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How to Update a Lampshade With Paint


Plain white or cream lampshades might be safely neutral, but they can be a bit dull. If your room needs a dose of color, dress up a lampshade with paint, and turn that ho-hum into wow. All it takes is some basic craft supplies, a free hour or two and a little bit of imagination.

Paint is one of the easiest ways to update just about anything. Make sure your lampshade is free of dust before you begin, then turn it into a colorful masterpiece. Spray paint or latex craft paint are suitable for paper or hard surface lampshades. Use fabric paint on a fuzzy or fabric-covered shade. Smooth shades are the easiest to paint. If you want to tackle a pleated shade, spray paint is your best bet.
  • A solid coat of color is the easiest update, and if you choose an intense bright shade, a metallic color or sophisticated black or gunmetal gray, itís all you need.

  • Add a little more style to the shade by blocking off the top and bottom edges with painterís tape, painting the shade, then removing the tape to reveal unpainted accent stripes. For more pizzazz, use the tape to block out stripes down the entire shade. You can run the stripes horizontally, or from top to bottom.

  • Show off your freehand artistic skills by adding flowers, dots, squiggles or any scene of your own design over the painted shade.

  • Use a stencil to lay out a design if you arenít confident about your painting skills.

  • Adhere paper lace doilies to the shade with tiny balls of poster putty. Layer some of the doilies just a bit, and spread others out around the shade. Work with the doilies until they are arranged to your liking. Then spray paint the lampshade right over the doilies. Let the paint dry, then carefully remove the doilies and voila! Your lamp has a lacy, feminine pattern.

  • Write an inspirational phrase, a name or a poem that is significant to you on the shade. Use a small, pointed paintbrush dipped in black or dark blue or green paint. This takes a steady hand, so use a stencil if youíre worried about smeared or uneven results. Paint your phrase on the plain lampshade, or cover the shade with a solid coat of paint first.

  • Mist a light coating of spray adhesive to cut lengths of yarn. Arrange the yarn into squiggles and abstract patterns around the shade. Paint over the yarn with spray paint, then carefully pull off the yarn.

  • Splatter the lampshade with a rainbow of bright colors. This is messy, so set the shade on a drop cloth or several pieces of newspaper. Load a small paintbrush with paint, hold it just a few inches away from the shade, then use your finger to flick the brush, sending the paint splattering onto the shade. Work your way around the shade with several different colors for a fun, retro style.

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Content copyright © 2014 by Michelle Ullman. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Michelle Ullman. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Michelle Ullman for details.

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