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Popular Basement Paint Colors

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With its low light, the basement can seem like a pretty dark and scary place. Lucky for you, the right paint color can bring your basement from drab and dreary to light and cheery. Here’s how!

Are you ready to start your basement painting project? Contact a painting contractor today and receive quotes from pros in your area, for free!

Best Basement Paint Colors

It is often thought that you should paint dark rooms, like basements, light colors; however, without windows for natural lighting or ample artificial lighting, pale walls can make the room seem more dim, dull, and dirty. Whites and other light colors will actually accentuate the shadows of the room and, in response, give it a gloomy, gray appearance. To bring your basement to life, choose deep, saturated hues. This will make the room seem warm, luminous even, despite a lack of light. Don’t worry! There are plenty of popular basement paint colors that will fit your style and spruce up your space, whether you prefer natural, dark, or bright tones.

Bright Colors

Your best bet for brightening up your basement is, you guessed it, bright colors. Highly saturated colors, like turquoise, red, yellow, and purple, will brighten up the room. That said, you don’t need to go for a crazy hot pink or highlighter yellow. Charismatic is a beautiful, muted yellow color option from Behr that can turn your basement into the calm and colorful space you deserve.

Darker Hues

Using too dark of a color can make a room seem small and stuffy. Navy blue will give the room a sophisticated look without being too dark. TryIndigo Streamer by Valspar. A darker green, like Secret Meadow, or a deeper red, like Red Pepper, is exquisite and mature color options from Behr.

Natural Tones

If neutral colors are your thing, you can get a richer shade of gray or brown for your walls. Try a slate or a chocolate brown. Check out Cider Spice or Graphic Charcoal by Behr.

Finding the Right Finish

The sheen of the paint you choose is also an important decision. In the basement, you want the walls to reflect as much light as possible. A matte finish does not reflect light while a sheen or glossy finish will create a bright and shiny look, which is a better choice for the basement area. There are three viable choices of finish; satin, semi-gloss, and gloss.


  • Best for rooms with a lot of activity
  • Elegant look
  • Easy to wipe clean


  • Best for high traffic rooms
  • Sheen reflects light directly
  • Easy to wash, but may need some scrubbing


  • Smooth, high-shine
  • Easy to scrub clean
  • Ideal for surfaces in need of frequent cleaning
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Paint Beyond Walls

Painting the walls is typically a redecorator’s first thought; however, a painted basement ceiling or floor are also viable options for bettering your basement. Basement floor painting is an easy and relatively cheap DIY option, only requiring a couple of days for completion. Use epoxy paint on concrete basement floors. It is versatile, coming in many colors that will match your style and enhance the room. A painted ceiling is a more intense DIY project as it requires an extensive amount of equipment because of ceiling height and lighting attachments. For only $242 to $412, a professional can paint your ceiling in 5 or 6 hours. A black-painted ceiling can make the ceilings, especially in a small basement room, appear higher while achieving an industrial look. A white ceiling will give an airy, open feel while also providing a higher ceiling appearance.

Space Optimizing Designs

Along with their low light, basements typically present another decorative conundrum. That is the amount of space with which to decorate. So, what can help?

More Lighting

If you don’t have the means for additional ceiling lighting, lamps, and wall sconces are viable options to make your basement feel bigger.

More Storage

Cabinets and shelves will help you optimize the small space, providing plenty of room for activities.

Open Concepting

An open concept basement divided into sections by area rugs will make the room feel larger and more vastly purposeful.

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Redecorating Your Basement: At What Cost?

A good coat of paint can quickly transform the look and feel of your basement, but it can also put a dent in your bank account if you’re not careful. Whether you choose to do a DIY paint job or hire a professional, using a paint calculator is the best way to estimate just how much paint you will need before you take on your basement painting project. On average, homeowners spend between$1,804 and $2,406 when they hire a professional painting service. Though a bit pricey, this may be a longer-lasting option for your basement wall paint job.

Low on light and lacking in space, basements present a daunting task for homeowners when it comes to decorating their underground space. Choosing the right basement paint color is the first step in tackling this. If you are still unsure what style you want to go for, you may also want to take a look into the psychology of colors. Rather than focus on a specific look, you may choose to decide on a certain feel.

Whatever you decide, ImproveNet can help. Start your painting project today!

Article Topics

  • Painting

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