Dark and Moody Basement remodel with black painted ceilings.

Painting the basement ceiling black

Why Paint The Basement Ceiling?

Designing our basement remodel presented a unique challenge when it came to the ceiling. Standing at a modest height of 6 feet 7 inches, the ceiling had a network of plumbing pipes and HVAC ducts to deal with. Lowering the ceiling with tiles wasn’t aesthetically pleasing to me, and we were advised against drywalling without leaving access to the plumbing. Painting the basement ceiling black emerged as the most appealing solution.

Pros and Cons of Painting the Ceiling:

Cons: This is a 650 square feet ceiling, and it took several coats of primer and paint. We had been warned that the plywood would soak up quite a bit of paint, but OMG!

You are going to need a sprayer.

Trust me on this…you seriously need to spray a ceiling. We would never be done if we had tried to hand brush or roll this job. We used this gifted sprayer from Wagner.

Close up of Wagner Spray painter

Tips for Spray Painting Your Ceiling Black

1. Get the Room Ready- Move all your furniture out of the way and cover with drop cloth or plastic.

2. Mask Off What You Don’t Want to Paint-Remove switch plate covers, baseboard or trim you are not painting.

3. Get Yourself Ready- Change into paint clothes and wear a hat to cover your hair. 🙂 Use a respirator and goggles.

4. Thin the Paint if Necessary-Don’t be afraid to thin your paint if needed. If the prayer is spitting try thinning the paint a bit.

5. Spray Primer- It took us 4 cans of primer.

6. Time for color- paint the first coat in one direction and your second coat opposite ensuring even coverage.

Paint Cans

We had lots of nooks and crannies as well as wires to spray. We also had exposed insulation in the rafters that we covered with Thermo Pan, which we cut to fit and them painted (it’s the shiny silver stuff next to the duct below). The sprayer gave us a very smooth finish, especially on the metal ducts.

Prepping a ceiling for paint.

We even painted the foam that wraps the plumbing pipes.

Prepping a ceiling for paint.

Pros to painting our ceiling:

Dark and Moody Vibe


My local Sherwin Williams friends (whom I love!) steered me toward the type of primer I needed, and we used their Emerald line in a satin finish in Sherwin Williams color of 2021 Urbane Bronze. I love how the color is dark and moody and feels like it’s picking up some green tones in the basement.

The dark ceiling makes the windowless space feel warm and cozy.

Dark and Moody Remodeled basement

Painting the ceiling also allowed us to maintain the height.

What we really love is the industrial feel.

Basement with game room and dark and moody vibes
Basement Gameroom with Dark and Moody vibes

Thank you for stopping by this week. This is officially week four of the Fall 2020 One Week Challenge. This week it was announced that the final week would be extended (thank god!). The final posting dates will be November 12th-29th, and I am very relieved!

You can see our room progress so far: WEEK 1 / WEEK 2 / WEEK 3

I want to thank Sherwin Williams, who sponsored the paint for this project (all opinions are my own). Thank you to my One Room Challenge Sponsors! Without them, this would not be possible.


And please check in with the very talented Featured Designers and my fellow Guest participants who are killing it this round!!

Until next time,



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  1. Jewel says:

    So Cool Libbie. I wouldn’t have thought to do this, but I see how paint vs drywall would make the ceilings feel taller.

  2. Sarah Boyd says:

    Where did you get the table !?

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