We have just bought an Eichler that is generally in really nice condition. But we would like to try to restore some of the contrast to the beams and ceilings, both of which have been painted white. (As have all of the paneling save for a lovely parqueted accent panel in the LR). To this end, we are considering leaving the beams white and painting the ceilings throughout the house. Flooring is natural bamboo throughout.
We have two questions: has anyone had experience with this, and if so, what colors have you used on/considered for your ceilings? and do you have painters/contractors whom you'd recommend?
We also moved into a white washed Eichler. We painted the ceilings a light grey. Looks great. If you do a search here, you'll find some old threads and even a feature story or two on original Eichler ceiling colors. None of them were white. In fact, they were quite dark.
You could also leave the ceiling white and paint the beams a contrasting color, either something Retro or your basic black.
Our ceilings had also been painted when we moved in. We can see the original color in a closet and it's a sheer grey stain. Whoever painted the ceilings later used a slightly lighter grey and did a "wash" rather than a solid paint and it looks nice. I'd prefer the originals, but this is a nice compromise. The wood grain still shows through a little and the variation in tone that you achieve with a wash is nice.
My next door neighbors are currently painting their original stained ceilings. It makes me want to cry.
To answer your question a couple of ways, the contrast with the white beams looks great, and will really give some definition to your house. If you are simply looking to paint them with a solid color, get a Cabot stain card and pick one of the original colors you like -- Thatch, Dune Gray, etc. Then color match or pick a similar color from a Benjamin Moore (or similar 100% acrylic paint). You can't go wrong.
If you have more time on your hands, you can do a very successful faux finish by painting the ceiling with a slightly darker paint than your chosen color, and then go over that paint, once dry, with an original Cabot semi-solid stain using a brush that's been lightly dipped in the stain. The brush marks can really approximate the grain and look of the original ceilings. I have all original ceilings except for the bathrooms. I've used this technique in the bathrooms and it really looks great. No one notices that the ceilings are different unless I point it out to them.
We refinished our ceilings throughout our Eichler using the same color stain as the original. I pulled a sample of the stain from our master closet and it had the look of a milky dove gray tint. I went to a local paint supply store and found a stain called Woodkote Jel'd stain. The base is white. They mixed in some pigment and it was perfect. The code is OY8 RX1 BK6. These guys really know their products. Email me if you like their number.
Keep in mind that the only way to pull off a nice stain look is to completely strip the ceiling and start fresh. If you just stain over the old the finish it will come out looking like solid paint and will not show the woodgrain. Lot's of sore arms from sanding but well well worth it.
These are all great suggestions and give us some confidence that we are moving in a good direction. (We were thinking in the grey palate). At this juncture, we don't really anticipate having the time to strip/sand the whole ceiling, but it's really nice to know that it's possible..
Did you all do this painting yourselves or have someone come in to do it for you? If you had some one come in, would you recommend them?
Our ceilings and beams were white when we bought 10 years ago. We repainted, leaving the ceilings white (Kelly Moore semi-gloss frost) and the beams a flat dark brown (Loam). Our exterior is light tan, but the dark beams continue throughout the home and we like the look of the constrast. It seems that beams are either white or dark (brown/black). Be sure to look at the Jerry Ditto eichler book also - lots of color pictures to help give you ideas about what looks good and what you like.
We also had the same problem when we moved in. The ceilings and beams where both white. We decided to paint the beams black and I do love the contrast between both. It really makes the "hardware" of the house stand out. I think either way you go, changing the color of the ceiling or the beams will give the house a more interesting contrast.
All of this has been very helpful and encouraging. We decided to leave the beams white and paint the ceilings with a Benjamin Moore color (indian river, #985) that is a nearly exact match to Cabot's Dune Grey solid stain. The painters started today, and I just got back from the house and it looks great. A really gorgeous warm grey. Much as we loved the idea of painting the beams, it wasn't feasible because the interior of the house is very warm browns and the exterior is grey, so black beams would be horrible inside and brown would look awful outside. We finally found a small patch of the original color scheme in the storage shed: warm brown exterior, dark brown beams and, of course, the grey washed redwood. So, the grey exterior really confused the color scheme (and us for a while!). Given that, someday we'll restore the exterior paint to something closer to the original. Untill then, we will love living under our new ceilings...
Yes, that was it. It's a custom color (we sorted through many color strips) that has to be mixed. It looks great with the white beams. We got dozens of strips from our local paint store and just sorted and matched till we found the right one.
I've used it as a (near) perfect match for my Dune Grey ceilings where I've needed to touch up, and I'm quite happy with it. Enough contrast while still having some subtlety.