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Home Decorating: Ceiling Paint Color

Dear Dr. Dave and Dr. Dee,

Several rooms in our home will be painted light green. Although the walls will be green, the paint store suggested that we paint the ceiling white. What do you think?


Ceiling lid

Dear Ceiling lid,

There is no longer the rule-of-thumb to paint the ceilings white. Generally, the ceiling should be a lighter shade than the walls in order to give the illusion of height and openness. The Paint Quality Institute ( suggests two to three shades lighter than the walls for a monochromatic room.

However, if you have high ceilings and want to bring it down in order to feel cozier, then paint the ceiling a darker shade. You can even paint the ceiling an entirely different color if you like and be creative. Just be sure to match the color scheme with other items in the room such as the carpet or upholstery.

For more paint tips, go to