What Is The Best Color For A Dark Basement?

Whether your basement is an extra bedroom or home theater, it is important to make the space feel inviting and comfortable. Sometimes basements appear dark and dreary because they have minimal to no natural lighting. Typically, the wall color impacts the ambiance. We’ve researched this topic and found some great color options for your basement.

Overall, you have an abundance of color choices for your dark basement. And all of them look great with the traditional white ceiling. Occasionally, black ceilings work, too. Some wonderful color options include –

  • Off-white
  • White
  • Tan
  • Gray
  • Teal
  • Green
  • Burgundy
  • Black
  • Accent Walls (Orange, Blue, and Brown)

Generally, a basement’s color hints at its purpose as a room. Is it a shared common area, or is it a personal space?  

Certain colors brighten up the basement or make it look bigger. Keep reading to find out what color you should choose.

Interior of a contemporary basement with a white ceiling, red walls with huge landscape picture frames, and a huge beige colored sectional sofa, What Is The Best Color For A Dark Basement?

What is the best color to paint a dark basement?

For dark basements, white and off-white colors are excellent choices for versatility and brightness, especially in common or shared spaces. Usually, white and off-white colors complement almost any décor and furniture color. Examples of gorgeous off-white colors include cream and egg-shell. Plus, bright accent walls look great paired with white or off-white walls.

White Walls

A small yellow colored loveseat sofa with small floor lamp on the side

Although they may seem traditional, white walls can look modern if they have a different texture than the surrounding wall. Here is a white painted brick wall in a dark setting with gray flooring, a yellow sofa, and a red rug. You might not think to pair these colors together, but the other bold colors accentuate the white brick wall. And the brick's rough texture acts as its own decoration. 

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Surrounded by artfully placed columns and recessed lights, these stark white walls illuminate the basement's spaciousness. For family and friends, it would be lovely to sit in this basement and enjoy a football game on TV. We'll talk more about recessed lighting later.  

Off-White Walls

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Generally, creamy colors portray a sense of peace and calmness. Here are lovely cream-colored walls that invite you to sit and stay awhile. The muted colors of gray, tan, and brown accentuate the pristine creamy walls. Any basement would look great with this design. 

Three sets of stunning arrangement of flowers on a small garden ledge

Also, eggshell-colored walls look great with most decorations. Pictured above is a lovely alcove decorated with red, pink, and purple leafy plants. All in all, the beautiful plant colors are in harmony with the eggshell color. This nook would make any basement look fantastic! 

Speaking of which, perhaps you need some help decorating your basement wall. Check out our article, "21 Wall Decor Ideas For Basement", to learn more. 

White Accent Walls

An empty space with white brick wall

In this white room, the accent wall is white painted brick. Again, the texture of the wall acts as a decoration. Although the room is empty, the options for bright and boldly colored pictures and plants are practically endless! 

Keep reading if you like the idea of accent walls. We'll talk more about them later. 

What colors brighten up a basement?

More often than not, light colors brighten up a basement. Other than the aforementioned colors, additional light colors for basement walls include tan, gray, and teal. Of course, lighting in the room affects how light the colors appear. 


A gorgeous hallway with gray colored walls, carpeted flooring, and properly placed lighting

Certainly, tan can look dark in certain lights. Here this lightly tanned hallway is accentuated by a 3 light track fixture. Overall, the lights further lighten the tan color by creating bright spots on the wall.

The 3 light track fixtures are modern and improve brightness without sacrificing space. Here is a similar, albeit smaller, white 3 light track fixture. Click here to see it on Amazon.


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Even though gray can look dreary in the sky on a stormy evening, light gray can brighten up any living space. Notice how the dark grey column offers a beautiful accent to the room. Also, the recessed lighting illuminates the built-in shelves. The gentle tone of the gray invokes an open and airy atmosphere. 


A gorgeous mint green colored basement bedroom with dark colored furniture's and wood tiles

Bright and happy, these teal walls offer a lively space for a spare bedroom. Although the room is narrow, the blue-green shade appears inviting for any teenaged boy or girl. Again, the recessed lighting further brightens and opens up the blue-green walls. 


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Are you looking for walls fit for a bonus room in the basement? Here are sage green walls enclosed around activities and generate an outdoorsy and fun atmosphere. Finally, a good place for your teens to hang out! Also, observe how the jet black ceiling highlights the sage green walls. 

What is the best color for basement walls?

Alternatively, you may want to darken the walls. Depending on the room's design, dark colors may exemplify quietness, intimacy, and/or coziness. Often, personal spaces are great for dark colors, such as red and black. We think these might be the best colors for basement walls. 


Interior of a contemporary basement with a white ceiling, red walls with huge landscape picture frames, and a huge beige colored sectional sofa

For home theaters, basements are perfect for quietness and preventing sun glares. Here is a burgundy red cinema room with recessed lighting and creamy white couches. This looks like a fun room for friends and family to binge-watch their favorite shows! 

Burgundy red is not for everyone. But if you're looking to be bold, then click here to see it on Amazon. 

Bright red with white accent walls and white columns music room in the basement

This room is a bright red with white accent walls and white columns. Does the musician in your family need a quiet place to wind down? This room looks like a perfect place to bunker down and practice the drums. 

This red paint is much brighter and clearer. Click here to see it on Amazon. 

By the way, we know paint can take a frustratingly long time to dry. But it doesn't have to take all day! You should check out our article, "How To Make Paint Dry Faster [3 Methods]", to learn more. 


Modern design living room with leather sofa and two leather accent chairs

Ultimately, black walls in the basement need some kind of lighting. This gorgeous room has a sleek black wall illuminated with recessed lighting. In this case, the black ceiling elongates the black wall, thus creating an endless wall. Modern brown furniture and white shag rug also compliment the coal black wall. 

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In intimate spaces like bedrooms, you might opt for black walls. Here is a cozy black bedroom with glow-in-the-dark stickers, as if the starry night glows in the distance. Any child or teenager would love this idea!

Although the basement is perfect for dreamy nights, any room in the house can display these nifty stickers. Click here to see them on Amazon.

What colors make a basement look bigger?

For white or off-white wall colors, accent walls appear to increase the room's depth. Thus, you don't have to knock down a wall to create more space! Gray, orange, and blue are great colors for accent walls. 

Orange Accent Wall

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Would you like to have a modern office and sitting area in the basement? Here's a good one! The black picture frames, black lampshade, black beam, and black couch cushions all rest against the orange wall. Black accentuates its boldness. Altogether, the room is opened up by the bright, burnt orange wall. 

Any room looks classy with black picture frames. Click here to see them on Amazon.

Blue Accent Wall

Interior of a classic designed basement floor with a red colored carpet

Here is another music room, complete with a keyboard and piano. The soft blue, padded accent wall presents a stark contrast from the white tile and red carpet. And the blue accent wall amplifies the creativity of the room, thus distracting from its confined space. 

Brown Accent Wall

An up close photo of a weathered wood fence

Also, don't forget that accent walls don't have to consist of paint. Paneled walls qualify for accent walls. Today, rustic brown panels are considered stylish. Even though they take a little work to install, they're not permanent structures. So, you can change them out when you want a little change in the environment. 

Wouldn't brown barn panels look great next to a little bar in the basement? Click here to see it on Amazon.


We hope these suggestions helped you with choosing a color for your dark basement. You have many great color options, including white, off-white, tan, teal, burgundy, and black. They pair well with white or black ceilings.

Light colors, such as white, off-white, tan, gray, teal, and green, brighten up a dark basement. Also, light colors tend to make basements appear larger. However, dark colors like burgundy and black can invoke coziness and quietness. 

Of course, if you have an interesting color theme you would like to try out for your basement, then don’t let these ideas stand in your way. Go for it! After all, it’s not permanent if you don’t like it.

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