Looking Up: Engage Your Customers in Ceiling Painting Plans

Ceilings are often the less-thought-about component of any paint job, but helping your customer think about not only their four walls but their fifth can yield benefits for both you and your customer, according to a Sherwin-Williams interior design specialist.

“There are no limits on the ways ceiling color can be used, whether to create the illusion of space or complement the colors of the rest of the room, and having that conversation with your customer is a valuable way to build your relationship,” says interior designer Jacqui McCowan of Sherwin-Williams Color Marketing & Design. “Their tendency will be to think of the ‘lower four’. Engaging them in planning for the fifth wall can not only demonstrate your expertise but add value and profitability to the job itself.”

Where to start

Ceiling color choices typically start with a standard light-reflective white, which creates the illusion of higher ceilings and open space and generally complements the colors of the rest of the room when the tones are lighter. From there, just about anything is fair game, whether it’s matching the color of the walls, choosing a tone variant of the wall color, or going bold, with a completely different ceiling color from the rest of the room.

McCowan counsels contractors to help their customers visualize options using Sherwin-Williams ColorSnap® Visualizer tool, and to keep in mind the function of the room.

“There are almost no rules, but you often do want some level of light reflectivity,” says McCowan. “Bathrooms, nurseries, and laundry rooms are spaces, for example, where vibrant color choices might be less appropriate as the focus will be on light and functionality. Then again, a bright pattern could really liven up those spaces. And in other rooms, have fun. Bedrooms can really be dressed up with a colorful ceiling.”

What paint is best?

Sherwin-Williams makes several products formulated specifically for ceilings. Eminence® High Performance Ceiling Paint is an interior acrylic latex that functions as a paint and primer in one. A true flat paint, it delivers easy one-coat coverage and a bright white finish, although it is tintable if light pastel shades are desired.

“The look of Eminence Paint is top of the line,” says McCowan. “It’s fresh and crisp, with high light reflectance.”

Also, a popular ceiling choice is ProMar® Ceiling Paint, a flat interior latex that offers a quality appearance for budget-conscious projects. Its super-flat finish will minimize the appearance of small surface imperfections, and its self-priming properties minimize application labor. The product offers good light reflectivity and it is tintable to hundreds of colors.

Roll or spray?

As for ceiling application techniques, a recent survey on the Sherwin-Williams PRO Facebook page asked contractors whether they’ll be spraying or rolling their upcoming ceiling work, and it yielded some interesting answers: 16 percent said they’ll spray, 16 percent said they’ll roll, and the remaining 68 percent said it depends on variables ranging from surface texture to whether the job was a repaint or new construction.

“We got a lot of ‘it-depends-on-the-situation’ answers,” reports Sherwin-Williams social media specialist Alyssa Hearty.

In any situation that requires a paint job, be sure that you and your customer “look up” and consider the fifth wall. The result could increase both their satisfaction and your profitability.

See a full rundown of today’s top interior paints and coatings at the Sherwin-Williams contractor website.