Do Ceilings Always Have To Be White?

When most people think of painting their home interior, they think of what color to paint the walls. This is often an important step in building or renovating any house. What most people do not think about is painting the ceiling. Even if you do think about it, you might just assume the ceiling needs to be white. For this article, we have done the research and compiled our findings so you can know what color your ceiling can be.

Ceilings do not always have to be painted white. While white is certainly the most common color for a ceiling, you can experiment with different colors to really make a room flow nicely. Contrary to popular belief, a ceiling is not just an extension of the walls. Light colors, such as yellow or sky blue, work great in certain rooms and make the ceiling feel extremely open. Even darker colors, like charcoal grey, can be painted on the ceiling, depending on the wall color and the room's overall aesthetic. 

Does ceiling color matter? What kind of paint is best for ceilings? How many coats of paint does a ceiling need? Should the ceiling match the trim? We will answer these questions and more down below. So please keep reading!

Elegant and comfortable designed living room with big corner sofa, wooden floor and big windows, Do Ceilings Always Have To Be White?

Does Ceiling Color Matter?

A carpeted living room with white colored walls, huge windows, and ceiling lights on every corner for proper lighting

Absolutely, the color you paint your ceiling will certainly make or break the rest of your room. If you paint your ceiling white and the walls black, for example, the white ceiling will stick out like a sore thumb. Depending on the color of your ceiling, it can also make it look higher or lower. Lighter colors typically make the ceiling feel higher, while dark colors can feel constricting. As we mentioned earlier, painting the ceiling light blue can make the room feel --even more open than painting it white. 

On top of influencing the feeling of spaciousness, ceiling colors can also affect the room's lighting. Lighter colors attract more light, while darker colors absorb light and give the room a darker look. For living rooms, people often prefer a brighter feel. White or light colors are great for this type of room. Like black, extremely dark colors can be ideal for home theaters or other similar rooms like the den.

Should The Ceiling Match The Walls?

Ceilings do not have to match the walls, but they look best when they match in many cases. When the colors match, they blend well, and this can be a big factor in making a room feel either bigger or more compact. This is known as a monochromatic color scheme and is a great way to consider painting a room. You can also consider painting the ceiling and the walls in similar shades of the same color. This can make for an even trendier look.

What Kind Of Paint Is Best For Ceilings?

Acrylic paint seems to be the best for ceilings. Believe it or not, using just any type of paint will hurt you in the long run. Acrylic paints are the best for ceilings because they do not give off any glare and are often great at concealing imperfections. These paint types also provide minimal dripping, which can be one of the worst parts of painting a ceiling.

Best Ceiling Paint Finishes 

When deciding what kind of look you are going for with your ceiling, the paint's finish affects the overall outcome. Going with a flat finish will not draw attention upward because it tends to be the most muted, least shiny. Eggshell finishes provide lower sheen but still do not reflect too much light. While a satin finish has the most reflectiveness, it is still low compared to the others. Choosing one of these just depends on what level of sheen you prefer.

How Many Coats Of Paint Does A Ceiling Need?

House renovation with paint roller

The general rule for coats of paint on the ceiling is two. By applying two coats of paint, you are not over-doing it but ensuring all areas are covered thoroughly. Even though two coats does not seem like a lot, we also recommend hiring a professional to paint your ceiling when possible. This is because properly covering your floors and applying the paint correctly is so important.

Since you are painting a ceiling, paint can drip easily and ruin all sorts of furniture and flooring if you are not careful. Too heavy of a coat could result in larger splatter areas and cost you a lot of money and time to remove. When painting your ceiling, we recommend removing all the furniture from the room to minimize risk. On top of that, make sure you paint the ceiling before you paint your walls because it could drip onto them.

Should Ceiling Match Trim?

Modern hidden lamp with matching ceiling and trim

In most homes, yes, the ceiling should match the trim. Matching your trim makes for a more cohesive look all around. However, some people may enjoy a more eclectic look and enjoy the trim and ceiling looking different. All in all, most public buildings and modern homes are going to have matching trim and ceiling. At the end of the day, what matters most is what you like.

Adding a lighter trim color to your home than walls or ceiling can make the whole room pop. Just be sure to make the colors similar enough where they flow together well. White ceilings and dark green trim would not go well together. But white ceilings and a light beige can add a lot of character to a room.


In conclusion, ceiling colors may seem like a small part of a room's aesthetic, but they are just as important as the walls' color. Making sure walls and ceiling match or complement one another can be the difference in making the room feel relaxed and comfortable or distracting and uncomfortable.

When you plan to paint your ceiling, make sure you consider all these things and consider hiring a professional to save you time, money, and mess. You will not regret spending time making sure your ceiling color perfectly goes with the rest of your room!

Interested in learning more about ceilings? Check out this article: What’s The Standard Ceiling Height? [Answers By House Floor]

Looking to skip the cost of a professional? Here are some tips for doing it yourself: How To Paint A Ceiling Without Roller Marks [9 Pro Tips!]

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