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Painting walls and ceilings


Published: Jun 24, 2013

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To paint or not to paint? This is the question most of us ask ourselves when planning to paint the ceilings of our homes the same color as the walls.

Since ceilings are considered “the fifth wall”, painting them the same color as your walls can be very effective when crown moldings are part of the picture.

Often, ceilings lower than eight feet are painted white or very light cream, regardless of the wall color. This practice is basically due to the fact that using a dark color on the ceiling of a small room will make the ceiling feel even lower. If you must use something other than white, make sure it is two to three shades lighter than the wall color to avoid creating a cave-like feeling. Using different shades of the same color for walls and ceilings will provide a softer, unified effect in the room. By avoiding a stark contrast between the walls and the ceiling, the eyes will not be drawn to the low ceiling and the room will appear larger. Most paint designers will use paint strips to choose a lighter color to paint the ceiling or will simply mix white with 25 percent to 50 percent of the wall color.

A large but sparsely furnished room with high ceilings will benefit from having a darker ceiling. Painting a high ceiling a shade darker than the wall will bring the ceiling “down” fooling the eye into thinking the room is smaller and making it appear cozier.

When the wall color is a very pale, creamy or off-white, painting the ceiling the same color makes sense. When the wall color is very light, leaving the ceiling white can result in a ceiling that looks unfinished.

I recently used Benjamin Moore Pale Oak and Elmira White Eggshell finish to paint two different rooms, including the ceilings. I also used Antique Ivory Flat finish to paint the molding and baseboards and the results where outstanding.

Having just spent a couple of days driving back and forth from the paint shop to my house, I would advise you to take your time and not rush the process of finding the perfect colors for your home. Use the Internet to get ideas. Spend an hour or two browsing the many pictures of beautifully painted rooms and write down the colors used in the pictures. Even though many of the colors may look different in pictures than they do in real life, this exercise will allow you to get a good idea of what you may or may not like. Choose several colors and buy the small sample cans to try on small sections of your walls before making the final decision. Colors tend to look different and darker on walls than on the color swatches. Most importantly, make sure to record the paint formula in case you need to do re-touches later on.


• Carmen Massoni is president of Bahama Islands Realty and has 18 years of experience in the real estate profession in The Bahamas. She has been the recipient of many international awards recognizing her as a top producer amongst her peers. If you have any questions or need real estate advice, call 322-7770 or email Carmen@BahamaIslandsRealty.com.


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