How to Decorate a Basement Cement Wall


Gray concrete walls can look stylish in an urban loft, but if you have a basement that feels cold and drab, those plain gray walls may look more cheap than chic. Decorating the basement walls is one way to warm up a room and help you feel more comfortable in it -- whether it's to spend a few minutes folding laundry or an evening watching television with your family. Before decorating your basement walls, clean them with a trisodium phosphate cleaning solution and repair any leaks or damage to the concrete.

Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver
  • Painter's tape
  • Dropcloth
  • Paint
  • Angled brush
  • Wide brush
  • Tape measure
  • Curtains
  • Hook and loop adhesive strip

Painting Walls

  • Remove the screws from any outlet covers or switch plates and remove them from the wall.

  • Apply painter's tape to baseboards or other trim that you do not want to get paint on. Cover the floor with a dropcloth to prevent damage from paint spills.

  • Paint the center of the wall with a wide brush and masonry paint. Use a smaller, angled brush to cut in around windows, trim and where the wall meets the ceiling. Allow the paint to dry thoroughly and apply a second coat if needed.

  • Remove the painter's tape and replace outlet covers when the paint is completely dry.

Paint a Mural

  • Find or create a design you wish to have on your basement wall.

  • Project the design onto the wall with a video projector. Position the projector on a stool or chair. Place a copy of your design into the projector's viewing screen and project your design onto the wall. Adjust the projector until the design is exactly the size you want. You may also need to move the stool closer to or farther away from the wall to size the design correctly.

  • Trace the design onto the wall with a pencil.

  • Paint in the outlines with interior wall paint, masonry paint, acrylic craft paint or permanent markers.

Fabric Wall

  • Measure the height and width of your wall.

  • Make or purchase curtains or a large rectangle of material that will cover your entire wall.

  • Cut a strip of heavy-duty hook and loop adhesive to your wall's width measurement. Use several shorter strips if you have a very long wall.

  • Peel the plastic film from the back of the hook and loop and press it against the wall at the top where the wall meets the ceiling. Once the adhesive strip is positioned, remove the plastic film from the front of the strip.

  • Press the top of the curtain against the hook and loop strip to secure it to the wall.

Tips & Warnings

  • Consider using magnetic or chalkboard paint to create a wall that can also serve as a play area. Paint the entire wall, or just a section that is easy to reach.
  • Draw a mural design onto your wall freehand if you have the skills, or simply create it as you go using simple stripes and geometric shapes. Let your kids help by covering the wall with their hand and foot prints.
  • Paint the entire wall a muted background color before starting your wall, or paint your design directly onto the gray concrete for a more rustic effect.
  • Tablecloths, bedspreads or sheets may be less expensive than premade curtains for covering a wall with fabric. One advantage to using these materials over raw fabric is that all the edges are finished and no sewing is required.
  • Instead of hanging fabric to decorate your wall, use strips of hook and loop to apply a beaded room divider or strips of wide ribbon over the concrete.

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  • Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/ Images
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