5 tips to brighten up a dark and gloomy basement

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5 tips to brighten up a dark and gloomy basement


Image source: Pixabay

Having a large basement can enhance your property’s value manifolds – but making it bright, warm and inviting often poses a real challenge.

While your basement’s design can look amazing in theory, bad lighting can ruin your vision and the appeal of the space. However, a finished basement is a crown jewel in an already well-kept home so it is worth putting some thought into how you can light it up.

One way of doing it is to go for a permanent solution – such as building a window that can act as an entry point for daylight. Also, you can try some non-permanent solutions, which will require minimum readjustments to your basement. Keep reading and discover our top tips to brighten up a dark basement.

1. Choosing the right paint for walls

As obvious as this may sound, using light paints on your walls can go a long way in lighting up your basement. Nothing brightens up a room like a clean, light wall. Go for a paint that is pleasant to look at and is also resistant to moisture.

The problem with using dark colours on the walls is that they absorb a lot of light. This is especially problematic in places where the natural light in your basement does not reach.

On the contrary, using light colours on the walls will result in light bouncing off the walls instead of being absorbed. White, yellow, pink, light blue, and bright orange are some colours that make excellent choices for wall paint.

2. Adding a glossy finish to the ceiling

Using high-gloss paint on the ceiling would reflect light back into the room. Moreover, it is easy to wash, which is why you should consider using it for the entire room. Since most basements have problems with excessive moisture, adding a glossy finish to your basement ceiling could be a great way to combat it.

Also, if your basement has a low ceiling, make sure there is enough artificial lighting there. You can hang lights from your glossy ceiling, which will result in the reflection of light back down. When the light reflects back down, it will hit the shiny flooring, thereby, making the entire basement look bigger and brighter.

3. Keeping the windows clean

Most basements have small windows and to ensure you maximize the breach of natural light in your basement you should keep those windows squeaky clean.

Windows covered in dirt and grime don’t let in much light, so you have to keep your windows washed. Do remember to clean the windows both on the outside and inside. While dirt from the outside is obviously a problem, dust from the basement can give you a tough ride as well since the layers of dust and dirt can cause permanent discoloration on the glass.

If you don’t have time for a thorough cleaning, think about hiring window cleaners to clean them for you. When you will see the sunlight entering the basement through the clear glass you will know it was worth every penny. Also, it is good to have in mind that properly cleaned windows will stay clean for a longer time.

4. Using light flooring

Image source: Pixabay

Similar to light-coloured walls, using light-coloured flooring makes the basement look larger and brighter. While wood flooring is the ideal option for light flooring, it often gets ruined due to moisture. However, you can go for other options like tile, luxury vinyl, cork, and concrete.

If you decide to go with concrete, you can apply acid stain to give the floor a vibrant look, thereby giving it an almost marble-like look. You can pick from various colours to make the regular concrete match whichever colour scheme you have picked for your basement. Since shiny floors reflect light, they will not only make your basement look brighter but also add a warmer feel to it.

Whatever you do, try avoiding hardwood as it might lead to warping, especially if your basement has a lot of moisture.

5. Placing mirrors in the basement

Mirrors not only add the illusion of space to any room but also reflect light, which makes them the perfect addition to any basement, even the ones without windows. Therefore, placing mirrors in such a way that you can make them reflect light would certainly double the amount of light that your basement receives.

You can either opt for a large mirror or multiple small mirrors as part of your basement decor. Regardless of whether you go for floor-to-ceiling mirrors or add accents at a few locations with wall hangings and mirrored shelving, all these will be equally helpful in brightening and adding sparkle to your otherwise dark and gloomy basement.

While placing mirrors anywhere in a dark basement will contribute to lighting up the place, try placing it somewhere between your basement’s window (if you have one) and the furthest wall. This way the mirror will capture the natural light and push it toward the furthest area in the basement.

If your basement doesn’t have a window, placing mirrors in an area that gets maximum light in the basement or directly across a light source would be a wonderful idea.


Transforming your dark and dingy basement into a bright and welcoming space is not only exciting but also adds value to your property. Apart from the tips mentioned above, you should also get rid of things that are obstructing the light source in your basement.

Also, using shiny metal accents like lamp bases and candleholders can be a great way of adding more light to your basement because they also reflect light like mirrors. Also, keeping your basement clean and tidy can be a great way of brightening up the place. It includes cleaning everything from the basement flooring and walls to the windows. If you don’t have enough time to do this on your own, you can always contact a professional window cleaning company to do it for you. Hopefully, these tips will give you some idea about how to turn your dark basement into a relaxing part of your living space that you and your family can enjoy for years to come.

Nikolay Nikolov is the owner of Winducks, a friendly window and house washing company from Alberta, Canada. Nikolay is proud when he is able to help his fellow locals unclog and clean their gutters, clean their windows, driveways, eavestroughs and install their holiday lights. He loves what he does and his motto is to make the world a happier and cleaner place.


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