Can you spray paint a lamp shade? Below we’ll answer these questions and share how safe it is, the best type of paint to use, DIY steps, and how to transform different materials.
If you want to refresh the style of an existing lamp shade, you could do it with many techniques. The ideal process will be determined by the original shade’s material and color and also the new shade’s intended appearance.
Using spray paint is a great technique for changing the color of a lamp shade. However, many homeowners wonder what is needed and it is possible to customize their lamp shade. The answer may vary as it will depend mostly on the type of material you will be painting.
In this article, we will talk about how you can DIY upcycle an old lamp shade, and how you can change different types safely.
Quick look – spray painting a lamp shade:
||Works best on fabric, metal, glass & plastic.|
|Preparation||Scrub with soap and water to remove dust and grease.|
|Paint Type||Select paint that works for the shade’s material.|
|Primer Use||If painting a light color over a darker hue.|
|Application Technique||Apply multiple light coats, from 6-8 inches away, in a steady motion.|
|Ventilation||Apply outdoors or where you have plenty of airflow.|
|Drying Time||Allow to dry in between coats – Per the manufacturer’s instructions.|
|Testing||Try it out on a small area first if possible.|
|Safety||Wear a respirator mask for protection from fumes, avoid skin contact.|
Can You Spray Paint Cloth Lamp Shades?
You can transform cloth-based lamp shades using fabric spray paint. Fabric paints are designed to be used on cloth and can withstand abrasion from dusters and heat released by a hot bulb.
Fabric paints are available in compact spray bottles at art supplies and craft stores and can be applied thickly or thinly, depending on your preference. Apply over a solid color cloth shade with a darker color for optimal effects.
Type to use: Brands like Tulip and Simply Spray provide fabric options that work well for this.
Spray Painting Bamboo Shades
A bamboo lamp shade can be spray painted with either matte or glossy finish. To provide complete coverage, two coats are recommended.
After the first coat has dried, just set the lamp on its base. Afterwards, switch on the light. Ensure that the second coat covers them completely, and check for any areas where light shows through.
However, if the bamboo surface has a matte finish, you can coat it with a glossy finish. If the surface is already glossy, cover it with a matte finish.
Spray Painting Metal Shades
Water-based or latex-based spray paints are often the most recommended for metal types of lamp shades as they can be quite easy to clean.
Furthermore, they can dry very quickly, they have no strong odor, and, above all, they are non-flammable.
Type to use: Rust-Oleum Universal Metallic Spray Paint or Krylon Dual Superbond Paint + Primer
Spraying Paint on Glass Shades
Acrylic spray paint is the best spray paint for your glass lamp shade. However, not every acrylic productwill work with your glass lamp shade.
That is why you should opt for acrylic spray paint products designed to work specifically with glass.
Type to use: Krylon Stained Glass Paint
If you want to create a semi-transparent frosted effect on them, use Rust-Oleum Frosted Glass Spray.
Recommended Paint Types to Use for Lamps
Here is a list detailing popular products you can use to apply to different materials:
|Lamp Shade Material||Popular Types of Spray Paint to Use
|Fabric||Fabric Specific (e.g., Tulip, Simply Spray)|
|Metal||Rust-Oleum Universal Metallic, or Krylon Dual Superbond with Primer|
|Glass||Krylon Stained Glass-Paint, or Rust-Oleum Frosted Glass Spray|
|Plastic||Krylon Fusion All-In-One, or Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch 2X Ultra Cover|
|Paper||Montana Gold Acrylic Pro, or Design Master Colortool|
|Wicker & Rattan||Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch 2X Ultra Cover, or Krylon COLORmaxx with Primer|
Is It Safe To Spray Paint A Shade?
Spray paint could be used on almost any piece of fabric. Moreover, it can be safely used to cover existing designs and lighten or darken the shade of a lamp.
You just have to cover the metal fittings that you don’t want to be painted using painter’s tape. Should you desire to keep the shade’s original color, you’ll need to cover the inner surface as well.
Shake the bottle and apply a thin layer to the shade with uniform motions. Be very careful not to miss some parts.
Allow it to dry completely on a sheet of paper or newspaper. You can do this process as often as necessary until you reach your preferred color.
What Kind Of Spray Paint To Use?
The most suitable type of spray paint you can use on all lamp shade sizes is acrylic spray paint. This kind of spray paint will make your lampshade appear the most substantial.
Fabric paints are comparable to acrylic paints but are meant to soak into fabric readily, so they’ll have a less solid appearance.
How Do You Spray Paint a Lamp Shade?
• Remove the shade from the lamp first. A single screw at the top secures conventional lamp shades to the lamp. Wipe any dust, dirt, or debris from the lampshade once it has been removed.
• You’ll need a plastic bag and some tape to conceal the main portions of the lampshade.
Cover the top, any metal pieces, and all the surfaces that you don’t want to get painted. Plastic bags are far less expensive to use than tape.
• Masking or painter’s tape should be used to keep the bags in position. If you’re painting a specific design, you may use painter’s tape to create an accent effect on the surface.
• Cover the area you’ll be painting with the lampshade once it’s ready. If you’re painting on a table or floor, use old newspapers to cover it.
At least 2-3 coats are recommended to ensure that no paint leaks through.
• Make sure the location you’ll be painting is well-ventilated. Working outside, if possible, is the best option. If this isn’t an option, open the windows and switch on a blower to keep the air circulating.
• When using spray paint, you’ll need a good 12 to 18 inches of coating on both sides. Remove or conceal anything near your working surface that you don’t want to be affected.
If you’re painting in most types of garages, try to coat the middle, away from any walls or anything you don’t want to be painted upon.
• Apply a consistent coat to the lampshade. Apply the coating 6 inches away from the surface and move it around in a dynamic motion.
Spray until a single, even layer is applied. Always work in the same direction, such as right to left or up to down to maintain everything uniform.
Spraying on paints, rather than a foam or bristle brush, works effectively for lamp shades, particularly when applying the base layer.
• The first layer will take about an hour or two to dry completely. When it’s dry, replace the lampshade on the lamp and switch on the light to see whether the layer is uniform.
Remove the lamp shade if any thin parts are visible and apply another coat, highlighting the thin parts. If the coating is even and you like how it appears, connect it to the light and you’re finished.
You may see it on the manufacturer’s instructions located at the back of the spray bottle. See more related content in our article about how to get paint off glass on this page.