bathroom with gray walls and ceiling to accompany the article on painting ceiling same color as wall

Pros and Cons of Painting Your Ceiling the Same Color as the Walls

Thinking about painting your ceiling the same color as the walls? Wondering if it will ACTUALLY make the room look bigger, or if that’s just too much of the same color for one space?

If you choose a dark color for the walls, then using it on the ceiling is a pretty bold move. (And if you’re a bold person, then this might be right up your alley!)

White is always a safe choice, especially with white walls, but there are definitely times when you might prefer to use color on the ceiling.

So, how do you determine whether you should paint the walls and ceiling all one color? I can’t give you a clear cut answer one way or another without seeing your particular space, but I can share some information with you to help simplify the decision making process.

Let’s go over the pros and cons of painting the ceiling the same color as your walls.

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Does Painting the Ceiling the Same Color as the Walls Make the Room Look Bigger?

Painting the walls and ceiling the same color could make your room look bigger — or it could visually shrink it. The idea is that a seamless transition from wall to ceiling draws the eye upward when there isn’t a harsh line where the two meet.

This works especially well if you have crown molding (making sure to paint it the same color as the walls and ceiling). It seems that crown molding would lower the ceiling but, when done right, it can add height to a room.

However, in some instances, it works better to paint the ceiling and walls different colors. Let’s move on to the pros and cons of painting them the same color so you can decide if it’s a good look for your space — or not.

Pros and Cons of Painting the Ceiling the Same Color as the Walls

If you’ve been searching online to find out whether it’s better to paint the ceiling white or the same color as the walls, you’ve probably seen a lot of conflicting opinions. The truth? It depends on your goals for your space.

What looks great in one person’s home might not work in another. You have to consider wood tones, furniture, type and amount of lighting, and various other factors when deciding on paint colors.

You’re here for answers, though, so let me share with you a few pros and cons of painting the ceiling the same color as your walls.

Pros

  • When done correctly, it can help to make the ceiling look higher.
  • It creates a seamless look, making the ceiling a “fifth wall”.
  • Painting angled walls and ceilings all one color can prevent a choppy, disjointed look.
  • When the ceiling and walls are the same white, you won’t have conflicting undertones.
  • Painting the walls and ceiling all one color is faster and more affordable.
  • It can help make a large room feel cozier.
  • This is a good option if you prefer a low contrast look.

Cons

  • It could potentially make a room look smaller and closed-in, especially if there isn’t enough natural light.
  • If using a bold color, it could be a little overwhelming — less is more when it comes to certain colors.
  • It’s hard to pull off this look with medium toned paint colors; lighter and darker colors typically look better when painting the walls and ceiling the same color.
  • Flat white paint can help to hide imperfections in the ceiling; colors often highlight them.
  • If you prefer a high contrast look, this might not be a great option for you.

These are just a handful of the pros and cons that I came up with. Ultimately, it comes down to your own personal preferences — and if you like it, then that’s all that matters.

Still Looking for the Right Color?

If you haven’t decided on a paint color yet, here are a few suggestions that could work well on both walls and ceiling:

– White: Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace (order a sample)

– Gray: Sherwin Williams Passive (order a sample)

– Taupe: Benjamin Moore Silver Fox (order a sample)

– Navy: Sherwin Williams Storm Cloud (order a sample)

If these aren’t exactly what you’re looking for, you can always grab a Sherwin Williams fan deck or a Benjamin Moore fan deck of paint colors from Amazon.

Pro Tip: If you’re buying paint from Sherwin-Williams, Benjamin Moore, Farrow&Ball, or PPG, then you can have peel-and-stick samples (made with two coats of real paint) of any color you like sent right to your doorstep. Click here to shop Samplize.

Tips for Painting the Walls and Ceiling the Same Color

Painting the walls and ceiling the same color tends to work best in small rooms, large rooms, and rooms with vaulted ceilings.

large room with angled ceiling

Here are a few more tidbits that I wanted to share about wall and ceiling colors.

  1. Installing crown molding and then painting it, the walls, and ceiling all one color can help to seamlessly add height to a room.
  2. Avoid conflicting undertones by painting the ceiling and walls in the same white paint.
  3. If you don’t want to paint the ceiling and walls the same color, white isn’t your only option — there are lots of awesome spaces that have a bolder ceiling color.

One last note — if you want to paint the walls and ceiling with the same white color, go with a flat or matte finish on the ceiling (unless it’s a bathroom), satin or eggshell on the walls, and semi-gloss on any doors and trim that you’re painting.

This will make it a little more interesting without having to find different whites that work well together.

Final Thoughts

What do you think? Do you like when ceilings and walls are painted the same color? Or do you think ceilings should be painted in the standard “ceiling white”?

Personally, I feel that it depends on too many different factors to give you a clear answer. But hopefully I’ve been able to give you enough information to help you make a decision for your own space.

Remember, if you have a really small bathroom, a really large living area, or if your walls and ceilings have lots of angles, then you could likely benefit from painting them the same color. But if you have any comments or questions, please share them below!

Read More:

Painting Walls for Beginners: How to Paint a Wall by Yourself

How to Choose One Color for the Whole House (plus 21 Great Options)

How to Choose a Wall Color That You Won’t Instantly Regret

28 thoughts on “Pros and Cons of Painting Your Ceiling the Same Color as the Walls”

  1. As a designer I tell my clients that there are now several options that are the current trends for ceilings.
    1. Paint it the same color as walls especially if walls are fairly neutral
    2. You can paint the ceilings one shade or two shades lighter than the walls to give it continuity.
    3. You can paint the ceilings one shade darker than the walls depending on the colors and architecture of the home
    4. Last resort is to paint them white – boring and out of style

    1. If using a cool white such as SW 6252 Ice Cube for walls and ceilings would you recommend using the same sheen for both or stick with flat/ceiling paint for ceilings? This is a whole house paint job newly drywalled with smooth ceilings. Renovation is a modern to contemporary design style. Thanks!

      1. Hi Andre – my personal preference is to use a flat paint for the ceiling, then possibly something a little shinier (eggshell or satin) for the walls (especially in higher traffic areas where you’d want the walls to be washable). Hope that helps! -Tonya

  2. What are your thoughts about same color for ceiling and walls when you have wood tone crown molding, windows, and wood flooring? Considering an Antique White

    1. Hi Karen – sounds like that could work! Of course, it depends on the undertones of the wood and the paint. I would suggest trying out a paint sample next to your wood (if you haven’t already) just to be sure that you like how they look together. 🙂

  3. I have a flat roof single family warehouse conversion, and am considering painting walls, ceiling, skylight cut outs and exposed pipes in the living room all one color with walls eggshell or satin, ceiling flat, sky light cut outs semi gloss, and exposed pipes high gloss.
    The paint color is bold. Benjamin Moore Raccoon Fur, perhaps even going darker, once my sample is received and I’ve see how the light here plays with the color.
    the space is about 1400 sq ft with 18-20 ft ceilings with 6 big square skylights that are about 2ft higher than the flat roof ceiling height.
    Any comments or thoughts?

    1. Hi Randy, apologies for the late response, but that sounds like it could look really neat! With a bigger space like that, you could definitely get away with a darker color.

      Tonya

  4. Hello,
    Although the article and your comments make a lit of sense I’m still struggling to decide because I wanted to paint my bedroom emerald green but I might not use it on the ceiling too because it’s a new build and the ceiling is not that high.
    What do you think? Too bold? 😊
    Thanks

    1. Hi Mika – I think it totally depends on the space and the look you’re going for, but if it were my bedroom, I would probably stick to painting the walls at first. It definitely could get a little overwhelming, and you can absolutely paint the ceiling later if you change your mind!

      Tonya

  5. I have 9 ft ceilings with a simple crown molding and I’m thinking of painting the ceiling in white (flat) and the walls in white dove (matte) in hopes of bringing more warmth into the space without introducing another color altogether. Do you think that will look ok? If so, should the crown molding match the wall or ceiling color? I’m leaning towards matching the walls to visually “extend the length”. The trim for the doors, windows, baseboard will likely be painted white (semi-gloss) like the ceiling.

  6. Hi: My painter wants to use 5 gallon containers full of the same color that I choose to paint my apartment both ceiling and walls same color. My question is, is ceiling paint or paint that is white mixed with a color good quality?

    1. Hi Glori, I would suggest using a wall paint rather than a ceiling paint. While you technically CAN use ceiling paint on walls, it isn’t likely to hold up to scuffs.

  7. Hi
    I have a sloped ceiling 20 ft at its highest, with two skylights. Im thinking of Agreable grey on the walls and either the same color on the ceiling or go for a darker ceiling maybe a peppercorn. Im torn. Would love to know your thoughts.

    TIA

    1. Without being able to see the room, my gut feeling is that you can’t go wrong either way. It totally depends on your personal preference, though, and your goals for the room, along with a number of other factors — unfortunately, I can’t give more specific advice without seeing the space myself. That said, I’d say to consider whether you want an airy look or a little more drama. Also, consider the other elements in your room (flooring, furniture, decor, etc.). Do they look “lighter” in color and style? If so, I’d do all one color. Or are they darker and “heavier”? If that’s the case, you might be able to get away with using Peppercorn on the ceiling. Hopefully that helps a little! -Tonya

  8. Janice rodriguez

    Hi my name is janice I live in kenner la I am remodeling my entire house absolutely loved the simply white flat on walls and next sheen up for floor trim my painter has painted my entire house ceilings walls baseboards in same beautiful color simply white such soft looking white I need some advice my house has a lot of sun light coming through I like clean crisp airy feel however I have a problem I looked at ceilings in front room and the ceiling has a grayish tint then I looked in the other rooms and noticed it looks like that all through the house love love love the gorgeous soft looking color simply white Benjamin moore on the walls but on the ceilings this same color almost looks like a light grey color and rather than flowing and making room look bigger its not a good look my painter does beautiful work master painter but he too said that its hard because I absolutely love the color flat simply white Benjamin Moore on walls maybe a small undertone of yellow but not much at all just a pretty soft white however where walls and ceilings meet not a pretty look because while the walls may have a soft minimum amount of yellow the ceiling seems to have a grayish under tonight my painter said yeh now you look like you have white walls and very light grey ceilings hate it what should I do have you ever heard of this I wanted to paint everything simply white I have bright pictures rugs etc to add color should we have watered this same paint down 80 20 what did we do wrong here and if I cant use simply white with the grey cast what color would you suggest on ceiling I love Benjamin Moore looked at your white choices thanks need your help as soon as possible will be selling my house probably mid June hey thanks again janice from kenner la

    1. Hi Janice – I have to admit, this has me stumped. I know that a paint color can look different from wall to wall (or from wall to ceiling) depending on how the light hits it. But I’m sure it’s really disappointing that it looks so vastly different. If you’re positive that the same paint color was used on the ceiling as the walls, you might consider trying a different white on the ceiling, such as BM Chantilly Lace or BM Oxford White. I would definitely try various samples first. Unfortunately, I’m not able to give more specific advice without seeing the space myself. Good luck! -Tonya

  9. Hi,
    I currently have SW Dover white on the ceiling and SW Patience on the walls, Mega Greige in kitchen and nook (very little walls, mostly cabinets and windows. Also, Mega Greige in dining room, on 2 walls. Mega Greige in accent wall going downstairs with large window. A lot of angles on the ceiling, range from 10’ to 14’, a lot of natural light.
    I want to paint a white over patience and Dover white. The floor is a light brown in white oak and the tile has a lot of white, grey, and gold. The doors, cabinets, and baseboards are cherry. The mega Greige looks nice with the cherry cabinets in the kitchen. Recently changed lighting to transitional, metals are winter white, brushed nickel, and black/gold.
    Is there a white/cream from SW you can recommend? I appreciate your feedback.
    Diane

    1. Hi Diane – have you checked out Alabaster yet? It’s a warmer white with yellow undertones. If you’re looking for a cleaner white, I like Pure White – it’s a nice, soft white, but not really a cream color, and can look a little brighter in natural light. Good luck!

  10. Hi I have just opened up my kitchen into my sitting area. I want yo put grey onto my walls and ceiling as my kitchen is white and the work surface is white with a grey pattern in am go g to continue the grey through to the sitting area will this be to much .

  11. Hi there, so I am painting my house simply white from Valspar, can I paint the ceilings the same color? I wast told that it is fine to do this if you are using white colors. What do you think?
    Thank you
    Blanca

    1. Absolutely! While it’s totally fine to paint the walls and ceilings all the same white, you can do whatever YOU like in your home — even if it’s putting a color other than white on your ceiling. -Tonya

  12. I am painting my walls and ceiling Benjamin Moore Snowfall White. Should the wall paint and ceiling paint be different finishes? For example a flat on the ceiling and an egg shell on the walls?
    Thank you!

  13. Hi,
    I’m painting my hall, landing and stairs polished pebble. There is a lot of angles so was thinking of doing the same colour on the ceilings too. Our floors are a light grey wood, our banister is pine and white. All doors white with a huge window on the stairs. What do you think?
    Thanks
    Maria

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