Ceiling height plays a major role in determining how we feel in a room. Too low, and the ceiling height makes us feel cramped and shut in. Too high, and the ceiling height dwarfs us. And yet, short of tearing off the roof, what can be done to alter a room’s ceiling height?
The answer is ceiling painting. That’s right! By using special painting techniques on your ceiling you can create the illusion that the ceiling height is different than it really is. A low ceiling can look taller; a high ceiling can seem less lofty.
Ceiling Height-Use This Ceiling Painting Technique to Make a Low Ceiling Seem Higher
To begin with, if you currently have a popcorn ceiling (acoustic ceiling), you must remove the popcorn layer before you can proceed with the ceiling painting that will create the illusion of added ceiling height. Instead of the conventional way of using water, consider removing your popcorn ceiling with paint. It’s much easier and faster!
If your low ceiling is free of texture, you are ready to proceed with your ceiling painting. This technique of visually increasing the ceiling height of low ceilings consists of tricking the eye into thinking that it is seeing several layers of ceiling, at progressively rising heights. In essence, this is what a real tray ceiling does.
Begin by creating a stencil with which to mark your ceiling. Take a piece of cardboard and cut it to 2×2 feet. Next, place the cardboard stencil in a corner on the ceiling and start tracing a line along its edge with a pencil. Keep moving your cardboard stencil along the edge of the room, while tracing a line with your pencil. When you get back to where you started, you will have a line running all along the edge of your ceiling, at a distance of 2 feet from the wall.
Now repeat this step again by placing your cardboard stencil on the line you drew. This way, you’ll be tracing a second line, 2 feet apart from the first.
Finally, create the illusion that the ceiling height is much higher than it is by painting the areas that you traced. First, fill the outer area with the exact same color as your walls, to make the walls seem taller. Second, use a slightly darker shade in the middle area. And, finally, fill in the central area with a very light color.
Your ceiling will look smaller because it is fragmented, and that in itself will reduce the ceiling height visually. In addition, the progressive move to lighter shades will create the illusion of rising, as if the ceiling height is becoming higher with each section of paint. And, of course, the illusion of taller walls will add further to the overall effect.
Ceiling Height-Use This Ceiling Painting Technique to Make a High Ceiling Seem Lower
If you are able to climb up to your ceiling safely, then you can create a concave tray ceiling illusion to help reduce the apparent ceiling height of your room.
Begin by creating a stencil from cardboard. It can be 2×2 feet, or larger if your room is very large. However, do not make your stencil larger than 4×4 feet as it will become very difficult to manage. Placing your stencil on the ceiling, in a corner of the room, trace a line along its edge, and continue doing so all down the room by moving your stencil along.
If the ceiling is too high for you to reach safely, do not take the risk of penciling out a design on it. By using a roller attached to a stick in the next step of this project, you will achieve fairly straight lines, without following a traced line on the ceiling.
Choose a paint color that’s darker than your walls and fill in the area that you traced with your stencil, or work with your roller in straight lines to paint an area on your ceiling at a distance of 2 to 4 feet from the walls.
Once this first frame is finished, choose a very dark paint to fill in the rest of your ceiling. The dark middle area will create the illusion that your ceiling height is much lower than it is. While the slightly darker outline will visually reduce the height of the walls.
For more ceiling painting ideas, read about changing your flat ceiling into an elegant tray ceiling.