HomePaintingShould the Ceiling Be the Same Colour As the Walls?

Should the Ceiling Be the Same Colour As the Walls?

When painting a room, you will naturally have a lot of ideas about the potential colours you want to use. With the practically limitless hues and finishes available, you truly will be spoiled for choice. 

One dilemma you may be faced with will be should the ceiling and the walls be the same colour, or does the ceiling always need to be white. Here is what you need to know: 

Should the Ceiling Be the Same Colour As the Walls?

There is no rule about painting the ceiling and the wall the same colour. It will all be down to personal preference and the effect you want to achieve.

When you paint the ceiling the same colour as the walls, you can achieve a more cosy, welcoming effect. It can also make the room feel bigger, provided that it gets plenty of natural light.  

If you paint the ceiling lighter than the walls, the room will feel higher, and if you paint it vice versa, it will appear lower. This can also make for a more intimate atmosphere. 

What you ultimately choose will entirely be down to what you like and dislike, and what you want your home to feel like. Just make sure to wait between your coats of paint for them to dry, as this will ensure the smoothest and most uniform application of each layer. 

Should the Ceiling Be Lighter or Darker Than the Walls?

Lighter ceilings will make the room feel higher and more spacious, while darker ceilings will make it feel lower and cosier. 

Depending on how much height you are working with to begin with, and what effect you want to achieve, you can choose either option. 

Should the Walls and Ceiling Be the Same White?

If you are painting the entire room white, the best effect will be achieved if you use the same white across the board. 

However, there is something to be said for rooms that have a slightly flatter paint on the ceiling than on the walls. Since ceiling paint is already completely flat, by going for a semi-matte white finish on your walls, you can both make the room feel slightly higher, by providing a clear demarcation line between the ceiling and wall, and make the best of both types of paint. 

You can also use ceiling paint on your walls when using white. While it is very flat, it’s also great for covering up any imperfections. 

Does Painting the Ceiling the Same Colour as the Walls Make the Room Look Bigger?

Painting the ceiling and walls the same colour can make it appear bigger, as it draws the eye up and provides a feeling of space. This works especially well with lighter colours or with white. 

The lack of transition between wall and ceiling can lend a room the feeling of extra space. However, this will work in rooms that aren’t very small, where having a white ceiling can provide that feeling of space you are looking for. 

Blue living room

Pros of Painting Ceilings and Walls the Same Colour 

If you are considering painting your ceiling and walls the same colour, here are some of the pros of this technique:

It’s Cheaper 

Using a single colour in the entirety of a room is cheaper, as you don’t have to buy two different cans of paint and be left with unused paint you then have to find a way to store properly. 

It’s Faster 

When you paint the walls and the ceiling the same colour, you will be able to do it much faster, as you won’t have to worry about cutting in around the ceiling, only around the windows, doors and outlets. 

It Can Make the Room Appear Bigger 

The uniformity can make the room feel bigger and the ceiling appear higher than it actually is when you use the same paint all over. If you have angled walls or slanted ceilings, it will also make the room seem less choppy. 

It’s Cosier 

When the walls and the ceiling are the same colour, it makes the room feel more welcoming and cosy. Depending on the effect you want to achieve, this can be a good choice for living rooms or dens, where atmosphere matters so much. 

It’s More Uniform 

The most difficult aspect of matching a wall colour and a ceiling colour is often the undertone. Most ceiling whites aren’t truly white, and can appear yellow or pink, depending on the colour of the wall. When you use the same colour, you will effectively avoid this issue.

It Lets You Show Off Your Style 

Having a uniform canvas also helps you show off other elements of the room, like the floor or the furniture. If you choose a contrasting (or complementary, depending on the effect you are going for) colour to paint with, you can make hardwood floors pop, or neutral furniture blend in more effortlessly. 

Cons of Painting Ceilings and Walls the Same Colour 

Naturally, there are some cons to painting the ceiling and walls the same colour. Here they are for your consideration:

It Can Make a Room Appear Small

If there isn’t too much light in the room, painting the walls and ceiling the same colour can make it feel smaller or closed off. 

It Can Be Too Over the Top 

If you choose a very bold or bright colour, painting every surface the same colour can become overwhelming and fail to achieve the effect you were looking for. 

You Need Another Colour to Break It Up 

Unless the floor and furniture are of another colour, and there is plenty of other focus in the space, the room can appear caved in and too closed. 

It Can Look Boring 

The much of a good thing can sometimes be quite boring and samey, no matter how gorgeous the colour actually is.

You Need a Light or Dark Colour 

Medium-toned paints will not look good on both the walls and the ceiling. You need either a very light or a rather dark colour to make it look good. 

It Can Highlight Imperfections 

If your ceiling is full of dents or scratches, a colour will only serve to highlight them while a flat white ceiling paint will help you cover them up and make them less noticeable.

It Can Hide Your Moulding 

If you have particularly gorgeous crown moulding on your ceiling, it will effectively be hidden when you paint it the same colour as the walls. 

The Benefits of a White Ceiling 

White ceilings are the most popular for a reason: they reflect the most light, they make the space feel larger, and they are great at hiding imperfections. 

They will go well with practically any colour, provided that you match the undertone well. They will also last longer and show minimal signs of damage over time. It’s easier to touch up a white ceiling, and it will also be easier to paint. 

The Effect of a Dark Ceiling and Light Walls 

If you want to achieve a more modern effect in a space, choosing a darker ceiling colour and painting your walls a lighter colour will lend your home that contemporary feel. 

However, this will only work if there is plenty of natural light in the room and if it’s not too small. Otherwise, it can make it feel very claustrophobic.

The Effect of a Light Ceiling and Dark Walls 

Light ceilings with darker walls work very well in small spaces, and they complement light coloured furniture as well.

This is considered the default way to paint a room, as it makes it feel more spacious and more bright. 

Wrapping It Up

Whether you choose to paint your ceiling and walls the same colour will be down to your personal style. There are countless images you can draw inspiration from all over social media, so you should be able to find a combination that will accentuate your living space in just the right way. 

Don’t forget that you can’t sleep in a freshly painted room for a while, and that you also need to wait until you put the furniture back, so count on not using the room for a couple of days after you’ve finished painting it. 


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