Don't get me wrong, I love the vaulted ceiling and exposed beams in our living room. It adds interest to an otherwise boring, white ceiling. What I didn't love was that dark stained color. I considered the two options of painting over them or covering them with a pre-finished plywood more to my liking. I took the cheap route figuring, if I didn't like the painted beams, I could still cover them in the future. Here's a before shot to jog the ole' memory.
Sorry it's not a wider angle shot. This was taken on move-in day before I had this plan. After four coats and several nights spent on a ladder, this is how it turned out.
You might notice the front door and trim on the door and closet also got a few coats. That happened during the baseboard project. Also, the wall leading to the basement sucked up almost a whole gallon of Chartreuse paint. ALWAYS use a gray primer when going with a bold color like that. You'll save a ton of paint.
I like the new look. Much brighter. I'm considering painting the living room walls a light shade of gray to make the newly painted beams stand out a little more... and possibly painting the fireplace white for a more minimal look. That ceiling fan needs to go too. Either switch it out with a better looking fan, or I might try to do a home-made Moooi Random Light pendant. But that's for another time.