Paint Your Ceiling Dark (and reasons why you should!)

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Paint your ceiling dark…or darker anyway! I’ll tell you a few reasons why you should!

Hello beautiful friends! I’ve been busy doing those updates I mentioned a while back. Here in this post.
Remember? If not, hop on over and check out that post I linked above to see all the things I have in mind.

Well, I can check two of the things I’m changing up off of my list today!

  • Painting the ceiling in the foyer – check!
  • Peel and stick wallpaper in the guest bath – check!

Paint Your Ceiling Dark (and reasons why you should!)

In case you don’t know what our foyer looks like, it looks like this:

foyer with sea salt walls and white ceiling

This is before I painted the ceiling obviously. But I wanted to show you how it looked before I did that.

See the beautiful crown molding? We did that a few years ago. You can read all about how we did it here >>> DIY Crown Molding (wide)
Well, it nearly blends in with the ceiling, doesn’t it??

It is very light, bright, and airy, which I love. However, my entire house is light, bright, and airy.
Which I really do love! But, I wanted to add a little interest and a new design element here and there.

Plus, we have SO much white in our home, I thought a little more color in places would be nice.

It’s fun to change things up every once in a while, isn’t it? I know most people will think I’m crazy to take a perfectly good room and change it like this. But I love change! And simple changes like this are perfect. Plus, I do have a DIY & design blog so I do the changing so I can show and teach others what things look like before they do it in their own homes. Win-win!

Okay, so, this took me all of one morning to do. I love quick makeovers like that!
And I did not take any “during” photos, sorry! I got up at 6am Friday morning and literally just got to work!! haha I was rolling and didn’t stop to even think. Oops!!

So, here is the finished look:

foyer with sea salt walls and oyster bay ceiling

I got tons of paint chip samples before deciding on a color. I was leaning towards a blueish/gray color. But nothing felt right.
Especially with the Sea Salt walls.
Finally, I decided to stay in the same color family as Sea Salt.

I went with Oyster Bay by Sherwin Williams. (which is 2 shades darker than Sea Salt which I have on the walls)

As I started to cut in around the edges, I noticed it looked SOOO much darker than on the island. (it is also Oyster Bay, same finish and everything, Eggshell finish) Do you see the edge of the island there?? Isn’t that crazy how paint plays with light and looks so different because of that?

Oyster Bay kitchen island with white quartz top

But just look at how the molding pops now! Not missing the woodwork now!

Oyster Bay ceiling with wide white trim crown molding

I absolutely love it.

dark painted ceiling with lighter walls

And I just love the contrast it brings.

darker ceiling with lighter walls and white trim

As you can see, I didn’t go that dark. Just slightly darker (2 shades) but dark enough to make a difference. Not too dark as to make it overbearing or harsh. Both of which might go well in another home but in my more “spa-like”, coastal style, I don’t think it would’ve.

And on that note, wait till you see the wallpaper I chose for the guest bath!! haha!! I might have to eat those words! ;)

Anyway, I decided to not take the paint up the stairs and just cut it off right there.

dark ceiling and photos on wall going up stairs

I was worried it wouldn’t look right but I think it looks absolutely fine.

ceiling leading to stairway

And here’s something else that’s new…the light fixture.

star shaped glass and gold light fixture

Isn’t she purty?! lol I just love it and think it goes with our “coastal glam” home perfectly!
You can find it here.

And just look at how pretty it looks with the light on. I love the design it leaves on the ceiling.

star shaped light fixture with light on and star reflection on ceiling

I had considered wallpaper for the ceiling but with that texture, wallpaper was out.

textured drywall ceiling painted

I ended up loving how the texture looks painted! It gives it even more interest and style.

textured ceiling

By the way, the paint I used was leftover from painting our kitchen island. It was Eggshell finish which is also what I have on all of our interior walls. Our home is older and has 8 ft ceilings which in and of itself can make rooms appear darker. But we also live in a well-established neighborhood with huge trees in the front and woods in the back. Along with that, we have a front porch and back screened porch…all of which block some of the light coming in!
So, the Eggshell finish is great without being too “shiny”. Just enough to reflect light in a darker home to make things seem brighter. And I have to tell you, it works.

Now, the ceiling looks a bit shiny in that photo above but I think it is because of how the light from the door is hitting it. And the angle I am taking the photo. It doesn’t look that shiny at all in person. Neither do any of our walls.

Here’s a few reasons why you might want a darker ceiling than your walls:

  • Adds contrast and depth
  • Adds a stylish interest and design elements to your decor
  • Can make smaller rooms seem larger (odd, I know)
  • Creates a feeling of coziness
  • Makes trim work stand out

And a few other thoughts:

  • Another reason for adding some “darkness” to your foyer. It is said that a darker foyer creates the illusion the rest of your home is light, bright, and large compared to the “cozy” foyer space. Makes sense, I guess.
  • For a more monochromatic and cohesive look, chose a color that is similar, with similar tones like I did here.
  • I can see painting a ceiling dark being the perfect design element in a bedroom. Perfect for creating a very inviting and cozy space.

Well, what do you think? Would you paint your ceiling dark?

light and bright foyer with white trim and darker ceiling

Let me know in the comments!

PIN it to save it!

Paint your ceiling dark...or darker anyway! I'll tell you a few reasons why you should!







    1. This is GORGEOUS. Totally agree it looks better now! Did you consider comfort gray (i.e. 1 shade deeper)? If so, what swayed you to Oyster Bay?

      And, do you think one needs the crown molding to make this work? I feel like maybe yes, but I don’t have it right now! I wonder if I could “fake” it with paint? Or maybe I could pull the darker color down on to the wall a bit… I am redoing a studio condo on the ocean that has small east facing windows that are shaded by the balcony above it and a tiny south facing window that doesn’t let much light in either. I’ve been struggling knowing what to do with whites since the place is so dark, so I found your post looking for sea salt ceilings. I love what you’ve done way more than any other pics I have seen. Great job.

      1. Thank you, Virginia! That’s so kind of you to say! We really love it and are enjoying the new look.
        Comfort Gray is nice but I’m really happy with the Oyster Bay. I think it is the perfect depth of color and shade for the rest of the surrounding rooms.
        I have seen some who paint down the wall a bit but I have not done that myself so can’t speak to it. I also don’t think you have to have crown mold but it really creates a nice contrast. If you have white or off white walls I think it can look really nice even without the crown mold since that would provide nice contrast in itself. I hope that helps some!

  1. Love the darker ceiling! I’d love to paint our ceiling dark, to make our crown molding Pop, but we have an open concept, I think it would be too much, since there’s no breaking point. Might try it in one of the bedrooms.

  2. I’ve got a bedrm ceiling on my do to list. Any tips on how to paint a ceiling? What type of roller, did you have to be on a ladder the whole time, etc? Yours turned out great!

    1. Perfect!! They have different naps on rollers depending on whether your ceiling is smooth or has texture. Be sure to get the right one for yours. I used a small step stool (the kind with two steps), small angle brush to cut in and a pole extender to reach the ceiling once I was rolling (no, not on the ladder for that part). I’ll update the post with links to each of them so you can see what I mean. :)

  3. It looks really nice! At first I was skeptical, but it looks great. Good job!! What does your hubby think?

    1. Thank you, Caye!! I think you and a lot of folks were! Funnily enough, I was at my sister’s and I asked him what he thought when he walked in and he said he hadn’t even noticed it!! Men!! lol But he realized it and went back to look. He said it looked great. :)

  4. I started painting my ceilings about 15 years ago. Love the effect it has in a room. Nice job. Looks so fresh.

  5. An all-around Great choice! Lends a whole new dimension to the total design of the area. Also love ❤️ the fun star shaped light! The simple gold framed mirror is a sophisticated upgrade. Using fewer small table accessories, (maybe just that gold bowl of shells on a stack of books), would harmonize better with all of these great changes.

    1. Thanks, Ruth! I think it does too, isn’t that neat?? I had been wanting to change out the light for a while to better reflect our coastal design/style. So glad you love it! And yes, I might swith that up again! xo

  6. Your darker ceiling is beautiful. Yes, I would paint my ceiling a darker shade and I have. As you said, it has more depth. I love your colors and everything you do.

  7. I was nervous at first, especially with the dark floors. I said, “No! Don’t! It’s so pretty as is!”. You sure proved me wrong; it is absolutely gorgeous! Love how the moulding stands out and even brings out that beautiful wall color. You have inspired me to consider painting a ceiling a color other than white.

  8. Thanks for showing both the before and after. It does highlight the crown molding more but for me, I definitely like the Before better. It feels confining now to me, like the ceiling is going to come down on my head. I might try a darker ceiling in a bedroom to feel cosy, but for me, not in a hall where the walls are already narrow. To each their own. But I love both of your color choices and would happily paint either on the walls

    1. Hi Wendi! Yes, a darker ceiling can do that but it can also bring your eyes up and make it feel like it is more expansive. And absolutely, to each their own. But I do appreciate your honest opinion!! :)

  9. I love it. It seems to give depth which I feel makes it look higher, off into space which I wouldn’t have thought.
    I’m trying to figure how it would look I’m my small bathroom.

  10. Your darker ceiling is beautiful! Love the idea, color, execution and end result. Stimulating, enveloping and welcoming all at once. Well done.

  11. WOW!! In all honesty I truly cringed when I read the heading of this post……never one to bring attention to a ceiling…but in your case it is stunning. I absolutely love it! It has a WOW factor without being overwhelming in the least. And I love your wall color too. Well done, lady.

    1. Aw, haha, I do not think you were alone in that from the comments here! ;) So glad everyone loves it! I sure do! Thanks, Michele! xo

  12. Love the star shaped ceiling light. Can anyone provide any information on where to purchase one? E. B.

  13. I always admire your work and this is absolutely lovely. My crown molding is dark wood so I keep my ceiling light but would like to try something like this in one of my rooms. I enjoy your posts on Tuesday and Thursday very much and appreciate you sharing your knowledge with the rest of us.

  14. I was surprised how well I liked the darker ceiling. It really looks nice. Now I am getting inspired to paint my livingroom ceiling a little darker.

    1. Thanks, Joanne! I think quite a few others were too from the comments here! So glad you like it!! And that you are inspired to maybe give it a go too! xo

  15. When I read the post title I was like nonono, your beautiful light and airy home with dark ceilings? HaHa. Then I saw it. It just works so well and looks beautiful. Like a designer finish. Love that it’s not really dark, it’s just not white, and darker than the walls. Love it!

  16. I think the darker ceiling looks very elegant in your foyer! I love sea salt, I have it in my hall bathroom. Your house has evolved through the years and it’s simply beautiful!

    1. Thank you so much, Michele! We are really enjoying it. And yes, Sea Salt might be my all time favorite. And thank you for the sweet words about our house. I do too feel as if it has evolved quite a bit and it’s so nice to hear that!! xoxo

  17. LOVE it! I am thinking about doing this in my kitchen/dining/keeping room. My style is French country farmhouse- and where I will not use the same colors as you, I think I can find colors that will work within my palette. Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore are excellent resources! Thank you so much! Sometimes inspiration comes in newsletters! ❤️ Renee

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