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Breaking the 5th Wall: Paint Your Ceiling




Colors: Benjamin Moore’s Natura, Eggshell, Soft Chamois OC-13 (walls), Natura, Semi-Gloss, Soft Chamois OC-13 (trim), Natura, Flat, Soft Chamois OC-13 (ceiling)

Look up. What color is your ceiling?

If the answer is white or beige, it may be time for a change. White has been the color of choice for ceilings for decades, but just because it was popular doesn’t mean it was right. (Anyone remember popcorn ceilings?)  

If you’re ready to get a little wild with your 5th ceiling, check out these room-by-room tips for choosing a bolder color:

In the Bedroom

Choose: A hue one or two shades darker than your walls

As a general rule, the darker the ceiling, the cozier the room feels. To give your bedroom some extra intimacy, choose a color that’s one or two shades darker than the color of your walls. Or, if you dare, choose a bold dark hue like navy or black.

Colors: Benjamin Moore's North Creek Brown 1001 (ceiling), Abbey Brown 1225 (wall), Midsummer Night 2134-20 (soffit)

On the Porch or Patio

Choose: Blue

Blue is the go-to hue for a patio or porch. Not only will bright daylight bounce off a sky blue ceiling (which creates an airy feeling), a blue ceiling is said to trick wasps, spiders and evil spirits into thinking it’s the sky so they don’t make nests there. We aren’t quite convinced this works, but it’s worth a shot, right?

Colors: Benjamin Moore’s Aura, Low Lustre, Harbor Haze 2136-60 (ceiling), Aura, Low Lustre, White Diamond OC-61 (siding), Grand Entrance, Satin, Tree Moss 508 (door)

In the Living Room

Choose: A subtle hue

Have you ever overplayed a song you once loved? Or overdone a fashion trend? The same thing can happen with radical ceiling colors in your living room because you spend so much time there. Unless you enjoy changing things up every year or two, we recommend choosing a subtle color to decorate the ceiling of your living room.

A great option is a lighter version of your wall color. To achieve this look, dilute the paint you used for your walls with white. We recommend using about 80% white paint and 20% color paint.  

Colors: Benjamin Moore: Waterborne Ceiling Paint, Ultra Flat, Timson Sand CW-140 (ceiling), Aura, Eggshell, Cochineal Red CW-330 (walls), ADVANCE, Semi-Gloss, Capitol White CW-10 (trim)

In the Dining Room or Parlor

Choose: Pink or red

If candles ever make an appearance on your dining room table or in your parlor, a hue in the pink or red family will emphasize the glow because the candlelight will reflect off of your ceiling.

Colors: Caption (parlor photo with pink ceiling): Benjamin Moore’s Waterborne Ceiling Paint, Ultra Flat, Powder Pink 2009-70 (ceiling), Regal Select, Matte, Stonington Gray HC-170 (walls), Regal Select, Semi-Gloss, Stonington Gray HC-170 (trim)

In Oddly-Shaped Rooms

Choose: The same color as the walls

Any variation of color to oddly-shaped rooms will emphasize its crazy shape. If there’s a multi-angled ceiling, painting the ceiling the exact shade of the walls will unify the room and make it feel more cohesive. Tip: This works best if you paint the trim and accents the same color, too.

Colors: Benjamin Moore’s Aura Bath & Spa, Matte, Distant Gray OC-68 (walls & ceiling) 

In Finished Attics and Basements

Choose: White

There’s an exception to every rule – we actually do recommend white ceilings here because attics and ceilings typically have minimal light sources. White can help brighten these otherwise dark spaces. 


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