When it comes to specialty paint finishes, starting with a fun idea can make all the difference! This was definitely the case with my recent project of painting an ombre finish in a large dome ceiling.
The dome is about 30 feet high and 25 feet wide, and features small “star” lights set up in constellations. The existing color was a light sky blue – but to up the drama and impact, my client wanted the dome painted with a fade of colors to look like a twilight sky (definitely more appropriate for the stars!).
The first step was to choose the colors. To make sure the room ended up with a cohesive look, we started by considering the colors of the furniture in the room and then compared these to different color families that would create the feel of an evening sky. To accomplish this goal, we focused on hues that had a little blue, a little purple and a little gray. We also wanted a good range to cover the deep night sky at the top – but varying all the way to a light-ish tone for the color that happens at the horizon just after the sun sets.
We ended up using Benjamin Moore colors “evening sky” (appropriately named!), “blue heron”, “Stratford blue” and “harlequin blue”. I also added a fifth color to the blend by doing a mix of the darkest two. To show what this would look like, I did a sample board to review with my client. They loved it – and I was off to the races!
Of course, before I could go too far, I had to consider how to paint a 360-degree fade while 30 feet in the air. After renting some scaffolding – I was then truly off to the races!! I started at the top, painting 2 coats per color to get good coverage. Once the coats were dry, I then went back in with a third pass re-painting a strip of about 2 feet for both colors where they met. Moving quickly, I then worked the two wet colors together to create the fade. Our goal was to get a transition that was not too harsh from one color to the other – but also to keep some of the variation to keep it looking hand-crafted.
The end result hit the nail on the head and the feeling in the room is truly special!
Below is the before and after --