The color coordination in a house is one of the most exciting parts of building, remodeling, or giving it a spruce up. Color gives voice to the personalities and the feel of a home and needs to be well thought out.

The conundrum arises when considering what to do with crown molding. Our crown molding comes already pre-primed and ready to paint. It is made from high-quality polyurethane that is light and not only easy to install but also to adorn in the desired paint.

The question then becomes: Must it be painted white? Does it have to match the walls? Should it match the ceiling?

In truth, the proper hue for crown molding is not cast in stone. There are no specific limitations that you have to stick to and no limit to how far your creativity can go.

There are guidelines, however, that will steer you in the selection process. These guidelines will help to achieve a balanced finish, which is the key requirement of all the decor pieces in a space.

But first, what questions should you think about?

  • Are my rooms large or small?

  • Are my ceiling heights tall or relatively shorter?

  • What is the style of my home?

  • What decor style am I aiming for?

Armed with these questions, let us now consider how far our creative juices can stretch.

Must crown molding be painted white?

White is the traditional and go-to color for crown molding. It is versatile and blends with almost everything. It will also be an elegant choice that spares you from overthinking and over-analyzing your options.

White paint has the effect of extending a room and making the edges of the ceiling ‘disappear’. It will make the crown molding stand out even more especially if the other hues are dark.

While white is an amazing color, it is not the be-all and end-all option for crown molding. Depending on the layout of the rest of the room, you can opt for slightly different shades such as ivory and light gray, or you can go wild and try out alternatives such as blue and yes, even black. Check out popular colors for crown molding here.

Should crown molding match the walls?

Depending on the desired outcome, painting the crown molding and the walls the same can be a perk or a setback.

Matching the molding to the wall in a smaller room will have the effect of making it appear larger. It will create the visual of taller walls and higher ceilings which are a definite plus. In a space where the furniture or other decorations are the focal points, painting the walls and molding similarly will be a great way to draw even more attention to the focus. 

On the other hand, the uniform shade may have the effect of shrinking the effect that the crown molding is supposed to have in a room. Crown molding is a magnificent decorative element that is meant to draw the eye to its flawless design and how it complements the space. For this reason, painting it a different color will allow it to stand out more. 

Should crown molding match the ceiling?

Ceilings are typically flat and painted white unless they are the chosen accent wall. As such, matching the ceiling to the crown molding would often mean painting it white. As assured above, white is a great way to go with molding and often works just right.

On the flip side, white crown molding on a white ceiling may have the effect of making the ceiling appear lower especially because the molding extends into the wall. In a smaller room, the lower ceiling visual will shrink the room further. In this case, a different finish such as gloss will distinguish the ceiling and have the crown molding stand out even more.

Should crown molding match other trim?

Matching crown molding to other trim such as baseboard molding, casing, wainscoting is often the go-to to achieve uniformity. And it works! Matching them says that they are separate entities of a fluid whole.

Yet this is not your only option. To switch things up a bit while still maintaining uniformity, try painting them in complementary colors or different shades of the same color. If you are working with dark trim, take care that you do not box in the room at the corners. Instead, aim for a warm and cozy effect.

A few more considerations:

When should you paint the crown molding?

Everyone has their preferred method for everything they do. When it comes to crown molding, some people prefer to paint the molding before installation while others find it easier to do it as the final step to their work.

There is no right or wrong way, only what works for you. However, it is argued that it is easier to work from the waist level and therefore paint the molding before putting it up. This is as opposed to working from the overhead level. 

Also, when the molding is fixed to the wall, you must be extra careful that you do not smidge and dirty the wall while in the process.

What type of paint should you use?

Paints are either oil-based or water-based. Water-based paints, including acrylic and latex paints, dry easily and therefore take a quicker time to apply. Oil paints on the other hand take a longer while to apply and dry. 

If you want to paint over old paint, check whether the original paint is water-based or oil-based. It is easy to add a water-based paint over another water-based paint or an oil paint over oil paint. 

Latex paint over oil paint will be slightly problematic because the chemical components do not gel well. To do this, you will need to first apply a bonding primer before applying the latex paint.

Do the tools matter?

The success of any job depends on the tools that will be used. For a good paint job, use high-quality paint and good brushes. Great brushes for crown molding are the angled sash varnish or enamel brushes with flagged tips and tapered edges.

The paint job for any space is largely a combination of the style and the desired outcome. While the molding can be painted classic white, this is not the limit. It can be painted to match the walls, ceiling, and other trim, or it can be different to create a good contrast. The aim at the end of the day should be that the crown molding complements the rest of the room. 

What color molding do you think works best for you?

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