Ceramic or Glass Lamps and Paper or Fabric Shades

Photo by Mark Lund

What You'll Need

  • One can Krylon Interior-Exterior (shown in Tidepool; $5.50; or one can Krylon Fusion, $7, krylon.com for stores.
  • One quart Pratt & Lambert Accolade eggshell latex (shown in Ventana; prices vary, prattandlambert.com for stores). Or one one-ounce tube SoSoft Fabric Acrylics ($1.70, decoart.com for stores).
  • One two-inch-wide roll Scotch Safe-Release Painters’ Masking Tape for Very Delicate Surfaces ($13.50 at hardware stores).
  • Soft-bristle brush (about $1 at hardware stores).

How to Do It

Step 1: Protect the cord and the lightbulb socket first by covering them with painter’s tape, then spray-paint the base. For a glazed ceramic or glass base, use Krylon Fusion, the only spray paint out there that adheres to slick surfaces problem-free. For a matte ceramic base, regular spray paint, such as Krylon Interior-Exterior, will do a fine job.

Step 2: To make over a shade as shown here, measure in one inch from the top of the shade and place the end of a roll of painter’s tape below that line; continue measuring and taping around the entire circumference, leaving a one-inch border above the tape. Repeat the process on the bottom of the shade. Two caveats about painting shades: Paint will block light, so limit it to small details. And because latex paint is water-based, expect a slight amount of crinkling where you paint a paper shade (fabric shades will be fine).

Step 3: Use a soft-bristle brush to fill in the borders with an even coat of paint (latex on paper, acrylic fabric paint on fabric). Let dry completely before removing the tape.