Painting Tricks To Make Your Room Look Bigger

Emma from ECOS Paints 04/11/2023
Man applying white paint to wall with paint roller

A room doesn't have to have a million square feet to feel spacious. With these paint tricks, you can make even the smallest spaces feel bigger.

When people imagine their dream house, they often imagine a significantly larger space than the one they’re currently occupying. But often, it isn’t about the house’s total square-footage but about making a home feel spacious. You can accomplish this visual trick with a little creativity and some strategic paint application.

Paint Selection

Most painting tricks to make your room look bigger involve choosing the right paint for the right space. Although there isn’t one paint to fit every room, these are some principles you can follow when selecting your products.

Light Colors

When you maximize the light in a room, the space tends to feel larger and more open. As such, most people using paint to make the room feel bigger opt for brighter colors that will reflect light. White works well, but you could also use colors like beige, grey, or pastels like yellow or blush. Consider these popular options:

Glossy Paint

You can use a paint’s finish to reflect light along with the color itself. The higher the gloss, the more reflective the surface will be. Higher-gloss paints make a room look especially spacious, but the look is dramatic, so consider carefully before deciding if you want to use it for the walls. Most opt for an eggshell or semi-gloss finish instead, as glossier finishes tend to highlight imperfections rather than hiding them.

Cool Colors

There is a reason that we feel close to “warm people” and distant from “cold people.” When we paint a room with warm colors, it tends to lend itself to a feeling of closeness or coziness. Conversely, if you paint the walls a cool color, they will seem farther away. This trick gives the room the illusion of being larger. 0601 Cool Sky or 0692 Barely Aqua, two cool blues, may be good choices for this purpose.

Paint the Ceiling

When painting a room, we tend to focus on the walls and completely forget about painting the ceiling. But painting the ceiling can make it seem closer or further away from us, making the room feel smaller or bigger.

Matching the Walls

If you are painting the walls something other than white, try painting the ceilings that color, too. Doing so will draw the eye upward, making the ceiling feel higher. Some experts recommend choosing the same color, only 20% lighter. This subtle shift will make the ceiling appear higher without losing the seamless, contemporary look.

Contrasting the Walls

Contrasting the ceiling color with that on the walls can also serve the same eye-catching function as making the ceiling and wall match. If you paint the ceiling a darker color than the walls, it will make the ceiling feel closer and the room feel smaller. But if you paint the ceiling a lighter color than the walls, it will make the room feel bigger, even if you are using dark shades on the walls.

Patterns and Designs

Solid colors aren’t the only option for a ceiling, especially if your goal is to direct guests' eyes upward. You can either go subtle or bold when painting a stylized ceiling. For instance, if your ceiling has cross beams, try painting them an eye-catching color to contrast with the rest of the ceiling. Or you can paint stripes, simple geometric patterns, or designs that highlight features like ceiling lights.


When we think of painting a room, we often box ourselves in with the idea of painting the walls all one flat color. But when you think of your room as a blank canvas, you can experiment with details that will add visual depth to your space and make the room appear bigger.

Accent Walls

Painting an accent wall can be as simple as painting one wall a different color than the others or as complex as creating a geometric wall pattern. Because they add extra details, accent walls break up the space, making it feel bigger the same way an area rug does to a floor. Even darker colors that would otherwise make a room feel smaller will make a room feel bigger when you use them for an accent wall.

Crown Molding

Crown molding adds an elegant touch to a room. However, depending on how you paint them, they can actually make a room appear smaller. Painting the molding a contrasting color, such as white molding on a dark-colored wall, will make the room feel smaller. But if you paint the molding the same or a similar color to the wall, even darker rooms will appear more spacious.

Non-Paint Tricks for a Bigger Room

Choosing wisely when it comes to paint colors and finishes can help make a room feel bigger, but there are also other things you can do to help make your paint job more effective.

Maximize Natural Light

As mentioned, light makes a room feel bigger. But even the most reflective room colors will not make a space feel more sizeable if the room is naturally dark. Maximize the natural light in the room by using light-colored window treatments. Hanging up wall mirrors will also reflect light in the space and make it feel larger.

Add Wall Art

At times, adding an accent wall isn’t in your paint budget, but you can get the same effect by hanging up eye-catching wall art. However, different art pieces can have various effects on how big the room feels. Using larger-framed prints will make a room feel larger than using smaller-framed prints. Or you can use multiple frames of varying sizes together in a cluster to create a focal point.


Another way to get the feeling of an accent wall without using paint is to use wallpaper instead. Wallpaper allows you to incorporate more complex patterns that you might have been able to achieve on your own. Just make sure that you keep your paint color in mind when choosing wallpaper. Or, if you're looking for a creative DIY project, consider hand-painting your own wallpaper pattern on the wall!

Any house can feel like a spacious dream home with innovative interior design. And our non-toxic* paint will help you make those dreams come true.

*Non-Toxic - conforms to ASTM-D4236, specifically concerning oral toxicity, skin irritation and respiratory effects.

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