The Best Basement Paint Colors to Transform Your Space

Marissa Hermanson
Updated September 17, 2021
A living room with a yellow sofa
asbe/E+ via Getty Images

The best paint colors for basement walls range from earthy neutrals to dark gray

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What are the best colors for basement walls? Whether your basement is a bedroom, entertainment area, kids’ playroom, or anything else, a new coat of paint can totally transform it. 

Costing anywhere from $200 to $1,000 to paint a single room, you can easily tackle this as a DIY project or hire a pro. Read on to learn how to pick the right shade for your subterranean space.

The Best Paint Colors to Brighten Your Basement Walls

Before picking the best color for your basement walls, decide how you want your basement to function. That will help you narrow down a color family. If you want it to be a creatively inspiring or uplifting space, look toward the brighter end of the spectrum.

Shades of white create a light backdrop that can help bounce light around in a dark space, and cream colors offer a toned down version of crisp alabaster shades. If you need a hint of color, look no further than sunny yellows for a mood boost and soft greens to add a little life.

Here’s a look at popular interior paint colors for basements:


Close-up of a bed in a white bedroom
Somyot Techapuwapat/Moment via Getty Images

An instant way to add brightness, shades of white paint make spaces cheerful while also helping to reflect light. Ivory tones also give you the opportunity to use color elsewhere through furnishings, textiles, and decor, without overwhelming your space. Alabaster backdrops are great for showcasing artwork too, if you’re looking to create a home gallery.

From off-white to true white, here are a few ivory paint colors to consider for your basement walls:


If you’re wanting a light shade, but want to avoid white, consider a different alabaster family—the creams. With their yellow undertones, beige-tinged ivories can set the tone for a happy, bright space without the starkness and sterileness of all-white walls. 

Creams paint colors worth exploring for your basement walls include:

Subtle Yellows

Cheerful yellow tones instantly brighten a dark space and are one of the best options for basement walls. The color naturally radiates happiness and makes us subconsciously think of sunshine. And, you don’t have to go bold to get a big impact. A subtle yellow like a soft buttercup or pastel lemon will do the job. 

Yellow hues to consider include:


A green painted basement used as a playroom by two children
Andrea Rugg/The Image Bank via Getty Images

Green is a great way to bring the outdoors in and can metaphorically give a dark space a much-needed breath of fresh air. For an uplifting verdant hue, there’s a whole spectrum ranging from taupe greens with brown undertones to brighter greens imbued with a tinge of yellow. 

Soft green paint colors to consider for your basement walls include:

Best Moody Paint Colors for Basement Walls

If you’re looking to turn your basement into a space where you’ll be watching movies, playing games, and getting cozy, embrace a moody or darker color. By playing up your basement’s mysterious atmosphere, you can create a snug refuge to unwind.

Moody colors include dark blues, purples, and grays but you could also go for a deep red. If you’re not ready to fully commit to a dark color just yet, you could always try an accent wall.

If you’re creating a home theater, you could have a black accent wall with movie posters on it. With a basement bar, you could create a cool, mysterious vibe with a dark purple or gray. Be sure to add a pool table and darts to enhance the atmosphere. Don’t want to go too dark? Try an earthy neutral or a lighter shade of gray or blue.

Whatever its purpose, you can give your basement personality and style with a couple coats of paint. Here’s a look at some of the best moody colors for basement walls.

Earthy Neutrals

A vintage living room with beige wall
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You can embrace the subterranean feel of your space through neutrals like beiges and tans. These hues are sophisticated and coordinate nicely with a variety of other shades, and give the basement an earthy, grounded feeling.

A few elevated neutrals to consider:

Dark Blue

Like a nice pair of denim jeans, dark blue walls go with everything and can be dressed up or dressed down. Cloaking your basement walls in a darker blue like a navy or deep indigo allows you to embrace the space’s already moody nature. Blues are also intrinsically soothing, and can transform a gloomy space into a relaxing refuge. 

A few to consider:


A living room with a gray wall and a gray sofa
onurdongel/iStock / Getty Images Plus via Getty Images

Mid to dark gray basement walls may sound counterintuitive, but the misty hue can create a sophisticated den-like atmosphere—especially when accessorized with luxe furnishings and decor.

When selecting a dark gray paint, pay close attention to the undertones to pick up on cool or warm colors, depending on what you’re coordinating with in the space.

Moody gray shades to consider:

Now that you know the best paint colors for basement walls, you can begin your project. Need help with your basement transformation? Check out these basement remodelers in your area.

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