Picking out (basement) paint colors

Hey there! How the heck are ya?

I’ve been really excited to tell you about the paint colors in the basement – really excited. I don’t know why exactly, I guess maybe because it’s a whole new floor to decorate. (About the best. thing. ever. for someone like me.) But it’s also that I’m going a direction with colors that I’ve never gone before. And it’s got me giddy.

I finally finished the painting of the main/family room in the basement just tonight. Remember when I said it was going really fast? Yeahhhh. Well, that was a week ago and I worked on it pretty much every night. Not “really fast.”

It took forever, and at times I wondered why I didn’t just pay to have it done. But most of the time, I kind of enjoyed it. And at the risk of sounding hokey, I feel fortunate that we have a basement to paint, that we’ve been able to finish our basement and that I’m able-bodied to paint it myself. Cheesy I know, but true.

And I am IN LOVE with the result. But first, I want to share my paint plan for the whole lower level.

I’m taking every color from one paint swatch:

  benjamin moore grays

They are Benjamin Moore colors that I’m having mixed at Sherwin Williams (they go on sale all the time so are cheaper and I’m just plain in love with it now). Did you know they have the BM formulas? (Or at least they say they do.) Home Depot has Lowe’s colors as well (and vise versa I believe).

I’ve never done this anywhere else in our house, but I’m using the different tones of the colors throughout the spaces.

The lightest color, Pebble Beach, will be the laundry room:

pebble beach, benjamin moore

The lighter colors on the swatch show up darker on the computer screen, and the darker colors show up lighter. What the? Oh well.

I tried to examples of each of the colors and it was hard! But Dear Lillie had two rooms painted in Pebble Beach, and they are gorgeous!:

pebble beach bathroom dear lillie pebble beach bedroom dear lillie

OH my gah. Beautiful!

Isn’t that a lovely color?

The next color is Silver Lake and it will go in the bathroom:

silver lake, benjamin moore

I couldn’t find anything “in real life” in this color, surprisingly. I’m really excited about the tile I hope to use in the bathroom and I think this will go with it beautifully!

I showed you a bit of the next one last week – it’s the one I used in the large family room space:

marina gray, benjamin moore

I had it lightened 25 percent because I was concerned it would get a little too dark. I’m so glad I did – it’s perfect!

We LOVE it. Love love love. Every time hubby walks down there he comments on it. (So does the Bub, which cracks me up every time.)

It’s a very warm gray – so cozy, but cool:

marina gray benjamin moore moon chairs

Doesn’t it look great with the moon chairs? Awesome!

I’m not using the next two colors on the swatch (Timber Wolf and Hearthstone). I have a BIG accent wall in mind for the Gunmetal color:

gunmetal, benjamin moore

I’ve been hashing out ideas for that wall in my head for months now. I want to do something fun and a little different. I love that I get to stretch a little bit in the basement and do things I may not do in the rest of the house.

The final color is the one I’m most excited about. Like REALLY FREAKIN’ EXCITED:

graphite, benjamin moore

This color is actually a bit lighter on the screen then it is on the paint chip – it’s dark. And I love it.

Here it is on a bathroom vanity:

graphite vanity


It’s going on the walls (yes, the walls) in hubby’s office. There will be a white treatment around the bottom of the walls, and this will go above. I saw a black room with white trim on a TV show a year ago and I’ve been planning to do this ever since.

It was wicked cool. :)

This color isn’t black, but it’s dark. I’ll do more of a matte finish with this one to keep it from getting shiny.

I can’t wait!! And hubby is all in – it’s gonna be awesome. (In my head anyway.)

This is a different way of picking out paint colors for me, and I gotta say, it’s the easiest yet. :) Seriously, it took all of five minutes. I especially love these grays because they really act as a neutral – pretty much every accent color works with them. (I’ve tried quite a few.)

So how do you pick out paint colors? Go room by room or plan it out and match? Go tonal or every color in the rainbow? Do you like the calming feel of the similar colors or do you need more spice?