Help me paint some boring lightshades. Please?
March 6, 2011 11:05 AM   Subscribe

What sort of paint should I use to decorate white fabric pendant lightshades?

I just moved into a new place. The hall lights all have cylindrical white pendant shades; fabric backed onto some sort of plastic. I was going to replace these with something more interesting, but it seems they're strung onto the cord above the light fitting, rather than screwed into the fitting in the normal way. So I'm guessing these things won't come off, and the only way of making them more interesting is to paint them, (probably just something basic like black baroque scrollwork.)

Does anyone know what sort of paint would be best for this? I'd like to paint the outside (fabric side) of each shade, and I'd like the paint to keep looking good, ideally for years. Anything that will crack with repeated heating and cooling, or fade with long-term exposure to light, is out. Fabric paint? What do you guys think?

Also, if I decorate them with cut paper instead, is there a recommended type of glue that won't eventually go brittle?
posted by Pallas Athena to Home & Garden (2 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I used sharpie markers on my fabric lampshades. I'm a doodler.
posted by vitabellosi at 11:08 AM on March 6, 2011

Best answer: a neat way to give them a pattern would be to wrap them with lace and give them a really light coating with spray paint. when you remove the lace you'll have a lovely lace pattern on the shades.

I think that the type of paint you use will be less important than the way the paint is applied - for the best effect, you want it to be as light and thin as possible. A thick layer of paint will end up looking black once the light is on no matter what colour it is - thick paint is also more likely to get brittle and crack over time.

The sharpie markers suggestion is a good one, or you could use thinned-down acrylic paint, applied with a brush that isn't soppy wet - too much liquid will soak into the fabric and run all over the place.

you could also just get some interesting thin fabric and cover the shades with it. Then you haven't altered the original shades, and you can change the fabric when you feel like redecorating
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 3:32 PM on March 6, 2011

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