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How Paint Can Transform a Room: A Guide to Transforming Your Space

Updated: Apr 10


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Room with a brown leather couch, kitchen in the background

Why is it important to know how paint can change a room? Because if there’s a small room in your house and you would like it to appear larger, you don’t need to go knocking down walls – a simple paint job can give the illusion of a larger space!

Or, if you have a high ceiling and you want to make the room feel cozier, knowing what to paint (and what not to paint) can make all the difference.

In this blog, Wellington painters Orkney Painting & Decorating give you nine tricks to make a room or space work better for you, just by using paint as an illusion, to transform a space.

Ready? Okay, let’s get cracking ….

How to Expand a Space

If you wish to make a room feel larger, then Orkney Painting & Decorating recommends painting the ceiling and all walls in the same colour paint. This tricks the eye into believing the room is larger or wider than it is.

Room with white walls and ceiling and brown floor

Stretch A Space Vertically

To make a room look wider, we suggest painting all the walls the same colour, and the ceiling a different one. This will “pull” the ceiling down and make the room appear wider.

Room with teal walls, white ceiling and brown floor

Close a Space

If the effect you’re after is to make the room feel smaller and cosier, then painting two opposing walls the same colour will have this effect.

Room with white ceiling and end wall, two teal walls and brown floor

How to Highlight a Wall

You might want to make one wall the feature in the room. If so, the trick is to paint the ceiling and all the walls (except the one you want as the feature), in the same colour.

Room with two teal walls and ceiling, white end wall and brown floor

How to Decrease a Space

If you wish to reduce the feel of the room even more to decrease space, then all walls and the ceiling need to be painted in the same paint colour.

Room with all walls and ceiling in teal and brown floor

How to Elongate a Space

Elongating a room is done by painting the ceiling and two opposing walls the same, darker colour. This draws the eyes upward to the darker shade, along the ceiling and down the opposite wall.

Room with white oposing walls and ceiling and end wall in teal. Brown floor.

How to Stretch a Space Horizontally

If making a room appear wider is what you want to achieve, then paint the upper half of the walls in the room a darker shade than the bottom half. Then, paint the ceiling the same colour (or as close as possible) to the lower half of the walls.

Room with upper half of all walls in teal, lower half in white, white ceiling and brown floor.

How to Bring the Ceiling Down

If you want to create the illusion of a lower ceiling, then Orkney Painting & Decorating recommends painting it a darker colour than the rest of the room (while keeping all the walls the same, lighter colour).

Room with teal ceiling, white walls and brown floor

How To Shorten a Space

If you’re attempting to “shorten” a room, then paint the ceiling and opposing walls in the same light colour and paint the end wall in a darker shade.

Room with end wall in teal, other walls and ceiling in white and brown floor

We hope these tips help make your space work for you! If you need assistance with choosing the right colours, check out this article on 5 Tips for Selecting the Right Colour Scheme for Your Home”.

If this blog has been helpful but you find yourself time-poor or doubting your painting ability, why not leave the job to the professionals? If you live in the Wellington area, Orkney Painting & Decorating can complete the project, leaving you free to spend your precious time where you choose!

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