DIY How-to: Fabric Lampshade Makeover

Take an ordinary lamp shade and make it extraordinary with stencils, tape and Metallic Paint! Debbie Hayes of My Patch of Blue Sky shares her ‘bright’ idea on how-to dress up any plain-jane lamp with her DIY Fabric Lampshade Makeover.
Supplies Needed
  • One new or gently-used lamp base and clean shade, plus an inspiration photo.
  • Satin Metallic Paint in Oyster, Smoke, Teal, and Rich Gold
  • Matte Metallic Paint in Champagne
  • Margarita Lace Furniture Stencil by Royal Design Studio

Primer, 2 widths of narrow painter’s tape (about 1/2″ and 1/8″), paint brushes, stencil brushes, pencil, ruler, and paper towels. We used the cardboard insert that came with the lamp and shade to prop the shade on while painting.

After applying two coats of Oyster Metallic Paint on the lampshade as a base color, let it dry completely overnight.
Next, measure and apply the tape in a random striped pattern on the top part of the shade. It is shown here turned upside down for better stability while stenciling.
Before you begin, hold the pattern of your chosen stencil over the depth of the shade to design the look you are going for. Debbie decided to use two repeats of the floral design and added the center stripe below it. Put the stencil aside, then measure around the shade to mark the area for the 1/2″ tape and apply it. Then, add random stripes with the 1/8″ tape and burnish well.

Use a stencil brush to paint in 1-2 coats of Champagne Matte Metallic. This will give a nice contrast between the other Metallic Paints, which have a satin sheen. Let dry for several hours or overnight. Remove the 1/8″ tape areas. Our lampshade had a slight texture, which created a soft, watercolor-looking effect that we love.
Tape the stencil in place, taking into account the seam on the shade. Use a stencil brush to paint in areas of Teal Metallic Paint. Let dry. Use a clean stencil brush to paint in areas of Rich Gold Metallic Paint. Remove the stencil. Let dry.
On either side of the center stripe, which is still in place, add another row of ½” tape at the top and bottom. Burnish well, then remove the center tape. Use a small brush or stencil brush to add 1 or 2 coats of Smoke Metallic Paint. Let dry several hours. Remove the tape.

Add a bulb, assemble your lamp and enjoy your new creation. When you turn it on for the first time, you will be amazed at the different glow it will exude versus the look you get unlighted! You can customize this DIY to create a style that’s right for you, whether it be vintage, traditional, bohemian, or more modern and contemporary. We hope you enjoy!
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Frequently asked questions

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  1 question
  • Sherrie Sherrie on Feb 28, 2017
    So you actually hand painted the shade with stencil brushes and paint from a jar? I tried spray paint, and was not happy with the results.

Comments

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  • Linda Abate Linda Abate on Jan 06, 2018
    A neat way to bring new life to a tired lamp shade. With the many pretty craft papers available and craft tape, this would be a fun project to try. Thanks for sharing.

  • Kathy Kathy on Nov 17, 2021

    Beautiful

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