How to Paint a Lampshade

November 19, 2012 — Leave a comment

About a year ago I decided to paint a lampshade. The shade had a big dent in it and I was about to replace it when I had an idea. What if I painted a design on it to distract from the dent? (This was after I had gone to the store and found out that lampshades are like $20-30.) I figured it was the perfect lampshade to test the technique on since I wasn’t sure if it would work. Much to my surprise it did work! And even though it is dented on one side I’ve kept the lampshade because I love the way it turned out.

Since I did this project a year ago I don’t have any pictures of the process but all I did was use a pencil and painter’s tape to mark out the design I wanted. I used the blue painter’s tape and guess what happened?
Yep, there’s leakage. This is exactly why I only use green FrogTape now (more on that here).
Though it is far from perfect the overall affect is very cool and graphic. I chose to do two large stripes around the diameter but the options are wide open for this project. You could use a stencil, freehand a design, write words, etc. The lampshade I used is a sort of cotten-y material over plastic so paint worked great on it but I don’t think this would work on a polyester shade or anything with pleated/gathered fabric. It is a really great way to make a plain shade more interesting or to help distract the eye from blemishes.

So what do you think? Would you ever paint a lampshade?

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I'm a single female homeowner who loves all things interior decorating. Especially if it involves thrifting.

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