How to Paint a Lampshade

Painting lampshades is a fun and inexpensive way to update your decor, and there are countless lampshade ideas out there that will inspire you. This technique is perfect for creating a whimsical look for a child’s room or a statement piece for a living room.

You’ll need on-hand: Watercolors
Paint brush
Paper towels
Palette
Water

Starting off with a clean lampshade is important because any dust or debris will get stuck in the paint. Pick out your first shade. If you’re going for an ombre effect, it’s best to start with the lightest shade first and build up layers from there.

In most cases, the watercolor will bleed into the surrounding fabric, especially if you use a lot of water when painting. Once you have added the lightest color around the entire shade, go back in with a second color. Use the same paper towel technique to blend the excess color into the surrounding fabric.

This painted lampshade technique is highly customizable because you can choose how many colors you want to add. The more layers you add, the more dimension the finished result will have.

Once the entire lampshade is covered with watercolor paint, go back in with some darker colors. Paint the darker shades on top of the existing paint and blend it into the lighter colors using water. This painting technique is very relaxing and easy to get lost in. After a while of painting, put the lampshade down and take a few steps back. Examine the paint and see if you are content with the result.

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