Coffered Ceiling Paint Ideas

If there’s one addition to your ceiling that can turn out to be a really attractive feature to your home, making it look higher-end than when you first moved in; it would have to be coffered ceilings. There are a lot of instances though wherein architectural directions have gone against coffered ceilings simply because they weren’t the best option out there. Here’s what you need to know.

white paint coffered ceiling with bench dining and spacious area next to bright and cheery sunroom

For starters, what’s a coffered ceiling all about? It’s a style of ceiling that has recessed areas formed artistically into patterns. Coffer means indentations in architectural speak. These can come in rectangular patterns but they can come in other forms such as hexagons, octagons, and so on. 

This type of ceiling is actually more commonly used in public buildings such as libraries, courthouses, or museums. It is rarely used in residences but if this is something that you would like to explore, it can make your property look stately and sophisticated.[toc] 

Advantages of Paneled Ceiling Designs

Here are some reasons why you should consider getting coffered ceilings though:

• They are attractive. They create a dramatic appearance that most homeowners out there find quite attractive.

There’s a feeling of customization. It feels special and not the type of thing that you can just order from a store. There’s value in that. Plus, the patterns can look quite ornate.

• Great acoustics. They can absorb sound. This is an added layer of privacy that a lot of homeowners tend to appreciate.

This is great for areas such as the bedroom, the living room, or any areas in the home that are prone to noises or sounds that you might want to minimize.

• They can make rooms feel spacious. This is a bit of a paradox because, in terms of installation, the reality is that these ceilings take up space.

They take up a lot of overhead space. However, they do successfully create the illusion of a much bigger space once installed.

Coffered Ceiling Paint Colors

Living room with white coffered design ceiling feature with gray paint

The color choices for coffered ceilings are endless so when you think about it, there really are no limits to what you can design and come up with. See the most popular ceiling design types here.

You need to consider elements like undertones, if you want to make your ceiling look higher, what your lighting preferences are, whether you would want to go for a specific look, or if you want to incorporate the walls seamlessly into the ceilings. 

All of that aside though, here are some paint colors definitely worth looking at.

Now, you have several ways around this. You can paint the overhead potions between the beams or you can go ahead and paint the beams themselves. Read more about our guide to box beam ceiling ideas.

For best results, it would always be best to push for strong and dramatic contrasts. Do either the beams or the potions in a bold and dark color and go neutral with the other element. 

If you want slightly more intricate details, you could include painting different layers, different gradients, contouring the moldings, trim and so much more. 

This can create a vaulted ceiling illusion that adds more glamor to the space.

Here are some interesting coffered ceiling paint ideas that you can use and incorporate into your home:


This still stands as the most popular color for ceilings and it isn’t just a bow to tradition. White reflects light. 

dining space with white paint coffered overhead, rustic wooden dining table surrounded by modern glass chair

This creates the feel of more space in the overhead area, making it appear larger. It also provides an illusion of depth. It’s because of its lack of visual stop points. 

Be careful with ceilings that are 10 feet or more higher though because the overhead space might start feeling cavernous. But the best part about getting a white coffered ceiling is that it’s easy to apply and even easier to touch up. 

Errors are less noticeable and the color consistency is pretty easy to maintain even if you happen to be mixing and matching different white shades from different brands.

Pick: Benjamin Moore White Dove (OC-17)


yellow coffered custom ceiling and walls with chandelier

Admit it or not, you will find it very hard to ignore a beautiful yellow ceiling. That’s the whole point of it, really. 

When paired with some sort of neutral that fades out into view, the yellow blended in with it is meant to make the color pop out for visual drama or effect. Light grays or muted browns can also highlight this yellow color

Pick: Sherwin-Williams Jonquil (SW 6674)


wood paneled home office features coffered beam ceiling

We get it. Brown can make a space appear smaller or cozier and that’s the whole point of considering it for your coffered ceiling. It makes for a great visual stop point. 

While it obviously wouldn’t be a good idea to paint the entire ceiling a dark brown, consider this for the wood beams and paint a muted color in between.

Pick: Benjamin Moore Beachcomber (0976)


luxury dining area features light blue coffered feature, accented with crystal chandelier illuminating glass top table with leather chairs atop marble floor

There are limitless possibilities if you can evoke the feeling of the clear blue sky in your home’s overheadspace.

Stay away from the dark blues and go with the airier ones as they can open up the space, and have some sort of white or neutral color in the moldings to make it work together.

Pick: Benjamin Moore’s Iceberg (2122-50)

Paint Sheen

Painted coffered criss-cross ceiling in dining room

Here we share the best paint sheen to use for coffered ceiling designs.

Use a semi gloss paint sheen

It is semi-gloss all the way as far as coffered ceilings are concerned. Even in basic interior spaces, semi-gloss sheen paints can draw attention towards certain areas such as accents because they can really make the surfaces that they’re painted on stand out.  

Room features coffered trays soft brown carpet floor comfortable sofa fireplace and coffee table

They are highly durable and are also extremely resistant to mold and mildew. This is particularly recommended for the beams of these ceilings.

What Color Should I Paint My Coffered Design Ceiling

The best recommendation is that there shouldn’t be just one color for your coffered ceiling. At least go for a two-toned look. 

You can go for dark contrasts or you can go for a more analogous approach wherein the shades are somewhat similar to each other instead of contrasting each other. 

White and other neutrals of your choice are staples for the spaces in between the beams. As for the beams, they can literally be in any color that your heart desires. 

kitchen interior with large bar style island and gray coffered finishes

You can be as traditional or as creative as you want to be but we did list down all the preferred coffered ceiling paint ideas up top for your benefit.

Some of the top picks are:

  • White or off-white
  • Matching the wall colors
  • Neutrals like grays
  • Contrasting with the walls
  • Bold or Darker hues
  • Soft pastels
  • Metallic finish for a focal point

How To Paint A Coffered Grid Ceiling

Always clear out the area that you’re working on. If you can move all the furniture out and either remove or cover up lighting fixtures with protective plastic sheeting, go ahead and do so. 

Once everything is set up and preliminarily cleaned, start off by applying primer to all the areas within the beams. The use of a roller brush is recommended. Then you move on to priming the actual beams.

Once you are done priming, apply your first coat of paint in the same order. Go over the in-beam areas, and then for the actual beams themselves, and then the moldings. 

Do this in multiple coats until you are fully satisfied. Once cured according to the paint brand’s specifications, you are done and ready to enjoy your new coffered ceiling!

For more related related ceiling paint ideas visit this coffered ceiling ideas design guide page.

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