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How to Paint a Lamp Shade

Do you ever look around your home and see a need in the area of home decor?
I do all of the time, but before I go out buy something new, I look at what I have and think about how I can make it work.
That’s what I did with this acrylic table lamp I  bought for my daughters bedroom and later decided not to use it.
The lamp ended up in my office, but it wasn’t a good fit. I needed a lamp in my bedroom and thought this could work if only the lamp shade were another color.

I had no idea if this would work, but it did and here’s how I did it.

You’ll need a paint roller. The smaller the better. I love mini paint rollers and use them for so many projects. The reason I used the mini sponge roller is because they reduce paint brush lines. The roller gives your paint project a smoother finish.

For this project I used high quality paint I already had on hand from my guest bathroom makeover which I will share with you later. I have gone cheap on paint and regretted it.
Higher quality paint with primer will save a ton of time whether a small or large project.

To start, I grabbed this cute lamp that just didn’t have a lamp shade in a color that would work in my bedroom.

How to Paint a Lamp Shade

I have never painted fabric before that I can remember, but I thought what’s the worst that could happen?

Using my paint roller, I applied on coat of paint and let it dry in front of a fan for 15 minutes. It was really well coated, but  I applied one more coat just in case.

I let is fully dry for a few hours and put it on my nightstand table.

How to Paint a Lamp Shade

I was planning on buying a new lamp, but now I’ve saved my self some money with this easy project.

How to Paint a Lamp Shade

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28 thoughts on “How to Paint a Lamp Shade

  1. Hi! I really want to try this with a glitter paint. Do you not have to spray it with some kind of fire resistant spray, though?

    1. I didn’t spray with any heat or fire resistant spray. I’ve used this lamp since painting it (about 5 years now) and haven’t had any issues.

  2. My question is is how long have you been using this because my worry is if the heat from light bulb going to eventually start cracking? Do you know? Thanks, want to try this so badly, was going to mix in fabric medium mixed with paint.

    1. I use a latex paint and it has not cracked at all. My lampshade is fabric too so the paint adhere nicely and still looks great 5 years later. I would do this again to any lampshade I wanted to update.

  3. My lampshade has narrow pleats. Needs to be painted but would probably not work with roller. Any suggestions. Thank you!

    1. Hi Lois, if I were painting a pleated shade, I’d use a smaller tip brush. I’d start by painting in behind the pleats with light strokes of paint. After I’d paint the creases on the outer pleat. This mill take a little more time but not much. An alternative is to use spray paint. That would probably be any even easier method.

  4. Can you use acrylic paint?

  5. Hola tengo pantallas de arañas rojas y quiero pintarlas de rosa , primero tengo que pasarle una mano de blanco, porque probe en forrando con tela y cuando prendi la luz se veía lo rojo ? Puede ser sintético al agua o pintura a la tiza? Saludos …

  6. I have some Benjamin Moore high gloss white trim paint. Would that work or should I just regular latex paint?

    1. Hey Trisha,

      You can use that too. Your shade will have a shinier sheen versus flat/dull since your paint is high gloss. Give a try and let me know how you like it. If you don’t like the shine you can always repaint the shade when you have another paint.

  7. Hi Saidah,
    You did a great job. It looks really pretty!!! ???
    Did you paint the inside too, or just the outside?

    Have a blessed week. ???

  8. Really great color choice. These re-painting will save you a lot of money when it comes to re-decorating your house. An idea that students via review should follow instead of buying new lamps.

  9. I wonder if spray paint would work? Anyone ever try?

    1. Yes, I did my son's with black spray paint and it worked great.

    2. Spray paint does work but it takes s slow hand a few coats. I just tried it yesterday for the same reason. Shade just didn’t fit where I wanted with that color. Doing our own home renovation and have learned how to stop and think about different possibilities for what I already have.

  10. Thanks so much for the info. I've been wanting to do this project for quite some time, but thought it would be more of a hassle than it as worth. Sounds easy peasy. Now I have 4 shades to paint and a lot of good paint. Thanks Again, Sharon

  11. Always wondered if I could paint a lampshade!! Thanks for sharing!

  12. I tried this years ago , did use a brush but got all I got was paint overlap marks when the light was turned on. so never tried again . the roller might be the answer Overlap marks ?

  13. I have been wondering if it was possible to paint lampshades! I have 2 dingy, nasty lampshades that need makeovers. Totally going to try this. Blessings.

  14. In a million years, I never would have thought to do that. It looks great, and I agree about not cheaping out on paint.

  15. What a great idea! I never would have thought of this! I love that pink color! Terrific post!

  16. Painting a lamp is such an interesting idea. I will try doing it, next time.

  17. Frugal yet tasteful is the word i keep trying to remember. Today I have. Why spend money when you can recycle. Lovee the Pink more yet I am sure my hubby would love the new shade colour 🙂

  18. Perfect! I was wanting to do something different for my living room lampshades and I've now found it! Thanks!

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