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9 Best Ceiling Paint Colors to Consider

Put down the white paint! Go bold with these ceiling paint color ideas that will take your room to the next level.

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Painting A Ceilingeyecrave/Getty Images

What Is the Best Color to Paint a Ceiling?

Think of the ceiling as the fifth wall of your room. Instead of going straight for the white paint, have fun with the ceiling color and dramatically change the vibe of the space. The possibilities are endless!

But what colors work best and which ones will overwhelm the space?

Color is always subjective of course, so don’t get too hung up on the rules. Here’s what a few design and paint experts had to say about picking the best ceiling color for any room.

Get cozy with dark colors

According to Rob Abrahams of Coat Paints, you shouldn’t be afraid of a dark ceiling, especially in a bedroom.

“Choosing a dark color for the walls, like navy or even black, can soften the space,” Abrahams says. “Dark colors absorb light and dull the edges of the room, making it feel softer and relaxing. Kind of like a cozy cave. Take that dark color up onto the ceiling, too, and you’ll maximize that cave feeling, which can help with a restful night’s sleep.”

Check the light reflective value

The amount of natural light a room receives can drastically effect the look of paint color on the walls and ceiling. Heather Prestanski of Comfortable Dwelling says when choosing a ceiling color, pay attention to the paint’s light reflective value (LRV), which is the amount of light it reflects.

“A color on the ceiling that is the same value (as in they both have the same or similar LRV) will expand the ceiling, making it feel taller,” she says. “LRV is a number between 0 and 100. You can find this number on the back of most paint chips.”

Go for a flat finish

No matter what color you choose, most experts recommend a flat finish for your ceiling.

“Typically ceilings are done in a flat finish because they do not get exposed to the handling that walls get,” says Karen Gray-Plaisted of Design Solutions. By handling, she means hand prints and dog slobber that needs to be washed off walls. Therefore, a washable finish is best.

Plus, a flat- or matte-finish ceiling doesn’t draw too much attention. A high-sheen paint, however, will draw the eye up and distract from the rest of the room.

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Ceiling Paint Color: Dark Gray

The dark gray paint used in this bedroom by @neetlydone brings down the height of the tray ceiling, making the room feel cozier. Just like you would for the walls, look for other elements in the room to inspire your ceiling color. As shown here, the gray ceiling nicely mimics the grays in the rug.

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Ceiling Paint Color: Royal Blue

This room by @gatti_brothers proves that bold is beautiful! Painting all four walls and the ceiling in this color might have been too much. But by limiting the blue paint to the ceiling and the window section of one wall, the space is vibrant and exciting without overwhelming.

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Ceiling Paint Color: Burnt Orange

The burnt orange in this boho living room by @jessyno.162 is an unexpected twist that elevates the whole space. When painting the ceiling a daring color, paint the upper part of your walls as well for a striking border effect. Keep in mind it will make your ceilings look lower, so make sure that’s the look you’re going for.

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Ceiling Paint Color: Light Blue

A colorful ceiling looks stunning paired with coordinating wallpaper, as shown here by @ejinteriors. Bring a sample of the wallpaper to the paint store to find the perfect color. We recommend painting the ceiling before installing the wallpaper to avoid any disastrous paint drips.

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Ceiling Paint Color: Dark Blue

To keep a dark ceiling from being too distracting, keep the rest of the space mostly neutral. In this office by @middle.oftherow, the blue ceiling adds an exciting element of what otherwise could be just another white room.

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Ceiling Paint Color: Coral

Talk about wow factor. This light coral ceiling by @celinehallas looks stunning next to the light walls and modern light fixture. We love how the crown molding and ceiling medallion were painted to match the ceiling, bringing attention to those cool architectural details. 

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Ceiling Paint Color: Pink

We’re obsessed with the pink ceiling in this dreamy room by @deannasinteriordesigns. A sweet ceiling color like this is the perfect unexpected finishing touch to an already pretty room. Pink is also one of the colors known to reduce stress and anxiety.

Design: @deannasinteriordesigns

Photo: @lindamcmanusimages

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Ceiling Paint Color: Green

Green is the color of nature and therefore has a calm and relaxing effect. Green paint is a great choice for the walls or ceiling of any room. @peppermintvilla used a muted green ceiling in her office to great effect. We love how it makes the white light fixture pop.

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Ceiling Paint Color: Black

This large living room with vaulted ceilings looks cozy and welcoming thanks to the black ceiling, a daring choice by @thehoneymoonhouse. A tried-and-true interior design rule is that every room needs an element of black, so why not go with the ceiling? And it looks great coordinated with the black front door.

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