How to Paint a Recessed Ceiling
  • Three complementing colors, in three shades each
  • Chalk line and painting tape
  • Roller
  • Thin paint brush
How to Create a Recessed Illusion
  • Before you paint your ceiling, paint a sample of one corner.
  • Choose three main colors. For each main color, get a lighter and darker shade.
  • Imagine two adjoining edges on your sample are one of the corners of your ceiling.
  • Starting from the edge, measure and tape off three five-inch stripes separated by about one inch. Your tape marks should create an L.
  • Fill in each five-inch L with one of the main colors you chose.
  • Imagine there is a light source (like a window) along one of the legs of the L.
  • Paint each of the one-inch stripes along this leg the darker shades of the main colors. This creates a shadow effect.
  • Paint the remaining one inch stripes on the other leg of the L the lighter shades. This creates the illusion of light going away from the light source.
  • The one-inch stripes should meet in a diagonal.
  • If you are pleased with the sample, start on the ceiling!
  • Follow the shape of the room entirely.

See Demonstration