6 Best Paint Colors For A Room With High Ceilings

Is it time for a new look, but you're not sure what color to paint your tall ceilings? Did you know that some colors can make your ceilings appear taller or shorter than they really are? You've come to the right place to learn all the ins and outs of ceiling paint. We've found the best color options for a room with high ceilings, so you'll get all the answers you need in one place.

Here are the six best paint colors for high ceilings:

  1. White
  2. Cream
  3. Light Gray
  4. Dark Gray
  5. Navy Blue
  6. Mix it Up

Some of these colors will make your room appear larger; some can make your room appear shorter. Painting your ceiling isn't the only way to give it a new look, either. To learn about using ceiling color to your advantage and how to manipulate room size, keep reading.

A living room with a rustic glow dazzled with mid century designed wall lamps and chandeliers expressing the earthiness of the room, 6 Best Paint Colors For A Room With High Ceilings


6 Best Colors For A Room With High Ceilings

1. White

A bright white coat of paint on your tall ceilings will make the room appear larger than life. To make the room look larger, paint the walls the same color as the ceiling, or try making the ceiling paint two shades lighter than the wall paint. White is the top choice for anyone who wants to make a room feel bigger than it is.

Interior of a rustic inspired living room with hardwood flooring, hardwood stairs and an elegant entertainment area

Glidden Flat White Ceiling Paint

This white paint is specifically designed for use on ceilings. Click here to see it on Amazon.

2. Cream

A cream color is another color that can make a room feel larger. The warm undertones may be preferable to white for some, creating a cozier look suitable for a more rustic atmosphere. Again, the key is to keep the shade on the ceiling lighter than whatever color or shade you use on the walls.

Interior of a modern inspired living room with white walls, ceilings and incorporated with modern furnitures

Prestige Paints Cream In My Coffee

This cream color has a beautiful warmth that makes it more subtle than stark whites. Click here to see it on Amazon.

3. Light Gray 

Gray interior of high vaulted ceiling family room in luxury house

Light gray is a good choice to create a sense of contrast between the walls and ceiling; use it to make the room appear larger or smaller, depending on the wall color. If the walls are darker than the gray, it will make the room feel larger. If the walls are lighter than the gray ceiling, the room will seemingly shorten.

Prestige Paints Dove Gray

This light gray color from Pretie Paints would look perfect on a high ceiling. Click here to see it on Amazon.

4. Dark Gray

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Painting your ceiling dark gray creates a dramatic feeling against light-colored walls, making a room seem smaller but more regal. If you have or want dark-colored walls, then a dark gray ceiling may not be the best option. It can make the room feel small and a bit gloomy.

Prestige Paints Pinto

This dark gray shade is rich and bold; it would create a dramatic contrast against white walls. Click here to check it out on Amazon.

5. Navy Blue

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This dark blue hue is a wonderful choice to make a room feel shorter and cozier while adding an elegant atmosphere to the room. Paired with nautical decor, it can make for a perfect coastal theme, or throw in some gold accent pieces throughout the room to add a touch of warmth and class to the room.

Microblend Blue Beard

This navy blue paint would be a beautiful shade for a ceiling with white walls. Click here to see it on Amazon.

6. Mix It Up!

Large spacious room with thick curtains and vintage bed

If you have paneling or beams on your ceiling, try painting them different colors to create contrast and break up the colors. Using white on the moldings between panels and color on the panels is a great example of this.

Beams on the ceiling are best kept in natural wood tones. Try staining them a dark color for contrast against a light-colored ceiling.

What Color Should I Paint My Living Room with Cathedral Ceiling?

If you want the room to feel smaller and cozier, go darker than the walls. If you want the room to seem as large as possible, go with a white or a light color on the ceiling. Ultimately, the color you choose depends on your taste and preferences.

Should Vaulted Ceilings be Painted the Same Colors as Walls?

Beautiful living room in luxury home with hardwood floors, tv, fireplace, and vaulted ceiling

Painting vaulted ceilings the same color as the walls will create a uniform look that ties the whole room together. Choosing a light color for both the walls and ceiling will make the room feel large and airy. A dark shade on both the walls and ceiling may be too dark and dreary.

Consider a focal wall for rooms with vaulted ceilings; paint one wall a bright color up to the ceiling and do the rest of the room in white.

Paint Colors for Small Rooms with High Ceilings

If you have a small room, you probably want to make it feel as large as you can. Stick with white or a light cream color for the best effect. If you paint the walls and ceiling the same shade of white, the room will feel much larger. 

Paint Colors for Large Rooms with High Ceilings

If you want to downplay the size of a large room, dark colors are your friend. Using a dark color on the ceiling and the walls can make the room feel smaller and more quaint. A dark color on the ceiling with light-colored walls will make the room seem shorter but still airy. 

How to Create a New Look Without Painting?

How to create a new look without painting

If you find paint too messy, there are some other options you can try out for your ceiling. Shiplap wood planks are a great way to get a fresh new look on the ceiling, and they are available in many finishes like natural wood tones and whitewashed.


Wallpaper is another way to create a new look without paint, and it's available in so many different designs.

Tempaper Designer Wallpaper

This navy blue and metallic gold wallpaper would have a showstopping effect when used on a ceiling. Click here to see it on Amazon.

Colorful Wall Art

If you want to update the look of your room with tall ceilings but don't want the hassle of painting or wallpapering, try adding some colorful wall art. Display it in a unique and interesting pattern. You can even add some high on the wall to create a divide, resulting in the illusion of a shorter room.

Moldings & Trim, Faux Beams, or Paneling

If you want to add more interest to your ceiling, consider adding new decorative moldings and trim. Adding faux beams is another unique look that can also serve as a way to add some warmth and contrast to your ceiling through natural wood tones. Adding paneling can entirely change the look of your ceiling, inspiring an elegant quality.

Add Texture

If you want to add a textured look to your ceiling, there are easy ways to do so. You can buy a natural sponge or a special roller with a textured pad that allows you to paint as normal while creating a hassle-free texture. There are also special ceiling paints and spray paints that will result in a textured appearance when dry.

HOMAX Ceiling Texture Spray

This spray creates a popcorn effect in a spray-on formula for easy application. Click here to take a look at Amazon.

Can You Paint Textured or Popcorn Ceilings?

Popcorn ceiling with a heating or cooling vent

Painting over a textured ceiling can be risky because the moisture from the paint can cause the texture to loosen and come off the ceiling. Test a small, inconspicuous area before you paint the entire room to see if it holds steady.

If it accepts the paint, you can proceed with the rest, but make sure to use a roller and be gentle. Check out "Should You Paint New Textured Ceilings?" for more details before you get started with your textured ceiling color change.

Reach for the Sky

Now that you know all about choosing ceiling paint colors, you're ready to begin planning. Find the perfect color scheme for your room and create a fresh new look that fits your needs. Remember to be cautious when painting on a ladder, and to have fun!

If you need more inspiration before you can choose the perfect colors for your room, you may want to check out our article "25 Paint Color Combinations For Living Room Walls".

Not sure what sheen to use for your project? Take a look at our article "Should A Living Room Paint Be Flat Or Eggshell?"

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