Paint This Ceiling or No? Nashville Color Consultant Offers Recommendation

I happened upon a couple of kitchen photos yesterday that perfectly illustrate a point that I made at my recent Color Workshop, “Just the Right Paint Color” here in Nashville.  See how the yellow wall color is wrapped onto the ceiling in this photo?

  yellow kitchen via bhg Paint This Ceiling or No? Nashville Color Consultant Offers Recommendation

via BHG

 

This is “right’ in The Decorologist’s book.  As a Color Consultant, I usually recommend that my clients wrap the wall color onto the ceiling if there is no crown moulding - especially in a kitchen where there is so little wall color above the cabinets anyway.  Look at the difference when the color isn’t wrapped in the photo below:

kitchen without painted ceiling Paint This Ceiling or No? Nashville Color Consultant Offers Recommendation

via BHG

I’m not saying this looks particularly bad or wrong, but it would look better if the color was wrapped onto the ceiling here, too.  With such little wallspace painted yellow, it just reads like a stripe of color.  In fact, that stripe draws your attention to the intersection of white and yellow, which makes the ceiling look lower.  Why not just cap off the room with this great color?  In this case, it would make the ceiling appear higher and would be like inviting sunshine right into the kitchen!

What do you think?

 

pixel Paint This Ceiling or No? Nashville Color Consultant Offers Recommendation

Comments

  1. The yellow kitchen is lovely! I’m assuming, though, that a ceiling wouldn’t be painted a color if there were crown molding?

  2. You have so many great ideas; on this one though, I think it lowers the ceiling and gives me the feeling of being in a box.

  3. Hi Kristie! I love the look of painted celings but I have a question. The pictures that I see in magazines or on the internet show a plain celing. What about the a/c vents or high hats? Do you leave those white or paint them also. What if you have knock down?

    • I never paint textured or popcorn ceilings a color – it draws too much attention to the ceiling! I have my painters paint out the air vents and anything else the same color as the ceiling.

  4. That’s something I hadn’t thought of before and I agree that it looks so much better in the first picture. Looking at my own kitchen, which is in need of painting, would you still paint the ceiling if you’ve got a higher ceiling height? I don’t have just a strip of wall above the cabinets; it’s more like 3 feet. Also, what sheen would you use in a kitchen when you’d be painting the ceiling as well? I’ve heard that ceilings should be a matte finish, but wouldn’t you want more of a wash-down friendly finish for kitchen walls?

    • Absolutely, I’d do it regardless of the height of the ceiling. If your ceiling isn’t perfect or you might obsess over a stray roller mark, you can paint the ceiling in a flat version of the wall color. Flat paint hides imperfections. I use eggshell finish on the walls – it cleans up easier and it looks a bit more sophisticated. I have painted many ceilings in my own home, and frankly I use eggshell on them as well because I like the sheen. I don’t mind the ceiling imperfections, plus I have a great painter that leaves no roller marks.

  5. I totally agree. It’s hard to convince clients that painting a ceiling will actually visually open up the space but you’ve just shown it here. I did a post yesterday on painted ceilings and I can’t stop thinking about doing something groovy in a room or two at my place.

  6. I think the top photo really works well partly because the ceiling is not very high. The photo on the top has quite a high ceiling and can get away with a white ceiling. I think it is important to see the whole room before making a judgement on the second photo.

    Really love the yellow!

  7. Painted ceilings have been on my mind a lot lately! We have cathedral ceilings in our great room with a kitchen, dining and living room. I’m looking for the perfect blue to wrap up the walls and ceiling. I think it will expand the space. I’m also considering removing the picture molding from the 90′s for better flow for the paint color. Do you think that will work?

  8. When should you paint the ceiling lighter than the wall color? Is it when the ceiling is high or the room is large?

  9. Another great post Kristie. The ceiling is often like the weird cousin you don’t know what to do with. But, now we know!

    Have you checked out the Sisterhood yet? http://www.theblogsisters.com

    Cheers!, barbara

  10. I had an old cracked ceiling in my 90 year old kitchen so I used wainscot on the ceiling that I first painted by mixing equal parts water and paint and then wiped off leaving a pickled (green) look and finished with several coats of polyurethane. I painted the upper walls white and finished with white crown molding. The kitchen looks fresh and unique. It is my favorite thing about my house.

  11. I too love the way the color wraps up on the ceiling in the kitchen photo! Very pretty!

  12. I love this tip! I so wish I could do this in my kitchen, it is such a different look – opens the room up! But I have popcorn ceilings – boo. Any suggestions for textured ceilings? I don’t want to do beadboard, as I plan on doing that for my bathroom ceiling. Are the hard to remove, is it a DIY project? Thanks!

  13. What do I think? I think everything you do is brilliant! I just love this beautiful yellow. So I’ve been reading the comments & I gather that even though the color looks lighter on the ceiling – it is the same paint (only in a different sheen)?

    Warmly, Michelle

    • Michelle,
      When you paint the same color on a wall and a ceiling (with no trim between them!), it looks about a half shade lighter on the ceiling, whether or not you change sheens. Most people prefer a flat on the ceiling. I always do eggshell on the walls and actually prefer it on the ceiling for its reflective qualities (although you will see more flaws).

  14. Just had to update you that I just painted my kitchen–walls and ceiling–which I wouldn’t have done had I not just read this post. I used eggshell on both everything (I hate cutting in so using the same sheen saved time) and it looks fantastic. It’s a Benjamin Moore color called Gray Cashmere and I can’t quite decide if it’s more of a blue-gray or a green-gray.

    Love, love, love it!

    • Yay Eileen! Gray Cashmere is one of my (many) favs!!! It’s so subtle that it is a no-brainer to wrap around a ceiling. Does it read slightly lighter on the ceiling than it does on the walls?

  15. Definitely reads lighter. Yesterday was cloudy here is the northwest and the ceiling looked just slightly lighter, but today it’s very sunny and it looks much lighter, almost white if you don’t really take the time to notice. What it doesn’t do is emphasize the line between the wall and the ceiling, so I’m thrilled with it.

    Now I’m painting the adjoining family room, which doesn’t get nearly as much natural light, in a shade just a hint lighter than the gray cashmere. I’m pretty confident that it will look great, but my I-hate-change child is pouting. Everyone else is excited.

  16. Hi! I just found your blog and LOVE it. I just moved into a new home and I’ve been trying to decide on a paint color. My question regarding painting the ceiling is what do you do if your kitchen and family room are completely open to each other (only separated by an island) but the family room has crown molding and the kitchen does not?

    • Jessica,
      You could paint the ceiling (wrapping the same color from the wall) in the room without crown (I’m assuming this is the kitchen), and leave the room with crown with a white ceiling (the same white as the trim, but in a flat finish). Using the same wall color but different ceiling colors in adjoining rooms will give you good color flow, while giving each space a little different personality. Hope that helps!

  17. Jennifer Eanes Foster says:

    Hi Krisite,

    I just found your blog and this post on painting the ceiling.  I am the interior designer for the kitchen on the top photo (painted ceiling).  This was a great post and explanation on what painting the ceiling can do for a room with no crown molding.  It can scare some clients, but it makes such a difference.  I tell them the same thing about rooms with angled ceilings/under gables…wrap the color on the walls, angled ceilings, and flat ceilings.

    Love your blog!

     

  18. Wow, Jennifer!!  Thank you so much for your comment – obviously, I love the choice you made in this kitchen, and am so glad you bumped into your photo here :)

  19. Jennifer,

    Please tell us the name and brand of this shade of yellow… It's so hard to find the right one!

    thanks!

  20. I just found your blog as I am searching frantically for some insight on what to do with ceilings!!!  We are building a new home and I have been totally stressing over trim/ceiling colors.  I'm going with a very neutral palette, using Valspar Moose Mousse on the walls in my biggest open area (den, dining, breakfast, kitchen area – all of which have crown molding) and Lovely Bluff in the bedrooms and hallways (most of which have crown)  with December Starlight as my trim color.  But I have been totally confused on what to do with the ceilings because my builder had told me I needed a contrast between my crown and my ceiling.  But after reading this post, you are saying paint my ceiling the same as my crown, and the angle change will provide the contrast - right?

    • No, the angle change won’t provide contrast if both the crown and ceiling are the same color.  But I do not agree with the builder that you need a contrast between the crown and ceiling.  It will be a lovely architectural “cap” to the room if it’s the same color as the crown – just a flat finish vs. the gloss on the crown.

      • Thank you,  if I decided to go a shade or two different on the ceiling than on the crown, would you recommend going lighter or darker than the crown??   Or do you just prefer it to be the same?  I have to be honest, I've never paid a lot of attention to the ceilings in houses until this!

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