Think Twice Before Using These Colors In Your Basement

Although the basement is one of those spaces in your home that is often neglected, you can make it more hospitable and accommodating with a fresh coat of paint. Just like painting any other room, you need to be careful about your choice of color as it can affect your mood and also the aesthetic appearance of your home. Additionally, Zillow mentions that finishing your basement will also make your home more desirable to prospective home buyers should you consider putting it up for sale.  

It goes without saying that the basement is one of those poorly lit spaces in most households, which ultimately will affect your choice of paint color. While the choice of interior décor and basement paint options are often subjective, narrowing down your options will greatly help you in decision-making. That said, take a look at some of the color options that you should probably steer clear of.


While gray has certainly had its time in the interior space, unfortunately, it might not be ideal for your basement walls. This is particularly true for the darker shade of gray that is associated with depression and unsettling feelings (via 99designs). What's more, gray is often perceived as a transition color since it falls between white and black. However, this doesn't mean you cannot bring this color below ground. Instead of plain gray, consider choosing a shade with a different undertone to make the color palette more dynamic. 

Don't be afraid to lean towards the lighter shades of gray that are brighter, especially for basements with insufficient natural light. Another trick for implementing this color without dealing with the depressing feeling is to use warmer tones for furniture and other accents in your basement. Natural wooden tones are also a great option if you want to introduce a more homey and moody vibe.


Poorly lit rooms like the basement need the right color of paint to help brighten them up. However, while painting the walls white might seem like a good idea on paper, it might be the greatest undoing. To bring context to this statement, it is worth mentioning that white paint requires natural light to reflect and brighten the room, per Fillo Painting. So for basements with insufficient natural light, it will be safer to go for another different color to achieve the same effect. 

Alternatively, you have plenty of other options to choose from, for instance, cream that is not only bright but has a subtle yellow undertone that is warm and homier. Cream paint is quite versatile and ideal in functional spaces like a living room, home office, or laundry room. However, if you decide to paint your basement walls cream, Basements Plus Finishing + Waterproofing recommends having an accent wall to anchor the interior design together.

Overly dark colors

The common misconception that dark colors will shrink a room cannot be further from the truth, at least not in poorly lit spaces like the basement, mentions Kimberly Grigg Designs. While this might be true, going for too dark a color for your basement walls will mean sacrificing other things, like brightness. The good news, however, is that there are ways of painting the walls with your favorite dark color without compromising on other important features like a bright and lively room. 

One way of doing this is by going for a lighter shade of that particular color. This way, you can have the color you like while still benefiting from the light undertones in the paint. A good example is going for lavender instead of a bold purple color that might appear too dark and overwhelming, especially in a tiny basement. Besides that, you can also try incorporating bright accents like furniture and interior décor to retain some brightness.


Red is an uncommon color for any room in the house, including the basement. Although it can introduce the much-needed color and vibrancy to the space, it can quickly become too much, especially if you have a smaller basement. Although, if you have fallen in love with this particular color, you don't need to drop the idea right away. The good news is that there are clever ways of using red in your basement to achieve your desired effect without getting overwhelmed and uncomfortable. 

Instead of painting your basement walls red, consider using it as an accent on the walls, baseboard, or other trims. Franklin Painting makes it clear that red paint is not meant for every room. It is ideal for fun rooms, for instance, game rooms and playrooms, just to mention a few. That said, before implementing this color in your basement, youshouldo consider exactly what the space there will be used for.

A color that you don't like

Regardless of the design trends, any interior space, including the basement, needs to appeal to you as the homeowner. There are really no design rules that are cast in stone, so if you have fallen in love with a particular color, be sure to find ways of implementing it into your basement's interior. Keep in mind that your home should be a place of joy, and the colors you choose for your basement walls should help bring out happy feelings. 

However, designer Beth R. Martin (via Forbes Home) points out that you will need to pay attention to the amount of natural light in your basement. Although the goal is to go for the color of your choice, the amount of natural light will help you determine how best to implement it and, in the process, avoid some mistakes that will compromise the interior aesthetic appeal. Do not follow any particular trend or color scheme; the best choice is the one that is most appealing to you.