What Colors Should You Paint the Basement Walls?

What Colors Should You Paint the Basement Walls?One of the most overlooked and least expensive ways of making a design statement in any space is the intentional use of color on walls and trim. For finished basements in particular, the choice in wall color can make the difference between your space feeling more like a refreshing respite and less like a dragon’s den. How do you know which colors will work best? Begin by asking yourself a few questions:  Do you want the basement color scheme to be a continuation of the existing levels of your home, and if so, will those colors work well with the available lighting?  What will you be doing in your new space? If it’s a hobby or homework area, consider going lighter and brighter; an entertainment area, on the other hand, could be surrounded in darker tones to set the mood for movie-watching and gaming.

Basements do give homeowners the opportunity to be a bit more playful with color than they might otherwise be in other areas of the home. The key is to express your personality in a way that doesn’t overshadow or compromise the feeling you wish to establish for the space.

See if any of these ideas spark your creativity: 


Does the basement have a lot of nooks and crannies that are likely to create shadows? Shadows can make bright colors appear dirty and old. Consider painting the walls and trim the same color to make the room look bigger and brighter. If your basement is mainly an open space, color can be used to break up the expanse and clearly define separate areas.

Natural and electric lighting

The amount of available natural light will influence your paint color choice. Basements with a lot of natural light can use either light or dark colors. However, a dark basement will look drab and depressing with dark walls. White is a natural choice for brightening up dark spaces. If white seems too boring, break up the expanse with splashes of color using accessories and fabrics.

Basement lighting fixtures can offset a basement’s darkness and eliminate or minimize problematic shadows.

Stone or cinder blocks

Stone and cinder blocks can cast gray shadows which are unflattering to white or bright-colored walls. If any part of the basement has stone or cinder block walls, paint the adjacent drywall with a saturated color to offset the gray cast.

Characteristics of different colors

White is a popular choice to brighten a basement, but color can add warmth and charm.

Sky Blue
Sky blue casts a calming aesthetic. Paired with soft neutrals or accented with contrasting colors, pale blue is a great choice for a welcoming living space.

Red brings a vibrant energy to an otherwise ho-hum space. If painting the whole area red is too much, use it as an accent in one area or on one wall.

Purple demonstrates creativity. From elegant and sophisticated deep plum to soothing, playful lavender, you can find a shade of this color that is just right for a basement office or work space.

Gray is another stylish color that works well with a neutral palette and bold color accents. Gray is perfect for basements with an industrial design aesthetic.

Cream is an excellent choice for basements that serve a variety of purposes, from work spaces to entertaining. Cream goes well with a number of accent colors from deep blues to bold reds.

Navy Blue
Navy blue can be bold without making the space feel small and tight. Light-colored, neutral accessories will brighten the space.

Green shades create a variety of moods.  Darker hues add drama. Lighter greens, such as lime, are fun and playful. Sage is soothing and restful.

Gold or Lemon Yellow
Gold or lemon yellow livens up a dark basement, and is best suited to basements with limited natural light, otherwise the color might become too intensely bright.

Helping you choose the best wall color is just one of the many ways Finished Basements & More will help you create your dream finished basement. We serve the Denver Metro Area and Northern Colorado.



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