Archive for the 'Color for Interior Spaces' Category

Published by Linda H Bassert on 30 Jul 2015

Why “Ceiling White” is rarely a good choice for Ceilings

Too often, painters suggest that ceilings just be painted “Ceiling White”.  While this may be in the best interest of the painter, it rarely is in the best interest of the client.  It saves the painter a few seconds if they can come into a paint store, and just have a can shaken, without having to have it tinted.  But “Ceiling White” is typically a blue gray white, with the potentially of feeling very cold.  Unless you are painting a room in a blue-gray hue, it is not the best choice.

At Benjamin Moore, every color can be created in the Waterborne Ceiling paint, Benjamin Moore’s ultra-flat choice for ceilings.  The flattest paint Benjamin Moore makes, it hides the most imperfections.

If you have fair skin, and like white ceilings, consider Atrium White, or AF-10 gardenia. These are whites with a drop of red in them, giving a rosy light in which every fair skinned person will look very healthy.

If you prefer warm yellow-based wall colors, consider Simply White or AF-20 mascarpone for the ceiling.  Both have a drop of yellow in them, but still appear white.  Mascarpone is a little creamier than Simply White.  The next creamier color after AF-10 mascarpone is AF-30 deep in thought.

If you want to soften the ceiling but do not want a yellow light or pink light reflected from the ceiling, AF-15 steam is a white with one drop of brown in it, and gives a softened warm ceiling without being yellow.  Need it just a little less white or browner?  Try AF-45 Collector’s Item.

The same principle can be applied to other brands of paint.  But if your trim color is creamier and not white, you may need even more contrast on the ceiling.

Higher contrast colors which are a perceived color other than white also work well in ceilings, and can make a ceiling feel higher, much like the night sky.  We know that dark canopy of stars above us at night is far away.  In the same way, a deeper value of paint color on the ceiling can make a ceiling soar, as long as there is also sufficient light in a room.  More contrast on a ceiling can add warmth to a space, and increase the impact of crown moulding.

Don’t underestimate the importance of ceiling color.  The blue-gray cast of a basic “ceiling white” can make almost any wall color – other than blue-gray- duller and even muddy under low light conditions.

Published by Linda H Bassert on 30 Jul 2015

Certified Asthma & Allergy Friendly Paint

Benjamin Moore just released information of interest to any family coping with allergies or asthma.  Here is a copy of the release.  Natura can be mixed in three finishes, flat, eggshell, and semi-gloss, and in all of Benjamin Moore’s color collections but one (the Color Stories collection can only be mixed in Aura.).

Natura® Receives asthma & allergy friendly Certification

Natura paint, asthma and allergy friendly

Natura paint, asthma and allergy friendly

Benjamin Moore’s first paint to earn the certification.

Asthma and allergies affect more than 370 million people worldwide, 70 million of whom are in the United States alone. In 2006, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), the leading national nonprofit organization that services those with asthma and allergies, collaborated with Allergy Standards Limited, an international physician-led certification company, to establish a scientific program to vet and identify consumer products that are more suitable for people with asthma and allergies.*

The asthma & allergy friendlyTM Certification Program independently tests and identities consumer products that are more suitable for those living with asthma and allergies.  Natura earned the certification with low odor, zero emissions and zero volatile organic compounds (VOCs).**

For more information about the asthma & allergy friendly Certification Program, please visit

*U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention 2013 Statistical Updates; World Health Organization, Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America.

** Zero VOC according to EPA Method 24. No VOC emissions detected according to CDPH/EHLB/standard method v1.1. 2010.



Published by Linda H Bassert on 07 Apr 2014

Color 101: What about the Ceilings? Value and Hue

Today Ceiling color is an important consideration.

In decades past, ceilings were white, and flat, because ceiling paint only came in one white.   Flat paint hides imperfections, but it also is not washable.  It was safe to use flat on the ceilings, but until recently, there was no such thing as a washable flat paint.  Today, Benjamin Moore has a matte interior finish, which is a washable flat paint.  And they have the Waterborne Ceiling Paint, which is tintable in thousands of colors.

There still are cans of Ceiling White, and your painter may encourage you to use it.  It’s quick and easy to come in, have the cans shaken, but not tinted, and off the painter can go.  However, I’m not a fan of  pre-mixed Ceiling White, because  the hue is a blue-gray white, and in most cases this doesn’t go with the other colors in the space.  There are many other whites which can be chosen instead, or a colored ceiling may be just what the space needs.  Choose a white, off white, or color for your ceiling, in a hue which is in harmony with the other colors of the room.

While not everyone uses white or off white for their trim color, those are most popular.  Because the lightest value of color draws our attention quickly, I don’t recommend having the ceiling just as white as the trim color.  To give all the acreage of the ceiling to the highest contrast color, or lightest value, can give the ceiling far too much importance.

In rooms with crown moulding, if the ceiling and the moulding are the same color, the contrast then is only below the crown moulding, which results in the ceiling appearing to be lower.


Alternatively, in a room where there is some contrast at the top of the moulding, where the ceiling color meets it, the contrast point is now at the top of the moulding, so the ceiling appears higher.


In rooms without crown moulding, you still may want a little more color on the ceiling than used in the trim paint – to keep our eyes down in the rest of the room, not being distracted by the expanse of white ceiling.  This could be a color used in some art in the room, or a lighter value of the wall color.


And sometimes, more than a little color on the ceiling, is just what the doctor ordered!

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Rooms still need enough light, and in your room does not have a lot of natural light, you may not want a strong ceiling color soaking up the light.  On the other hand, if you have a southern exposure, or a huge window wall, and too much glare in a room, more color in the ceiling could help the space.



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