8 Best Basement Paint Colors

Sherwin-Williams Mindful Gray wall color near a kitchen island with bar stools and pendant lights.

This Sour Bliss

One of the most neglected rooms in many homes is the basement. Sure, it may be finished, but how many of us spend as much time agonizing over paint colors and decor schemes for our basement as we do in our kitchens or living rooms? But there's no reason to pick a dull, neutral for your basement paint when you can add a little bit of charm with a few swipes.

Choosing the right color for your basement is easier if you understand the challenges of basement space. To get it just right, be sure to sample any colors you're considering, and take the time to adjust your lighting once the color is up on the walls.

Not all basements are alike, of course. Your basement may be light and bright with a walkout door, or it could be dark with a few small, high windows. Assess the available natural light and what artificial lighting you need to add. The right lighting will dramatically open up your color options and make it easier for you to choose the right basement paint colors.

Also, ask yourself how your basement is used; if it's not clear, give the space a clear purpose and your decorating choices will be so much easier and focused. If it is a media room, darker colors might be better. If you'd like to create a relaxing retreat in your basement, then neutral colors or even a monochromatic color scheme could work well. On the other hand, your basement might be a kids' playroom or a teen social space and primed for more adventurous color choices.

Here are some great paint colors for your basement.

  • 01 of 08

    Best Gray: Sherwin-Williams Mindful Gray SW 7016

    Sherwin-Williams Mindful Gray paint swatch

    The Spruce

    When it comes to picking a color for your basement, it's important to consider how you'll use the space. If you foresee it becoming a second living room, go for colors that are soothing and relaxing. Sherwin-Williams' Mindful Gray is an incredibly versatile shade with cool blue undertones. It's just light enough to brighten a space, but not sterile or industrial.

  • 02 of 08

    Best White: Magnolia One Horn White

    One Horn White Magnolia paint swatch

    The Spruce

    White can be a great pick for your basement because it lightens the space and helps take the place of natural light. That said, you want to ensure you don't pick a sterile or overly pure white that will make the space feel too cold. Magnolia's One Horn White is a warm off-white that feels cozy in any space, but especially so in a basement. If you're creating a basement bedroom or den, this is a great color to keep a light palette but add a little bit of comfort.

  • 03 of 08

    Best Yellow: Benjamin Moore Morning Sunshine 2018-50

    Benjamin Moore Morning Sunshine paint swatch

    The Spruce

    Some basements have more natural light than others, but if yours is truly lacking sunshine, reach for the artificial kind. Benjamin Moore's Morning Sunshine can amplify the feeling of whatever light is coming in and works well for an office, guest room, or playroom. This medium warm yellow hue keeps everything looking light and bright.

  • 04 of 08

    Best Poppy Neutral: The Spruce Best Home Sundream SPR-03

    The Spruce paint swatch color in Sundream

    The Spruce

    The Spruce Best Home Sundream works well for basements because it's endlessly versatile. It's a creamy light tan shade with a hint of a yellow undertone that will add just enough color to brighten up a basement that doesn't see a lot of natural light. Try this shade in basement apartments or living rooms.

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  • 05 of 08

    Best Blue: Sherwin-Williams Manitou Blue SW 6501

    Sherwin-Williams Manitou Blue color swatch.

    The Spruce

    Blue is a popular color for basements, but it is important to choose a blue that does not overwhelm the space or make it feel too dark. Sherwin-Williams' Manitou Blue provides just enough color to energize the space but doesn't feel too overly saturated. Try it in a basement kitchen, bathroom, or guest room.

  • 06 of 08

    Best Light Blue: Sherwin-Williams Watery SW 6478

    Sherwin-Williams Watery paint swatch

    The Spruce

    Basements don't have to be dark and masculine. Sherwin-Williams Watery SW is a universally appealing blue, with just a hint of a green undertone. It gives off a spa-like vibe and feels relaxing in any basement space. If you're hoping to create a little retreat downstairs, this is the perfect shade to reach for.

  • 07 of 08

    Best Green: Behr Moss Mist S380-1

    Behr Moss Mist paint swatch

    The Spruce

    Behr's Moss Mist is a lovely shade of light green that appears more white in larger, open spaces. The cool, earthy feel helps keep the color grounded and mature, but the slight hint of color adds personality. Try it in basement offices or bedrooms to add just enough color to brighten up the basement.

  • 08 of 08

    Best Dark Gray: Sherwin-Williams Peppercorn SW 7674

    Peppercorn paint swatch by Benjamin Moore

    The Spruce

    If you love the idea of a swanky media room or lounge, Peppercorn by Sherwin-Williams hits all the right notes. Peppercorn is a warm dark gray paint color that can anchor a basement. Use it as an accent wall, a half-wall stripe, or even an all-over color with the right lighting.

    The secret to using a bold color like this is to accept that the room will be dark until it's lit properly. Choose adequate lighting for the activities in the basement, adjusting the lights and bulbs until you get just the right effect.