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The Seven Best Paint Colors for Your Basement

Updated: Jun 24, 2020

Many people have a clear vision of how they want to design their home. They have a good idea of what they want to do with each room and what designs and decor will go into them. However, an exception to this is often the basement. It can be somewhat overlooked and you might be confused on how to use the space. As you think about how to design your basement, think about the purposes it serves and the activities that you do most often there. It can serve many purposes, including everything from a home gym to a home office.

Thinking about how you use the space will give you a much clearer idea of how you want to decorate and paint it. Darker colors are typically better served for basements that are used as media rooms or bedrooms. Conversely, neutral colors are better served for basements that are used as peaceful getaways from the rest of the house. Perhaps your basement is used as a playroom or gameroom setup, in which case livelier colors may work well.


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You also need to consider the light that enters your basement. Your basement might receive a lot of light through numerous windows and/or doors. On the other hand, it could have virtually no windows or doors and receive very little light. In this case, you might want to add a good amount of artificial light. Good amounts of light, whether natural or artificial, will greatly increase your options and give you a wider array of paint colors to choose from.


Understanding the use for your basement and its lighting will make selecting the best paint color much simpler. To ensure you get it right, you want to order color swatches or even samples for the paint colors on your shortlist. When you see it on the wall, you can make adjustments to either the paint color or the lighting.


The right color will set the tone and character of your basement no matter what you choose to do with it. Below are seven paint colors that are sure to work with just about any basement.


Tip: Click here for a blog article on online tools that help you select paint colors.


Tip: Click here for color options from Benjamin Moore.


Bright White is always a winner


It is hard to find something better than a crisp, clean white to lighten up those areas that receive little light, including the basement. It also opens up many options for your furnishings. You can go for a monochromatic look by incorporating mostly white furnishings. You can also go for adventurous colorful furnishings that will easily stand out against the bright white backdrop.

Suggestion: Benjamin Moore - Super White OC-152


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Gray is hot right now


In recent years, gray paint colors have increased greatly in popularity. Its popularity does not stop at the basement, where its shades offer a classic twist to bring any living area or home office to life. To emphasize that classic look, go with neutral furnishings on the floor and walls. To kick it up a notch, you can go with bold colors for your furnishings, such as deep reds, blues, or even greens.

Suggested Gray: Sherwin-Williams - Mindful Gray SW 7016


Cream can be a play on white


Cream can almost be considered an off-white, as it sits somewhere between white and beige. It is also geared toward a classic look and sets that calm theme for the basement. Cream works in just about any area with activity, including home offices, media rooms, or even laundry rooms. Feel free to go with just about any style or color decor, as just about everything works with creams.

Suggested Cream: Farrow & Ball - White Tie


Navy Blue can provide a nice pop of color


Dark colors can be difficult in the basement, particularly if your basement is one that does not receive a lot of light. Dark colors will do little to brighten up the space. However, if you have ample natural or artificial light, navy blue might be just what you are looking for to add a little pop. It can make a statement for the room without going too far. You can also help brighten things up a bit with more neutral designs for your wall art and window coverings.

Suggested Navy Blue: Sherwin Williams - Naval 6244


Light blue is also an option


When you think of blue, you often think of bold blues such as the navy blue above. However, blue does not have to be bold. Light blues can work well for many spaces, including basements. Light blues exude a relaxing feeling and work well if you plan to use your basement as a relaxing getaway from the rest of the house.

Suggested Light Blue: Sherwin-Williams - Watery SW 6478


Green and its many shades


Let’s face it, green is cool. There are many shades of green, making it one of the more versatile color options for your basement. There is a reason that Johnny Cash sang about the “Forty shades of Green.” You can go with lighter shades if you are using the basement as an office, media area, or relaxing area. Darker shades are better suited for playrooms or bedrooms. If you want to mix it up a bit, try using a lighter shade for most of the walls and then use a darker shade for a bold accent wall.

Suggested Green: Behr - Spice Garden M370-3


Yellow, just to be different


Yellow is an underused color. It is bright. It is energetic. It gives off a positive vibe. Look to the smaller furnishings in the basement to work with the yellow paint color. For example, you might be using the basement as a living space. In this case, you can go with a neutral color for the couch, but look for more adventurous couch pillow colors to compliment the yellow walls. Other ways to enhance the yellow walls include window dressings, wall art, and rugs.

Suggested Yellow: Benjamin Moore - Morning Sunshine 2018-50


Tip: Consider painting your basement floor to add additional components of color.


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