Ceiling Beams and Ceiling; Need Updating and Painting Advice
July 29, 2013 in Design Dilemma
We just purchased a house that needs updating and new colors to fit our taste. The living room is very dark; deep red carpeting and walls, brown paneled ceiling and dark brown ceiling beams. We will be dry walling over the paneling on the ceiling, and I'd like to go with a traditional butter color with white trim and moldings. So....should I pant the ceiling beams white? Should I paint the ceiling beams and the ceiling itself white and have yellow walls? Should I choose three complementary shades of yellow/gold and paint the ceiling, walls, and beams a different color? OR keep the dark beams, white ceiling, and soft yellow walls? Any advice would be appreciated .
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What has inspired you to do butter yellow? I didn't see any ideabooks at your page. I'd be basing my colors off the sailboat painting if that is your focal point. Are you going with a sea shore or beach theme here? Not enough info or pix to help much. You can post more by commenting and using the AI button under your comment.
July 29, 2013 at 1:35pm        Thanked by holmana7
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The ceiling height is great. it will be beautiful when you get the 70's paneling off of it.

You used the word "traditional" to describe your paint color -- this is not traditional architecture, so just keep that in mind.

I like the beams dark, but I suspect the popular thing to do today is to paint them white.

[houzz=McLean Residence][houzz=Living Room]
July 29, 2013 at 1:37pm        Thanked by holmana7
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Thanks for the comments. You're right, Brenda, in that it is not traditional architecture; I guess I'm trying to "force" it that way. I like the pictures you posted with the natural beams, though. I'll have to give that more thought. My inspiration for the "butter yellow" is that I want to create a light and airy atmosphere. The sailboat painting is not ours; that belonged to the previous owners, so it won't be an influence in any decorating decisions.
July 29, 2013 at 2:29pm   
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one word of warning that I would have for you holmana -- the biggest decorating mistakes that I have made throughout my life have been related to not respecting the architecture. If you try to "force" it, it will always look forced.
July 29, 2013 at 2:36pm   
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So what would you suggest? I'm open to other ideas, it's just way too dark and gloomy (and outdated) the way it is. I guess the house has more of a European or Scandinavian feel....I'll attach a picture of the front of the house so you can see what I'm working with.
July 29, 2013 at 3:09pm   
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This one is a little better.
July 29, 2013 at 3:13pm   
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Paint is going to be a help to you - with the angles in the ceiling line, all the paneled areas, it will be your best assistance. Any color scheme can work with any architecture, but some things are more classic and neutral and what you have inherited is very dated.

Here's a suggestion that I think will work well for you. All the dark beams can be washed with a lighter gray paint - that will look more natural like driftwood as the tannins will read through from the old dark stain, but the lighter gray tone will help tie it back to the white and butter you want to try on the walls.

The tricky part is finding the right gray - you don't want to prime them out and paint them gray, you want to put a wash of paint and water over the stained brown timber that will lighten and add the right tone as it mixes. (Ideally you want to hire a pro painter who has a sprayer and will mask things and spray this whole room out for you)

I'd test something like http://www.sherwin-williams.com/homeowners/color/find-and-explore-colors/paint-colors-by-family/SW7066-gray-matters/ That mid-tone is dark enough to blend with the dark brown but light enough to add the gray tones and bring the color matrix up to a mid-tone - you may still see grain reading through over time as the stain bleeds through this so it will look more natural. Iif you hire a painter, they can mix this 2 parts paint to 1 part water and spray it on. If you do it, you will need some tall ladders as you will want to brush it in. You may want to budget for two coats to get the right look.

I don't think you want to spend money to drywall over the paneling on the ceiling - have the painters spray prime that out and and just paint it a dover white (sw warm whites). They can spray prime out all the red and dark ceiling at the same time. I think it will look more high end to have the texture of the planking than plain drywall, and you can save that expense. It is also more of a cottage look, more traditional, which your butter and white scheme and your comments suggest that you like. If you do drywall, do it over the fireplace where there is painted planking.

As for the timbers running down the walls and over the windows and the brick - I am interested in your other choices. Would you consider painting out the brick - perhaps a pretty pale gray? I might select sw light french gray for that brick in a masonry formulation. Then, I believe I would gray the main timbers coming down the focal wall just like all the others on the ceiling, and paint all the walls a soft butter tone. Wherever you have a timber, let it be driftwood gray-brown from adding gray over the existing brown. Now you have a lovely neutral palette that is much lighter, still looks natural on the timbers, and works great with the maple-ish mantle. In fact, I'd select my pale butter wall color against the tone of that wood mantle - leaving it to be different and light will work better if the wall tone echos that.

Sw has some options to test. See http://www.sherwin-williams.com/homeowners/color/find-and-explore-colors/paint-colors-by-family/SW6679-full-moon/ Pale moon / or its next down tone, friendly yellow. Yellows are the most challenging colors to pick out - you need to do a test with a posterboard and look at in natural am / pm and artificial light before you select one. They really depend on the kind of light you have in the space, which you won't even know until you get the ceiling painted out. Some other cards to pull - Belvedere cream / jersey cream might be some others to test - or go a little more warm in the undertone like birdseye maple.

I think by using some pale gray on the brick, and mid-tone gray on the timbers, then use dover white on the ceiling and all the standard trim, windows, baseboards, etc, that you could change the wall color several times and still keep the room light and bright. ps - this has terrific architectural interest, whether a room is traditional, contemporary (as these lines might suggest), modern or classical, traditional furnishings will make the room feel traditional. People love architectural interest - and you've got it. Enjoy the character that it brings to your traditional furnishings and appointments.
July 29, 2013 at 3:18pm      Thanked by holmana7
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Wow! Thanks for the advice. I'm going to pick up one of those small jars of the gray paint, dilute it with water as you suggested and paint part of one of the beams. I can't wait to see how it turns out. I really like the idea of making the beams appear more nature-based, than man-made (as they are).

We are definitely going to work with the fireplace. I hadn't considered painting it...again, we were going to go over the whole thing with white wood moldings. I'll see how the beams look and I will definitely consider painting the brick instead.

Thanks also for your encouragement with the architecture. I was beginning to think we got ourselves into a huge money pit in trying to update things. ☺
July 29, 2013 at 4:22pm     
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I vote for white painted wood ceiling (not drywall) and dark beams, but I would consider painting the wall trim the same color as the walls.
July 29, 2013 at 4:38pm        Thanked by holmana7
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When you said "wall trim" were you referring to the beams that are on the walls? Or where they have different sections of the wall painted two different colors?
July 29, 2013 at 6:44pm   
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I was referring to the beams on the walls.
July 29, 2013 at 7:11pm   
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Gotcha. Thanks!
July 29, 2013 at 8:17pm   
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Sustainable Dwellings
I agree with ptmatthews... if you insist on going really light, do it that way. You have a mid-century style home meets Swiss family Robinson chalet deck over the front.... it is what it is... you can have a very attractive house if you don't try to make a football player into a ballerina, so to speak..
July 29, 2013 at 8:28pm   
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