01 of 05
Color Ideas for Your Fifth Wall
Must you paint your ceiling white? Is this a law of home remodeling? Will the renovation police issue you a citation if your ceiling is anything other than white?
No. Of all the ideas in this gallery, only the first one is white. After that, we discuss the possibility of using colors other than white for your ceiling. Take heart: it can be done.
Why Is White so Popular?
White is a popular ceiling paint color, and it's not just out of a stodgy adherence to tradition. There are some very good reasons why homeowners keep painting their ceilings white:
- Reflects light: Ceilings are often called "The Fifth Wall." This "wall" reflects light as much, or more than the other four walls. Changing the color of your ceiling can greatly affect the amount of light in the room.
- The illusion of depth: White ceiling color gives the illusion of depth; dark ceiling colors have a visual "stop" point. But if you have 10-, 12-foot, or even higher ceilings, you may want a visual stop. Otherwise, the room may feel cavernous.
- Matte vs. gloss: Ceiling paint is almost always flat or matte finish. Semi-gloss or glossier paint may reflect more light; the reflections will give the ceiling a visual "stop" and can be distracting.
- Easy to do: When you buy ceiling paint, it's already tinted white. The assumption on the part of the paint companies is that you will want white.
About This Room
Ralph Lauren Home makes this paint. The very low ceiling necessitates the white ceiling paint.
Continue to 2 of 5 below.
- Ceiling: Pocket Watch White
- Walls: Light Sky
02 of 05
Yellow Refuses to Be Ignored!
Of course, you can't ignore this ceiling color. It's yellow, for crying out loud!
A bold, brilliant interplay between this orange-yellow Ale ceiling color from Pratt Lambert and the Red Orange 7-16 on the walls. The accent wall, Designer White 33-1, provides not only a focal point but some degree of relief from the bold wall and ceiling colors.
Made by Pratt Lambert, these colors are:
Continue to 3 of 5 below.
- Ceiling: Ale
- Walls: Red Orange 7-16
- Accent Wall: Designer White
03 of 05
Pink on Pink
One alternative, if the idea of a white ceiling color is still anathema to you, is to paint the ceiling a lighter shade of the wall color. In this case, it's an easy sell because the wall color is already a fairly lively pink. From Ralph Lauren Home:
Continue to 4 of 5 below.
- Ceiling: French Pink
- Walls: Belmont Pink
04 of 05
If you've got a ceiling with some added dimension—such as this pictured overhang— you can treat the ceiling to more than one color.
This paint comes from Dutch Boy, and the colors are Flatland, Basketweave, and Paleolithic.Continue to 5 of 5 below.
05 of 05
A Dark Ceiling With Light Walls
How about a ceiling color that is darker than the walls? Despite our earlier recommendation that flat white is usually the safest ceiling color, we must say, "Is it necessary always to live life safely?"
The dark ceiling color is striking, dramatic, and confident.
Benjamin Moore is the manufacturer, and the colors are:
- Crisp Khaki
- Branchport Brown