What Color To Paint A Tray Ceiling [7 Tray Ceiling Paint Ideas]

Picking a specific color of paint for any part of your house can be a little challenging. What colors are recommended for painting a tray ceiling? Should you go lighter or darker? We've searched the web for the best answers, and here's what we've found.

Choosing the perfect color for your tray ceiling can depend on several things. The walls' colors, lighting, and even your furniture can be a factor in selecting your paint. Here are seven color ideas that are perfect for tray ceilings. 

  • White 
  • Gray 
  • Contrasting Color
  • Same Color As Your Wall
  • Deeper Color
  • Darker Color
  • Earthy

Colors in various hues and shades will have a certain effect on your tray ceiling and even the whole room. Keep reading to learn the pros and cons of tray ceilings and how to make them a focal point. We've also included some recommended products for painting and decorating your tray ceiling.

Luxury master bedroom with tray ceiling, What Color To Paint A Tray Ceiling [7 Tray Ceiling Paint Ideas]

What Is A Tray Ceiling?

A tray ceiling looks like an enormous inverted tray that is positioned on the upper surface of a room. It's many inches higher than the portion around the room's confines. You could say that a tray ceiling is an element of interior design that elevates a house.

We sometimes add affiliate links and content that was curated and created by our team with the help of advanced ai tools to help showcase the best design styles.

Master bath in new construction home with tray ceiling

A tray ceiling also adds elegance and style to a room. The structure enables the use of paints and other materials that can transform a plain ceiling into a centerpiece.

Pros And Cons Of Having A Tray Ceiling

Tray ceilings have their advantages and disadvantages. Let's check some of them out.


  • A well-designed and executed tray ceiling can add elegance to your home.
  • The upside-down tray look of a tray ceiling creates the illusion of a larger space.
  • The inverted ceiling creates a three-dimensional outcome to a room and adds an illusion of depth.
  • Tray ceilings can make an area feel airy and roomy.
  • A recessed ceiling makes it possible for you to use special lighting fixtures and systems that can modify the mood and feel of a room.


  • Tray ceilings are quite hard to clean and maintain because they have two contrasting heights.
  • If your kitchen doesn't have a very high ceiling, a tray ceiling can lessen cabinet space in that area.
  • A dropdown border is essential to a tray ceiling. Rooms with low walls aren't recommended because the dropdown narrows headspace.

7 Color Schemes And Tray Ceiling Paint Ideas

Let's learn more about these seven color schemes and paint ideas. We've also included images to help you. 

Paint Your Tray Ceiling White 

Master bedroom in luxury home with tray ceiling

Painting your tray ceiling white is one of the best decisions you can make. The color white allows serenity and peace to stand out. There's just something calming about the color white. 

Click here to see this Prestige Brite White paint on Amazon.

Paint Your Tray Ceiling Gray

Tray ceilings painted gray have a dramatic and timeless look. Pairing it with white walls enhances the beautiful contrast of the two colors.

Click here to see this Montage Signature gray paint on Amazon.

Paint It With A Contrasting Color

Using contrasting colors in a neutral-colored room is the right way to go. It will make a huge impact on your tray ceiling and become the main focus of the room.

Light shades like blue can have a calming effect and are suitable for bedrooms and kitchens. Bold and dark hues will produce a lively contrast which is perfect for living rooms and dining rooms.

Click here to see this Montage Signature Patina Paint on Amazon.

Paint It The Same Color As Your Wall

Luxury master bedroom

Painting your tray ceiling the same hue as the walls will highlight the ceiling wonderfully. It will create a feeling of intimacy and cohesion. This painting idea is ideal for bedrooms.

Click here to see this Montage Signature Navajo White paint on Amazon.

Paint The Walls The Same Color As The Tray Walls

Another creative way to color your tray ceiling is to paint your tray walls the same colors as the room walls. Then paint the room ceiling and tray ceiling a lighter color. This color scheme will elevate your ceiling without using lots of colors.

Click here to see House&Canvas 14k Yellow Gold paint on Amazon.

Paint It A Deeper Color

Living room with a beautiful interior

You have to consider the walls' height and the light coming in when choosing this option. Deep tray ceilings can pull your eye downward and dim the space. A deeper-colored tray ceiling is perfect for the living room or TV room.

Click here to see this Rust-Oleum Coastal Blue Paint on Amazon.

Paint It A Darker Color

Living room den ornate woodwork tray ceiling with square wood panels painted white

Using a darker hue for your tray ceiling can make it the centerpiece of the room. And going darker than your walls' color on the ceiling will make the room seem more comfortable.

Click here to see this Rust-Oleum Canyon Black Paint on Amazon.

Paint It An Earthy Color

If your goal is to add a bit of nature to your house, then paint your tray ceiling in an earthy hue. Colors like the gold or an earthy brown can create a natural earthy feel.

Click here to see this Marigold Kilz Tribute Paint & Primer on Amazon.

How To Make Your Tray Ceiling The Focal Point

Match The Color With The Furniture

Paint your tray ceiling a color that matches the furniture in the room. Choosing the color based on the sofa, rugs, and throw pillows will add elegance to the room.

Click here to see this Microblend Blue Paint on Amazon.

Decorate With A Stencil

If you have painted your tray a deep color, adding a stenciled design to it will make it stand out even more. Pairing it with a ceiling light can create a medallion effect. You can also cover the whole tray ceiling with patterns for a modern and elegant look.

Click here to see this stencil on Amazon.

Decorate With Moldings

Putting crown molding on the sides of the tray ceiling can upgrade the beauty of the ceiling. Moldings are available in numerous shapes and patterns. Moldings are often made from materials such as wood, polyurethane, and polymer. 

Click here to see this NeatiEase Flexible Crown Molding on Amazon.

Decorate With Wallpaper

 Choosing wallpaper for your tray ceiling is one of the best ideas you can try. There are numerous wallpaper designs that can match and complement the color of the walls and accents. 

Click here to see this Abyssaly White Gray Wood Paper on Amazon.

Decorate With Wood Planks Or Paneling

Beautiful home interior with open floor plan

Create a stunning centerpiece in your tray ceiling by adding wood planks. You can use stained wood or insert paneling and color it white or off-white.

Decorate With Lights

Decorative recessed ceiling with LED strip lighting

Placing a light fixture on your tray ceiling adds glamour and life to a room. A charming light fixture enhances the beauty of a tray ceiling. 

Recommended Tools For Painting Your Tray Ceiling

KILZ 68041 Interior Ceiling Paint

Works-of-art need lasting paints. When painting your tray ceiling, you need to ensure that the colors you use are of superior quality.

Click here to see this product on Amazon.

Main Features:

  • Stainblocking technology
  • Spatter-resistant
  • Color-changing when dry
  • Coverage/dry time indicator

Mister Rui Small Foam Paint Roller 4-Inch Kit

Being able to paint your tray ceiling with ease and comfort is essential. You'll need a sturdy and effective paint roller. 

Click here to see this product on Amazon.

Main Features:

  • Multiple adaptabilities
  • High-density foam
  • Sturdy frame
  • High-quality tray

LAMSU Gold Flush Mount Ceiling Light Fixture

If you're looking for a great centerpiece for your tray ceiling, you can try this stunning ceiling light fixture. It's easy to install and safe to use. 

Click here to see this product on Amazon.

Main Features:

  • Easy to install
  • Different color temperature setting create a different ambiance
  • Mirrored light body
  • High refraction K9 crystal
  • UL G9 bulb sockets

Tray Ceiling Masterpiece

Tray ceilings can affect the overall impact of a room or a house. You might say those tray ceilings are masterpieces, and you're the artist. The quality and elegance will depend on the room, color, and design you choose.

Now that you know which color schemes and ideas are perfect for your tray ceiling, it's time to start painting. Remember to gather all the necessary materials and equipment, and you're good to go. 

For additional information about other home decor color ideas, you can read these posts:

What Color To Paint Porch Ceiling? [7 Awesome Ideas!]

What Color Should I Paint My Entertainment Center? [11 Great Ideas!]


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *