Four Pretty Ceiling Projects

Ceilings are often the forgotten element in room d├ęcor. Using paint, molding, and wallpaper borders dresses up the fifth wall of a room.


+ enlarge image Metalic paint adds drama to a ceiling.

To create drama in an evening space, such as a dining room or master bedroom, consider a ceiling that's dark or shiny.

Metallic paint, shown here in silver, dramatically reflects light in a way that even high-gloss paint cannot.

Draw attention to the ceiling color with a double molding: Mount a narrower molding 2 inches below crown molding. Both are available in stock sizes at home stores.

Then paint the wall space metallic so the crown molding appears to be floating.

+ enlarge image Cool blue may be the right touch in a warm climate.

Painting ceilings blue-- the color of the sky -- is a time-honored tradition, especially in hot climates where a cooling effect is desired.

Here, the blue ceiling is contrasted by cloud-white crown molding and a focal-point medallion. The classic combination brings to mind Jasperware china and would suit a slightly formal setting, such as a dining room or foyer.

Elaborate architectural detailing looks best when it contrasts with the ceiling and wall colors. White moldings recede; dark moldings call attention to the room's borders. To maximize contrast, these moldings are installed over a ceiling color that is slightly darker than the walls.

When choosing a ceiling and wall color combination, be aware of the different ways light plays on vertical and horizontal surfaces. These two blues are only one shade apart, but rules of reflection make the walls seem lighter and the ceiling darker than they actually are.

+ enlarge image Lattice work isn't just for the garden.

Long used as a structural and decorative device in the garden, latticework can add new dimension to a flat ceiling. The graphic look of this 12-inch grid would complement a modern decorating style, although a traditional room also could benefit from the historic design.

The lattice is made from furring strips screwed to the ceiling. Paint the strips before installation, then touch up seams and nail holes.

Two furring strips butted together at a 90-degree angle around the ceiling's perimeter create a faux-coffered look. In this case, we've painted the ceiling a paler blue than the walls to minimize contrast with the moldings.

Because light colors recede in bright light, the room will appear taller during the day. At night in dim light, a light-colored ceiling appears to close in, creating a cozier feeling.

+ enlarge image Wallpaper border on the ceiling provides a novel touch.

Take the "wall" out of "wallpaper borders"and you have a novel way to spotlight your ceiling.

A wide border featuring an intricate pattern draws the eye up and gives the ceiling a sense of grandeur.

Our three-part border is actually a single strip of embossed paper, making installation a breeze. The classic leaf pattern in the center and the architectural references along the edges blend well with the simple crown molding.

The two-tone color scheme keeps the overall effect from being too busy. For a seamless look, take your wallpaper border to the paint store and ask them to custom-match colors for the ceiling and for the crown molding.

You don't need substantial crown moldings to pull off this look; a border is an ideal way to beef up skimpy moldings. If you have no molding, fake it by installing a second border around the top of the wall.

The wall border should be narrower than the ceiling border and have a plainer design so they won't compete visually.

How to Paint a Door

Painting Trim

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