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25 of the Best Red Paint Color Options for Finished Basements

A cool basement with a drum set and red walls.

Red is a great choice for painting basements, but darker reds should be used for accents and trim, not for floors or walls and certainly not for ceilings. These 25 shades of red can make any basement warmer and more inviting, whether or not you have lots of natural light.

Red is one of the best colors for a brighter basement. It is a great selection for basement game rooms, basement playrooms, and fun-loving spaces. There is no need to coat entire walls with this energizing color, and red is usually but not always too dark for basement ceilings. Consider using red as an accent color instead.

What is the secret to the successful application of red paint in your basement? Here is part of what you need to know about choosing reds for your finished basement: Always find the shade of red that has the right undertones for your space. Try out both cooling and warming reds.

What else do you need to know about red paint color options for finished basements? Undertones make a huge difference. Most shades of paint have both masstones and undertones. The masstone is the shade you most identify with the paint, such as the shade that makes you say “Oh! That’s red!”

The undertone is the color that has a subtle influence beneath the masstone. Paint can have multiple undertones. They may not be apparent until an object of the same color as the undertone is placed next to the painted surface, or the painted surface is illuminated in colored light.

How can you tell which undertones are in your choice of paint? We’ll tell you all you need to know about undertones for the selections in this article. Otherwise, you need a pure color wheel, which shows you “pure red” that you can compare to your choices in shades of red.

Everything from upholstery and counter surfaces to houseplants and your choice in lighting can bring out unexpected undertones. When you have already taken the plunge and the undertones in your selection is an obvious “oops,” try replacing light bulbs and light fixtures before painting your basement again. Sometimes there is an easy fix that requires nothing more than using a different wattage of a light bulb. Other times the solution is to paint over green and blue overtones with orange and yellow undertones — if you are fixing your choice in red.

Here are 25 great choices in red paint for your basement. Let’s start with a real show stopper.

Table of Contents

Best Shade of Red Paint for Making People Notice: Showstopper SW 7588

Show Stopper by Sherwin-Williams

Source: Sherwin-Williams

If you are looking for a shade of red for your basement’s door to the outside that says “Hey! Look here!” there are not many better choices than Sherwin-Williams Showstopper SW 7588. Best used in basements that get some natural light, this shade of red is powerful and playful at the same time. It is a shade of red that makes people stop in their tracks and take notice. It holds up well with bold architectural elements such as beams and pillars. It works on any wall that needs a touch of drama.

Best Trendy Shade of Red Paint for Finished Basements: First Light

First Light by Benjamin Moore

Source: Benjamin Moore

Benjamin Moore First Light is a great alternative to shades of gray and beige. A red so gentle it appears pink, is a red that knows how to play well with other colors in your basement design. This isn’t a very light red or a pink that has to be relegated to a girl’s bedroom or the powder room. It’s a backdrop color for everything that goes on in your basement that reflects light and helps the eye see fine detail in objects of other colors. First Light is one of Benjamin Moore’s Top Ten Trendy Paint Colors of 2020.

Best Shade of Red Paint for Giving a Basement a Warm Feel: Moroccan Red 1309

Moroccan Red by Benjamin Moore

Source: Benjamin Moore

Benjamin Moore Moroccan Red 1309 is based on the color of cinnabar. It picks up tones of umber and orange and the red color of the pollen inside a lily. It is not a bright red, but it is a warming red that works in a basement with furniture or wall art in lighter colors.

Best Shade of Red Paint for a Latin Vibe: Habanero Pepper 1306

Habanero Pepper by Benjamin Moore

Source: Benjamin Moore

Red is an energetic color that connotes power and passion and heat. Benjamin Moore Habanero Pepper 1306 is reminiscent of garlands of dried hot peppers hanging in the market. In the words of interior decorator Ellie Culman, it adds maximal impact to a basement at minimal expense.

Best Shade of Red Paint for Basement Floors: Ruby Red 2001-10

Ruby Red by Benjamin Moore

Source: Benjamin Moore

Benjamin Moore’s Ruby Red 2001-10 is like red fingernail polish: It goes with everything. In fact, this shade of red paint for basement floors matches the red in a Coco Chanel fingernail polish. Applying this shade of red to walls would be too much and it’s too dark for basement ceilings, but it is a great, fun color for floors in the basement and all over the house.

Best Shade of Red Paint for Masking Earlier Paint Jobs: Interior Matte Stain

Interior Matte Stain by Behr

Source: Behr

Behr Interior Matte Stain is a one-coat red paint made with a new technology that gives walls and ceilings a rich, firehouse red in just one application. If your basement suffers from some oopsies you need to cover up right away, this red is a great choice for you. It goes on quickly, but it’s not very reflective. It’s best for smaller surfaces in your basement and for use as an accent or time to light grays and eggshell blues. This produce also comes in an enamel finish. It’s not a good choice for painting basement ceilings because it is too dark.

Best Shade of Red Paint Basement Walls for Accenting Healthy Skin Tones: Salsa 2009-20

Salsa by Benjamin Moore

Source: Benjamin Moore

Did you know there are shades of red for your walls and trim that make you look better? Benjamin Moore Salsa 2009-20 complements healthy skin tones from all skin types and works as perfect backdrop for beautiful people. This corally orange red brings out the best skin tones in people in every room where it is painted.

If you are looking for the same color formulated for higher light, such as for doors leading outside or trim around windows, consider Coral Bells SW 6593 from Sherwin-Williams. This Sherwin-Williams red has a bit more orange.

Coral Bells by Sherwin-Williams

Source: Sherwin-Williams

Best Shade of Red Paint for a Backdrop to a Basement Bar: Chili Pepper 2004-20

Chili Pepper by Benjamin Moore

Source: Benjamin Moore

Pinks and reds are the shades of rosé wines and champagnes and tropical drinks. Benjamin Moore’s Chili Pepper 2004-20 is a great complement to classic colors such as yellow and blue as well as for floral themes.

Best Shade of Red Paint for a Backdrop to a Basement Kitchen: Warm Sienna 1203

Warm Sienna by Benjamin Moore

Source: Benjamin Moore

Ideal for teak furniture and cork floors, this shade of red is also a great backdrop for plates and glassware. It gives even a small basement kitchen the presence to promote happy dining for an intimate group of guests. Benjamin Moore Warm Sienna 1203 works especially well near a basement window.

Best Shade of Red Paint for Walls and Doors of a Small Basement: Red 2000-10

Red by Benjamin Moore

Source: Benjamin Moore

“I could never get my painter to mix Rococo and a spot of Gothic with a bit of Buddhist for me,” said interior decorator Diana Vreeland, “and then I found Benjamin Moore Red 2000-10.” This Benjamin Moore red paint screams “red,” but sometimes that is the look you want. It is bright enough for most basement lighting but it will overwhelm most other colors except white.

Best Shade of Red Paint for a Basement Door to the Outside: Heritage Red HC-181

Heritage Red by Benjamin Moore

Source: Benjamin Moore

Benjamin Moore Heritage Red HC-181 is a classic, bright red that glistens in the sun. It is bright even in a basement, but its full richness can only be appreciated in sunlight. It is a great accent for painted furniture and a nice top coat for painted credenzas. It’s also the perfect red to complement Scandinavian decor.

Best Shade of Red Paint for Offsetting Bright White: Caliente AF-290

Caliente by Benjamin Moore

Source: Benjamin Moore

Benjamin Moore Caliente AF-290 is a shade of red that is really dark to use in a basement unless it trims bright white. The combination of Benjamin Moore Caliente AF-290 and bright white makes small spaces se em larger and brings out the sparkle in jewel tones. Used by itself, Caliente has a sexy, sultry look, but this feel does not predominate where there is no natural light.

Best Shade of Red Paint to Accent Beige or Concrete: Sundried Tomato CC-62

Sundried Tomato by Benjamin Moore

Source: Benjamin Moore

Even finished basements can have concrete floors. Benjamin Moore CC-62 is a color that can be used on concrete or to complement it. This shade of red would be too dark for a basement ceiling but it is fine for a basement floor. It goes with beige, gray, concrete, and rich woods to create a casual look that never gets too stately.

Best Shade of Red Paint for a Natural Look for Your Basement: Century Alizarin

Alizarin by Benjamin Moore

Source: Benjamin Moore

Benjamin Moore Century Alizarin is one of a collection of about 75 pre-mixed paints formulated for depth and richness. Century Alizarin has a smooth matte finish that gives it a texture like a soft leather glove. With its hints of green and purple it brings to mind fresh raspberries, soft, inviting, and natural. Century paints are only available at authorized Benjamin Moore dealers.

Best Shade of Red Paint for Romantic Interludes: Exotic Red 2010-86

Exotic Red by Benjamin Moore

Source: Benjamin Moore

Benjamin Moore Exotic Red 2010-86 combines red, orange, and black. The psychology of these colors is that they bring the mind to the here and now, helping to focus on the person present, relieving preoccupations and worries about outside events. This shade of red adds depth when it is used to trim white, light blue, or gray, making the basement seem larger by making doors seem farther away.

Best Shade of Red Paint for Creating a Focal Point of Interest: Bull’s Eye Red 2002-20

Bull's Eye Red by Benjamin Moore

Source: Benjamin Moore

Benjamin Moore Bull’s Eye Red 2002-20 adds a pop of color to create a new focal point in your basement. It is an intense color that draws attention to itself, suitable for doors and painting walls used as a backdrop for art or trophies.

Best Brick Red Shade of Red Paint for Basements: Rustic Red SW 7593

Rustic Red by Sherwin-Williams

Source: Sherwin-Williams

Sherwin-Williams Rustic Red SW 7593 is a brick red with lots of depth. It makes a small basement office or a small basement bedroom feel larger, although it is best used as trim rather than for painting entire walls or ceilings.

Best Shade of Red Paint for a Basement Crystal Collection: Old Claret 2083-20

Old Claret by Benjamin Moore

Source: Benjamin Moore

If you have collections of crystals (the rock collection kind), crystal (the fine dining kind), or gilded furniture, Benjamin Moore Old Claret 2083-20 is a great choice. Combining black and raspberry, Old Claret sparks feelings warmth, wealth, and satisfaction.

Best Shade of Red Paint for an Armoire or Kitchen Island: Moroccan Red 1309

Moroccan Red by Benjamin Moore

Source: Benjamin Moore

Even basements can have kitchens and bedrooms. One of the best colors for using an armoire or a kitchen island to pull together all the reds in a room is Benjamin Moore Moroccan Red 1309.

Red Parrot by Benjamin Moore

Source: Benjamin Moore

Considered a timeless color and placed in Benjamin Moore’s classic collection, this lipstick red is never too bright and never blue or brown. Benjamin Moore Red Parrot 1308 is just a tiny bit brighter.

Best Shade of Deep Red Paint for Accents to Pastels and Bright Colors: Classic Burgundy HC-182

Classic Burgundy by Benjamin Moore

Source: Benjamin Moore

Burgundy is a dark red. Or maybe it is a dark purple. The one thing we can say with certainty about burgundy is that it is not brown. Benjamin Moore Classic Burgundy HC-182 is a great contrast to pastel colors (pale colors like mauve, mint, pink, and baby blue) and all bright colors, except bright white. Burgundy is not as richly colored next to pure, bright white. But for many other colors Benjamin Moore Classic Burgundy HC-182 adds some drama by focusing attention on the colors it frames.

Best Shade of Red Paint to Complement Warm Woods: Pomegranate AF-295

Pomegranate by Benjamin Moore

Source: Benjamin Moore

Walnut and teak furniture add a gentle warmth to any basement. That warmth is enhanced when these fine woods are accented by Benjamin Moore Pomegranate AF-295. This shade of red is not for painting entire walls in any basement and it is not a good choice for ceilings. It is a good choice for framing wood or serving as a backdrop to walnut and teak cases and chairs.

Best Shade of Red-Hot Red Paint: Hot Tamale CSP-1155

Hot Tamale by Benjamin Moore

Source: Benjamin Moore

For a “muy caliente” look covering walls and ceilings in a well-illuminated basement, there is no better choice than Benjamin Moore Hot Tamale CSP-1155. Most homeowners will prefer to lower the heat by using Hot Tamale for accents and trim, but pairs well with both bright colors and neutral colors.

Best Shade of Red Paint for Dramatic Effect: Raspberry Truffle 2080-10

Raspberry Truffle by Benjamin Moore

Source: Benjamin Moore

Benjamin Moore Raspberry Truffle 2080-10 is a red with hints of purple, orange, and chocolate. One of Benjamin Moore’s most popular colors, this red looks great in both natural light and artificial light. it’s a great shade of red when using the same color in the basement and outside the house is advisable.

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