want your ceiling to fade into the background, then you should paint it flat white or a soft off-white (depending on your trim, hard finishes, and decor).  A white ceiling makes the room look lighter and brighter, while a dark ceiling can give a room a cave-like feel (think man-cave or home theater).  

Should you Paint Your Ceilings the Same Color as the Walls?

Another option is to paint your ceiling the same color as the wall, but use caution here.  If done well, especially if your ceilings are high, this can actually make a room look larger; however, if ceilings are low and color is not properly planned, it can have the opposite effect.  Painting walls and ceilings the same color can also help to unify rooms with awkward angles.  

Painting Your Ceiling in a Room with lots of Windows

If you are working with a room with lots of windows and you want a light, airy feel, choose a flat white paint.  

Following are Some of the Best Ceiling Paint Colors.

We love the following Benjamin Moore paint colors for your ceiling:

Ideas for Fresh White Ceiling Paint

OC-159 Decorator’s White

OC-65 Chantilly Lace

OC- 61 White Diamond

OC- 117 Simply White (can go fresh or warm)

Ideas for Warm White Ceiling Paint

OC- 57 White Heron

OC – 117 Simply White (can go fresh or warm)

OC- 17  White Dove

OC – 130 Cloud White

Ideas for a Soft Pop of Color on Your Ceiling

2316-60 Harbor Haze (blue)

1646 Lookout Point (blue)

2009-70 Powder Pink (yes, pink!)

881 Pink Essence (very pale pink)

2022-70 Creme Brulee (pale yellow)

Ideas For a Dramatic Look on Your Ceiling

2434-30 Iron Mountain (deep charcoal)

HC-154 Hale Navy (very dark navy; consider for a dining room with white trim)

2124-10 Wrought Iron (consider for your man-cave)

2125-10 Black Panther 

A ceiling painted a color can be so much fun!  A pale blue ceiling reminiscent of the sky can work in almost any room, but is especially nice in foyers, living rooms, and on porches (ever heard of haint blue?).  Pink ceilings are lovely in bedrooms, sitting rooms, and dining rooms.  How about a soft yellow ceiling in your sunroom?

Can you Wallpaper Your Ceiling?

Alternatively, for more punch and more “wow” factor, you may wish to consider wallpapering your ceiling.  We wallpapered the ceiling in a previous home with beautiful results.  We chose Simply White walls and a pink and white ikat print wallpaper.  Traditional wallpaper is definitely more of a commitment, but if you know what you love and you’re ready for a little extra, go for it!  Conversely, you can always choose a peel-and-stick wallpaper that is much easier to remove than paste.  A wallpapered ceiling works well in a powder room or a bedroom.  Try it and see for yourself!

Show us What you will you do With Your Ceiling

In closing, a simple white ceiling is appropriate for most of the ceilings in your home, but don’t be afraid to paint that fifth wall for a surprising change of pace.  We’d love to see yours!  Until next time…

From the HartLand with Love,

Monica, Cheyenne, and Brittany

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