Contrasting colors — sometimes referred to as complementary colors — are opposite each other on the color wheel and add a dramatic touch to any room. Using contrasting colors together often can create a pleasing, yet slightly clashing effect. This clash is what you want; it enhances the temperature of each color, adding interest and energy to the room. For example, you can use a warm color like red against a cool shade, such as green — the color directly opposite red on the color wheel.
When painting your ceiling with a contrasting color, one room color should be dominant, in a darker shade of that particular color, while the other color opposite from the dominant one on the color wheel should be in a lighter shade. For example, a dark green should be paired with a light red shade. Generally, a lighter color works best on the ceiling, if you want the ceiling to appear higher, while a darker shade makes a room feel cozier. Use whatever works best for your particular rooms and taste.
The experts at your local True Value® hardware store can answer any questions you have about paint color and point you in the right direction, based on the look you’re going for. Pick up a Custom Mixed Color Sample to try out different colors on your ceiling. You can also pick up one of our helpful Idea Cards to help you choose your palette. Also check out the True Value Color Gallery to see all the potential colors and combinations.