I posted three weeks ago about the first stage of my trompe l'oeil porject for my study ceiling - specifically the nineteen "ribs" that support the main frame for the ceiling. It took five or six weekends to get that done, but in the process I figured out the right paints to use, and techniques for getting straight lines and for obtaining the right perspective for a three-dimensional shape of a flat surface. I'm still learning but it's easy to fix mistakes when it's just paint.
This weekend was the first of the two coffered ceiling that will go at each end of the study to accommodate the can light fixtures. The west end ended up being a piece of cake, since the can lights are 60" apart and that worked out perfectly for a 4 x 4 grid.
The first step was to mark off a 20 x 20 grid on the ceiling, which I did with thumb tacks and thread, as you can see to the left. Also marked was the large "cross beam" that separates this end of the ceiling from the center section.
Finally, I painted the new cross beam and the coffers. It took three tries to get the right color for the "bottom" of the coffers - a 2:1 mixture of the ceiling paint and the principal shadow paint. It'[s intended to simply be the principal color but in shadow. The photograph below increases the contrast significantly, so it looks much darker than it actually is. To the naked eye, the coffers actually don't appear any darker - they just recede. But as long as the can lights are off, they do sort of disappear into the ceiling. And the effect when you're sitting under the coffers reading is to make the ceiling look much taller than the previous plain tan paint did. Your eye is now definitely drawn to the ceiling - it's becoming the most prominent feature in the room.
I have more fiddling with the paint and the pattern that I want to do, but for now I'm just working to get the entire ceiling to this level of finish. I'll come back later and add details like some panels on the principal beams and some additional shading on the coffer highlights.
That means that the next weekend I can work on it I'll do the corresponding coffered panel for the other end of the room (which doesn't work out nearly as neatly as this end did, unfortunately). After that I have to start making some hard decisions about what the center section is going to look like, and start fixing the ceiling lighting so that the sconce, cove, and task lighting all work together to show the ceiling at its best. Right now none of the three is right.