I already know this title alone will stir up much debate. But I promise you it is a game changer when designing a room. Painting ceilings the same color as the walls is a painting hack I learned this year. It’s so simple, yet with BIG impact!
It’s also perfect for me because in our house we bought in 2020, everything was painted a flat gray paint. Walls, ceiling, everything. Using this painting hack, I can be rid of the all that flat paint I despise.
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Painting Ceilings the Same Color as the Walls
There are three main reasons I would argue when trying to convince someone to paint their ceilings and walls the same color:
- It makes the room look bigger
- Gives the illusion of ceilings being higher
- Can make a big room look and feel more cozy with the right colors
Making Rooms Appear Bigger
Head to the link above to see a before of this beautiful bedroom. But this is a great example of how painting ceilings the same color as the walls can make a room feel larger.
This room goes a bit further with the crown molding as well as the doors and trim painted the same color. I like this effect the best when everything is painted the same color. The color on the walls is Farrow and Ball De Nimes.
Giving the Illusion that Ceilings are Higher
Take a look at this first picture and tell me what you see. I see a room with rather tall ceilings (ours downstairs are 9ft) but you can’t tell just from this looking into this room.
The space has high ceilings and is a full bath, but it is still a small room. It also has no windows and no natural light. A small room is a great opportunity to paint walls and ceilings the same color. The myth is that painting a small room one color will make it feel smaller when actually it does the opposite.
So I took the opportunity and did this to our powder room downstairs.
Now that the walls and ceiling are painted the same color, the room feels seamless. The color draws the eye upward, making the ceilings feel higher and the room larger. I went a step further and painted not only the ceiling, but the doors and trim the same color.
If you have the opportunity to, I recommend it! But you don’t have to.
Since the room is small, I leaned into having a moody space. Even a darker color would not make the room feel smaller. The color just envelops the whole room like a hug. (Yes, I know that sounds super cheesy)
Can Make a Bigger Room Look and Feel More Cozy
This room has 10 foot ceilings. Look at this before and after. It kind of speaks for itself.
I loved this version of his room, but the white walls and gray ceiling made the room feel super open and airy, but huge.
When you look towards the ceiling, it’s hard to tell where the wall ends and the ceiling begins. I love the feel this gives the room. The ceilings are very high in this room, but they look even higher yet still cozy when the walls and ceilings transition seamlessly together.
The contrasting trim could be seen as a disruption, but I don’t think it changes the effect to make the room appear bigger. I wanted to include this as an example that the trim and baseboards can be painted the same, but do not have to if you feel the trim colors should be different.
Pro Tip: If your room has molding on the ceiling, (beams, coffered ceilings, etc) this trick is not recommended.
There were also quite a few imperfections on the ceiling that a fresh coat of paint was able to hide. This room also has a lot of angles that are softened with the paint as well.
Some Other Examples of Wall and Ceilings Same Color
Here are some other examples of rooms with painted walls and ceilings the same color, particularly dark and light colors to illustrate how both kinds of colors will work.
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions when considering this hack:
Should I add crown molding when painting my walls and ceilings the same color?
If you have the budget and patience to install it, absolutely! It only adds to the illusion that the ceilings are tall and it is beautiful as well. If you do add it, paint it the same color as the walls and ceiling for the trick to work.
Can I use the same paint on the walls and ceiling?
Technically yes. I did this in my bathroom with an eggshell sheen. Ceiling Paint is usually flat paint to prevent dripping and hide imperfections. This is best for ceilings.
I didn’t want to use three different sheens in one room (flat, eggshell, and semi-gloss for trim) so I bought one to save money and used the same paint on the walls and ceiling. I’ll be adding box molding to this room soon and will use a semi gloss on the trim and baseboards.
When should you paint the ceiling and the walls the same color?
The best opportunity to paint your ceilings the same color as the walls is when you have a small space. It can work well in any room, but I would try this trick first in a smaller room.
Should I paint my ceilings white?
Sherwin Williams says that painting ceilings white is good for reflecting light back into the room, especially one with no natural light. You can absolutely do this, but I think it cuts off the room and makes it look like the ceiling is closer to your eye, which isn’t the goal.
If you are painting the whole room white, then I say paint the ceiling the same color white, but in a flat finish. Try adding an embellishment on the ceiling like shiplap or ceiling tiles.
Pros and Cons
Pros: Some pros are that choosing paint colors is easier because you’re making the choice once. Another pro is it saves money only buying one paint color. Also all the reasons previously mentioned are pros: makes room feel bigger, more cozy, taller ceilings, can hide imperfections.
Cons: The wrong color could make the room feel super monochromatic (not in a good way) and dull or boring instead of cozy. It can be harder to decorate a room with such a big expanse of color, so keep decor simple. Finally, make sure to add enough light back into the room which can incur more expense.
Painting the ceilings the same color as the walls can help your room design so much. It can help the room feel larger, more cozy and inviting, and make the ceilings even taller.
Dark colors and light colors work well with this trend. Although this is trendy now and makes a room look professionally designed, I think it is something that will be used many times over the years.
As you can see, I have done this to many rooms in my house and plan to paint other rooms this way as well. What do you think with of this trick? Would you try this in your home?