Muted Earthy Colors
With wall sconces or uplights installed on the walls directed toward the ceiling before the show, muted earthy colors create a theater-like feel in a media room. Earthy browns muted with a touch of gray such as creamy latte espresso or cappuccino; dark, but muted sage greens; and even multiple shades of darker grays -- all work inside a media room. Add drapes for sound-deadening qualities over a window wall matched to the room’s color scheme. Keep in mind that reflective furniture colors also can affect the viewing experience.
If you think a darker color makes the media room feel more like a dirty cave than a theater, opt for duller reds such as burgundy, port and maroon or even gray-toned yellows, as long as the paint color doesn’t wash out the screen by bouncing light onto it. Bright reds and yellows can change the colors on the screen, so choose darker versions of these colors for the best results. Avoid enamel, gloss or semigloss paints for media room walls and the ceiling; opt instead for flat paints that don’t reflect the light.
Gray-muted taupe tones, beiges and tans can also be effective in a media room as long as the color has more brown or gray mixed into them than white. With small sample paint colors, paint large sections of cardboard and place them around the room with the screen on and the lights off. Move the cardboard sections around the room to test the light reflection. If you watch movies with small lights on such as table lamps, place the panels near the lights to see if they reflect or not before selecting a final paint color.
Darker Colored Ceiling
Generally, to make a room appear taller, the rule in painting is to add a lighter colored paint to the ceiling. This is exactly opposite the effect that you want in a media room. Choose a darker version of the wall color for the ceiling in a matte or flat paint to reduce the light reflection even more. Room walls and ceilings with light textures on them covered with paint also help to trap the light rather than bounce it.
Prime the Walls First
To help tone down the color of the wall, add a flat primer to it before painting. Primer allows for an even color dispersion, helps to reduce holidays -- weak spots or bleed-through areas in the paint -- and also mutes the color of the paint a bit. Painting directly over drywall is not recommended by house painters; the primer also prepares the wall to accept the paint, requiring less paint overall when you cover the wall with muted colors that include muted navy blues or blue-black.