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.