Angled Walls or Slanted Ceilings? Why You Need to Paint Them Like This

Many two-story homes have angled walls and slanted ceilings that are inherent in rooms beneath the peaked roofline. While slanted walls can create a snug and cozy feel, the negative effects can include a choppy visual plane and difficulty placing furniture and art.

how to paint slanted ceilings

 

My Nashville clients were in desperate need of a master bedroom makeover. As recent empty nesters, the couple wanted an upstairs space that was all their own. One of the things we needed to address in this room were the angled walls and slanted ceilings. Because the “ceilings” come down so far into the room, painting them white gives the impression that the ceiling is lower than it actually is. Here is the bedroom before:

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before

We chose a sandy wall color to brighten the space and to act as the backdrop for the blues and creams we wanted for the new color scheme. Instead of leaving the ceiling white, we wrapped the sand color onto both the slanted angles and uppermost part of the ceiling. Here’s what might surprise you: when you paint your ceiling the same color as your walls (providing that there is no crown molding between the wall and ceiling), the ceiling color will appear a half shade lighter than the wall color. So it looks as though you’ve painted the ceiling a half a shade lighter, while it is actually the same color as the walls. The result? A ceiling that appears higher and a room that feels bigger because it’s no longer visually dissected by the white ceiling that started two-thirds of the way up.

carrington beige designer bedroom

 

One of the first things we chose for this room was this beautiful blue upholstered bed with brass nailhead detailing. The pair of chests on either side are much better choice than the typical small end tables that we often see in typical bedrooms. The scale of these are so much nicer for a queen- or king- size bed, plus they provide lots of storage for reading material and clothing.

blue upholstered headboard

 

Here’s a before shot from the opposite side of the room facing back towards the entry. The room you see beyond was converted into a fabulous closet as a part of the upstairs renovation.

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before

The finished design is a sophisticated and peaceful space with a large walk-in closet opposite the entry. The entire upstairs is now a private master suite, so using french doors on the closet is not an issue, and it allows more natural light from the window in the new closet to flow into the master bedroom.

blue and white bedroom design

 

We brought in gold accents in this fabulous floor lamp and side table for the new reading corner.

gold accents

 

I love the shape of this chair. And the fabric? FORGET ABOUT IT! It is so gorgeous, I could just eat it up.

designer chair

 

Here’s another before shot. You can see how low the slanted ceilings come into the space. It looks all kinds of dreary, really.

7O3A6243before

The higher headboard and the continuation of the wall paint onto the angled ceiling makes the room feel so much better, right?

blue upholstered bed

 

The gold accents continue with the circular mirror that dresses out a previously awkward angled wall.

designer master bedroom

 

And these fabulous lamps? We originally bought these for the entryway, but found they looked even better in the bedroom! The rectangular shades fit nicely against the wall, and the curved sculptural bases of the lamps soften the angles of the room, as does the gold mirror I just showed you.

mirrored chest

 

Would you believe these lamps are from HomeGoods??? They were a great score!

sculptural lamp

 

We mixed the bedding for a custom look. The symmetry of this arrangement creates a serene and comfortable place to sleep.

symmetrical bedroom

 

The master bathroom was also renovated during this time, requiring the door to move several feet to the right. We found a beautiful piece of art that my client really loved at a local home furnishing store.

attic bathroom

 

The last piece of the puzzle was this uber-cool wood ottoman. Would you believe I found this at HomeGoods? I would have purchased another if there had been one. It’s truly beautiful.

wood ottoman

 

Oh, and I almost forgot. Rather than choosing a typical beige, I chose a soothing gray-blue patterned carpet for the flooring in the entire upstairs master suite.

carrington beige designer bedroom

 

My work here is done! Hopefully you can see how the choice of painting the walls and slanted ceilings the same color really paid off.  Literally. They paid me good money for this.  😉

For more tricks of the trade, check out my Just the Right Paint Color or Furniture Arrangement Video Workshops.

 

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Phyllis E
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Phyllis E

Wow! What a difference just by using the same paint color on the ceiling and walls!! I love learning these fool- the- eye “tricks” of the trade! I also notice that the tall headboard and oversized “nightstands” also seem to distract from the low ceilings, and create the illusion that there is plenty of space and headroom—which actually seems counter-intuitive to what you would normally expect!!
I love the beautiful fabrics you choose!!

Thanks for posting this.

Mary CC from CA
Guest
Mary CC from CA

I vote that this is one of your best makeovers ever ! The flow is now perfect, the paint and colors are beautiful. The furnishings and accents are comfortable yet elegant. Kristie, I do believe you are the perfect “go to” expert for difficult solutions like this. The before and after is remarkable. I hope this gets picked up in print for you !!

Beth L
Guest

I agree with Mary. This is my favorite room that I’ve seen of yours!

Joanna
Guest
Joanna

I guessed right! It makes a huge difference to the feel of the room. What a good idea to turn the upstairs into a private get away with a big walk in closet.
Kristie, in a normal” room, would painting your ceiling the same color as your walls make it feel more spacious?

Nancy Carr
Guest
Nancy Carr

I love the transformation. You did an exceptional job and I appreciate the advice. Where did you find those adorable lamps on the night stands? Also, I don’t think I ever received the pet proofing decorating information and would love to read it.

Paula
Guest
Paula

Oh my! I have room just like this, a FROG! Finished room over the garage, however mine is not “finished.” It is the dumping ground-storage space. Fortunately, the ceiling is painted just like you recommend. I was able to glean a few decorating tips for the space and most of all inspiration. Thank you so much- I do enjoy your posts.

MELISSA QUON HUBER
Guest
MELISSA QUON HUBER

This is fantastic! What a serene space. Did I read this correctly that basically the (1) lower walls, (2) slanted walls, and (3) flat ceiling were all painted one color? I think I did that in my first house after college just so I wouldn’t have to buy more paint, lol! I’m glad you like challenges! I feel that way about statistics and logistical questions to solve. But the challenge of space planning in an akward, asymetrical (not in a good way) 1200 square feet ranch for 4 people, 2 aquariums, 2 rabbits, 2 home offices, 1 sensory gym, 1… Read more »

Natalie
Guest

Very insightful! I deal with these ceilings all the time in older remodels. I just finished one where the painters painted the walls and ceiling Revere Pewter, but I never thought about how much taller the space seemed until you mentioned it:). Less work for your painter too!

Laurel Bern
Guest

Hi Kristie,

I concur! lol I always recommend painting rooms with slanted ceilings a light color and then taking that color all the way around. My fave mistake is where there’s that strip of horizontal ceiling that they leave white. It always looks strange to me, like a race track or something. xo

Susanne
Guest
Susanne

This is such an awesome makeover, Kristi! Your posts are inspiring, and they’re also a lot of fun! “…And the fabric? FORGET ABOUT IT! It is so gorgeous, I could just eat it up.” That brought a smile to my face! Nothing like tasty fabric…: )

Diane
Guest
Diane

My daughter’s bedroom is shaped just like that master bedroom. Looks like we have a new project for ourselves-running the wall color up onto the slanted parts and the ceiling. I had no idea that it would appear lighter. Thanks for the timely and extremely useful info!

Elizabeth Scruggs
Guest

Once again you knocked it outta the park my friend! Beautiful transformation!!

Kelly
Guest

Looks great! I love that fabric too- gorgeous! Good tip to share about painting the walls and ceiling same color to make appear larger.

Kathy
Guest
Kathy

Love the makeover! What paint color did you use? It looks serene.

margaret
Guest
margaret

We have a bonus room with slanted walls, and about 15 paint colors tested on them. I’ve had a couple of colors that I like, but everything up the slant looks so much darker than the part below the slant. We only have one window and have very little natural light. Do I need to go lighter? Some of the shades are already pretty light. Any suggestions?

Jil Sonia Interiors
Guest

wow, how absolutely perfect!!

Pam
Guest
Pam

Can you tell us the sandy paint color? It’s exactly what I’m looking for.

Joanne
Guest
Joanne

This upstairs suite is beautiful! There isn’t one thing about it I don’t like! And that chair! — was it another amazing Home Goods find? It looks like it may be a reupholstered, vintage piece. Back in the day, my sister and I shared a room in our converted attic and it had slanted ceilings. All those years ago, my Mom taught us that painting the entire room one color would make it seem more spacious. But our room was turquoise, not sandy beige ?

Jessica
Guest

Wow, I am glad I stumbled upon your blog! I am about to paint two room upstairs in a built out attic space… I am going to use this trick in both rooms! Thank you!

Sandra
Guest
Sandra

Please tell me where you found those amazing dressers!

Jennifer Barber
Guest
Jennifer Barber

Is the rule about the same paint color on the walls, slant and ceiling only for lighter colors? I want to paint my master bath Revere Pewter and my master bedroom Guilford Green, there’s no crown molding in either, should the ceilings be the same color? I also plan to use August Morning in a half-bathroom, would it be too much color on the walls and ceiling both or is that OK?

Anthony
Guest

I really like your writing style and how you express your ideas. Would like to see some other posts on the same topics! Thank you.

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[…] have the sloped (cape cod, angled) ceilings that add that old time charm.  Click here for some decorating and painting tips for these types of […]

bernadette
Guest
bernadette

I want to paint both my sons room wickham gray which is a light color they both have slanted walls due to the dormers however they both have crown molding do you still suggest painting the ceiling gray or white?

Theresa
Guest
Theresa

We’re facing the same issue right now, creating an apartment for my Mom over our garage. I’m having trouble picking the color and am wondering if a sagey-green would work all over or if it has to be a warm, creamy color? I would LOVE to know what color that creamy color is in this room. Would you please share? Thank you! Love your creations!

Jo Ann
Guest
Jo Ann

My thought…the color is BM Sail Cloth

Cheryl Kleffer
Guest

I have not read all of the comments and questions below so hopefully I am not being redundant. But I have an odd shaped ceiling in my living room with is 18×21 in a house I am buying. It has an open doorway to kitchen, one wall very high windows (all being two story) and a large fireplace at the other end. Do I paint this all one color? Ex. Light grey? My bedroom is also odd shape but not as small as the one shown.