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Paint It Black.

Happy (Almost) Valentines Day!!!  Let’s talk about something dark on this wonderful weekend of love…


I’ve been captivated and charmed by ultra-dark paint lately.  Like, almost black.  And although this look may not be for everyone, painting a ceiling dark will give the room a real sense of space, and enclose it in a warm, sophisticated, comforting way.

photo credit: Lincoln Barbour for Jessica Helgerson Interior Design

photo credit: Lincoln Barbour for Jessica Helgerson Interior Design


Recently, I have been able to act on these dark urges for our own low basement ceilings.  For this project, we opted not to do a drop ceiling with drywall, instead we left the joists overhead exposed and carefully re-routed the electrical wires and plumbing (thank you, Mr. Heatherland) to make everything neater.  Then I got to paint them black!


Why Dark Ceilings Work


For low ceilings, the instinct is to brighten them up with light colors to “lift them” and give your more visual height.  But instead, if you opt for a color with a lot of depth, the effect will “recess them” out of your sight line so when you’re standing in the room with a dark ceiling you won’t really notice them as much.

photo credit: Elle Decor

photo credit: Elle Decor


This is especially important for our basement.  Since we were painting existing floor joists from the living space above, there’s a lot of imperfections in that wood.  If the color was light, every shadow cast on them would highlight the flaws, but the dark color will hide everything.  Imagine this:  Let’s say you have a little cellulite on you backside (no judgment), if you wear a tight white dress you will see all those imperfections, but if you wear a tight black dress, the little bumps and lumps get hidden.  Same idea for paint. 


Creating Balance

One more notable mention: In order to make this look work, I’m a big believer in balance.  When you have a dark ceiling, you should consider pairing it with a dark floor too.  Otherwise the room might look a little top heavy.


Photo Source: Pinterest

Photo Source: Pinterest

Also, this is a wonderful opportunity to decorate with light furnishings and items with reflection to cultivate brightness in the room alongside with the depth.


As for Me…

Well, I got to put on my favorite tyvek suit agin, rented an industrial paint sprayer, and plowed through 17 gallons on Primer (Dark Tinted Kilz) and Paint (Behr Cracked Pepper) for our basement ceiling.  And honestly, I loved them from the moment the first coat went on.


Not convinced yet?  Just wait till we finish it up, trust me, this one will be good!

How to Drywall Inside Corners.

I have been stuck in Drywall Purgatory for the last few weeks, and I can’t wait to get out of it.  The basement we are working on is 800 sqft with 5 rooms, 3 closets, and a stairwell- all of which have 104 corners to be taped and mudded.  And since taping and mudding is my department, I have been a very busy gal.


Our basement in progress.

Our basement in progress.

I learned how to do drywall by watching people do it on YouTube, but the areas I had the hardest time with were the inside corners.  Now that I have a lot of hours of this nonsense under my belt, I happily pass on my knowledge to anyone out there that has a drywall project looming over their head- even if it’s just a patch job.


Drywall Supplies


Paper Tape

Lightweight Drywall Compound

Stainless Mud Pan

Taping Knives: 2″, 5″, and 10″

Rigid Inner Corner Bead (for difficult, drafty corners)



How to Tape and Mud Inside Corners


I finally got around to making a video.  If you have 9 minutes(!) to spare, watch the whole dang thing to get my valuable tips and listen to me rant mindlessly about my neighbor.


This is an ULTRA HIGH QUALITY VIDEO (Can you sense my sarcasm?)  Enjoy, and good luck with your next project.

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