Q. I am thinking about painting the ceiling in my living room. What should I consider when choosing the color and type of paint?
A. Keep in mind that colors appear different (usually darker) on a ceiling. This is because they are always in a shadow. If you are considering changing the color, paint a large piece of poster board and tape it to the ceiling. Make sure you place it in a corner—this allows you to see what it will look like immediately adjacent to your wall finishes and trim molding. Then move the poster board just above the light fixtures.
Also, be aware of the old belief that dark colors make a ceiling appear lower, and lighter colors make it appear higher. In reality, it is the careful juggling of all elements in your space. Examples would be the size and scale of your furnishings, the shape and placement of artwork, or even the design of the window treatments.
If you have decided to use plain paint (i.e. with no decorative finish), utilize a flat sheen. This will minimize imperfections in the sheetrock. The shinier the paint, the more apparent any blemishes, ripples or uneven lines will show up. Metallic paint straight from the can will have the same effect. Every roller and brush mark will be visible.