What Color to Paint Ceiling Beams (7 Exciting Options)

See what color to paint ceiling beams, including the various ideas, ideal shades, suggested finish, and if painted ceilings should match the floor design.

Modern living room with white ceiling beams couch sofa chairs wide open windows railings

Applying ceiling beams is wise since they provide a striking yet inviting element in any room. They’re just joists that have been uncovered on purpose. Allowing guests to view the roof’s support frame might be fascinating, but finding the proper color can be difficult.

Ceiling beams may be painted in almost any color on the market. However, some fundamental guidelines and concepts would get you started. Thus, we’ve done extensive research to determine which colors are ideal for your overhead areas.

The perfect color for your beams should be changed to match the room’s present design. Vibrant colors, on the other hand, are usually better. Nonetheless, here we will share some ideas so you will know what color you can use to paint your ceiling beams. [toc]

Painted Ceiling Beam Ideas 

Living room with white ceiling and painted beams, wood flooring and log wall fireplace

Painting over every uncovered ceiling beam will consume a lot of labor and time. You’ll need to have a lot of paint, and you’ll need a ladder to complete the project. Alternatively, you might want to consider paying someone to do it for you.

It takes a lot of time and effort in any case. The color you’ll pick for your ceiling feature will also greatly influence the overall look of the space. That is why you must carefully design the beams to coordinate with the paint on the walls and other finishes. The style of the space should determine the color. A nursery, for instance, would feel very different from a dining room with uncovered joists. 

Painting Beams White 

Spacious room with white beams on ceiling, stairs and indoor plants

Due to the fact that it is the brightest neutral color, white turns out to be the most well-known color for interior design

Because white merely reflects all shades, it could be used with almost everything. Indeed, white is an excellent choice for low or high vaulted ceiling beams.

White can illuminate the ceiling without drawing attention to the beams. Certainly, with darker ceiling design types, the high temperature of white can create too much contrast. However, most ceilings aren’t always dark in the first place.

Advantages of Painting Ceiling Beams White  
Brightens the room Easier to match with other decor
Creates a cohesive look Adds a subtle accent
Highlights architectural details Makes the room feel more modern

Painted Wooden Beams 

Modern kitchen with blue exposed beams

Painted wooden ceiling beams can enhance the overall design of a room by adding color, visual appeal, structure, and stability. Paint can be utilized to alter the wood beam’s color or tone, as well as to make distinctive patterns or focal point that gives the space more personality.

A layer of paint is also added to protect the wood from dust, conceal imperfections, and protect against moisture damage. Moreover, painted wooden overhead boards can aid in quieting a room down because of its reflecting surface’s ability to deflect sound waves.

Colors to Paint Wood Beams

Blue or Green: The colors blue and green are ideal for any type of wood. That’s because blue and green may be found everywhere in nature, from rainstorms to woods. Hence, they’re both perfect candidates for wood beams.

Blue and green are also noted for their wide spectrum of tones, which vary from the deepest seas to the most vibrant mint. In actuality, sky blue is an excellent choice for a ceiling color. Blue and green, on the other hand, are versatile enough for contemporary, abstract environments.

Light green hues can help the room be more open, while darker shades can provide a cozier atmosphere.

Evergreen Fog

For a pleasant green paint shade, try using an olive hue. Sherwin-Williams Evergreen Fog (SW 9130) is a nice mid-tone warm green shade with a slight blue-gray undertone. If you’d like a richer green hue, Farrow & Ball Green Smoke (No. 47) is a timeless choice that falls somewhere between a light and dark tone.

green smoke

Green Smoke

If you’re leaning toward the blue side of things, take a look at Benjamin Moore – Van Deusen Blue (HC-156), which offers a deep hue that can add some elegance to your overhead areas. For a darker, almost navy blue, try out Sherwin-Williams – Naval (SW 6244), which excels in well-lit rooms.

Yellow: Yellow creates an energizing ambiance. In outdoor spaces and in nurseries, kitchens, and dining areas, yellow is indeed fashionable. It gives your interior space a pleasant, breezy, and enjoyable vibe. 

Porter Paints Muted Yellow (13185)Porter Paints Muted Yellow (13185)

However, the type of color yellow you will choose should be in a more muted tone as well.

Rose colored beams in area with textured wall

Rose: Rose is an excellent way to use pink without the harshness that it is known for. Wooden ceiling beams will complement that garden vibe as it boasts a flowery atmosphere.

Black Beams 

Black and white room hanging chair and black beams criss-cross on ceiling

The deepest of the neutral colors is black. Black can be used with a vast array of other colors while also significantly lowering the room’s temperature. 

Darker ceilings can give the impression of being lower than bright ceilings. Since most floors are dark, to begin with, this will eventually result in a constricting effect.

The added volume of shadows might upset the balance of the scene if there is darkness both above and below. This can also give the illusion that the various types of furniture and fittings in between are floating in their respective area.

In contemporary and minimalist interiors, black is always a must-have. However, the purpose of these styles is to create rooms that are clean, seamless, and spacious with minimal adornment. An exposed timber joist, even so, will always have a natural look. 

The ceiling texture of the beam, even if painted deep black, might clash with a modern aesthetic. You could paint the posts black for an industrial or sophisticated look if they aren’t made of wood.

A black wooden ceiling beam looks great against a natural hardwood brown overhead. Black can also be used to generate contrast against a somewhat darker overhead space.

Advantages of Black Painted Beams  
Adds contrast, depth and dimension Provides a modern touch
Creates drama Conceals imperfections
Complements other colors Highlights design elements

Gray Beams 

Modern style room with white wood floor, gray ceiling with large beam, and brick pillar

Gray is a cold neutral that is less contrasting than black, and that’s why it is an incredible color for ceiling beams. It will also complement a wooden beam’s natural appearance. 

Natural gray undertones could be found in many wood types, including walnut. For instance, you may use gray to make the feature resemble beech wood.

In addition to painting each beam, different color faux beam products can be painted or prepainted, giving the appearance of real exposed rafters. These can be installed as a DIY project and must be cut to size and hung with fasteners to your joists or studs.

Should Beams Be Painted Flat or Semi-Gloss?

Bright kitchen space with painted double beams, cabinets, center island and black countertop

A high-gloss or semi-gloss finish will doubtlessly add interest and elegance to the beam ceilings. The best paint finish for ceilings mostly comes in matte or flat.

This means if you paint with a matte finish as well, this won’t make a pleasing effect. Indeed, it would not look very interesting.

That’s why giving your ceiling beams a high-gloss or semi-gloss finish is highly recommended so they can neutralize your ceiling with a matte finish

On the other hand, if your overheads have a glossy finish (which is very rare), then it would be a better idea to give your beams a matte finish.

Painted Wooden Beams 


Dining room with wood plank floor, chandelier white painted slats and beams

Painted wooden ceiling beams can enhance a room’s overall design by adding color, visual appeal, structure, and stability. Paint can be utilized to alter the wood beam’s color or tone, as well as to make distinctive patterns or focal point that gives the space more personality.

A layer of paint is also added to protect the wood from dust, conceal imperfections, and protect against moisture damage. Moreover, painted wood boards can aid in quieting a room down because of its reflecting surface’s ability to deflect sound waves.

Advantages of Painted Wooden Beams  
Protects the wood Makes the room feel cozier
Adds color Creates a focal point
Conceals flaws Enhances architectural features

Do Beams Have to Match the Floor?

The connection between the ceiling beams and the remainder of the interior space should first be determined. The boards do not have to be the same color as the floor. 

In reality, the floor is perhaps the room’s darkest color. This anchors the area and serves as a visible platform for everything else to stand on. 

The roof will appear considerably lower if the beams are painted the same color as the darkened floor. Using lighter colors will provide for a better overall experience and sense of a larger height.

Furthermore, in any home design, using two same colors is not always a smart idea. This gives the impression of duplication, which is unappealing to look at.

As a result, the majority of interior design styles stick to colors from the same family. They’ll be slightly brighter or darker, with only a shade or two separating them.

Painted Ceiling Beam Ideas Infographic

Painted ceiling boards and beam ideas infographic

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See more related content in our article about the different coffered ceiling ideas on this page.

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