How to Paint a Lampshade

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Painting a lampshade is a simple technique to give an old shade a new appearance to fit your home design and transform the mood of a space. Use a can of spray paint or a paintbrush and paint of your choice to quickly recolor a lampshade. Paint stripes and other motifs onto a lampshade. In any case, all you need are a few art tools and a few of hours to make a whole new lampshade for your house!

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Painting a Solid Base Coat

1. Remove the lampshade from the lamp. Remove anything keeping the lampshade in place and pull it off the lamp. Many lampshades feature a piece in the center at the top that secures the lampshade to the lamp’s base.
To remove the lampshade, you may need to unscrew the light bulb.

2. Plastic bags and tape should be used to cover the top of the lampshade. Cover any metal pieces at the top of the lampshade with plastic shopping bags. Masking tape or blue painter’s tape the bags to the inner edge of the lampshade.

  • You could also use tape instead of plastic bags to cover everything, but it’s better to simply cover the whole area with plastic and then seal the corners to prevent putting spray paint on portions you don’t want to paint.
  • If you want to create a pattern instead of having a single shade all around, you may tape patterns onto the lampshade. Consider using a zig-zag design.

3. On a level work area, spread out some old newspapers or other material. Choose a level work area, such as a table, the garage floor, or the ground outdoors. Cover the area with old newspapers or normal paper in 2-3 layers to protect it from spray paint. When using spray paint, work in a well-ventilated environment. The ideal choice is to set up your workspace outdoors or near open doors and windows.

4. Place the lampshade on the work area that has been covered. Place the lampshade in the center of the paper you’ve set down. If the lampshade is closer than 1 ft (0.30 m) to the margins of the covered work area, add extra paper around the sides.
There is still a potential that the paint may drift outside of the covered area when you spray it, so avoid using good furniture as your work surface, such as a dining room table, and avoid spraying near any things you don’t want to get paint on.

5. Apply an even application of spray paint to the lampshade. Remove the spray paint can’s cap and hold it approximately 6 in (15 cm) away from the lampshade. Aim the nozzle towards the lampshade and push the trigger to spray the paint on. Spray all over the lampshade until it is evenly coated.

  • Work in the same direction as you spray to provide an equal layer of paint. Work from top to bottom, for example, or left to right.
  • Lighter-colored spray paints work best for allowing light to shine through the shadow.
  • Acrylic spray paint is ideal for painting any sort of lampshade.
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6. Allow the lampshade to dry before attaching it to the lamp and turning it on. Allow at least 1-2 hours for the lampshade to dry fully. Replace it on the lamp’s base, replace the lightbulb if you removed it, and turn the lamp on. Remove it and reapply another coat of paint if there are any uneven patches or if you are not satisfied with how it appears.
If the color seems splotchy, you should add another layer of paint. Apply the second coat in the same manner as the first.

7. If you don’t want to use spray paint, paint the shade by hand using a paintbrush. Prepare the lampshade and your work space similarly to how you would for spray paint. Put some acrylic, chalk, or fabric paint in a paint tray or plastic cup and apply an equal layer to the shade with a tiny flat paintbrush.

  • To uniformly coat the lampshade, use long, straight up and down brush strokes. Once the paint is dry, place the lampshade on the lamp and apply more coats until you are satisfied with the completed appearance.
  • Using chalk paint on the finish will give it an old, powdery look. You may experiment by diluting it slightly to get various effects.
  • Acrylic paint will give your lampshade a more robust appearance.
  • Cloth paint is comparable to acrylic paint, but it has a less solid appearance since it is meant to quickly soak into fabric.

Brushing on Stripes and Other Designs

1. Take the lampshade off the light. Remove the bulbs and any additional hardware that is keeping the lampshade in place. Remove the lampshade and place it on a level table.
Keep the lightbulb and any other screws or lamp parts you removed in a secure location until you replace the shade.

2. To measure and draw out the stripes, use a flexible tape measure and a pencil. Use a vinyl tape measure that is long enough to wrap around the lampshade. Determine the spacing of your stripes and make a pencil mark at each interval.

  • To make it simpler to hold in place, attach the end of the measuring tape to the shade using painter’s tape or masking tape.
  • The kind of tape measure used by tailors is ideal for measuring around the lamp.

3. Tape the spaces between the stripes that you do not wish to paint. Use painter’s tape or masking tape to completely cover the parts where you wish to keep the original color. To preserve the edges of the lampshade, fold the tape over them at the top and bottom.

  • Painter’s tape and masking tape come in a variety of widths. To cover bigger and smaller areas, or to make stripes of varying widths, use several sizes of tape.
  • Trim the tape so that it also comes to a tapered point at the top if you’re making tapered lampshades.
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4. Use old newspapers or other material to cover a flat work area. A table or desk at which you may sit is the greatest work surface for hand painting a lampshade. Cover the whole area with 2-3 layers of old newspapers or regular paper.
You won’t need to operate in a ventilated environment since you’ll be utilizing acrylic paints designed for indoor usage. These paints are intended for use in painting projects and other indoor activities.

5. Place the lampshade over the newspapers or paper. Position the shade in the center of the covered work area. Rotate it so that the first stripe you wish to paint faces you.
Painting will be easier in a well-lit location. Try to paint during the day when there is lots of natural light, or use plenty of strong artificial light.

6. To paint the stripes, use a flat paintbrush and acrylic paints. Squeeze some of the desired acrylic paint color onto a paper or plastic plate, or into a paper or plastic cup. Fill in the stripes with even up and down strokes using a flat brush at least 1 in (2.5 cm) broad.

  • For fabric lampshades, you might also use specialist fabric paint available at craft shops.
  • Acrylic paint may be used on lampshades of any material.
  • If you want to effortlessly produce varied sizes of stripes, get paintbrushes with varying widths.
  • Lighter hues, on the other hand, will enable more light to shine through the lampshade.

7. For a variety of styles, mask off other geometric designs instead of stripes. Make zig-zags, Xs, hexagons, or other random designs on the lampshade using masking tape or blue painter’s tape. To make your designs, use a tiny flat paint brush and acrylic paint to paint the regions within or outside the tape.

  • To get a more worn, weathered appearance, use chalk paint.
  • Cloth paint is another paint choice that is comparable to acrylic but soaks into the fabric more deeply.

8. To paint on more complicated patterns, use stencils instead of tape. To make a stencil, draw whatever pattern you like on a sheet of paper and carefully cut it out using scissors or a utility knife. Tape the stencil on the lampshade and use a stencil brush to dab paint of your choice onto the shade.

  • You may also purchase stencils from an art supply shop or print out images to cut out.
  • A stencil brush has a flat, circular tip that is used to dab paint on rather than brush it on. This helps to keep the paint inside the lines of your stencil and prevents bleeding.
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9. Draw a pattern in pencil and then paint over it, or free-hand paint one. Draw whatever pattern you can think of onto the lampshade using a pencil. Paint over the pattern with a tiny paintbrush using your favorite paint.

  • Depending on how complicated your design is, having a selection of paintbrushes in various sizes may be useful.
  • Consider your lampshade to be a coloring book. You may design elaborate geometric patterns, such as mandalas, or anything else you think would be enjoyable to paint!

10. When the lampshade is dry, attach it to the lamp and turn it on. Allow the paint to cure for at least 1-2 hours, or until completely dry to the touch. Replace it on the lamp’s base and switch it on to check whether another coat of paint is required.
Look for patches all over the shade where light comes through and makes it seem blotchy. If you notice any, remove the shade and apply another coat of paint until you are satisfied with the result.

What kind of paint do you use on a lampshade?

Acrylic paint will give your lampshade a more robust appearance. Cloth paint is comparable to acrylic paint, but it has a less solid appearance since it is meant to quickly soak into fabric.

Is it OK to paint a lampshade?

With a fresh coat of paint, you can breathe new life into an old lampshade. When a fabric lampshade becomes dingy, a paper lampshade needs a splash of color, or a metal lampshade has become antiquated, you may use paint as an affordable design tip to breathe new life into the lampshade.

Can you paint a fabric lampshade?

Fabric lampshades may be painted whatever color you wish. We do this a lot with old lamps/shades that are the ideal size/scale but have yellowed, and instead of purchasing a new $50 shade, we just dilute down some house paint and paint it out.

Is it safe to paint a lampshade with acrylic paint?

Have you ever spotted a lampshade at Goodwill that you like the form and design of but passed on because the color wasn’t quite suitable for your space? Did you know you could paint a lampshade?! Yes, and you just need some acrylic paint! It’s really simple!

What kind of paint can be used on fabric?

Fabric paint in acrylic
Acrylic fabric paint is typically the best choice.
Fabric paint, often known as textile paint, is typically created from an acrylic polymer. This acrylic, which is bound with a color before being emulsified, makes the paint resistant to regular usage, repeated washes, and sunshine.

Is there a such thing as fabric spray paint?

Cloth spray paint creates amazing color effects while retaining the softness and suppleness of the fabric. Fabric spray paint is available in a wide range of colors and finishes, providing a plethora of choices for artistic expression.

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