Home decor Home Improvement

Tips for Perfect Ceiling and Wall Paint

Hello Friends,

Welcome to Week 3 of the One Room Challenge. This week is all about ceiling and wall paint. We’re talking about how to choose a color and get the finish you want with a minimum of fuss and muss.

Tips for Perfect Ceiling and Wall Paint

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Behr paint, Frog tape, and HomeRight application products, but all projects and opinions are 100% my own. Affiliate links are included for your convenience.

Step 1 ~ Choosing Colors

Maybe I’m over thinking this, but I firmly believe that color choices for walls and ceilings need to be based on more than just “color.” To illustrate, I’ve listed a few things to consider that may change how colors are chosen.

Consider geographic location and natural light sources:

  • Consider the geographic direction of the room. For example, my dining room faces South so when the sun is blazing full-on, bright paint can go brighter and pale paint can wash out. The opposite could be true if the room faces another direction. For example, if the room faces North, the colors could go dark or cold.

  • Also consider how much natural light is the room receives. A dining room that faces South, but with very little natural light is less likely to cause a brightening or washout in the paint colors. This is in contrast to a room facing South with lots of natural light flooding into the space.

My dining room faces South and has a big bay window that allows full light from sunrise to sunset. So here’s how I chose the colors.

Dining rooms with large windows will likely require different colors than rooms with less natural light | #ORC #oneroomchallenge | #spon #Behrpaint #homeright #frogtape | www.thechelseaproject.com

Textiles before paint:

After thinking through geography and lighting, consider what look you really want. Usually textiles can help narrow the scope of color choices, so I highly recommend collecting the textiles first and then work within these color shades to find the right paint colors. Remember, Home Depot can always create a custom color in the Behr paint line if you can’t find the perfect shade for your project.

Here’s how I pulled my paint palette together.

Wall color:

The upholstery fabrics were collected during several trips to the textile mart. For the most part, the backgrounds are bright white, great for brightening the room, but too bright a white for a Southern facing room with so much natural light.  Plus, the bright white wouldn’t co-ordinate with the paint used in the rest of the rooms on this floor.

Fabric choices can influence paint choices | #spon #Behr #FrogTape #HomeRight | #oneroomchallenge #ORC #housebeautiful #diningroommakeover #eclectictraditional | www.thechelseaproject.com

Add to this textile combo the creamy-white background in the rug. This color wasn’t bright enough, but closer to the wall color used in the Great Room makeover. 

Rug choices can influence paint choices | #spon #Behr #FrogTape #HomeRight | #oneroomchallenge #ORC #housebeautiful #diningroommakeover #eclectictraditional | www.thechelseaproject.com

This means that in order to blend the fabrics, rug, and paint in the adjoining Great Room together AND stay on course with the plan for white walls, I had to find a color that looked white, but was actually a soft, creamy white.

Enter Behr’s Arcade White. 

And if you look closely to the photo below, the paint surrounding the grandfather clock looks creamy and warm, while the paint below the oil painting is a brighter white. Yep. Same paint, but very different looks. So, in my world, the key word for wall color is blend. Blend and try A LOT of samples on different walls.

Paint looks different in different parts of the room | #spon #Behr #FrogTape #HomeRight | #oneroomchallenge #ORC #housebeautiful #diningroommakeover #eclectictraditional | www.thechelseaproject.com

Wall sheen:

Back in the day, using semigloss on walls was considered tedious. This means that the application process had to be perfect. If the paint was rolled on using up and down strokes, then the sheen could be different and yield stripes on the wall. Well, with Behr paint, the days of stripes are long gone. I have used this paint for over 20 years and, I promise, nowadays application is very forgiving, like using flat latex. There are no stripes and touch up is a breeze.

Because of this, and the fact that semigloss is hIghly durable and bounces light, it is the perfect sheen to create an elegant room with a polished look.

Semigloss on the walls create a polished look | #spon #Behr #FrogTape #HomeRight | #oneroomchallenge #ORC #housebeautiful #diningroommakeover #eclectictraditional | www.thechelseaproject.com

Ceiling color:

Because paint tends to look darker on the ceiling, the rule of thumb is to go one or two shades lighter than the color you really want. For the ceiling, I wanted a fresh, airy feeling that lifts the eye and ties the colors in the oil paintings together.

Enter Behr’s Calm.

Because I went two shades lighter than I wanted, I have to admit that I was a little worried about the color washing out. But the color just couldn’t be more perfect. If I place the swatch against the ceiling, the colors are true to comparison, too. This means the color mixing at the store is spot on to the formula. 

Colors by Behr paint work perfectly for the dining room makeover | #spon #Behr #FrogTape #HomeRight | #oneroomchallenge #ORC #housebeautiful #diningroommakeover #eclectictraditional | www.thechelseaproject.com

Ceiling sheen:

And for the ceiling sheen, I wanted a soft, velvety look that creates dimension and depth against the shinier semigloss.  For these reasons, I used flat latex. 

Compare the polished look of the walls to the velvety ceiling | #spon #Behr #FrogTape #HomeRight | #oneroomchallenge #ORC #housebeautiful #diningroommakeover #eclectictraditional | www.thechelseaproject.com

Step 2 ~ Painting Surfaces

Prep the surfaces:

Perhaps one of the most overlooked steps when painting ceilings and walls is surface prep. Even if the surfaces are already painted a color and you are simply giving them a refresh, wisdom says, “Do not overlook the prep.”

What I mean by prep is:

  • Repair all holes/damages and sand the repairs smooth as to make them invisible.

  • Run your hand over the drywall without repairs and sand down any rough or gritty surfaces. 

  • Remove the drywall dust from the surface by wiping it with a tack cloth. For this room, I actually got away with using my vacuum over the surfaces and wiping with a clean, soft cloth. But thankfully, the walls were already in really good shape.

  • If using a paint without primer, apply primer to the surfaces, especially to the surfaces with new repairs. Because I used Behr’s Paint & Primer In One, the primer step could be skipped.

Choose good tools:

EZ-Twist Paintstick

Once color choices are made and the prep work is out-of-the-way, rolling on the paint is a breeze. This is my first time trying out HomeRight’s EZ-Twist Paintstick and I gotta say, it made the painting process move along in record time.  Basically, all you do is fill the handle with paint. Then, gently twist the handle towards the roller to feed paint as you roll along the surface.

Choose good tools for painting | EZ Twist PaintStick | #spon #Behr #FrogTape #HomeRight | #oneroomchallenge #ORC #housebeautiful #diningroommakeover #eclectictraditional | www.thechelseaproject.com

A little gadget attached to the paint can. This allows the paint to be sucked up into the handle as the center of the handle is pulled back.

Fill the handle with paint with the easy attachment | #spon #Behr #FrogTape #HomeRight | #oneroomchallenge #ORC #housebeautiful #diningroommakeover #eclectictraditional | www.thechelseaproject.com

Then the roller cover prevents drips and/or splatters as the paint is being rolled onto the surface. And clean up, although not shown here, is also a breeze. The paintstick is easily disassembled and washes out with the hose.

Cover more space in less time with the EZ Twist PaintStick | #spon #Behr #FrogTape #HomeRight | #oneroomchallenge #ORC #housebeautiful #diningroommakeover #eclectictraditional | www.thechelseaproject.com

Frog Tape

To protect the edges of the crown moulding and get a super-crisp line, I ran Frog Tape along the moulding all around the room. The green color is a multipurpose tape, but I have also used the yellow tape (for delicate surfaces) for many, many years. With each project, the tape is burnished to the surface with my fingertip and this creates a perfect seal.

However, if you are not sure that a seal is created by burnishing the tape, then follow the burnishing with a very light coat of the paint you are protecting. In this case, the color on the crown moulding is being protected, so I would apply a very light coat to the crevice between the tape and the ceiling. When this paint is dry, apply the ceiling paint.

How to get a crisp, clean paint line | #spon #Behr #FrogTape #HomeRight | #oneroomchallenge #ORC #housebeautiful #diningroommakeover #eclectictraditional | www.thechelseaproject.com

Baseboard and floor protector

In the photo below, notice the roll of plastic to the right. It has masking tape at one end and plastic attached that pulls out to protect baseboards and floors from drips. I haven’t ever used this before and now I am totally hooked. Thanks HomeRight! You made this painting project so much easier by controlling any potential mess.

Protect the baseboards and floor with this tape and plastic combo | #spon #Behr #FrogTape #HomeRight | #oneroomchallenge #ORC #housebeautiful #diningroommakeover #eclectictraditional | www.thechelseaproject.com

Two other good options

In the photo below (right) is HomeRight’s Original PaintStick. It works just like the EZ Twist PaintStick except that the paint is pushed to the roller by pushing rather than twisting the stick. Once we started painting with the EZ Twist PaintStick, we just rinsed it out and moved to the next color. Yea, it dried quickly and was ready to go. But I plan to try this one out in the up coming living room makeover.

And if you look photo left, this amazing little gizmo is the QuickPainter Pad Edge Painter. It’s a real problem solver when trying to cut in paint and I’ll show you a few options for this little guy in some upcoming posts, too.

More tool demos coming your way | #spon #Behr #FrogTape #HomeRight | #oneroomchallenge #ORC #housebeautiful #diningroommakeover #eclectictraditional | www.thechelseaproject.com

And that’s all there is to it. Perfect ceiling and wall paint made easy.



If you appreciate this information and would like to refer back to it, please…

DON’T FORGET TO PIN IT FOR LATER using the photo below.

Tips for Perfect Ceiling and Wall Paint includes how to choose color, sheen, and easy application tools | #spon #Behr #FrogTape #HomeRight | #oneroomchallenge #ORC #housebeautiful #diningroommakeover #eclectictraditional | www.thechelseaproject.com


And as always, many thanks to our wonderful hosts.  

Linda from the blog, Calling It Home and House Beautiful magazine. 

Please click here to see Featured Designers and here for Guest Participants

We appreciate you so much!


Behr Paint website – http://www.behr.com/con

Frog Tape website – http://www.frogtape.com

HomeRight website – https://www.homeright.com

Special Thanks

A special thanks to my local Home Depot store, particularly Burt at the paint counter. As I lamented over paint colors and dealt with wrong choices and problems, he went the extra mile with customer service. It was very much noted and appreciated.

Snaps for Burt!


The Dining Room Makeover Plan – Week 1

How to Design Picture Frame Moulding – Week 2

Tips for Perfect Ceiling and Wall Paint – Week 3 (You are Here)

How to Paint Dining Room Furniture – Week 4

How to Paint Faux Antique Brass Hardware – Week 5

How to Easily Paint Super Slick Surfaces – Week 6

Dining Room Reveal – Week 7

Outdated Bench Refresh – How to Paint the Fabric and Frame

Stationary Bar Cart Refresh – Using a Combo of Paint and Wax

Traditional Meets Trendy – Mahogany Console Table Makeover in Metallic Paint

Easily Add Gold Touches to Furniture and Accessories with Liquid Leaf

Spring 2017 ORC – Great Room Refresh




  • Reply June October 16, 2017 at 4:15 pm

    Wow I love your fabric and paint colors.

    • Reply theChelseaProject October 16, 2017 at 9:32 pm

      Hi JUne and thanks so much!!

  • Reply Mary Hunnicutt October 18, 2017 at 10:46 am

    These are great tips! I recently painted the entire basement (walls and ceiling) and the EZ Twist saved me! Your colors are so tranquil together.

    • Reply theChelseaProject October 18, 2017 at 12:12 pm

      Hi Mary and thanks! So glad you have the EZ Stick. It’s a life saver!

  • Reply northcountrynest21 October 18, 2017 at 12:37 pm

    What a jam-packed informational post! I am loving the textiles you showed off – such beautiful color choices 🙂

  • Reply Jillian October 18, 2017 at 1:28 pm

    I love Calm! That looks great on the ceiling! Way to go.

    • Reply theChelseaProject October 18, 2017 at 4:58 pm

      Thanks Jillian! We love it, too! Looks great on the ceiling.

  • Reply charlestoncrafted October 18, 2017 at 1:38 pm

    wow – I have never considered geographic direction of the windows when choosing paint. a great tip!!

    • Reply theChelseaProject October 18, 2017 at 4:58 pm

      Thanks so much! Hope it helps the next time you are considering a new color.

  • Reply sherrygcole October 18, 2017 at 8:49 pm

    Susie, these really are great tips and I love the fabric that you have chosen. I wish I had that paint roller when we painted our entire interior plus ceilings.

    • Reply theChelseaProject October 18, 2017 at 10:14 pm

      Thanks Sherry. I surely hope everything comes together. And yes! I wish you had the stick, too. We will have to see about getting you one.

  • Reply Libbie October 18, 2017 at 9:09 pm

    Susie, I love your color choices and all the beautiful textiles. I found the tips very helpful!

    • Reply theChelseaProject October 18, 2017 at 10:16 pm

      Hi Libbie and thanks so much. Appreciate your sweet and encouraging words.

  • Reply Tee October 18, 2017 at 9:26 pm

    This is such useful information, Susie! I wish I read this before I started painting last week! Haha. I love the textiles I see here. Can’t wait to see next week’s post!

    • Reply theChelseaProject October 18, 2017 at 10:18 pm

      Oh Tee….LOL. Your paint colors are totally fab. I was over at your blog post earlier. But thanks for the vote of confidence. Appreciate!! XO

  • Reply How to Design Picture Frame Moulding for Walls - The Chelsea Project October 18, 2017 at 10:30 pm

    […] Tips for Perfect Ceiling and Wall Paint – Fall 2017 ORC Week 3 […]

  • Reply Emy October 19, 2017 at 7:24 am

    Such great painting tips! And I love your fabric choices!!

    • Reply theChelseaProject October 19, 2017 at 9:41 am

      Hi Emy and thanks so much. Hope all of it comes together. LOL. Fingers crossed.

  • Reply roomfortuesdayblog October 19, 2017 at 12:48 pm

    Helpful tips! Love love love the millwork.

    • Reply theChelseaProject October 19, 2017 at 3:07 pm

      Thanks so much Sarah! Appreciate so much.

  • Reply Jessica Vanderveen October 19, 2017 at 9:29 pm

    wow this is a great post. So much useful information. Your trim and all the details look so great in all the colors and sheens you’ve chosen

    • Reply theChelseaProject October 20, 2017 at 12:51 pm

      Thanks Jessica! It’s good to know the information in the post will be useful. And thanks for the sweet words of encouragement. I’m looking forward to that good ‘ole finish line in November. Are you? XOXO

  • Reply heyfitzy October 20, 2017 at 10:34 am

    Hi Susie! Thank you for sharing these neat little tools. They truly make the painting projects a little easier. Painting ceilings is hard work!!!

    • Reply theChelseaProject October 20, 2017 at 12:52 pm

      Hey Tammy! Yeppers! Ceiling painting, Ugh. But it surely is easier with these nifty gadgets.

  • Reply Toni | Small Home Soul October 20, 2017 at 3:42 pm

    I’ve always heard you should choose your paint color last but the other tips are so great to read up on. I’ve had hits and misses over the years. It’s crazy how paint looks so different even on a different wall in the same room. Your tips are always on point and so useful. And I love the white’s you chose. They do blend beautifully together.

    p.s. I have to get one of those paint sticks before my next painting project.

    • Reply theChelseaProject October 20, 2017 at 5:52 pm

      Hi Toni and thanks! And yes! You need to get one of the EZTwist Paintsticks.

  • Reply Nancy October 20, 2017 at 8:56 pm

    Great paint tips! Your paint gadget looks amazing. I love the fabric you have chosen and your rug is looking amazing. It looks like it is all coming together perfectly.


    • Reply theChelseaProject October 21, 2017 at 8:44 am

      Hi Nancy and thanks so much! I wish you could pop over and give the room a blessing before it goes live. Appreciate you so much!

  • Reply Jenny October 20, 2017 at 9:46 pm

    Great advice on painting. I’ve always wanted to try a paint stick. I may just have to get one!

    • Reply theChelseaProject October 21, 2017 at 8:46 am

      Hi Jenny and thanks! Yes, the painting stick is such a life saver!

  • Reply happilyorganizedchaos October 21, 2017 at 3:46 pm

    The fabrics and paint colors are perfection 🙂 Great job!!

    • Reply theChelseaProject October 21, 2017 at 5:55 pm

      Thanks so much! These kind words give me much confidence that this room will pull together. XOXO

  • Reply Colette @ restyle it wright October 23, 2017 at 9:24 am

    I love the ceiling color! The perfect shade!

    • Reply theChelseaProject October 23, 2017 at 11:14 pm

      Hi Colette! Thanks so much!

  • Reply Ashley - The Gold Hive October 26, 2017 at 1:17 am

    Such great tips and what a handy paint roller product!

    • Reply theChelseaProject October 26, 2017 at 9:02 am

      Hi Ashley and thanks so much! Hope they are helpful.

  • Reply How to Paint Faux Antique Brass Hardware - The Chelsea Project October 31, 2017 at 7:09 am

    […] Tips for Perfect Ceiling and Wall Paint – Fall 2017 ORC Week 3 […]

  • Reply How to Paint Dining Room Furniture - The Chelsea Project October 31, 2017 at 10:23 pm

    […] Tips for Perfect Ceiling and Wall Paint – Fall 2017 ORC Week 3 […]

  • Reply Dining Room Makeover Plans - The Chelsea Project October 31, 2017 at 10:59 pm

    […] Tips for Perfect Ceiling and Wall Paint – Fall 2017 Week 3 […]

  • Reply How to Easily Paint Super Slick Surfaces - The Chelsea Project November 14, 2017 at 6:46 pm

    […] Tips for Perfect Ceiling and Wall Paint – Week 3 […]

  • Reply Dining Room Makeover Reveal - The Chelsea Project November 15, 2017 at 11:27 am

    […] Tips for Perfect Ceiling and Wall Paint – Week 3 […]

  • Thanks so much for your comment!

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.