Asked on May 31, 2020

How to best change color of white lampshade?

Becky at Flipping the FlipFrugalFamilyTimes.comGk


I have a lamp made from hammered silver looking base with your standard white fabric shade. The white sticks out like a sore thumb against soft taupe walls and carpet. I thought about wrapping the entire shade with fabric ribbon, but looking for input from those with more experience doing crafty things than I have. Please advise. I can't afford the grey silk shade that I love

5 answers
  • Mogie
    on May 31, 2020

    Tea staining gives cloth and paper a gently aged patina without spending a fortune or taking much time. It also changes the look of a lampshade without introducing harsh chemicals into your home. This method does not work on every kind of cloth or paper, so start with a lampshade made of cotton, linen, or paper that’s sturdy enough to handle a bit of liquid.

    Bring 4 or so cups of water to a boil. You are going to reduce this liquid, so start with more than you think you need. If you want to start with more than 4 cups, add another tea bag for each additional cup of water.

    Put 4 tea bags into the boiling water and give them a stir. Black tea works best for an antique golden look.

    Let the tea steep for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the tea bags and discard them.

    Bring the tea to a low simmer and let it cook down for 20 to 30 minutes. Let it cool for at least 30 minutes.

    Place a drop cloth over your work surface to catch drips and spills.

    Set your lampshade on a bottle or vase to keep it upright without having to rest it on the table. This also allows you to turn the lampshade without touching it.

    Dip your sponge brush into the reduced tea and blot the excess off on the edge of the pot. Paint the lampshade in even vertical strips.

    Even out the places where the brush strokes overlap with a clean, dry shop cloth or old white T-shirt if necessary. A clean, dry staining sponge also works for this.

    Let the tea stain dry completely before deciding if you need a second coat, because it dries darker than when it goes on.

  • Diane Doran-Watkins
    on Jun 1, 2020

    This sounds very familiar to me! I have painted (both spray and craft paint) and the came out ok. I was going to make a fabric one, using elastic or ribbon on top and bottom...but my seamstress skills are not quite as strong as others and I couldn’t wrap my head around the shape necessary to make it. You can look online for places that sell the fabric already made.

    i have found lamps and shades at Goodwill and thrift stores for cheap. You could buy a cheapie, paint or? As a test.

    good luck

  • Gk
    on Jun 1, 2020

    You might be able to purchase a fabric paint in the color you like. Fabric paint will soak into the material and bind with the fabric. You can find it at any large craft store or fabric store.

    on Jun 1, 2020

    Your ribbon idea should work! Find a grey satin and wrap it and you’ll get a look similar to what you described.

  • I’d suggest a fabric paint. See if it can be thinned but also be careful with too much liquid as the fabric could wilt or if there’s paper inside, damage that.

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