Basement Wall Colors (Paint Guide)

ight grey spacious basement area with wood flooring

It can be quite easy to overlook the build and design of basement walls when doing home renovations. This is mainly because basements aren’t readily visible and for the most part often used for storage space. Light and comfort aren’t usually the first things in mind, but with a few upgrades, such as updating your basement wall colors with the best ones you could get your hands on, you can make all of the difference in the world. 

You can effectively turn your space into something that is not only functional but also beautiful. A fresh paint job can turn out to be a really easy place to start with as far as upgrading your basement is concerned.

Best Color For Basement Walls

A combination of colors paired with the right furniture pieces and accessories can change how your design ends up looking and feeling right once the renovations are all over.

In order for you to arrive at the best color for your basement walls, you need to consider variables such as lighting, wall textures, as well as personal preferences for design.

Color Benefits for Walls
Soft Grays Modern and neutral, and can work with artificial light.
Warm Whites Generates a bright background that helps a space appear larger.
Light Blues Creates a calming atmosphere and promotes a sky or ocean theme.
Cream & Beige Excellent neutral colors that are stylish.
Pale Greens Create a tranquil ambiance, especially shades like sage.
Light Taupe Versatile shade that adds sophistication.
Pastel Tones Brings in color and personality (pink, lavender & mint).

Here are some of the best colors to consider for your next basement wall repainting projects:

Warm Whites

elegant basement with white wall paint billiards table with kitchenette nearby

A brilliant white hue on your basement walls is a great way to diffuse light and make the space appear bigger and brighter overall.

White is considered a versatile color because it’s the easiest blank canvas to mix and match with accessories and other furnishings.

Different shades of off-white are also a great choice for this space. If you want to create a basement home office off-white is recommended for increased productivity.


chic basement features a light brown sectional facing white wall with built in tv and cabinets

Cream is the perfect balance between beige and pure white hues, creating a really exciting atmosphere. This is a warm neutral color that’s quite versatile and can either work as a background or as an accent.

This is perfect when paired with woodsy reds and golden honey or something similar.

Light Blue

Light blue paint with large sectional

Light blue is a shade that can enhance the spaciousness of a room and bring about a calming feel. The light hue can help reflect light, which is advisable, especially for rooms with limited natural light or limited fixtures.

Since it is a cool shade, it promotes a coolness for the visual temperature of the room, which can appeal to those with low ceilings or a stuffy environment. The shade also works with an assortment of design styles and can be easily paired with other colors providing flexibility for decor and furnishing options.


Yellow basement living room

This energetic color can instantly warm up a dark space like a basement. Brighter shades of yellow can be challenging to use as it tends to intensify with sunlight.

Lighter and warmer shades of yellow can illuminate your spaces perfectly though, which makes it a great option for your basement walls.


This hue is the perfect balance between blue and green and walls painted in this color can bring tranquility and uplift your basement space.

Blue is tranquil, whereas green is energetic and uplifting and turquoise perfectly brings everything together.

Pairing it with earthy tones can convert your wall into a space to meditate and relax.


Red is a great way to inject energy into any type of space and can definitely liven up a dull old room design. It’s also a great color choice for when you’re planning to convert your basement into an entertainment area, a movie room, or a home theater.

Red also works great as an accent wall that pops out from the other neutrals.

While using red can be symbolic of emotions such as boldness, warmth, and even passion it also shares some negative traits.

The downside to red is that it can raise blood pressure by raising danger-bearing emotions that are averse to having a peaceful sanctuary.

While red is a stimulating color, it may not be the best choice for a relaxing retreat space. In addition, its probably not the best pick for a small, poorly lit room.



Grays work well with minimalist setups and can have a very neutral and calming effect on your basement walls. Grays are great when paired with bright fabrics and neutral furniture. This creates a timeless look that can last throughout the years.

Be careful with darker gray shades as they can darken the space. For a home theater dark gray or black can work well.

Black normally has a stigma for being moody and dark, but when paired with colors like gold and other rustic hues, it can add character and a certain sense of richness to your walls. Investing in a great light fixture is key to making black walls work.

Although we’ve already mentioned the general colors that can work best with walls, it would be even better for you to have a bit of an idea about the perfect colors for finished walls.

These colors can be quite flattering and can brighten up any type of space and more than that, they work well with finished basement walls. 

spacious basement room interior in pastel blue tones and beige carpet floor

Basement Color Ideas 

Here are some of our favorite picks for wall colors.

Polar white

polar white

Not all white paints have been created equal. To brighten up your basement walls, you need to pick out a white color that works for you instead of against you.

The best advice for getting ultra-bright walls is simple. Stay away from creams and yellow tones.

Skip out on yellowish tones, such as the creams and the beiges, because they can look dirty in areas that don’t get enough natural light.

Stick to paints that have cool undertones to really achieve a bright white color on the walls.

Striking Cyan

striking cyan

A lively pop of color in the basement can be a great idea.

A bold blue or striking cyan on your walls draws attention to it.

It makes for a great statement or accent walls and works best with comfortable furniture such as beds and couches.

Soft gray

soft gray

Airy gray colors are designer favorites because they’re a great way to make the walls look striking without making them seem stuffy or eerie.

It can bring out dimensions in your basement design and works great with artificial or natural lighting.

If you want to mix and match paint colors for your walls, grays can be great bases.

Modern Basement Colors

Inviting and fresh modern colors can really turn your design around if you’ve previously been dealing with something that’s stuffy or dark. Basements don’t have to be dreary.

However, they aren’t all the same, either. Your basement might have tons of natural light coming from a walkout door.

renovated modern stylish basement living room with wood tile flooring

On the other hand, it might be a bit dark and might only have small windows for lighting. It’s important that you assess how much natural light you’re getting in and how much artificial light you will need so that you can pair it with the best modern basement wall colors out there.

Neutrals and a few pops of color can make your basement modern and current. When choosing paint colors, whites are great for mimicking natural light.

bright colorful modern family room basement interior with wood accents blue pillows on the sofa and large abstract art piece on the wall

Medium warm yellows are great for illuminating a light-starved basement. This is similar to other creams and light colors that have warm undertones.

Blues are also quite popular for the modern taste. The perfect shades of blue can make your room feel energized yet relaxing simultaneously, and it can be very cool on the eyes.

What Colors Make A Basement Look Bigger?

The concept is pretty simple. Darker shades absorb light. This means that they can, in concept, make your basements appear smaller and in close quarters.

If you fancy a room that would look or seem bigger than it actually is, you might want to go for shades of whites, creams, and other similar colors that mimic and reflect light.

white wall with light carpet and big brown sectional sofa in basement room

This can expand the look of the floor plan, and if you pair it with the right combinations of colors, they can complement your light trims.

Another trick up your sleeves would be to ensure that your baseboards and molding are several shades brighter than your wall. This will push the walls back visually and appear to be a much bigger space.

huge open basement room in cream white wall paint and carpet flooring

Furniture also factors into making your basement look bigger. You might want to look into transparent furniture, such as glass tables or clear plastic chairs.

This tends to trick the mind, making it think that the space is much larger than it is.

What Are The Worst Colors To Paint Your Basement?

There is no one-size-fits-all solution for basements. Every room design is different, and you just need to adjust accordingly and work with what you’ve got.

The main category to base your decision on is the amount of natural lighting that goes into your room

If your basement has lots of natural light coming in, you might want to veer away from ultra-bright shades such as blinding white or similar vibrant colors that might hurt the eyes if you pair them with ample sunlight.

Colors to Potentially Avoid
Reasons Not Ideal for Walls
Dark Browns & Blacks Can make the space feel smaller, darker, and absorb light.
Neon Shades Overwhelming and creates an unbalanced atmosphere.
Certain Dark Grays Can give a dull, lifeless feel in low light.
Dark Greens & Blues Can make the space feel enclosed and gloomy.
Bright Reds/Oranges Too intense, use as an accent instead.
Very Bright Whites Can feel too stark and uncomfortable.

finished basement withcream white wall paint an entertainment center couch and flat screen tv

What Color to Choose For Dark and Light Rooms?

It would be best to go with colors that have blue or cooler undertones to make it a little more soothing on the eyes. Some greens, grays, and blues would be perfect for basements with lots of natural lighting.

On the other hand, if your basement is a little lacking in the natural light department, you might want to go for something brighter.

Paints with natural yellowish or warm undertones would be perfect for this type of space as they would bring in the element of light from the color of the walls alone.

Soft grays, warm whites, creams, beige, light taupe, pastel tones, and light blue work well with this type of basement.

For more like this, visit our gallery basement flooring ideas.

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