Painting a coved ceiling


Old 06-04-04, 10:10 AM
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Painting a coved ceiling

My home has coved ceilings in the living room. I'd like to paint the walls a seperate color from the ceiling, but there is no specific point to stop/start another color. Is there a certain location to change the color...should I go down the wall an inch or so with the ceiling color or should I run the wall color up onto the ceiling??

Also, what's the best way to ensure this line is level around the room?
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Old 06-04-04, 12:36 PM
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Is there a certain location to change the color...
No rule of thumb, just do it where it looks most appealing to your eye.
what's the best way to ensure this line is level around the room?
Snap a chalk line, or use a 4' level and pencil mark it, or use a laser level, etc.
Old 06-23-04, 02:31 PM
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Coved ceilings provide a transition between a ceiling and a wall in a very similar manner as Crown Molding provides a transition. In fact it is the choice of a curved transition that allows the cove to look correct. Just as a stacked or built up Crown molding provides a inwardly curving profile the cove provides the sense of additional mass at the transition which is at the shoulder of the whole wall profile (a concept which goes all the way back to the greeks).

To that regard if you set the line far under the beginning of the curve(from the wall) it can look odd, as it appears the cove has an overlong, thin base(No mass at the start/base) just as a thin, long start to crown molding would look weak and out of place. If you paint the line within the area of the curve itself you can increase visual interest but run the risk of making the cove look interrupted or making it too fore shortened and not pulling its weight.

Treat the cove as if it is in fact crown molding, start a little below the beginning of the curve as it comes off the wall (depending on the scale of the room, a little might actually seem like a lot, since you can increase that distance for larger rooms as it can take it and it increases the mass of the transition when seen from a distance), smaller rooms you should start approx. 3/4 to 1 1/4 below the start of the curve, slightly less for even smaller rooms. Paint the wall up to that point and then paint the cove a softer tone of the same color. Use one of the new laser levels(cheap at 30$) and run your tape according to it. If an older home set all of your tape lines first and then check them before applying any paint.

To make the room appear taller, use molding or a darker accent line at the very point the cove meets the ceiling. Then paint the ceiling a very light tone of the same color or a white. The "framing" of the ceiling will give your eye a ready appreciation of the ceiling as a much smaller area then the rest of the room and make it appear the ceiling is farther away than it really is, as if the room has a vaulted ceiling.

Good luck and have fun, it's only paint and you can change it as often as you like. BTW, another technique is to run decorative appliques in the curve of the cove, one such treatment has an ivy pattern running in the curve around the room and is effective as it gives a little more weight to the transition and therefore sets an attractive "shoulder" in the perception of the viewer.
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