Paint color for basement that is not beige

janine09July 16, 2012

The majority of our house has variations of beige paint (Monroe Bisque, Barely Beige, Putnam Ivory). We are finally finishing our basement and the space is very small with only one tiny street level window. So natural light is almost non-existant. The basement will serve as a playroom with some family room elements.

Do we have a choice other than yellow/beiges? I know those colors work best with a small space but trying to see if I have any other options so there is variation from the rest of the house! Greens maybe?


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"Do we have a choice other than yellow/beiges?"

You can choose any color you like!

    Bookmark   July 16, 2012 at 10:16AM
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Thanks. I guess what I should have said is do we have a choice for color that can offer warmth, some feeling of openness in a basement/poorly lit small space other than beiges/yellows. And if anyone's done this, what they used? Thanks

    Bookmark   July 16, 2012 at 10:54AM
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We used BM Meditation in my husband's basement office and the rest of the basement is in BM Coastal Fog. It's just a bit lighter than Meditation. Both of them are nice neutrals with a touch of green. We have dark trim and we painted the inside of the windows BM Mascarpone to help reflect as much light as possible. Love it!

    Bookmark   July 16, 2012 at 12:00PM
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I have Pittsburgh Paint Sea Sprite in our basement

It is a bluish green that looks great with DH's B&W sports photographs.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2012 at 12:46PM
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As LuAnn suggests, any color you wish. The overriding need is a basement though is good lighting. And, because artificial illumination may cause a shift in the perceived color, sample painting is a good idea.

Below is a link to ours. Standard basement, no large windows. Our ceilings and several walls are off-white but we defined areas with accent colors including a deep blue, gray and acid green.

Here is a link that might be useful: Basement Photos

    Bookmark   July 16, 2012 at 1:09PM
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You know, I'm not a blue fan (unless it's a seriously subdued slate, and even then I only like it in very small amounts) but we just toured a blue basement and I was amazed at how cozy it felt. The basement had good lighting, but walled off from the main area. So it was all artificaial or indirect.

I don't know what the color was (our basement is getting framed later this week - this was back when we were talking to the contractor and he was showing us some spec homes he had done), but I can try and find out of it's something you like.

Looks a bit more drab here than in person. Iphone cameras aren't super.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2012 at 3:00PM
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Yep -- another vote for a blue-green tone with lots of fresh white (in trim, ceilings, doors etc.)

Yes -- another BIG vote for LOTS of lighting and lighting options (ceiling, table, task, standing lighting or lamps)

    Bookmark   July 16, 2012 at 3:33PM
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I've done both our dingy basement and our dingy attic in blue tones - a bright blue in the attic, and about the same colour cut 3/4 with white in the basement. I find a bright floor also went a long way in both spaces to pick up the mood.

I decided my code words were "clean, bright" tones, and then went through the options.

Pale lavendar (not a grey one, but a clean one) also worked for me in another dark room. Currently doing lemon yellow under the basement stairs.

Karin L

    Bookmark   July 16, 2012 at 4:37PM
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Take a look at this color, Whythe blue. It's amazing in a basement.

Here is a link that might be useful: whythe blue

    Bookmark   July 16, 2012 at 6:22PM
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Camouflage (BM). I quite like the Wythe Blue basement. And I did low light baths in Sterling and Quiet Moments and was happy with it.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2012 at 7:18PM
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Thanks - I am also liking the Wythe Blue!

My main concern is it is a dark windowless basement and this will be for a playroom. So my top choice now is for a pale sky like blue (I can use decals with pink to offset) plus white moulding/recessed lighting. 2nd choice is going to be boring old cream or light beige and bring color in with pillows/bean bags, accents/decals.
Still taking suggestions on specific shades to check out!

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 12:52PM
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Yes, a pale sky blue really does lift the basement out of I'd advise an eggshell finish, which will be a bit more reflective.

Farrow & Ball "Borrowed Light" is a beauty.
Pratt & Lambert's "December Eve" is also lovely - has a little hint of green, which keeps it from looking like a baby boy's nursery, and it is luminous. And their "Snow Goose" is quite pale, and a little grayer.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 2:54PM
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Avesmor - Forgot to add - yes would love to know the color!

Bronwynsmom - thanks for the suggestions, checking them all out

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 11:55PM
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avesmor, thank you so much for posting the pic...i have a finished basement with only one window, but lots of artificial lighting and i currently have a tan color and had been toying with using a blue....we just redid the baseboards and added some beadboard trim painted in BM 'simple white' and i keep getting sense that blue would work...i was worried it would be too 'cold' looking but from the pic that doesn't seem to be the case at all! thanks again...if you can get the name of the paint it would be greatly appreciated!

    Bookmark   July 18, 2012 at 2:03PM
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I found this link with the general look we might be going for - although maybe a brighter light blue, although this one looks so soothing. Any guesses on the shade? I was hoping they'd list it but nope.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2012 at 12:27AM
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