Colorful Painted Ceilings Are Making a Comeback—Here’s How to Get Started

Updated: Mar. 29, 2023

Make your ceiling pop! The painted ceiling trend will bring your room's style up a notch.

Walls get the attention they deserve whenever you’re refreshing a room, but what about your ceilings? You’re probably not a stranger to adding a fresh coat of paint or an accent wall to a room in your home, but there’s one social media decor fad that’s taking over, and it’s above your head.

If you like the idea of refreshing your room, there’s nothing quite like going the extra mile and painting your ceiling. This oft-forgotten aspect of your room can help give the space new life, but most people have no idea how to approach it without some inspiration. Here’s what to know about 2023’s painted ceiling trend that’s taking interiors by storm.

Are Painted Ceilings a Trend?

You might see a cool Instagram post featuring a boldly painted ceiling, but is it a big trend for 2023? The answer is a resounding yes. Meticulously decorated rooms with fun ceilings are flooding decor lovers’ feeds—as of publication, there are over 29,000 posts featuring the hashtag #paintedceiling on Instagram and over 24 million views for the same hashtag on TikTok—and 2023 appears to be shaping up as the year of the painted ceiling.

The painted ceiling trend has picked up in popularity recently, but it’s definitely been around for a long time. From Italy’s Sistine Chapel of the 1500s to the painted ceilings of the T-Centralen station in Stockholm, Sweden, decorated ceilings can make a huge impact. Of course, modern ceiling paint is more about a contemporary style than fancy murals, but you may never turn back once you see what a little coat of paint can do.

@prestonkonrad Rich color for ceiling paint is one of my fav home hacks for a rich and moody interior, hope this is helpful🥰 #interiorinspiration #homedecortips #homehackoftheday #interiordesigntiktok #moodyinterior #interiorpainting ♬ She Share Story (for Vlog) – 山口夕依

What Are Some Popular Ceiling Paint Colors?

When scrolling through Instagram or TikTok posts featuring painted ceilings, you start to get a feel for the modern painted ceiling trend. Many shades are out there, but some popular options include jewel tones—such as cobalt, emerald and raspberry—and aesthetic shades of millennial pink, salmon and yellow. Shades of gray, black and earth tones, like deep browns and greens, are also having a moment.

Other considerations are the 2023 colors of the year, such as Pantone’s Color of the Year, Viva Magenta.

Tips for Choosing a Ceiling Paint Color

Paint Brightening Attic BedroomAndrea Rugg/Getty Images

There are plenty of factors to keep in mind before you paint your ceiling. Here are some important things to consider:

  • Evaluate the style: There’s no need to choose a bold paint color like indigo or black if you prefer something understated and clean. You can still have an impactful ceiling paint color, even if it’s a light or earthy shade.
  • A darker color will bring a different vibe to your space: It will make it feel more cozy and enclosed, so while it might be great for larger spaces, it could make a small room look even smaller.
  • Dark paint colors will affect the lighting in the room: Make sure it’s a space that won’t be too dark. If your room already feels claustrophobic, opt for a lighter shade.
  • Don’t be afraid to go bold: Rooms with warm, ambient lighting like chandeliers may benefit from bold colors.

Tips for Painting Your Ceiling

Before you start painting, you should make sure you’re as prepared as possible. In addition to learning how to paint a ceiling, take note of these tips that will save you frustration:

  • If you’re painting your walls and ceiling, paint your ceiling first. You don’t want to drip fresh paint on your walls that were just painted.
  • If you’re only painting your ceiling or have chosen a paint color darker than your walls, cover your walls well. Make sure to use painter’s tape.
  • Cover your floors with protective plastic sheets. Paint will drip down, no matter how careful you are.
  • Buy ceiling-specific paint for a flat finish.
  • Cover ceiling stains and flaws with a stain-blocking primer.
  • Use a paint roller and roll in both directions.
  • Opt for a thick, premium roller cover. This will make your painting job faster and more efficient with less splatter.

If you feel you need more help, read our experts’ guide to ceiling painting.