Painting Ceilings
to Change Their Height

The height of a ceiling greatly affects the overall feel of any room, and by painting ceilings creatively, you can visually change their perceived height without the need for a major remodeling project.

The following tips will show you how to paint a ceiling and make it appear higher or lower than it really is.

Painting Ceilings For a Higher Effect

When painting a ceiling for a higher effect, the goal is to create an illusion of uninterrupted flow, without sharp horizontal lines or contrasts, and eliminate anything that draws attention to the low ceiling.

  • Remove popcorn ceiling texture

  • Painting ceilings with the wall color

  • If you have crown moldings, paint them the same color as the walls

  • When choosing interior paint colors, avoid big contrast between walls and ceiling. If your walls have color, a pure white ceiling will seem even lower. So instead, paint your ceiling the same color as the walls, but a couple of shades lighter (or add some wall color right into the ceiling paint) to create a vertically elongated, flowing look

  • In rooms with a chair-rail, paint both the upper part of the walls and the ceiling the same color - a shade of white or any other very light color

  • Painting ceilings to resemble the skies

  • If you paint a ceiling with a light cool color (ex: pale sky blue), it will make the ceiling seem more distant and will create a feeling of space and outdoors in the room

  • By painting stripes on walls you can visually raise a low ceiling - narrow, tone-on-tone vertical stripes work best for this purpose

Painting Ceilings For a Lower Effect

If your problem is dis-proportionally high ceilings, you can create a cozier, more intimate environment and improve the shape of the room with these room painting tricks:

    Painting ceilings a darker color will bring them down

  • Paint a ceiling a considerately darker color than the walls - the deeper the color, the closer it will appear

  • For an even greater effect, you can "drop down" the ceiling line by dragging the ceiling color up to 1 foot down the walls. For the best results, use highly contrasting colors between the ceiling and the walls. You can also accentuate this new, lower ceiling line with a contrasting color wallpaper border or crown molding

  • Painting ceilings creatively can change their height

  • Painting wide bands in a contrasting color on the top and bottom of the walls will produce a similar effect

  • Finally, painting clouds on the ceiling or using other decorative painting techniques are additional great ways to draw attention to the ceiling and make it seem closer to you

Paint Color Cheat Sheets
Paint Color Cheat Sheets

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