10 paint colors that will brighten up basements with no natural light

A finished basement space is excellent for socializing and entertaining, and there are several paint colors which will brighten up basements with no natural light.

A basement can be utilized to provide added living space or even storage space within your home.

It is true that some basements have little to no natural light, however, this should not stop you from using clever lighting, décor, paint colors and tricks to transform your basement into a useful and beautifully decorated space.

Paint is one of the most effective ways to transform your basement from a dark and gloomy space, into a bright and welcoming space, suitable for you or your guests to spend your time in.

Why you should consider a basement redesign

The basement of your home can be an excellent solution for extra storage and living space.

Although it is common for basements to be quite dark, dreary and even feel like a cave underneath the house, a finished basement is always a plus.

However, because it is tucked away underneath the house, you may not have put as much thought into decorating this space as you did the living room, bedrooms, kitchen or other high-use areas in your house.

Many people also feel like the basement is a dark and dull space meant only for storage purposes.

However, even the darkest and dreariest of basements can be transformed, using various lighting and color tricks in order to create a den, craft room, laundry room, children’s playroom, man cave or even guest quarters.

Refreshing the design of your basement can help you to create more room in your house for socializing and help you to utilize your basement in a way that improves the functionality of your home.

Tips for making a basement feel brighter

If you want to make your basement feel less like a cave and more like a living space, there are several ways to achieve a warmer and more finished look.

Not all basements are built alike, and while many basements have windows and lots of natural light, others have little to no natural light at all. Luckily, these tips will help to liven and brighten up even the darkest basement spaces.

Before you start designing and renovating, it is always good to start with a clear idea of what you would like to use the space in your basement for.

Being clear on what needs to happen in the space and what you want it to look like can help you stay focused when making lighting, paint and décor decisions.

Adding lights to your basement is an obvious first step to making the space feel brighter. However, it is important to be strategic in your lighting choices, as you want to make the basement lighting as close to natural lighting as possible.

The best way to ensure that the lighting is adding something to the space is to add different layers of lighting according to your needs in the space.

For ambient lighting, recessed ceiling lights can create a great mood within your space, and do not take up too much space.

Wall sconces and table lamps are a great way to add functional lights into your space, as these lights are compact and can be placed right where you need them.

Accent lights can also be added to your space to avoid shadows and make the space feel even brighter.

Another way to liven up the basement space is to add touches of softness and warmth through your décor choices.

Adding soft furnishings such as pillows and rugs, can automatically make the space feel more inviting and this will encourage you to spend more time in this space.

This will also help you to define certain areas within your basement, for example the sitting area versus the craft area, and help you to make the space feel less cold.

10 paint colors that will brighten up basements with no natural light

Paint colors are also an excellent way to brighten up basements if they have little to no natural light, and there are several different color families that will work well within a dark basement for different reasons.

White and off-white colors for basements with no natural light

White and off-white paint colors are always a good choice when you want to make a space feel clean and bright. However, it is always good to remember that bright and light colors only work when they can reflect light.

So, the artificial lighting that you have added to your basement will really work in harmony with these lighter paint colors to help brighten up your space:

1. One Horn White by Magnolia Home is an excellent pure white color to use for your basement. This color has a slightly warm undertone to it, which helps it make the space feel warm and bright instead of sterile and cold.

2. White Dove by Benjamin Moore is a popular almost pure white paint color. This white color is warm without being too yellow, and will contrast beautifully with other darker features to give your room some visual interest.

3. Creamy by Sherwin Williams is a very warm, soft white color. This color will add a lot of warmth to your space and can give a muted, relaxed feeling to the room. It is important to test this color with your lighting because the very warm undertones can look slightly dirty in certain lighting situations.

4. Navajo White by Benjamin Moore is a light cream color, which looks very neutral when painted all over your walls. This color can add a sense of homeliness to your basement.

Most of these white and off-white colors are good neutral colors and will work with many different furniture and flooring choices, in order to ensure that your basement has a bright backdrop and feels warm and welcoming.

Light blue colors for basements with no natural light

Bright blue tones can psychologically make you feel more relaxed and uplift your spirits, which makes it the perfect color to brighten up a dark and gloomy basement.

The following pale blue shades can add a bit of excitement to your basement:

5. Manitou Blue by Sherwin Williams is a very colorful blue, which is striking, but not too dark. This color adds some excitement and energy to the room, but it will not overwhelm your whole basement design.

6. Watery by Sherwin Williams is a blue shade with slight green undertones. This color is very relaxing and bright, which will help to counter any darkness in your basement space.

7. Tidewater by Sherwin Williams is a similar shade to Watery and is a bright shade of blue with green undertones. It is slightly lighter than Watery, if you want a color that reflects even more light.

These light blue colors are an excellent way to add a pop of color to your basement color scheme.

These shades also pair well with light-colored neutral furnishings, if you want to create an overall light and bright color scheme for your basement’s design.

Light gray colors for basements with no natural light

Soft gray colors are a great way to add brightness to a room if you are afraid of the room feeling too sterile and clean when using a white or off-white color.

The following light gray colors will work well to make your basement feel brighter:

8. Wedding Band by Magnolia Home is a very soft gray color which is soothing and will give the room a relaxed and cozy feeling. This gray still has very neutral undertones, which means that it will pair well with almost any furniture and flooring materials.

9. Mindful Gray by Sherwin Williams is a good option if you are looking for a gray with cooler undertones. This color is very versatile and neutral enough to still add a relaxing feeling to your basement’s design.

10. Silver Marlin by Benjamin Moore is a good medium dark shade if you still want a light and bright basement, but very bright wall colors are just not your thing.

These soft gray shades are popular basement colors, as they can create a relaxing and calm atmosphere, but still be bright enough to reflect all of the light in the space so that your basement does not feel too dark.


A finished basement can really create an opportunity within your home to extend your living spaces or even to create new spaces like craft- or playrooms.

Using layers of light fixtures, various accessories with different textures and painting the walls of the space can be great ways to bring new life to your basement with no natural light and make it a functional space.

The paint you choose for your basement can help to reflect the light in the room to liven up the space and décor, and make this space truly welcoming and cozy, instead of damp and industrial.

There are various white or off-white, light blue and lighter gray shades which will help you to brighten up your space.

These colors are also still neutral enough to not overwhelm your design and will work with the other furniture and décor elements in the basement, to create a space that has a relaxing mood and looks beautiful.