Opinions please: Semi-gloss or Flat for ceiling crown?

la_koalaDecember 26, 2011

Hi, I'm looking for GWer opinions (or input on what you'd do) for the gloss of paint for the ceiling crown moulding.

Do you match the door/window casing trim? So if it's semi-gloss around the windows, the kitchen crown molding would also be semi-gloss?

Or do you match the ceiling (which would normally be flat or ceiling-flat paint)?


I think (hope? fear? :-), that my GC is going to ask about paint colors for the kitchen this week.

The house was built in the 1880's, and the ceiling treatments of the rest of the rooms are different than what our kitchen has turned out to be. The rest of the rooms have these semi-coffered ceilings and the crown blends into the ceiling, and they are all painted with flat paint.

In the reno'd kitchen, the crown is a hefty (imho) looking crown (about 5 inches). I'm afraid that if it is painted in a semi-gloss, it will look too shiny against the wall and ceiling paints and call too much attention to itself high up in the room like that.

Would using satin gloss for the ceiling crown be a good compromise?

(The trim color will be BM White Dove at 150%, which is a color match to trim in other rooms, in semi-gloss).



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Trim is always painted in semi gloss. It's odd that the crown in the other rooms is not. That is something I'd seek to correct rather than doing the kitchen to match.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2011 at 3:34PM
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I have an 1890 home and all the trim is enamel oil base and matches the trim of the windows and all doors. It is very pretty and is a wonderful contrast to the flat of the ceiling and the walls. The trim in the rest of your home should also be the same as your windows and not be flat.

That said if you like the way the rest looks and you want it all the same and have no intention of changing the rest then perhaps you should do the kitchen the same.

kitchen trim/ceiling :

another view of kitchen/trim..we have 10 1/2 ft ceilings :

Dining room...we added picture rail and molding and painted both in the high gloss oil to match so that the crown looks extra wide...love the elegant look.These are 12 ft ceilings. Lots more pics in my albums...just click on pic below. Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2011 at 3:44PM
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The crown molding should be painted in the same sheen as the window and door trim. It is usually painted in a semi-gloss, but you can have the trim and molding painted in a satin sheen if you prefer. We had our kitchen trim and crown molding painted in a satin sheen so that is would match our cabinets and the crown above the cabinets (which wrapped around the entire room).

A coffered ceiling is usually treated the same as molding/trim and painted in the same sheen, as well.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2011 at 3:54PM
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I second the oil based semi-gloss! Our old house had regular latex semi gloss on the trim, which was fine...but in our new house our builder always uses the oil based and I cannot tell you how much I love it. Not only is it beautiful, but it is a dream to maintain. Fingerprints, dirt, smudges just wipe off so easily...it is amazing the difference. Regardless of oil vs latex, though...definitely do semi-gloss. It makes the crown stand out from the ceiling and walls, which is usually the whole point of having it.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2011 at 4:23PM
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Thanks everyone!

When I previously asked the GC what gloss the ceiling crown moulding should be, he said semi-gloss to match the door/window trim also. Sometimes I don't know if he's just saying something because it's what's done in new builds. I really appreciate having your input to give me the confidence in that choice.

trailrunner, thanks so much for posting the photos of your ceilings and walls--your paint job looks awesome! And it's nice to hear that the wide crown looks good with the glossier sheen. That was one of the things that I was anxious about until I saw your photos. Your wide crown does look stunning.

live_wire_oak and kitchenkrazed, I have no idea what the story is behind the ceiling paint job in the other rooms. I do know that that ceiling paint doesn't seem at all glossy to me because it's definitely not like the paint that's on the door/window trim in those rooms, and when I was painting the dining room walls and cutting in around the dining room crown moulding, the paint surface on both that crown and ceiling seemed awfully dull-like to me. I'll have to see if I have any pictures that show the ceiling styles, in case that would give any insight.

Thanks again!

    Bookmark   December 26, 2011 at 4:24PM
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We used semi-gloss, but my stylist used high gloss in his salon. It really pops!

    Bookmark   December 26, 2011 at 4:27PM
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Thank you Lee, my painter was wonderfully talented..he is retired now so I am NOT planning on redoing anything :)

You said " I do know that that ceiling paint doesn't seem at all glossy to me" ...ceiling paint is always flat so I think you may have meant trim in the above sentence ??? Anyway in old homes you always find oil base for trim and flat for the walls and ceilings. Most have plaster ...ours are unfortunately sheetrock...out PO did that to add insulation and I think also because the original plaster was cracked.

We used BM matte on our walls. It has a wonderful finish to it that I think "glows" in its own way. I consider all of the crown and trim to be like a picture frame...you want it to be beautiful but not to take away from the picture itself. I consider the room the picture and the trim frames it. I hope you will post pics...I love old homes and would love to see yours. c

    Bookmark   December 26, 2011 at 5:11PM
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I feel all trim should match the sheen of each other and be shinier than the walls and ceilings.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2011 at 12:57AM
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