Maybe it’s a family room, a place to play games or be the cool hangout spot for your kids and their friends; maybe it’s a dedicated storage space for extra food or those boxes you’ll unpack someday; or maybe it’s a separate apartment, a place for tenants to hang their hats. Whatever function your basement serves, it can be a challenge to make your below-ground haven more inspiring than spooky. Here at Wilson’s Paint and Floor Coverings, we get it, but we also know a trick or two for using paint to brighten your basement.
Use Light Colors
We know, this one is a bit of a no-brainer, but we’re not just talking about hue here. When choosing your paint, it is important to consider the Light Reflective Value (LRV). Light reflective values fall on a scale from 0 to 100, and the numbers indicate how much light is reflected back, black being 0 and white scoring a perfect 100. Choosing paints with high LRV values will help to brighten your basement by reflecting the light already present.
Not sure which color scheme to use? Here are a few of our favorites for basements:
Lots of bright white or ivory
Soft gray or a cozy greige
Creams and browns
Navy paired with lighter woods and accents
Limit the Number of Colors
Though it can be tempting to think that adding a lot of color will help a basement feel more inviting, resist the urge. The more colors you add, the more likely a basement is to feel cluttered and, by extension, smaller. We recommend sticking to a color scheme with three colors max, with one of those colors comprising 60% of the color in the room, the others used as accents.
This tip applies to patterns as well. We love eccentric pillows or a boldly textured or patterned accent wall, but remember that visual chaos has a habit of shrinking a room. Picking your favorite pattern and using it sparingly can brighten your basement without filling it to the brim.
Try Some Crisp Contrasts
Clean lines have a way of opening up a room and highlighting focal points. If your furniture is in neutral colors, consider some fun carpet, especially if your basement doubles as a playroom for kids. For a more chic look, let us return your attention to the accent wall. We love a good pop of color–or black–to add variety without clutter. Try painting a wall or even the ceiling in a vibrant or calming hue, but remember that the ceiling is a daring choice. It is an easy one to get wrong, as a dark paint job can make a ceiling feel lower and a room feel cramped. Use only if you’re ready to embrace a challenge.
Give Accents a Facelift
If you’re not quite ready to commit to a new paint scheme–maybe you just found one you really love–a fresh coat of paint on the doors and trim is a more subtle way to add contrast. Erase the little nicks and dents that occur as if by magic and give your doors and trim a fresh coat of white paint. We’ll say it again: clean lines are the ticket to brighten your basement.
For something a little bolder, paint window trims or even door frames in black. Do this only if it fits your color scheme–maybe you’ve got a lot of white going on already. You may also consider painting wood paneling, brickwork, or cabinetry if any of these are natural features in your basement.
Add a Glossy Finish to the Ceiling
Whether it is in a stark white, a cozy taupe, or a vivid black, your ceiling doesn’t have to be where the buck stops. Remember that making the most of the light you already have is a key way to brighten your basement. Using a glassy finish on your ceiling can help to reflect the light back down into the room.
If you think it may be time to brighten your basement with a new paint job, we at Wilson’s Paint and Floor Coverings are here to help. We can assist in everything from choosing the right paint to providing the actual painting service. Let us know how we can help you today!