Painting Tips to Make a Room Appear Larger

Darker bolder colors may be in vogue, but they are not always the best choices, especially for smaller rooms. Dark colors make a room appear smaller than ever, but this is not the only consideration when painting a smaller room. Besides choosing lighter colors you can try a few simple tips and painting tricks. For the price of paint and the cost of your time, you can make any room appear larger than ever.

White Paint Not Required

Many people think they have to paint a room white to make it look larger, but light colors can accomplish the same goal. To make a small room appear larger, choose crisp clean colors that are very light. A light base with a hint of color is ideal for a small room, and many options should be considered before making a final decision.

It is difficult to judge how colors on a small swatch will appear on walls. What looks great on a one-inch square might look overwhelming on walls, especially in a small room. If possible, purchase a sample container, and apply the sample in an inconspicuous area. This will allow you to judge whether or not the color goes well with flooring and furnishings.

Painting Tips to Add Height to the Room

Small rooms with lower ceilings look exceptionally small, and they feel even smaller. To add height to a small room, consider painting the ceiling white. A white ceiling looks fantastic next to clean crisp colors that make the walls lighter and brighter. The eyes are naturally drawn up toward the ceiling, and as a result it looks and feels higher.

Expanding the Walls with Paint

To make the entire space look larger, paint the ceiling just a shade lighter than the walls. Going progressively lighter from the floors to the ceiling makes the area seem more expansive. It is amazing how colors, or a lack of color, can completely change the entire appearance of a room, and this optical illusion works well to make a small room look larger than it really is.

An Easy Solution for Dark Painted Walls

If you have made the mistake of painting the walls a darker or brighter color than you wanted, it is possible to correct the problem without completely repainting. Sponge painting over a bold color greatly tones it down, and it creates appeal and interest in the room. Sponge or rag painted walls are especially impressive, and it is well worth your time to give it a try.

Choose a lighter color that coordinates well with the base color, and using a rag or a sponge, dab the lighter color over the darker base. If necessary, practice on a sheet of cardboard or a paper bag before sponge or rag painting on the walls to see the resulting pattern. More than likely you will love the way the walls look, and what started out as a mistake will turn into an impressive room you will be proud to show off.

Keep in mind that darker or bolder colors can be used in small rooms, but not on the walls. Choose deeper colors for flooring and accessories. Darker throw pillows, knickknacks, vases, and other room accessories will add more color to the room without making it feel like it is closing in.

View Author’s ProfileJessica Ackerman

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7 Comments

  1. www.capstonepainting.com
    Posted July 15, 2014 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the article Jessica. Quite often homeowners will request a color that is way to dark for the room they have and do not realize it until it is too late.

  2. Posted March 16, 2015 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

    I just moved into a new home, and it needs to be repainted. Many of the rooms are very dark, and I don’t like it at all. I like feeling like the rooms are more open. In many of the rooms I want them white, or light colors, but I am interested in this sponge painting you were talking about. I think ti would be really fun to try it out, and if I didn’t love it, I could always repaint.

  3. Dave Thompson
    Posted March 31, 2015 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

    Had no idea that just painting a room could make it look bigger. I should try this in a few rooms in my house. Me and my wife are looking to see our house, but it is pretty small inside. Maybe painting a few rooms will help it look bigger, and more people will be interested in buying it from us. Thanks for the great advice. http://www.jpspainting.org

  4. Posted April 16, 2015 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

    My husband and I just moved into our first house, and it needs a paint job. Many of the rooms are painted very dark. I think it would look a lot more open to have lighter walls. I had been thinking white walls would give us the look we want, but maybe not. Adding some other, light, colors would be really cute!

  5. Posted May 27, 2015 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    That’s true that darker colors make a room seem smaller. Since our living room isn’t the biggest, we should probably paint it in lighter colors. That’s good to hear that it doesn’t have to be white to get that effect. White is just a little boring in my opinion.

  6. Posted October 1, 2015 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    That’s nice to know that you don’t have to have white walls to make a room look bigger. I would like a warm color on my walls. They can still be a very light shade, but it will make a big difference to me. Painting the ceiling a shade lighter wouldn’t be hard at all and if it would make the space seem bigger I’m all for it.

  7. Posted February 16, 2016 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    I absolutely love your idea of sponge painting dark walls. My husband and I just moved into a new house, and the living room walls are a very dark, deep red. It’s really pretty, but it makes the room feel very closed off. I would love to brighten it up, but I just don’t have the time to repaint it all. I’m totally going to give this a try, I think I would really like it.

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