What Color To Paint A Skylight Shaft? (Find Out Now!)

Ossiana Tepfenhart
by Ossiana Tepfenhart

Skylights are one of those rare home upgrades that can add in natural light while also turning into a major focal point of your room…all while being on your ceiling. The concept of a skylight is nothing new, but actually working with your home’s architecture can be tough. That’s why we need to talk about painting the shaft (erm, tunnel?) of your skylight.

If you want to paint your skylight shaft, the smartest color choice you can make is one that matches your room’s wall paint. This gives you a unified look. If you want something a little different, it’s best to choose white to help reflect the light the skylight gives you.

Installing a new skylight can be exciting. However, it can still make or break your home’s look. It’s time to talk about your skylight’s shaft and how to make sure it looks as nice as possible.

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Before You Begin: Does Your Skylight Have A Shaft?

It’s worth noting that skylights don’t always have a shaft. If your skylight is flush with your ceiling, then you probably are not going to need to read the rest of this article. You don’t really have a tunnel that leads to your skylight indoors, which means that you don’t need to worry about painting that shaft.

Will HOAs Care What Color You Paint Your Skylight Shaft?

While you should always keep a closer look at this, the truth is that the vast majority of HOAs will not care about what you paint your shaft. Though your HOA will probably not care what you do to the interior of your home, you still should consider what it looks like.

You might like seeing swirls of pink and purple on your shaft, but you might find that it’ll make your home harder to sell. That’s why it’s best to keep re-sellability in mind when you’re working with interior paints. People don’t want to have to repaint stuff to a normal color.

Do You Have To Paint Your Skylight Shaft?

You don’t have to paint it if you don’t want to. In fact, it’s only really necessary if you have a shaft that is made primarily from sheetrock. If you want to coat your shaft with a shiplap wood panel setup, you can. It’s actually a really trendy way to go.

Skylight shafts are often lined up with wood paneling in homes that are heavily rustic, such as cabins. In these cases, it’s often best to stick to a wood stain that flatters your home. (Might we suggest a light birch or pine stain? They’re so trendy!)

What Are The Best Colors For A Skylight Shaft?

Skylights are generally best off being painted the same color as the walls in the room with the skylight. However, if you want to get more into the nitty-gritty, let’s take a look at some interesting and smart paint picks that always make sense.

1. White

via Shutterstock

White is the clear choice for most homeowners. It matches with everything and it reflects light beautifully. In most cases, it’s safe to assume that white should be your go-to choice for skylight shaft colors. It’s crisp, modern, and will work with almost any architecture you could get.

There is another reason why white tends to be the best option for a skylight shaft, too. Since white is a fairly easy color to stain, any leaks that your skylight might have will be easier to notice on a crisp white background. This makes it easier to address problems before it’s too late.

2. Grey

via Shutterstock

It’s time to talk about that color again. You know which one. Grey. It’s everywhere, especially when we’re talking about neutral colors that are hyper-trendy. Grey, like white, can reflect light pretty well as long as it’s a nice light shade. Here, we see an office building skylight that has grey paint on its panels.

This is a good choice for people who want to keep things looking modern, or for people who are a fan of “bauhaus” style architecture. Grey is a little dreary at times, but it can work for the right person and the right place. If you have lots of blue and beige, grey can turn your home into a nautical paradise.

3. Blue

via Shutterstock

This is one of those colors that has a lot of cool perks to using. If you choose a dark blue, it’ll give your home’s skylight a stark and surreal look—almost as if you have a portal to another world coming out of your ceiling. If you choose a very light blue, it could make your skylight look a lot larger.

Here, we see a skylight that has a shaft painted blue-white. This is one of those looks that makes you wonder if it’s really painted blue, or if it’s just a trick of the light. Either way, it still reflects tons of light and gives your home a lovely, airy feel. We strongly suggest this for oceanside homes, or homes that have a uniquely trippy vibe to them.

4. Beige/Wood Look

via Shutterstock

Speaking of trippy, have you ever seen how uniquely artsy a skylight looks when it’s got a beige shaft around a painted ceiling. If not, I found a photo that will make you take a look at it. Beige is one of the only neutrals that can look like wood, especially if you add slight accents to the paint. That makes it a smart choice for people who want a more earthy style to their home.

This paint color scheme is something that people either love or hate. There is no in between. If you find the idea of “framing” your skylight with wood (or a sandy hue) to be appealing, you’re going to love it. On the other hand, if the idea of getting your skylights framed seems a bit weird, you may want to pass.

Since this particular color option is a bit divisive, we also have to give a little extra advice. If you are on the fence about this look, it’s best to avoid it and opt for white instead. A safer bet is usually a smarter bet.

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Related Questions

How much does it cost to install a skylight in your home?

The price of skylight installation can vary greatly based on the size of your skylight as well as who you hire to do it. In most parts of the country, you should expect a typical skylight to cost between $900 to $2500. Extremely large skylights or multi-box skylights can cost upwards of $5,000.If you want to DIY a skylight (which we do not suggest), then you can usually get the parts for around $200 to $700. This would be the cheapest way to install a skylight at the fraction of the price, but it can be very risky in terms of leakage and building code violations.

Do skylights leak often?

It depends on the quality of the skylight installation as well as the impact that the skylight has experienced as a result of falling debris. Older skylights are more likely to leak than newer ones, but even then, new models still run the risk of it.  If you want to prevent leakage in your skylights, it’s best to have a professional installer do them. (Oh, and avoid putting skylights under tree branches!)

How long should you expect a skylight to last?

Most skylights will last for decades as long as you are willing to maintain them, clean them, and repair them. This is doubly true if you live in an area where falling branches aren’t common. If you’re concerned about leaks, you should expect them to last for eight to 17 years without a single leak. From there, you can expect them to last for five to 10 more years with a fix or two.

Ossiana Tepfenhart
Ossiana Tepfenhart

Ossiana Tepfenhart is an expert writer, focusing on interior design and general home tips. Writing is her life, and it's what she does best. Her interests include art and real estate investments.

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