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BlueRenovating my House

The Shocking Truth about your Ceilings

By 05/26/2012October 11th, 202336 Comments

Having lived in rentals for so long, I am used to living in homes/apartments that smell. . . old.

I always assumed that the bad, old house smell came from the carpets but Dillon, the owner of  Pure Painters (who are currently painting my house, we move Wednesday), said that your ceilings–especially if they are textured–are at least half responsible for the smell.

Did you know this shocking truth about your celings?

Textured ceilings absorb the odors of your house just like a sponge.

When I hired Dillon to paint my house he didn’t even ask if the ceilings needed to be painted. He simply stated ‘We’ll paint your ceilings first’. And for perfect ceilings, they should be sprayed.

Photo by Maria Killam

I am so happy with the way all the colours in my house are turning out, I will share later how I chose them.

The only thing I’m not 100% sure of is the blue ceiling in my living room. Since my Sunflower yellow sofa will be in there and I plan on solid drapes to match, the wall colour will not be much different from the current colour you see here.

UPDATE: See my painted ceilings in my NEW house and my renovated bathroom.

I decided to do a blue ceiling (Cloverdale 7388) even though I don’t have any blue in the decor because blue is the sky and the sky goes with everything. I specified blue ceilings in my sisters house and every time I’m in her house I admire them.


I took my placeholder artwork (the one that will eventually be replaced with a Bobbie Burgers piece) and matched the sky. What do you think?

I’m exhausted right now, there’s so much to do!

Have a great weekend my lovelies! xo Maria

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  • LizHH says:

    I painted my living room ceiling Farrow & Ball’s Borrowed Light, with BM Linen White walls and Mascarpone trim. It’s gorgeous and so tranquil. There’s very little blue in the rest of the room, but that soft blue is carried out in different ways throughout the house.

  • StagerLinda says:

    I love the idea of the blue ceiling. Can’t wait to see the finished room. GREAT TIP about ceilings holding odors! Who knew…? Take a deep breath and don’t wear yourself out. xx Linda

  • Love, love a blue gray ceiling! Gray Cashmere is the color of heaven 🙂

  • Love the blue ceilings – it’s so calming. And the colour you chose is so subtle it shouldn’t be a problem with your sofa.

    Have fun this week. Moving is exhausting, but it’s so worth it in the end when you’re settled into your new place.

  • Carol says:

    I can’t wait to see the pictures of your blue ceiling, Maria. I think it’s going to look absolutely fantastic. I’ve been toying with doing the same thing on my living room ceiling. My sofa is a warm yellow (not as clean as yours, a bit more earthy) with coral/red chairs and I’ve been thinking that the right blue on the ceiling would be quite special…

  • Shannon Fox says:

    I’m sure it look lovely. It is exciting and exhausting all at the same time when there is so much to do and so many choices to make. My entire upper floor needs new paint from ceiling to baseboards and I can not pick my colors to save my life!

  • Marlo says:

    I like the blue ceiling – so peaceful and pretty.

    I didn’t know that textured ceilings absorb odours – good to know.

    When he spray-painted the ceilings did he use water or oil-based paint? I heard water-based paints will crumble the texture or does that only happen with a roller?

  • carol ann says:

    I love ceiling in anything but white…I am thinking of doing my kitchen ceiling in blue, just not sure which one I want to try yet……
    was at a clients home measuring the other day, the walls and ceilings were painted CC-460 Inukshuk with ivory crown moldings between… such a wonderful look and such a great colour.
    for some weird reason I have never noticed it in the designer collection paint deck…
    my newest… I love this colour…

  • Anon says:

    I just finished moving & I’m so worn out. My advice is:
    – Try not to get any bruises by not getting in a rush with boxes.
    – Packing is terrible on the fingernails & cuticles. Plan on a manicure.
    – Try not to swear too much around other people.

  • Di says:

    I had all the ceilings in my new house painted a soft blue and I am still in love with them. The color is uplifting and calming. BTW, I have lots of yellow walls in various hues selected from my foyer wallpaper and the blue ceilings look wonderful with the yellow! I never have painted a room yellow in my 50 plus years until we built this house 5 years ago and till love them–very cheerful. I have deep goldsm almost orange, daffodil, to a very pale “cornbread” and when it is time to repaint, as it is in some rooms, most will remain the same. I think any color looks good with yellow or blue–as you say it depends on the undertones of the things you put together.

  • Jil Baum says:

    I’m already paralyzed by all the decorating choices that have to be made and now you add the darn ceiling?!

  • i totally agree! My ceilings in my own house are 8ft. so i painted all of them HC 151 and they look great

  • Victoria Greer says:

    fab!!!!!Maria I know you are beyond excited to move in to this wonderful newly created space.

  • Terri Davis says:

    I have often specified pale blue-gray ceilings for all your same reasons. Happy to see we are of the same mindset. Think it will be great with your creamy walls! Have really been enjoying your posts!

  • Great choice Maria, I think I will repaint my ceiling when I see your pictures…

  • carol says:

    Love the blue ceilings. My family room needs to be painted soooo badly. Think I will do the blue ceiling. Thanks for the tip. I do not have textured ceilings, but I do burn candles alot and notice dark splotches on the ceilings. I think its soot from the candles. I hate that.

  • Donna Frasca says:

    As long as it’s not popcorn! Looks beautiful.

  • I have popcorn ceilings in my current house, some day I’ll replace them but our family priorities and budget don’t allow it now. I had a beautiful sky blue ceiling in the kitchen of my last house and I never tired of it. It literally lifted me up and made me happy every day!

  • Lee says:

    I love a blue ceiling as well. I’ve not had a client agree to it, but everyone LOVED my own blue ceiling in our last house. We had over 9ft ceilings with lovely wide crown moulding, and the soft blue ceiling bounced light. I miss it, and will repeat it here when we tackle our living room. I do love a coloured ceiling. The powder room ceiling is a rich gold, accented with deep crown, and it accentuates the whole tone of the tiny room. It’s that fifth wall!

  • Cathy F says:

    I have had coloured ceilings for years. They are lovely and fresh. Anyway I can hardly wait to see your fabulous new home.

  • karen says:

    I am fascinated and eager to see the picture of your ceiling. I love these kind of colours so i’m anxious to see. We all need some calm in these busy days now. Enjoy your move it’s so exciting but yes exhausting. Deep breaths, glass of wine at the end of the day. Reading your posts help inspire me when I’m at the end of my own overwhelment. Thanks for a “take me away, Calgon moment. lol I have tongue & groove ceiling on my whole upstairs, would blue be a good choice for something like that I wonder.

  • karen says:

    oh yes and great tip about the textured ceilings having odour. I’m so glad mine is gone I hated them so great to know.

  • GaBi says:

    In Europe we use to paint the all house every three years, just to get the fresh and clean smell and it was ALWAYS painted including ceiling. No matter what.
    To paint the ceiling for blue is definitely good idea just you have to count on that the painted ceiling make the romm smaller.
    Of course it is just a VISUAL EFFECT, but unfortunately it is true as the diferrent elevations in the room like a sunken living room make the room look more specious.
    You have probably seen many rooms with the high ceilings and they were painted just to make the room more cozy. These techniques are used mostly in a studio setting.
    If you are planning to use molding around your ceiling I wouldn’t do it, it will make your room much smaller even I really like the blue ceiling idea.
    It is the same visual trick as you paint the house with the small rooms and you will paint them with the very light pastel colours to look it much larger. I do admire your talent and your enthusiasm.
    I know the house is going to be absolutely beautiful.

  • Paula Van Hoogen says:

    See there you started a new (actually classic) trend!!!
    A blue ceiling is what I’ve been trying to convince my friend to do on her porch! It’s an AHHH! moment when you walk onto one or into a room with one.
    I agree with some of the others about pacing yourself.
    How do you do it? Driving from one place to the other, every day………. OK, where’s that cabernet?
    Did you bring the glasses?

  • Anne D larkin says:

    My favorite ceiling of all time was in my Englsih Country house. The living room as we call it in the US was oainted a perfect pale pink and i forget what color the walls were painted. There was lots of wood trim painted white and I am not sure I matched one thing to that pink, When the fire was going it was like being in heaven. Blue is probably the same way. The pink ceiling room was rather masculine as Englsh houses tend to be,

  • Julie from Australia says:

    Dang! Hubby just painted two bedroom ceilings white on the weekend! Would never have thought to paint them blue or any other colour. Closest I have ever come to that is painting them other than white as with the same colour as the neutral wall colour. Can’t wait to see the photos of your living room Maria and good luck with the move!

  • kelly says:

    Maria- your head must be spinning! Try, try not to stress out too much over moving. It was one of the most stressful times of my life. Just keep those cutie nephews nearby to give a big hug when you feel a meltdown coming on! Just remember how beautiful it is going to be and that it doesn’t happen overnight.

  • Tracy says:

    What company is the Cloverdale paint from as I’m not finding it on Benjamin Moore? Thanks!

    Congrats on your new home and looking forward to seeing all your hard work!

    • Tracy says:

      Ooopsie – Cloverdale is the paint company not the color – I found it and can’t wait to see it in your space!

  • Lois Loontjens says:

    I had the pleasure of seeing Monet’s home at Giverny, where the ceiling in the large, low kitchen was painted the blue of a sunny day in that latitude. It was also deeply shiny, as though lacquered. My french was not up to understanding the explanation of how it was done, but the effect was stunning, giving an impression of cleanliness, calm energy and comfort. An unusual, joyful effect.

  • Stephanie says:

    The ceiling in our sunporch has been blue for all of the 22 years we’ve lived here. Love it! It feels like you’re outside and is perfect with the beautiful shades of green plants and trees just outside the windows! In a couple rooms we have skylights and after reading your post I am going to try blue ceilings in those areas too! Enjoy your new home!

  • Maria – what would be a Benjamin Moore counterpart to the Cloverdale sky color you prefer? We don’t have Cloverdale in Florida, Arizona or Texas (where my properties are).

  • Betty says:

    If you have a Cottage Cheese ceiling DON’T PAINT it if you ever want to get rid of that look. Once it’s painted it’s impossible to remove the texture. It’s possible with water and a scraper to remove (the cottage cheese texture) without paint – time consuming, but possible. Once it’s painted it is all but impossible to remove it. I know from experience. We finally renovated and had all the ceilings removed and now we have beautiful SMOOTH ceilings (at a great cost).

  • Wendy says:

    Hi Maria,
    Because of this post I painted the ceiling blue in my master bedroom and I love it. I’m getting ready to paint the adjoining master bathroom and wondered if you would also do the ceiling blue in the bathroom.

  • Nancy Markon says:

    FYI! Looks like three broken links in this post? Got the 404 error message on each of them just now.

    Pure Painters Paint Better Doors

    4 Best Colours to Paint a Rental

    How to Choose Ceiling Colours: Do’s and Dont’s

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