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10 Paint Colours to Brighten Your Basement

Ken Rigel

Ken Rigel comes from true pioneer stock and was born and raised on a small farm in southern Alberta, where he learned the value of honest hard work.Te...

Ken Rigel comes from true pioneer stock and was born and raised on a small farm in southern Alberta, where he learned the value of honest hard work.Te...

Jun 25 6 minutes read

Basements are a great place to hang. Whether you have a theatre room, a bar, an office, a playroom or a gym, you want to make sure you are picking good colours to keep it from feeling like a dungeon! So does that mean dark colours are a no-go. Not necessarily! There are plenty of colours - light and deep - to keep your basement feeling bright! Bob Vila's blog explains that the type of paint and colour are both important: "Semi-gloss and glossy finishes tend to work best for basements since they’re moisture-resistant, durable, and easy to clean. They also do a great job of reflecting light, which can make your basement appear lighter and brighter. As far as color, the best color depends on your unique style sensibility. These hues can provide all the inspiration you need to land on the perfect hue for your basement refresh."

#1: Bright White

This might feel like a no brainer. Bright white is definitely a great option to lighten a dark space. According to Ashley Banbury, Color Marketing Manager for Dutch Boy Paints, the hue is a great way to make your space look larger: “Using bright whites that reflect the light in the space is a great option for making basement spaces feel larger. When used on the ceiling it makes the room feel taller—a perfect solution for those smaller basements.” 

This article outlines the best white colours!

#2: Light Blue

The Spruce shares that, "Light blue is easy on the eyes and good for the spirit. A calming, easy-to-love paint choice for just about any style of interior, this pale shade recalls blue skies, ocean waters, and happy days. Light blue paint can make a room feel airy, a small room appear larger, and a room with limited natural light feel brighter." A great option to brighten your basement. Keep it simple and go with Benjamin Moore's Light Blue.

#3: Red

Red is a great choice for basements that have energy in them - playrooms and game rooms for example. Home Stratosphere has a whole list of great reds for a basement. As part of their article, they have a great tip: "There is no need to coat entire walls with this energizing color, and red is usually but not always too dark for basement ceilings. Consider using red as an accent color instead. What is the secret to the successful application of red paint in your basement? Here is part of what you need to know about choosing reds for your finished basement: Always find the shade of red that has the right undertones for your space. Try out both cooling and warming reds."

#4: Purple

A creative colour, purple is a perfect choice for a basement that serves as an office, craft room or a sewing room. Houzz has a great feature titled 75 Basement with Purple You'll Love. The tone of your purple is important. A dark purple will make your space cozy and luxurious - but maybe not the brightest feel that we are going for with this list. A lighter purple is great for a spacious feel and will be much brighter.

#5: Grey

Grey is a great colour, especially if you pick a nice light grey. It will have a similar feel to white. House Accents says you should avoid dark greys but has this to say about lighter grey, "Don't be afraid to lean towards the lighter shades of grey 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."

#6: Cream

Many wood tones go well with cream, especially mahogany or honey-tones, so if you have a lot of wood furniture in your basement, this may be a great choice. Julie Blanner has a great list of cream examples

#7: Navy Blue

This one may be surprising! Bob Vila's blog shares that, "If you’re yearning for a bold look, opt for a classic shade of navy blue, like PPG’s Annapolis Blue (PPG1164-7) which enhances the space without looking claustrophobic. Then brighten things up with an abundance of light neutral design details."

#8: Green

Light green emulates fun energy and can be especially fun for a playroom in a basement. A medium green is a great option for a calming space, like a yoga studio in your basement. A funky green like neon green is just plain bold and can be used if you plan to entertain in your space.

#9: Yellow

Ahhh, the colour of the sun is sure to brighten any basement. Make sure you pick a good yellow though so your space doesn't look out of date. Firelight from PPG is a great choice, as "it is a saturated, pure, sunny citrus yellow with a mustard-yellow undertone. Pair it with honeyed woods or white trim."

#10: Brown

Another surprising choice, but a bold one. A rich brown can make a space cozy and inviting. This is a great option for a home theatre or gaming area. Go for a chestnut brown colour, like this one from Benjamin Moore

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