Painting the ceiling dark?

linzlu103September 11, 2012
I'm getting ready to paint our new house and have been given the recommendation to do dark colored ceilings throughout the home Ior extend the wall color to the ceiling) to make the ceilings recede. I've never heard this. Thoughts? I guess I'm boring, but have never varied from white.
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Custom Home Planning Center
It can be effective if the ceiling is over 10' but not with 8' ceilings. It takes a lot of light natural and artificial to make this look good.
    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 7:56PM
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I think it depends on the color and size of room. There is one room in the house I I have always thought just looked weird and then the other day someone said "i wished they hadnt of painted the ceiling." And then it clicked in. It was a lilac so there was a lot of purple bouncing around and made everything look "off" somehow.
    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 8:26PM
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The joy of painting the ceiling the same color as the walls is that there's no cutting in. I think if you have 8 ft walls, and the wall color is light, painting the ceiling the same is a great idea. But unless your walls are a minimum of 10 ft, I would not go dark on the ceiling.

In a previous house, an addition had dark, dark wood ceiling and beams. In some parts of the room the walls were 8 ft, and 10 ft in another. I always felt like the ceiling was caving in on me.
    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 4:37AM
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I agree with what others have said against going too dark on the 8' ceilings. If you are using a dark color on the walls, consider using a 50% reduction of that color for the ceiling (or even less). If you are using a light neutral on the walls, then it is fine to paint the ceiling the same color or one shade lighter.
    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 5:24AM
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Shawn Lagemann
I agree with Bobbi P. I look at ceilings with a few guidelines in mind. First, what are you trying to accomplish. With 8' walls and no decorative crown, continuing the wall color (medium tones or lighter) onto the ceiling helps remove the horizontal line between the ceiling and the walls, making the ceiling apear taller. Walls 8' with decorative crown also painted meduim tones or lighter, I use the same tone paint in a 50% value on the ceiling to make the crown POP. For 8' walls with vaulted or sloped ceilings, use the wall color onto the ceiling to make the eye travel upward; this makes the most of dramatic ceilings and removes the horizontal line again. For 9' walls and above, the size of the room and the desired effect is important. For 9' walls in a half bath, the tend to look and feel like a telephone booth, paint the ceiling as dark as you want. This brings the ceiling down to a human scale, or makes it recede completely. 1/2 baths can handle drama and you won't be applying makeup in a powder room, so light isn't as important. Keep that same guideline in mind for other rooms, how important is light, a dining room, living room or master bedroom does not have to have tons of light and can handle drama. Whereas, a kitchen, full bath and secondary bedroom need to be well lit for tasks like cooking, homework, and grooming. These rooms can handle colored ceilings, but the tone may need to be lighter to help reflect light. Another trick for super tall flat ceilings 10' and above, to bring them down to human scale.... is to take the ceiling color down onto the wall (use the doorway and window breaks as a guideline) creating that horizontal line to make a room feel more cozy. Hope this helps. Good luck.
    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 5:40AM
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I agree a dark ceiling works best with higher floor height.

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    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 7:28AM
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