Painting lampshades

We have this brass chandelier in our dining room that came with the house. I don’t love it, but anything I really like is not exactly in the budget. A few years ago I bought some cheap Ikea lampshades for it, but there wasn’t any color selection, and they have yellowed and just look dingy.

I looked around for new shades, but for six plain black chandelier shades, that could be nearly $100. If I’m going to spend that much, I’ll put it toward a new fixture. Then I saw this tutorial for painting a lampshade. It’s taken me a couple months, but I finally gave it a try. What did I have to lose?


I used the same exterior semi-gloss paint & primer that I used on the front door. I started out with a little artist’s brush, but it took forever to paint a single shade, and it seemed a little streaky. I looked at the row of five more shades lined up on the table, and I switched to my trusty two-inch paintbrush. MUCH faster. It took two coats of paint, and I did use the small brush to paint the rolled hem.

My kids accuse me of painting everything black. They exaggerate, but black seems to give everything a little more weight, a little more style. The new black shades will give the brass chandelier a reprieve until we find a fixture we love at a price we’re willing to pay. It could be years…