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Mask Block Wall with PaintIf your concrete-block basement walls are dry and free of efflorescence or mold, you can seal them with a masonry sealer or all-purpose water-base primer-sealer and paint with a high-quality latex paint. Be sure to test paint colors in the basement: Because of low light levels, you may find you can use brighter colors than you would upstairs.
Basement WOW (notice the bunk beds built right in) painted ceiling, bright colors, area rugs, efficient
This image is a near exact replica of what I saw in my head as a redo for the small under the stair space. I love all the white/light wood and almost rustic feel of the paint on the old dresser upcycle. It kicks the whole "dark, damp, and musty" ideas of basements right out the door.
Perk Up with Plywood For a fun and affordable basement wall finish, attach 4-foot-square pieces of plywood to furring strips or wall studs. Vary the direction of the grain pattern to emphasize the quilted effect, and play up the corners by driving the screws through metal washers. Paint some of the plywood squares with chalkboard paint to create a message center.