The next time you’re faced with the task of painting an unfinished ceiling, keep a few things in mind that just might make you look at this job as more of a fun, decorative project than as a chore. Being such a large area of a room with almost no obscurations save for perhaps one or two light fixtures and maybe a ceiling fan or two, the ceiling presents a big opportunity for making a room stand out. For instance, take a second look at the use of the color white.
White, as a color for painting an unfinished ceiling, reigns supreme as the most-used hue for applying to homeowners’ ceilings. But even though white goes with everything, it’s not always the room enlarger most people think of it as being. White ceilings in tiny rooms can exacerbate the effect, in fact, while those with loft-type ceilings feel even more lofty and sky-high.
The savvy decorator’s rule of thumb in using paint on ceilings is to use color (any color, not only white) a shade or so lighter than what’s on the walls and in rooms with loft-type ceilings, paint the ceiling a shade or so darker than what’s on the walls.
Another interesting phenomenon about pairing bright-white ceilings and deeply colored walls is that this can leave the room with an unfinished, “something’s missing” look. If you must paint the ceiling with snow-white paint, keep the walls somewhere in the light pastel ranges for best results.
Using the Color Wheel
Another trick for painting an unfinished ceiling that adds a little dramatic pop is this: Paint the ceiling a color that’s opposite it on the color wheel. This provides an eye-catching contrast used by many interior design professionals for maximum color-producing punch.
The color wheel is used by artists, decorators, designers – and homeowners – to help select colors that complement as well as those that contrast. It is made up of primary colors, secondary colors, and tertiary colors.
Primary colors consist of red, blue, and green. Secondary colors are orange, green, and purple – the colors produced when the primary colors are combined. Tertiary colors are made up from secondary colors mixed with the primary colors next to them.
For example, here are a couple of online color wheels to play around with:
You Get What You Put Into It
Painting an unfinished ceiling can translate into working with a fresh, new canvas – it all depends on your outlook. You can go ahead and paint that ceiling with plain, old white and consider adding a popcorn texture something extravagant, or you can let your creativity loose and turn your ceiling into a near work of art. Just remember: You can get some great results with whatever paint you use – but not without some effort- and a little imagination!