White paint on ceilings has been widely thought to be the safest choice for decades. And that’s why, even with many interior paint options available today, many homeowners prefer just to paint the ceiling white.
You can put a fresh coat of white paint on your ceilings when you need to cover up sunlight stains, cooking oil smoke, or candle smoke while also making the room beneath it seem brighter.
You may also need to paint your ceiling white if:
a) The ceiling has visible imperfections or textures.
Flat white paint will help conceal these imperfections in a way that color would draw attention to.
b) You are painting a primary living space in the house.
Light or dark colors on a ceiling will enhance a room’s charm, but there are cases when white is the best option.
This is especially the case in main living spaces such as a kitchen or family room.
c) There isn’t a lot of natural light in your room to enlighten the area.
White ceiling paint is a good choice in a room that does not receive a lot of natural sunlight. This is because it will reflect more light into these dark areas.
If you have white walls and a smooth and flat ceiling, consider using a softer color like sky blue, light peach, or pale yellow instead of white for a breezier feel.
Benefits of Painting the Ceiling and Walls the Same Color
If you are considering painting your walls and ceilings the same color, you should consider the color and the size of your room itself.
Medium tones don’t tend to work, so avoid them entirely.
But with that being said, there are pros and cons of painting your walls the same color as the ceiling.
Below, we will first look at the perks of doing this in various room types:
1- In small rooms
Choosing a darker paint color for your walls and ceilings in a smaller room will cover the room in richer colors and make the space feel cozier and more intimate.
If you want your small space to instead feel larger than it is, you can use a lighter color for the ceiling and walls.
Bathrooms are a good place to use the same color on the ceiling and walls, making the room feel larger, more modern, and simplified.
2- In large rooms
In larger master-sized rooms or living rooms, having the same color walls and ceilings gives the space a seamless look.
It will pull together all of the aspects of your space while calling attention to your decor and furniture. This is true both for light and dark paint colors.
3- Ceilings that are angled or vaulted
Covering the ceiling and walls in the same color can make the space look simpler and less dramatic.
Choose a lighter paint color to further open up the room or a darker one to make the room feel cozier.
Typically, though, painting the walls and ceilings the same color looks better with flat ceilings.
What if You Paint the Ceiling a Darker Color Than the Walls?
If you want to paint your ceiling in a color darker than the walls, you’ll be glad to know that this is a great way to provide subtle contrast between the ceiling and walls.
This method can make a high-contrast appearance in a room with plain white walls.
However, it’s essential to pick a color for the ceiling that is only two or three shades darker than the color of the wall.
This will give it a polished and sophisticated look to elevate the appearance of your space.
You might want to think about painting the ceiling a darker color than the wall if:
You want to accent decorative trim or crown molding. Darker colors on a ceiling can generate contrast and make the trim pop to life.
You want to foster a more intimate and cozier environment. Darker paint will generate the illusion of a ceiling that sits lower, even if it is quite high up.
A good example of using flat black paint to create a more pub-like feel is when it comes to exposed basement ceilings.
The room has plain white walls. Picking a dark paint color for the ceiling of a white room will give it beautiful and bold contrast.
It is usually recommended that you use dark colors like navy, charcoal grays, or chocolate brown colors on rooms that have white walls.
This will create a striking, contrasting appearance. Flat black is also a timeless choice for those with exposed ceilings.
What if You are Painting the Ceiling a Lighter Color Than the Walls?
For good measure, let’s go over the aspects of painting a ceiling a color that is lighter than the walls.
This can make the height of the walls seem taller while enlarging the appearance of the size of your overall room.
This method has a standard technique of painting the ceilings lighter than the walls by whitening the paint using a ratio of 80 percent white to 20 percent color.
This will help make small spaces seem spacious and make any space with a lower ceiling feel roomier as well.
You should certainly need to consider lighter colors over darker colors if:
- You enjoy subtle tone changes and simplicity
- You like rooms that have low contrast
- The paint color of the wall looks nice when you lighten it to be used on the ceiling.
There is a high likelihood that the paint color you have on the walls won’t look that great when you dilute it, especially if it is already light.
In this event, it is a good idea to pick a different color for the ceiling and walls or try a different painting technique entirely.
The Bottom Line
Painting the ceiling is a big undertaking that can change a space’s appearance in ways you may have yet to consider.
Above, we explored some tips on painting the walls and ceiling in various colors in your space.
In short, you can use the same or different colors for your walls and ceilings. But it’s best to consider your personal preference and the size of space you have.
Ultimately, it’s your room and home, so focus on creating a space you enjoy.
Jack Luis is a semi-retired painter who loved painting his clients’ ideas on their walls.
He had worked as a painter for more than a decade to serve the customers in areas such as Charleston, Mount Pleasant, Beaufort, Georgetown, SC (South Carolina). Today in his free time, he likes to read and write about the newer techniques that are being implemented in his profession. You may read more about him here or get in touch with him here.
Just in case you want to hire pro painters in your local area, you can click here. We can instantly send you free quotes from trusted painters based on your specific requirement.