How to Make Unfinished Basement Walls Look Nice

Are you in the process of finishing an unfinished basement? Unfinished walls can make a space look dark, dingy, and uninviting. Transforming these walls into something more aesthetically pleasing is essential to making the most out of your newly finished space. Here are some tips on how to make unfinished basement walls look nice.

How to Make Unfinished Basement Walls Look Nice

Most unfinished basements look like blank canvases, just waiting to be filled in with color and personality. You can turn your basement walls into something beautiful with the right touch and some creativity. From covering them up with fabric or wraps to utilizing old items around your home to create unique wall décor, there are plenty of ways to make even the most empty basements come alive.

In this blog post, we’re going to talk about a few different ideas on how you can take an unfinished basement from boring to beautiful!

What Will You Need?

Before you start any project, it’s important to make sure you have all the necessary supplies so that your DIY wall transformation goes smoothly. Depending on what type of look you’re going for, these items can vary from basic to more complex.

In general, here are some materials and tools that might come in handy:

  1. Drywall and paneling
  2. Paint brushes, rollers, and paint
  3. Wallpaper or fabric
  4. Wood, cork board or pegboard sheets
  5. Artwork such as photographs or framed objects
  6. Lumber for shelving and other storage solutions
  7. Trim to make the space look more finished

Now that you have a good idea of what kind of supplies you’ll need to get started, let’s jump into 

our DIY wall transformation ideas!

10 Easy Steps on How to Make Unfinished Basement Walls Look Nice

Step 1. Add Wallpaper:

Wallpaper is a great way to dress up unfinished basement walls. Whether you’re looking for something subtle and sophisticated or bold and daring, you can find wallpaper that instantly transforms your space. If you want to keep things inexpensive, use fabric or wrapping paper.

Step 2. Hang Fabric:

Hanging fabric on the wall is another easy and inexpensive way to spruce up an unfinished basement. From burlap to velvet, you can find any kind of fabric that will match the style of your basement. Try hanging two different fabrics side by side for a more dramatic effect!

Hanging Fabric on the Wall

Step 3. Paint:

Adding color is one of the best ways to make an unfinished basement look nice. If you’re feeling adventurous, try some funky patterns or choose a few colorful shades that complement each other. Don’t forget to use painter’s tape to keep your lines straight and clean!

Step 4. Add Shelving:

Adding shelving to your walls is a great way to make the most of the space in your basement. Whether you want to display books, knick-knacks or maybe even some plants, shelves can be used to add both function and style. This will also help create a more finished look.

Step 5. Install Cork Board/Pegboard:

Cork boards and pegboards are another great way to utilize your wall space for storage purposes. You can use it for everything from organizing tools and supplies to displaying artwork – the possibilities are endless! If you’re looking for a more decorative touch, try adding some colorful push pins or magnets.

Step 6. Hang Artwork:

Artwork adds personality and character to any room, so why not hang some of your favorite pieces on your basement walls? Even if you’re not a fan of traditional art, there are plenty of other options, like wall decals and tapestries, to choose from. You can use anything from a vintage painting to an old family photograph – it’s totally up to you!

Step 7. Add Trim:

Trim adds another layer of dimension to any space and can make an unfinished room look more finished. You can find trim in various styles, colors, and materials so it’s easy to customize the look to fit your space. Be careful not to install the trim too close to your wall so that it doesn’t look cramped.

Step 8. Install Lighting:

Lighting is an important factor when it comes to creating a comfortable atmosphere in any room – especially basements! Consider installing some track lighting or use lamps to help bring out the beauty of your newly transformed walls. Try to avoid harsh overhead lighting as it can be too bright.

Lighting is an Important Factor

Step 9. Install Tile Accents:

Installing some tile accents is a great way to add texture and interest to your walls without going overboard. You can find tiles in all kinds of shapes, sizes, and colors, so you can customize the look of your basement however you’d like. It will also help to protect your walls from any water damage.

Step 10. Utilize Old Items:

If you have any old items lying around that you don’t know what to do with, why not turn them into wall décor for your basement? This could be anything from an old window frame to an antique mirror – get creative and make it work! Remember to keep it balanced and avoid overcrowding the space.

By following these simple steps, you can transform the look of your unfinished basement quickly and easily, making it a more comfortable and inviting space.

5 Additional Tips and Tricks

1. Add a colorful coat of paint to the walls. Painting your basement walls with a vibrant color can really help to bring some life and personality into the space. If you want something more subtle, consider painting the walls a light gray or beige for an understated look.

2. Put up wall art. Hang up artistic prints that reflect your style, or create your artwork with stencils and paint. Wall art is an easy way to brighten up your basement’s walls instantly.

3. Add paneling for a rustic effect. Wooden panels can give the walls a more natural look and feel, especially if you choose a light wood such as birch or pine. This type of paneling also looks great when stained or whitewashed.

4. Cover the walls with fabric. If you want to add some texture to your unfinished basement walls, consider covering them in fabric like burlap or linen for a unique look and feel.

Cover the Walls With Fabric

5. Install wall murals or wallpaper for a bold statement piece. Get creative by installing large-scale murals that coordinate with your interior design or wallpaper for a patterned effect. This will make your basement really stand out from the crowd.

No matter which approaches you to choose, making unfinished basement walls look nice is an easy and impactful way to upgrade the look of your space. With these simple tips, you’ll be able to transform your unfinished basement in no time!

5 Things You Should Avoid

  1. Cover the Walls With Flammable Materials. When dealing with an unfinished basement, it’s important to remember that there are certain materials you should avoid using due to safety reasons.
  2. Skimping on Insulation. Insulating your walls is essential if you want to keep the space warm during the cooler months. Ensure to properly insulate your unfinished basement’s walls before adding any decorations or furnishings.
  3. Choosing Light Colors for Dark Basements. Dark basements look dreary, so choosing light colors like white or pastels can help brighten the space.
  4. Forgetting About Ventilation. Ventilation is key to keeping your basement from becoming damp and musty, so make sure to install vents or fans to keep the air circulating properly.
  5. Ignoring Safety Hazards. If you’re dealing with an unfinished basement, chances are there may be some exposed wiring or other potential safety hazards.

By taking these tips into consideration, you’ll be able to create a stylish and comfortable-looking space while avoiding common pitfalls when it comes to making unfinished basement walls look nice.

What is the Cheapest Way to Finish Basement Walls?

The cheapest way to finish basement walls is to use a material such as drywall or paneling. Drywall is the most cost-effective option, as it’s relatively easy and quick to install and can be painted in any color you choose. Panel systems are also an affordable choice, however, they require more time and effort to install. Other cheaper options include using foam board insulation or wall coverings like fabric or wallpaper.

Include Using Foam Board Insulation

No matter what type of material you choose, make sure that it meets all building codes for safety reasons before beginning your project.

By following these simple tips, you can easily transform your unfinished basement walls into something special without breaking the bank. With a little creativity and some careful planning, your basement can become an inviting living space!


Unfinished basement walls don’t have to be an eyesore. With some careful planning, creativity, and a bit of hard work, you can learn how to make unfinished basement walls look nice.

Whether you opt for bright accent walls or prefer to play it cool with neutral paint shades, adding decorative touches, or even installing shelving units – there are so many simple yet effective ways to make your unfinished basement walls look nice and feel cozier.

Remember that no matter what style you choose, the most important thing is to enjoy dressing up your basement walls and making them soulful elements of your home décor. After all, when living spaces are made with love and thought, they always come alive!

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