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the 1 pro tip you need before painting your ceilings

Paint cans and brushes/Photographer: Courtney Nuss via Unsplash/Don't start painting that ceiling just yet.

Greg Roth, senior designer at Los Angeles-based Home Front Build, has worked in architecture, interior design, and graphic design—and that means he's an expert in paint and color choice. Read on for his must-use tip for tackling the task of painting your ceilings.

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But first things first:

Get started by sampling. "Always look at the color in situ. You can never replicate the precise conditions of the installation space well enough to be able to accurately tell what the color will look like on the walls or ceiling of that room"—like your kitchen wall, or the mudroom. "So take the time and spend the money to see samples in the space before the work gets underway."

Here's his tip for managing what designers often call the fifth wall:

"If you plan to paint the ceiling of a room the same color as the walls, have your paint shop formulate the ceiling paint at 80% strength of the color formula, so that the ceilings are slightly lighter in tone to the walls."

Why the lower percentage? "Since ceilings do not generally receive direct light the way that walls do, they tend to read as darker—even if the color is exactly the same. By lightening the color pigmentation slightly, you will get a more even reading of color in the space." Lighten up!

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