Whether plain or ornate, crown molding gives a room an air of elegance. Crown molding gets its name from its placement at the top of the wall along the edge, where the wall joins the ceiling. You can give your room some extra flair by adding crown molding in colors that work well for the space.
If you have white walls, white baseboards and a white ceiling, you can highlight your crown molding by painting it in a white gloss or semigloss paint. Or, you can create a tone-on-tone look with cream walls and a lighter cream semigloss shade for your baseboards and moldings.
Enhance the Design
Choose a paint color that will bring out the best features of your intricately carved moldings. The designs on carved moldings show nicely when painted white. The white paint will reveal the slight shadows in the carvings as light moves over them from windows and light fixtures. Choose white semigloss or pastel shades that complement the ceiling and baseboard colors.
Stained Crown Molding
Stain wood molding in a rich cherry or oak stain to bring out the beauty of the grain. Wood stains work well with colored or white walls. The depth of the stain color should complement the colors in your room. If you have dark wood furniture and trim, the moldings should be similarly stained.
Try an antique glaze on your crown molding to tone down a vivid color scheme. For example, if the room is painted burnt orange or red, try a brass metallic paint with a black or dark brown glaze that's been ragged off. This will leave the dark glaze in the crevices, softening the brass while enhancing the colored walls. Or, try another type of faux metal finish. Using a splatter technique, apply a textured finish with a metallic glaze over a solid paint color. A faux gold leaf finish is another possibility.
Color Visualization Tools
Explore the paint color possibilities for your crown molding with an online visualization tool. These tools are available at a few paint manufacturers' websites, such as sherwinwilliams.com. Find a room scheme that includes trim color options. Find your room color on the chart, and try several different variations of trim colors to get an idea of what works best.