When you have a lampshade that does not match your room what are your options? Painting the shade is a wonderful possibility, but that is only the beginning, from there you can go in many different directions. We will talk about 5 different ways to create custom lampshades for any room.
The basic directions are the same for all the options we will talk about. The first step is to make sure the shade is free of dust, clean it carefully. The second is to lay the shade on a towel when working with it so that it does not slide around on the table. The third step is sealing the shade. You have the option to seal it or not, the decision is yours. If you choose to seal it you can use a high gloss or a matte finish (I like to spray it on) use the one most appropriate for your room. Sealing it helps when cleaning but you do not have to do it.
Let's get started with the easiest way first. Simply add a new base coat of paint over the entire shade. You can use any type of paint, I like using the acrylic craft paints found in your local craft store. They are wonderful because they come in many different colors. Note: be sure to purchase a couple extra bottles, often the lampshade will take more paint than first thought.
With this second option we can build on the first one and paint a new base coat of color and then draw and paint a design of your choice. Or just paint anything you would like on the shade as is. Often you can pick up the pattern in a fabric you love and recreate it on the lampshade.
The next modification is to paint a design on the inside of the shade. Always use a black or very dark color so that is stands out when the lamp is turned on. This creates a wonderful look when you turn on the lamp and very subtle image appears.
This can be a bit more challenging just because the area you are working in is much smaller, but it is very doable. You can easily use a stencil, simply use the special spray on glue (it is in your craft store) that creates a tacky surface easily removed without leaving residue on the back of your lampshade. Place the pattern on the inside of the shade and apply the paint. You can also make any kind of design by drawing and painting it on.
Another option is to cut out a design using black construction paper and adhering it to the inside of the shade same result, and easy to change when you want something new.
How about using silver leaf on the inside of the shade, it gives it a very classy look and is easy to apply. It works best on an opaque shade. Again the only challenge is the tight spaces you have to work in. Apply the adhesive following the directions and then carefully add the silver leaf. You can also use the gold or copper leaf.
This one does not require any paint but is the most fun of all. What about adding interesting objects to the shade, like a beautiful piece of jewelry especially if you have hand painted a beautiful custom design and the jewelry would act as the final touch. It adds a lot of class when done correctly; remember with this one less is more.
What about silk flowers arranged in a beautiful display on the shade, any type of decoration can be added. You can simply add an edge of ribbon or fabric to the shade and have your own custom look. These can be applied with any adhesive that dries clear, be sure and read on the label to make sure it will work on your lampshade.
As always take a before picture of your project. I love to use these methods to create custom shades. It makes me so excited to take a really ugly shade and transform it into a work of art. Have fun.