The 10 Best Paint Colors to Elevate Your Basement's Style

Find the right color that takes your basement from dreary to delightful

Basement room with white painted walls with purple pool table and black decor bar

The Spruce / Christopher Lee Foto

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 basement paint colors and decor schemes as we do in our kitchens or living rooms? But there's no reason to pick a dull, neutral paint color for your basement walls when you can add a little bit of charm with a few swipes.

Not all basements are alike, of course. Your basement may be light and bright with a walkout door, or it could be a dark space 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 the answer isn't clear, give the space a specific purpose so your decorating and paint color choices will be much easier and focused. 


Color Family: Neutrals with a twist

Complementary Colors: All colors here are versatile enough to live well with other colors

Pairs Well With: Most colors work well with existing decor

Mood: Use lighter tones to create a relaxing retreat, brighter yellows for a kids' playroom or a teen's social space, and darker choices for a media space

Where to Use: Use on the walls

Here are 10 perfect paint colors for your basement to end the blahs down under.

  • 01 of 10

    Sherwin-Williams Mindful Gray

    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 (SW 7016) is an incredibly versatile shade with cool blue undertones. It's just light enough to brighten a space, but not sterile or industrial, and goes beautifully with pearly white trim and light gray accents.


    To choose just the right paint color, be sure to sample the ones you're considering, and take the time to adjust your lighting once the color you pick is up on the walls.

  • 02 of 10

    Magnolia One Horn White

    One Horn White Magnolia paint swatch

    The Spruce

    Variations of white can be a great pick for your basement because it lightens the space and helps to somewhat mimic the look 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 meets the criteria. It's a warm off-white that feels cozy in any space, but especially so in a basement that needs an extra dose of brightness. 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 10

    Benjamin Moore Morning Sunshine

    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 (2018-50) 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 10

    The Spruce Best Home Sundream

    The Spruce paint swatch color in Sundream

    The Spruce

    The Spruce Best Home Sundream (SPR-03) 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 a basement apartment to transform the downstairs into a cheerful living space.

    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10

    Sherwin-Williams Manitou Blue

    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 (SW 6501) 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. A brighter white paint trim, ceiling, and decor with this blue would make a basement feel crisp and fresh.

  • 06 of 10

    Sherwin-Williams Watery

    Sherwin-Williams Watery paint swatch

    The Spruce

    Basements don't have to be dark and masculine. Sherwin-Williams Watery (SW 6478) 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 10

    Behr Moss Mist

    Behr Moss Mist paint swatch

    The Spruce

    Behr's Moss Mist (S380-1)is a lovely shade of light green that appears more white in larger, open spaces where there may be more streaming natural light. The cool, earthy feel helps keep the color grounded and mature, but the slight hint of color adds personality. Try it in a downstairs office or bedroom to add just enough color to brighten up the basement.

  • 08 of 10

    Sherwin-Williams Peppercorn

    Peppercorn paint swatch by Benjamin Moore

    The Spruce

    If you love the idea of a swanky media room or lounge in your basement, Peppercorn (SW 7674) by Sherwin-Williams hits all the right notes. Peppercorn is a warm dark gray paint color that can anchor a basement without making it feel like a cave. 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.

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    PPG Fuzzy Unicorn

    Turning your finished basement into a playroom or a bedroom demands a precise welcoming color. PPG's Fuzzy Unicorn (PPG1076-1) is a pale almost-white neutral with a subtle reddish-pink undertone. Paired with darker tans and greiges, this color creates a soothing, yet bright environment even if it is below ground.

  • 10 of 10

    Benjamin Moore Lyon's Red

    If you're planning to have a bar in your basement, a red accent wall will make it stand out while at the same time making it warm and inviting. The key is choosing the right red to make it the best basement pub on the block. Benjamin Moore's Lyon's Red (CC-68) is a just right red. It's not too dark, not too bright, yet makes itself known. Pair it with dark woods, black accents, and creamy white bar seats.

Determine how much paint you need with The Spruce's Paint Calculator.