Asked on Aug 07, 2015

I really messed up a lamp shade with cream color chalk paint!

Mary Jayne Ewen
by Mary Jayne Ewen
And it looks AWFUL! When the light is on, it looks like terrible, awful, ugly, smelly NICOTINE stains!!!!! Do I have to buy a new shade, or can I fix this one up?!? The photo doesn't show how BAD the painted shade looks! I painted it, because the original was just too white for the base, so thought creamy chalk would do the trick. I WAS WRONG!!! Please? Any ideas??!! Thank you so much!
  26 answers
  • Emi Harr Emi Harr on Aug 09, 2015
    I think your only option with this is to paint it 4 or 5 more times, until you get a completely thick and opaque finish, so that absolutely no light can shine through. Or cover it with fabric.
    • See 1 previous
    • Emi Harr Emi Harr on Aug 09, 2015
      @Mary Jayne Ewen No, I wouldn't paint the inside, but I would paint it several more times on the outside, until you can't see through it when you turn on the light.
  • Jacalyn Jacalyn on Aug 09, 2015
    You might want to bite the bullet and buy a new shade. If you are actually using the lamp for lighting (and not just as a decorative piece), you will lose the functionality of it by applying too many coats of paint. My two cents, for what it's worth. Good luck!
  • MaryJean Modica Sullivan MaryJean Modica Sullivan on Aug 09, 2015
    Maybe you should use fabric paint. But nothing will get rid of the smoke smell. Check your thrift store for shades.
  • Susan Susan on Aug 09, 2015
    I have had good luck using a spray paint on lamp shades. It usually takes a few coats. You can test them by turning on the light to see where you may need to apply more paint. Also, consider what the shade is made of. In the future you can use Febreeze to remove a smokey smell.
  • Reggie Reggie on Aug 09, 2015
    I have stripped off the old shade fabric and recovered with new fabric. I used lightweight fabric that light would go through. You might consider doing that. It was much cheaper than a new shade.
  • Alicia fig Alicia fig on Aug 09, 2015
    Remove the fabric. Buy new fabric (use an old sweater even), heavy duty glue, little bit of edging and better than before.
  • Mary Jayne Ewen Mary Jayne Ewen on Aug 09, 2015
    Thanks so much, Reggie! I'll try that! In fact, I have a friend who used to make custom lampshades on Etsy! Great idea!!!!
  • Mary Jayne Ewen Mary Jayne Ewen on Aug 09, 2015
    Very good idea, Susan! THANK YOU so much :)
  • Mary Jayne Ewen Mary Jayne Ewen on Aug 09, 2015
    Thank you! I must's NOT nicotine stained! It just LOOKS like it's nicotine stained! Thank you again for your suggestion!
  • Tammy Tammy on Aug 09, 2015
    I would take another color of paint and use it watered down and give it a antique look with diff variety of thickness
  • Cherryl Dillon Cherryl Dillon on Aug 09, 2015
    Next time, if you have a white shade, use coffee or tea to stain. Works great!
  • Mary Jayne Ewen Mary Jayne Ewen on Aug 09, 2015
    That's an EXCELLENT idea to try, Tammy! Thanks so much :)
  • Mary Jayne Ewen Mary Jayne Ewen on Aug 09, 2015
    OMGosh! I'd forgotten the coffee / tea staining! Thank you for that :)
  • Mary Mary on Aug 09, 2015
    I crocheted lamp shades and they are nicer than the orginal ones all I did was take a scarf pattern and put it around it and gathered it before putting it over it looks very rich
  • Mary Jayne Ewen Mary Jayne Ewen on Aug 09, 2015
    Thank you for your suggestion! I don't crochet, but I'll bet yours looks absolutely beautiful! Would love to see a photo!
  • Duv310660 Duv310660 on Aug 09, 2015
    Well, if you are about to write off the shade anyway, you could take it outside with some soapy water and a soft paint brush... work from the top down, always brushing down & off to keep saturation to a minimum. Watch for areas that may be glued, and minimize the washing. Or if you could settle for an opaque shade, you could spray paint the inside a light and/or a reflective opaque colour, and the outside a complementary colour
  • Sherry Sherry on Aug 10, 2015
    Just get a new lamp shade.
  • Jea2012325 Jea2012325 on Aug 10, 2015
    Have you thought about wrapping & gluing fabric and string around it. That can certainly make it look fabulous if you choose the right fabric / ribbon.
  • Mary Jayne Ewen Mary Jayne Ewen on Aug 10, 2015
    Another great idea! I'm so glad I asked! Thank you so much :)
  • Mary Jayne Ewen Mary Jayne Ewen on Aug 10, 2015
    LOVE this idea, and think this is the one I'll try! If all else fails, I'll simply buy a new shade! Thank you (and everyone!) who sent in solutions! Have a blessed day :)
  • Sheree Acosta Sheree Acosta on Aug 10, 2015
    I also painted my lamp shade with purple chalk paint and was loving it until I turned on the light. Ugh! What a disappointment. But I continued adding layers of paint until the shade was completely opaque. Now I just love the results!!
    comment photo
  • Irene Irene on Aug 10, 2015
    I agree. I would just put a few more coats on until it is completely opaque. By the way, Sheree, love that purple.
  • Jackie Elioff Jackie Elioff on Aug 12, 2015
    Maybe using a spray fabric adhesive and laying lace over it.
    • Mary Jayne Ewen Mary Jayne Ewen on Aug 13, 2015
      @Jackie Elioff That's the best suggestion yet! OR, I could use spray paint, and paint the impression of the lace on it??!!!! THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!
  • Bonny Batchelor Bonny Batchelor on May 31, 2018

    You can always spray paint the lamp shade. It gives better coverage. Rustoleum has a beautiful spring/summer line in. $6.00 is worth me not having to repaint, drying time, repaint with Chalk and “hope“ it works.

    Good Luck!

  • Because it smells, I would remove the old fabric and recover it with new.