Can I spray paint cellular window shades?

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I have expensive custom cellular shades, from Smith & Noble, that feel sort of papery, but I think are some sort of polyester product, in a bland oatmeal color that doesn't work with my new color scheme. I am hoping to paint them pale gray, but can't afford to replace them if it ruins them. Any advice?
  18 answers
  • Donna Donna on Oct 25, 2014
    There is a fabric paint called Simply Paint that should work on your shades as long as you go darker. I've seen it at Hobby Lobby.

  • Joan Bragoni Joan Bragoni on Oct 25, 2014
    Hi Lyn, I would love to find out how this went if you decide to try this. I've never seen anyone change the color of their shades before but I've run into this problem myself in the past. Please keep us updated!

  • Creativeme Creativeme on Oct 25, 2014
    Simply paint is also my go to for painting fabrics, dried flora ect. It is water proof and easy to work with. Have seen it at Michaels too. Have often wondered if it is a watered down box dye though. Can you find some used ones (free) to try. Habitat here has a bunch of new ones for around 10.

    • Lyn Lyn on Oct 25, 2014
      Thanks. Good idea to find cheap ones for a trial run. Is it spray paint, by the way?

  • Sally Riley Sally Riley on Oct 25, 2014
    order a free sample from Smith and Noble to try it out

  • Blindsgalore Blindsgalore on Oct 28, 2014
    Let us know how this project turns out! We are interested to know whether or not cellular shades can be redone for a fun DIY project!

    • See 1 previous
    • Blindsgalore Blindsgalore on Oct 29, 2014
      @Lyn We would be more than happy to send you some cellular shade samples. Follow us back on Hometalk so you can send us a private message with your name, address, and what color your current cellular shades are so we can match them to our best ability.

  • Shanna C Shanna C on Oct 28, 2014
    Yes, please keep us updated! I have the same problem.

  • Jan robinson Jan robinson on Jun 24, 2015
    How to paint cellular window shades

  • Sheri N Sheri N on Jan 04, 2016
    Let me know how your cellular shades work out painted. I've got the same problem.

  • Linda kelley Linda kelley on Jan 04, 2016
    Yes iu would like to know also, if not paint...how to clean them properly

  • Lon28681820 Lon28681820 on Aug 02, 2017
    It looks like many of us have the same question, but it's been more than a year and no answer? Has anyone tried this yet?

  • Diane Gwaltney Diane Gwaltney on Feb 24, 2018
    I just found this topic so I will tell you my experience. I had bought 16 custom cellular shades for my living room last year. I decided that I wanted to change to darker shades but did not want to spend the money to buy all new shades so I spent some time researching if there was a fabric spray that would work. I found simply spray in saddle brown and ordered 12 cans to make sure I had enough. We had to spray both front and back but the results are amazing and we couldn't be more pleased. We taped off the top and bottom of the shades and sprayed and then used a 1" paint brush to smooth and make sure all areas were covered. I am attaching pictures of before and after. A great product to use on shades from our experience!

    • See 3 previous
    • Vittoria Vittoria on Jul 23, 2018
      I am interested in changing light filtering to room darkening (or at least removing glare on tv and computer screen). Have you tried it?

  • David David on Jan 29, 2019

    I do professional cabinet finishing as part of my woodworking business and ran across this thread last week when I had the same problem. I wanted to darken my light filtering blinds so they would block more light. I utilized some blonde shellac from a home center and dissolved some TransTint black dye in it after thinning it to a sprayable viscosity with denatured alcohol. I used an HVLP gun but any cup gun would probably work - an airless sprayer would be too powerful. The nice thing about shellac is that its notorious for bonding to just about anything and its base being alcohol, I figured it would be less likely to dissolve the blinds like lacquer thinner might. I only sprayed the back side of the blind but so far it's been a total success (and the shades haven't fallen apart!)

  • Rhonda MacNeil Rhonda MacNeil on May 04, 2019

    Check if you have warranty for these blinds. Altering a blind can void your warranty. Also, the cellulars have glue lines holding them together, certain things will cause the glue lines to come undone and the shade will be wrecked. If you plan on cleaning the shades at some point, that can have issues too.

  • Sheri Henderson Sheri Henderson on Jan 26, 2020

    I found this sprayer so I can use my own paint color. I’ll let you know how it goes... will take before and after photos.

  • Annie Annie on Jul 30, 2020

    I have just used Designer Accents Fabric Paint to paint 5 cellular blinds in our new bedroom. The blinds are single cell and an off-white color. I have included a photo of a blind before it was painted. My goal was to make our bedroom dark for sleeping.


    I taped off the metal top and bottom parts with painter's tape and painted the blinds on a plastic sheet on my front porch. I used cinder blocks to hold the top and bottom down because the blinds have a mechanism that contracts them automatically.


    One can of the paint on this website: https://www.fabricspraydye.com/ was about $27 with shipping. I decided to test it out on one blind before committing to buying a lot of paint. I had tested the blinds with water before I bought the paint. Water does bead up initially on them, but it then absorbs in. The paint was easily absorbed by the blinds-- so this is not a problem. And I know that they are made of some kind of synthetic-- they are definitely not cotton. (The paint says it doesn't work well on synthetics.)


    At first I thought I would see if I could paint just the backs of the blinds and keep the fronts off white, but this was impossible. I don't see how you could tape off the sides, and the paint bleeds through occasionally to the back.


    So for this first blind, I painted the back side first. I gave it about 3 coats to make it a somewhat solid gray. This only left me enough paint to give a less than solid cover to the front, but with the back being painted well, it was good enough.


    I had 5 blinds to do, so after this I decided to buy a 3-pack of paint and cover only the front of the remaining 4 blinds. In the end I had barely enough paint. If I were to do it again, I would buy the 6-pack for $90+ shipping, which would have been enough to fully cover the front sides of each blind. I would say you need a can and half to fully cover one blind back and front.


    Here are my main take aways and tips:



    1. The paint is very expensive if you're buying a single can. If you think you're most likely going to use it, you should buy more than you think you need. I'm pretty sure they let you return unused paint if it doesn't work out.
    2. It takes a LOT of paint to get good coverage. One can isn't enough to fully cover a blind front and back. It IS enough to cover the front of one blind fully.
    3. I painted 3 blinds flat on the floor. This works well because the blinds can be stretched out flat, but it's not ideal because the spray paint works best if you're holding the can upright. I think a good amount of paint was wasted doing the edges of the blinds-- because much of it went on to the plastic sheet underneath it.
    4. I painted two blinds by draping them over a clothes drying rack. This helped a little because I could hold the can upright, but it slightly damaged the sections of the blind that were on top of the rack-- it created creases in the material. I decided it was better to do them laying flat.
    5. When there is only a little paint left in the can, you may be better off spraying it into a plastic cup and then using a paint brush to paint the blinds in sections that need it. I did this with the last can. There was a surprising amount of paint that came out. It was very time consuming to paint the blinds by hand, but it was a better use of the paint-- especially if you have small targeted areas that need more paint.
    6. If you can, use a can up all in one day. When I let a can sit for a day or two between coats, it stopped spraying finely and evenly-- the paint came out in larger drops that made splotches on the blind.
    7. The blinds are a heavier now due to the paint so they are slightly harder to lift up-- but they still go up fine. This is not at all a deal breaker.
    8. The room darkening was a success. It's pitch black at night, and in the morning, it's like a dark, rainy day in the room-- or maybe even a little darker than that.
    9. Overall, I'd say you need a LOT of paint. A lot is wasted in the spraying process.


    I am attaching photos. The color is charcoal gray. I really like the shade-- it's a blue-ish gray, like Payne's gray. It looks lovely in the evening when the blinds are down. During the day, it doesn't look as good. You can see the unevenness of the coverage. A good part of this is due to the blinds themselves. There is unevenness even in the off-white ones, but you don't notice it so much. I don't mind because I don't have them down during the day.


    PHOTOS

    The bottom right photo shows the first blind I did (fully coverage of the back and partial coverage of the front) in lower light. But even the ones that had only the front side done look good at night.


    The bottom left photo with two windows shows the one with both sides on the right and one with just the front side painted on the left. Ideally it would be better to do both sides, but as I mentioned, in the dark even a single side looks good.


  • Karmela Filonowich Karmela Filonowich on Sep 25, 2021

    i ordered the wrong color of shades. They looked horrible, so we thought we would paint them. They came out awesome. We used tricolor fabric paint from Hobby Lobby. 14.99 a can. The shades were originally brown we painted the grey. I have attached some pics. IM me for questions

  • Lyn Lyn on Sep 25, 2021

    Thank you!

  • Kris Kris on Oct 04, 2021

    Hi Karmela, The blinds look awesome! I just thought about doing this and started searching online today and came across this website. We just remodeled our entire home!! So I am trying to save on window treatments. I have a few questions:

    1. Did you paint the metal part of the frame. I know you taped it from the cellular fabric but how did you paint the metal part?
    2. Did it at all crack?
    3. Can I got from cream to white?
    4. How has it lasted so far?
    5. When you have the blinds closed does it look spotty when light comes through?

    BUT, I would love your opinion. We have a great room with high ceilings and beams we painted dark brown, black. I am ordered linen curtains for the windows so these cellular shades will go underneath the curtains (of course:)). Our walls are a light, warm color gray. If you are looking for a gray to paint a room, Classic Gray from Sherwin Williams is PERFECTION! It is a light gray but with a warm feel. We loved it so much in a great room we told the painter to do the entire first floor. Okay back to blinds. The curtains I am going to order will be a very light color. So do you think white blinds would be to much white? If ye, what color foro the blinds would you recommend? We just purchased a new couch in medium grey. Our trim work in the home is all white.


    We will be eventually getting bamboo blinds but wanted to save up for that. Thank you for your help:)


    Kris