7 Bold Color Ideas for Your Basement

Basements are great fun to decorate because this is a space that's all about gathering together for fun as a family or with friends. There's no reason to settle for boring, neutral colors if your basement is going to be the main hangout spot in your home. 

Choosing the right color 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. 

The Color Should Work With Available Light

Not all basements are alike, of course. Your basement may be light and bright with a walk-out 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.

The Color Should Suit the Basement's Use

Functionality is a serious consideration. 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 because you'll be 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; in that case, it could be the perfect candidate for more adventurous color choices.

Here are seven bold colors that could be the perfect choice for your basement.

  • 01 of 07

    Benjamin Moore Pomegranate AF-295

    Benjamin Moore Pomegranate AF-295.

    Peter Mukherjee/E+/Getty Images

    A deep rich red like Benjamin Moore's Pomegranate AF-295 can create a stunning media room. A saturated red can work with a variety of styles and accent colors.

    Here, the white trim and ceiling keep the room from feeling heavy while contrasting with the spirited red. The feeling here is ​that of a classic Hollywood screening room.

  • 02 of 07

    Benjamin Moore Morning Sunshine 2018-50

    Benjamin Moore Morning Sunshine 2018-50.

    Benjamin Moore

    For a basement that lacks natural light, a cheery yellow such as Morning Sunshine 2018-50 from Benjamin Moore can amplify the feeling of whatever light is coming in. If the basement will be used as an office, guest room, or playroom, painting it a warm yellow keeps everything looking light and bright.

    Even with a sunny color like Morning Sunshine, you'll want to make sure there's adequate lighting around the room to keep the color from looking muddy.

  • 03 of 07

    Sherwin-Williams Manitou Blue SW6501

    Sherwin-Williams Manitou Blue SW6501.


    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.

    Choosing blue paint can be difficult because blue can look harmless on a color strip, but it can become electric once painted on several walls. Manitou Blue SW 6501 by Sherwin-Williams has the comfort of worn denim but the clarity of a more energetic blue. 

  • 04 of 07

    Sherwin-Williams Watery SW 6478

    Sherwin-Williams Watery SW 6478.


    Basements don't have to be dark and masculine. Watery SW 6478, by Sherwin-Williams, is a universally appealing blue, with just a hint of green undertone. In this sample, the green tones keep the color from feeling too much like a baby blue and more like a spa blue or aqua, which can imbue the space with a relaxing vibe.

    Continue to 5 of 7 below.
  • 05 of 07

    Benjamin Moore Timothy Straw 2149-40

    Benjamin Moore Timothy Straw 2149-40.

    Benjamin Moore

    Neutral colors work well in basements, too. If you're looking for a neutral color but want it to have a little more oomph, a neutral like Timothy Straw 2149-40 from Benjamin Moore is a color to consider for your basement. In this sample, the slight green undertone keeps the color from looking like a business-as-usual neutral.

  • 06 of 07

    HGTV Home collection by Sherwin-Williams Peppercorn SW 7674

    HGTV Home collection by Sherwin-Williams Peppercorn SW 7674.


    If you love the idea of a swanky media room or lounge, Peppercorn SW 7674 from the HGTV Home collection 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, as a half-wall stripe, or even as 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.

  • 07 of 07

    Sherwin-Williams Purple Passage SW 6551

    Sherwin-Williams Purple Passage SW 6551.


    Ever consider purple? A deep, saturated purple like Purple Passage SW 6551 by Sherwin-Williams can be a fun alternative to, say, navy blue or hunter green. Purple, used throughout or as an accent wall, can stimulate creativity and play, and with the proper lighting, this could make an excellent choice for a game room, sports lounge, or teen hangout.