How to paint a burlap lamp shade?

Cathy Mesimer
by Cathy Mesimer

I have a burlap lamp shade that goes on a pelican lamp and want to add some color to it. I want to do it in blue and paint the finial white. Any suggestions?

  13 answers
  • Morgan McBride Morgan McBride on Mar 13, 2019

    It's easy to hot glue ribbon onto the existing shade. That's an easy way to add stripes!

  • Cathy Mesimer Cathy Mesimer on Mar 13, 2019

    Thanks that’s a great idea but I just have my heart set to paint it! I was thinking about just a light spray and still have some of the burlap show through. A distressed lamp shade!

  • William William on Mar 13, 2019

    Fabric paint or spray paint.

  • Clergylady Clergylady on Mar 14, 2019

    Look for a spray paint to match a blue in your room. Spray the lamp shade as much or as little as you like. Then lightly sand on edges if you like the look of distress or lightly rub with dark wax that is sold to use on chalk paint to look old and give definition to the shade.

    My personal choice would be use painters tape to keep 2 or 3 stripes of un painted burlap and spray the shade in a blue to match something large in the room. Is the sofa blue. Match it as close as you can. When you pull off the tape after painting you'll have lovely burlap stripes. I'd place the tape on the shade against the bound edges of the lamp so the edges get painted. Decide if you want another stripe around the middle or even make the middle stripe wider with a double width or triple width of tape. The placed covered by tape will remain untouched burlap.

    My husband suggested painting the bound edges blue then stencil sea shells, starfish, or anchors in a random pattern and retain the burlap as your background. If your theme in the room fits seaside items, I like his idea.

  • Christine Woods Christine Woods on Jun 06, 2021

    I did it this weekend and it turned out great! I painted the inside white and the outside a sea foam. It’s rustic and beautiful I hated the old shade (plain burlap) pulling so much warm yellow into my room. This really helped.

    comment photo
  • Vimarhonor Vimarhonor on Jun 06, 2021

    Hello rustoleum makes a fabric spray paint. You might look over reviews and consider using that.

  • Spray paint it in the color you want.

  • Annie Annie on Dec 12, 2023

    This video should help:

  • Janice Janice on Dec 12, 2023

    Depending on how dark of a blue you want the shade to be there would be a couple of options. If you want a light blue, I'd suggest you prime the shade with a white paint first, then paint the blue. If you're thinking of a navy blue, just paint the shade blue. In either case, you can either spray or use one of those sponge paint applicators. Most any of the bottles of acrylic craft paint will work just fine.

  • Betsy Betsy on Dec 12, 2023

    Hi Cathy: You can just use spray paint. Use light coats and keep moving to avoid drips. Fabric spray is another option. You can get it at most hobby shops or even JoAnn or Michaels. Be sure to paint both outside and inside.

  • I'd try some thinned out fabric paint, see if that does the trick. Burlap will take paint in a slightly funny way, in that it might have a fuzzy, crusted after appearance. You could also try fabric dye.