Ceiling paint, tray ceiling, wwyd?

crl_March 5, 2014

I just had a new chandelier installed in the dining room. We moved the location a bit to center it over the table. (The old fixture was a flush mount and centered on the room.). The electricians did a rough patch on the plaster for me and I I'll need to sand it and paint it.

So now I need to either try to match ceiling paint where the old fixture was or repaint. I am not sure if there is any of the ceiling paint in the garage. It is the same color throughout the house and I definitely have the color name as I got all of those from the real estate agent when we bought the place. The current paint job is about a year and a half old.

I have always thought it would be nice if the tray ceiling was painted in a way that showed it off a little better.

What would you do? Try to touch up the patch? Repaint in a different color? If a different color, what color(a) and what parts of the tray would you do?

The wall color is Benj. Moore revere pewter. I was thinking maybe a 50 percent mix of that and paint just the inside of the tray?

(Oh, and I love the table, chairs, bench, ceiling tin tiles and new light fixture and am not looking for advice on changing any of that.)

Thank you!

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I would be tempted to paint the ceiling a darker color than the walls.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 3:37PM
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I read gray's message first, and thought noooo. Then I saw the photo, and though... hmm, yes.

Revere Pewter, one of my faves, looks pretty light to me in your space. I think 50% of it would almost look unintentional, KWIM?

I would look at the "card" that RP is on and try a few shades darker. Well, actually, i probably wouldn't, because i am chicken, but you should. I agree you should highlight the ceiling feature more!

    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 3:42PM
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Darker, hmm. I will have to give that some thought. I don't really love the revere pewter, but I'm not ready to repaint the dining room and it will probably stay for a few years as I don't hate it either. It works with the rest of the stuff, which I do like. Anyway, I always feel like that room can be a bit glum. The new light should help as it will be much brighter than the old one. But darker makes me a little worried that it would increase the gloom. . . . Maybe it would make it cozy instead?

When you say, paint the ceiling, do you mean the whole thing or just the inside of the tray?

    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 4:32PM
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I was nodding yes to all the suggestions to do some variation (lighter/darker) of RP within the center of the tray...until you said that the room can be gloomy. In that case, I wouldn't put more, esp. darker, gray overhead. Only you know how the room feels. And if you're not wild about the RP anyway, why increase it? I think it will look fine keeping it white. But, when you do decide to change the wall color, some variation in that tray could be awesome.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 4:46PM
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How about a lighter shade of revere pewter just on the vertical edge of the raised portion? Or a color that echoes one of the colors on the tiles?

    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 5:01PM
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So, what about a muted yellow? Sort of along the lines of taking one of the colors from the ceiling tin tiles. I couldn't get a decent picture of the curtains with the light and they are no longer on the west Elm site, but they are a very pale muted gold. And the adjacent living room has the same drapes and has blue and yellow accents.

Would a pale muted yellow look random or maybe it would help subtlety brighten the room as well as highlighting the tray ceiling?

I do like the idea of painting the inside rim of the tray a different color. Maybe it could be full strength revere pewter and the center could be a fifty over cent mix?

Pretty much just thinking by typing here. Thanks!

    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 5:08PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

How high is the ceiling? I ask because a darker color on the ceiling will tend to bring it lower. I'd be sorely tempted to pic a warm terra cotta that's in the tile on the wall and paint the inset on the wall and the inset of the ceiling...it would make a nice envelope of rich color to warm up the room.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 5:18PM
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It's an eight foot ceiling. It's adjacent and open to the living room, which has a very high and fancy ceiling. So the dining room ceiling can feel a bit low in comparison. The comparison us also why the dining room can be a bit gloomy I think--at least in part. The living room has that huge picture window, plus two more small windows so it feels very bright and airy.

Here's a quick snap of the living room ceiling. I was standing in the dining room to take it.

I was buying paint for another project so I snagged a sample of cornsilk to try on a sample board.


    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 8:22PM
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I haven't painted the cornsilk sample yet, but looking at it I think it will be too yellow. Any suggestions for a more muted gold to try? Or other thoughts in general?


    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 8:39PM
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I meant paint the inside of the tray. And, as I said, my initial thought was nooooo, not darker! For all of the traditional reasons, ie dark colors will make the room darker and the ceiling lower; who wants that? Which is why the world has white ceilings, outside of Rome.

But sometimes breaking the rules makes things interesting. We amateurs are always told "can't" and "don't", but when a professional does it in some magazine, they are lauded for their creativity, LOL! "The tray was painted black to evoke the inky night sky and make the room romantic blah blah blah"

All that said, if you don't like the Revere Pewter, I would not spend time finding a color that works with it for the ceiling. Just do a quick and dirty and then revisit the tray when you do the walls? Otherwise you will be stuck in a chicken/fox/feed loop.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 9:00PM
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With a ceiling that light color, you wouldn't need to go very dark to draw attention to that wonderful tray. I also wouldn't try using the left over paint, it probably wouldn't match anymore. Think of a cream kind of color, or something to match those tiles on the wall.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 9:14PM
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I don't love the revere pewter. But I really think it will be a few years before I get around to changing it. Mostly because this house needs sooooo much both big and small (kitchen remodel, bathroom remodel, haven't even found a desk for dh's "office" space yet, ds wants a different bed for his birthday, etc, etc.) and because I don't hate the color and it works well with the adjacent rooms, curtains and so on.

So I was more or less thinking this would be a chance to play around with the tray ceiling without much commitment. I have never had one before so I don't have any experience to draw on for how to treat it. Since that part had to be painted anyway--at least touched up--I figured it might be an opportunity to try something out. Then if I don't love the effect, I can change it when I repaint the whole dining room.

Creamy. Hmm. I like the sound of that, but I think it might be a bit of a trick to do the inside part of the tray creamy and not make the outside part just look like a dirty white. . . .

    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 9:47PM
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Look at Cabot Trail, Weimaraner and Raccoon Hollow -- all BM colors shown with Revere Pewter. What I'd be playing off of is the darker color in the tile on the upper right. A darker shade can make that center portion recede, and that could actually give you the feeling of more depth or a higher ceiling. The contrast can also make the lighter color feel brighter.

You could also play off the rust in the lower right tile for a more dramatic look with a higher energy. Drama with less energy could be a complimenting color like a navy blue -- maybe a charcoal. What's the color of the chaise in your living room? Maybe if you find the right combination you will find the Revere Pewter becomes more interesting?

    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 11:32PM
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Thanks for the color suggestions. I will take a look.

The chaise is a very subtle two-tone blue. I'd say it's almost just the color of blue jeans--plain old blue jeans. Not quite as dark as navy. The living room is painted Benj. Moore Marble White. It has yellow and blue in the artwork and pillows. Brown is the other main color in that space. The dining room has the very muted gold of the curtains, a dull yellow cubby piece and what you see in the picture above.

I have to admit that I don't tend to want a lot of contrast or drama in my rooms. I admire those spaces in other people's homes, but I feel more comfortable in rooms with less contrast. So I'm not really drawn to the dark ceilings for this space.

Maybe I should see if I can touch up the repaired spot and then paint the sides of the tray in the revere pewter. That might be a relatively easy way to show the tray ceiling off a bit more?

    Bookmark   March 6, 2014 at 12:11AM
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I'm wondering if a very pale blue ceiling would help lighten your dining room?

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 12:16PM
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I had a ceiling once that was a very warm, very pale pink, surrounded by a heavy white cornice.

I loved that ceiling and it was one of those colors that sometimes looked very warm white and sometimes looked incredibly pink in the setting sun. Maybe something like that in the middle of the tray.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 12:25PM
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i generally like tray ceilings painted the same color since with the tray and the crown sometimes they end up looking too 'color blocked'... but since you don't have crown and since your tray is so shallow, i think painting just the inside would look nice...
i would be tempted to and probably would do something bolder, but if you are unsure, i would just go with the revere pewter, full strength on just the inside- i would only do the entire ceiling if you were planning to add crown.
i would probably be tempted to paint the inside of the 'niche' a different color/shade too...

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 1:48PM
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I'd paint the center part of the ceiling Revere Pewter, then just the border of the next "level" (the vertical lip, so to speak) a darker color, and the next flat part of the ceiling the 50% Revere Pewter.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 1:57PM
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Thanks you all! I bought the paint a couple of weeks ago but haven't had time to paint it so I hadn't posted a follow up. I went with filtered sunlight, which is a creamy, pale, yellow-gold color that works with the curtains and ceiling tin tiles as well as the yellows in the adjacent living room. Hopefully I will get it painted before the end of the school year and be able to post a finished picture soon.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 2:31PM
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lol! see now that the date of your post was in march!! :) good luck with your painting!

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 3:14PM
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