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How to Choose A Ceiling Paint Colour

It’s a big part of any room, but often overlooked. Rather than the go-to of white - choose a ceiling colour that can really transform the feel of a space. Here’s a look at how to do it right, whatever you choose:

Paint Ceilings The Same Pale Shade

COAT Emulsion Paint Duvet Day Beige

Beige, "Duvet Day" by @design_at_nineteen on Insta

Don’t be afraid of choosing the same pale or neutral shade for the walls and ceiling. It can help to bring the ceiling in, so it feels nice and cohesive. A white ceiling can create somewhere new to draw the eye, so for bedrooms in particular the same pale shade all over can create a restful space. Think about warm neutral colours like Duvet Day, or soft pastels like Lie-In. 

Shop Pale COAT Paints

Paint Ceilings The Same Dark Shade

COAT Emulsion Paint Dark Black The Record store

Soft Black, "The Record Store" by @zephs_house on insta

Darker colours absorb light, so in bedrooms for example they can soften the hard outline of a room making it feel cosier. Almost like a comfy cave. Taking those darker colours onto the ceiling as well can enhance that feeling, bringing the ceiling closer to avoid stimulating the eyes with a different shade. In living spaces with really high ceilings this look feels super dramatic too, and colours like Soft Black ‘The Record Store’ and Dark Blue ‘2AM’ work so well.

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Paint Ceilings In A Contrast Colour

COAT Emulsion Paint Adulting

Dusty Teal, "Adulting" by @tiny_victorian_home on Insta

As a design choice, contrast ceilings probably take the crown for creating drama. Paler walls with a much darker contrast ceiling draw the eyes upwards and focus them on height - which feels awesome. We’ve seen orange ceilings used to amazing effect, but also softer black shades too. Try it, you won’t regret it we promise!

COAT Ceiling Paint Two Scoops

Pale Pink "Granny Chic" ceiling by @projectsfromwaltonroad on Insta

What is Ceiling Paint?

It’s not really a thing. Good quality emulsion paint will work just as well on the ceiling as anything. Lower quality paints will spatter like mad, so if you enjoy your eyes just choose a good one. The viscosity of paint (geeky jargon, soz) is what means it does or doesn’t spatter everywhere. Find us a better viscosity than COAT - we’ll wait.

COAT Dark Ceiling Paint

Dark Teal "Adulting" creating drama here by @homefromhole on Insta

What paint is best for the ceiling?

In terms of best ceiling paint, it’s a blank canvas and although it often goes unnoticed, it’s a great time to get creative. Usually you’d go for a good quality Matt Emulsion for the ceiling. We've been seeing some ceiling paint colour trends happening around Soft Sheen Emulsion paints on the ceiling too - that means shiny paint. No longer banished to the 80’s, shiny emulsion paint bounces light around the room and actually looks pretty cool. Paint a ceiling in it and you’ve got a whole new dimension - so worth considering.

COAT Ceiling Paint White

Warm White "Pampas" wrap-over ceiling in Flat Matt, by @1930s_semi_charmed_life on Insta

Painting Ceilings White

Fair is fair, a crisp white ceiling can do wonders in a bright space to lift the height of a room and increase the feeling of airiness. White ceiling colours provide that timeless contrast to coloured walls that you can never really get wrong. So if you’re feeling cautious that’s ok - go for white, it’ll look great.

Shop COAT White Ceiling Paint

COAT white ceiling paint

Timeless white ceiling, by @ourhome_upnorth

How Do I Choose The Right White Ceiling Paint?

Okay so you’ve decided to play it safe with a white ceiling, no judgements. But like any painting project, there are a few things to keep in mind.

When you’re gathering ceiling painting ideas, take note of the undertones you want to incorporate. Going for a pure white number consists of just white pigment - it’s pretty uncomplicated to use and provides a clean and peaceful feel to any room. A visual palette cleanser if you will.

However, adding even a hint of colour to that white base can really transform the feel of a space. This comes down to personal taste. Some people are drawn to a warmer shade of white to give that cosy vibe or alternatively, choosing a cooler tone can leave a room feeling crisp and clean and acts as a great base to incorporate brighter colours into your interior.

Natural lighting is a big contributing factor when choosing the right white. One tip is that for south facing rooms with lots of light, you can get away with pretty much any colour, but for north facing rooms with less light you should consider opting for warmer undertones to balance the cool light and make the room feel inviting.

Check out @hellohaus' expert advice on how to choose White Paints over on the blog.

Ready to choose - grab some White COAT Paint now.

What Colours Will Make A Room Appear Higher and Bigger?

Want to create the illusion of more space and taller ceilings? That’s a given. This painting malarkey can get a bit confusing, so here’s a few ideas you might want to consider if you're wondering what colour to paint a ceiling. 

Light and quieter hues are a great place to start when choosing your shade. Muted colours or tones of white are usually the go to when it comes to ceiling colour; this fool proof combination reflects more light into the space and gives the illusion of receding walls. Why not step out of your comfort zone and get creative. Using a vibrant colour like Moritz can offer a bright and cheery feel to a room and visually lift the space. Or maybe consider using a soft blue like Hamilton or Below Deck to give a soft contrast which feels like summer skies overhead. Who wouldn’t want that? ☀

Big and bold more your thing? Darker shades and monochromatic rooms can be a stylish alternative to bring your room to life. Pairing two similar shades can create a distinctive design element to your room. Using a combination of lighter and darker colours can create the illusion of a bigger space. A great ceiling colour combination is a soft pastel green such as Home Grown on the ceiling and a darker shade such as Ditch The Tie on the wall opens up the space and gives you the opportunity to get creative. Painting the walls and trim one colour blends the space from floor to ceiling, making the walls appear taller, and a lighter version of the same hue on the ceiling adds contrast to lift the space further.

You want to make your space feel cozier? We hear you. An area such as a sunroom or living room with a lot of white space can benefit from having a painted ceiling too. By using a contrasting dark shade, you’re eliminating the illusion of tall walls and instead the darker shades pull down the area to give the feeling of a smaller, snug room. Dark charcoal greys such as Old Record Store or David Rose are ideal for creating a modern and masculine muse whilst keeping the desired welcoming zone. 

What Paint Finish Is Best For Ceilings?

Choosing the perfect finish for your ceiling is normally a pretty easy job. Chances are, matt and flat paint formulas will be your best bet. Using a glossier finish tends to bounce more light around a space which can create shadows and just doesn’t look quite right.

Our COAT Flat Matt comes with a higher viscosity and opacity for quick and even coverage - perfect ay!

That being said, never say never to a glossy ceiling! And our COAT Soft Sheen paints have just enough shine for some drama, without being a full on 80s gloss.

We’ve seen some pretty cool ceiling painting ideas and a rich gloss in a deep colour can definitely add drama when paired with a neutral; it adds definition to a space and is great to highlight architectural features which would normally go unnoticed. The only caveat to this is you’re going to want to have a smooth surface to add your glossy paint to so skim coated or smooth ceilings are ideal.

Is It Ok To Paint The Ceiling The Same Colour As The Walls?

Absolutely! This trick is one of the most overlooked painting a ceiling tips. Whether you're going neutral or bold, continuing the wall colour up and over the ceiling can create a continuation and cohesiveness to the room as the colour change doesn't create a visual break.

Check out our small office transformation in Darlington where we're painting walls and ceiling the same colour.

Painting Oddly Shaped Ceilings

Sure, Victorian or period homes are beautiful but it's the very things that give them character like vaulted and multi-angled ceilings that can make decorating a bit more difficult. Sometimes the beginning and end of a wall and ceiling is not that obvious and you may be confused as to what colours to use where. 

You can be fake a wall divide by using a chair rail or panelling around the wall and painting the area below a different colour to the top. This will not only increase the height of the ceiling but it will also help you with know where to stop and start painting. 

Don't worry if you have a cathedral ceiling, if there's no crown moulding to define the ceiling, simply try taping off sections and using two different colours to create a divide and two-tone effect. 

You don't necessarily need architectural features to guide you in terms of painting, just think of it in terms of changing colours when one flat surface meets another. Just remember to tape off the ceiling so that your lines are nice and crisp. 

Lastly, for the angled ceilings which you usually find in attics or lofts, try extending the colour onto the angled walls to act as an illusion of space...ahh the trickery. 

And....there you have it....ceiling lesson over. Phew. Now trust your gut, and go for it! Shop all COAT colours perfect for painting ceilings.



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