Tray ceilings are popular because they really enhance a room's decor. They make the ceiling look higher and become a focal point for people entering the room. They are also a great addition to a home when you do a lot of entertaining and guests congregate in one area. However, people always struggle with the paint colors to use and getting straight lines between the layers.
When painting tray ceilings there are several things to consider before choosing the colors. Depending on the paint colors you choose, the look of the ceiling can make the entire room feel warm and cozy. One of the most beautiful ways of painting a tray ceiling is to use an accent color on one of the layers. Choose a deep rich paint color that matches a color of something already in the room. Match some throw pillows, bedding, the sofa or even some art work. This will add to a warm feeling and tie it all together. Deep paint colors will also show off the structure of the tray ceiling.
One of easiest color schemes for a tray ceiling is to use a contrasting color that is one shade darker or one shade lighter than the colors already in the room. This will create a harmonious feeling and is a very easy way to choose the colors. Regardless of the color you pick, be sure to sample the paint color first so you really know how the color will look.
Once you have chosen your color it is very important to prepare the room. First, make sure that your floor is covered with a drop cloth and everything valuable is covered with plastic sheeting because paint will drip and splatter down no matter how careful you are.
Use a damp cloth to wipe down the ceiling to make sure any loose debris like dust or dirt is removed. Something with a long handle will help you reach. A duster also works but isn't as good as a damp cloth. Use a spackling compound to fill in an holes or cracks, let it dry and sand it smooth with sandpaper.
The next step is to prime the walls with a good quality acrylic primer (unless you are using the Benjamin Moore Aura which doesn't require a primer). If there are any water-stains then you will need to spot prime those areas with an oil or alcohol-based stain-killing primer.
Once the ceiling is primed, put painter's tape along any area where you have edges that are either angled or stepped so you do not get paint on these parts. Helpful trick: painter's tape is easier to work with in short strips. Once taped you can begin painting.
Choose a high-quality ultra flat ceiling paint. The new Benjamin Moore ceiling paint makes use of their Aura paint technology to create an ultra-flat, super high-quality, high-hiding paint that will enrich any color.
Paint the edges with a good paint brush and fill in the rest with a paint roller, using a zigzag pattern so you will cover more ground as you go. And putting your roller on a pole will make painting the ceiling much easier. Just make sure you use a good quality roller frame that will apply the paint evenly over the length of the roller cover, and won't snap under the additional strain caused by the leverage of the pole.
Let the paint dry before deciding on a second coat. Sometimes one coat is sometimes sufficient, but we typically recommend that you do two coats. You've already done the hard work of preparation so you might well just do it. The second coat often looks better and ensures the job is complete. You don't want to start seeing spots that could have used more paint after you've put your room back together.
Now sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labor!