Bringing New Light: DIY Painted Lamp Shade

DIY Painted Lamp Shade

Repurposing home décor items can sometimes be as easy as changing a piece of something you already own.  My master bedroom has a pair of lamps that are calling for a fresh new look.  These lamps have graced my bedside tables for years and I see no reason why they can’t for many years to come.

Lamp shades are always plentiful at Goodwill of Orange County at great prices, so I started my shopping there.  I love pattern and that was my inspiration for this lamp redo project.  By painting a pattern of my choice on the shades, it will be like having brand new lamps at a fraction of the cost.

After finding some off white fabric round shades at Goodwill that would fit the size of my existing lamps, I drew a sketch of a Greek key motif that I wanted to incorporate into the space on the shade.  I want to have a tone on tone look so I chose a tan paint to blend nicely with the shade color.  I also want the pattern to have a water color effect and look hand made.

DIY Painted Lamp Shade Sketch


Fabric Lamp Shade – from Goodwill

Acrylic Tan Paint


Paint Brush

DIY Painted Lamp Shade Supplies

I first soaked my brush in the water and started bringing it over to the tan paint that I had poured in a paper plate palette.

Step 1 for the DIY Painted Lamp Shade: Soak the brush with water

Thinning out the acrylic paint into a water color to a light tan, I am ready to apply brush to shade.

Step 2 for a DIY Painted Lamp Shade: Thin out the paint with water

Starting at the back of the shade, I painted my motif as I continued to add water to the paint.

Step 3 for a DIY Painted Lamp Shade: Paint your pattern starting at the back seam

As I continued, I looked back at the rows I did before and found I got just the watercolor effect I was going for.  I love the irregularity of the color and lines.  I continued painting all the way around the shade until I met the beginning point at the back seam.

DIY Painted Lamp Shade

Here is what the lamp looked like before:


And now, here is the “new” lamp in place.  As part of the refresh, I gave the lamp a coat of off white paint.  It now pops out from the dark trunk that is my bedside table.


DIY Painted Lamp Shade

DIY Painted Lamp Shade

DIY Painted Lamp Shade

#FindTheGood.  Think of Goodwill for your next repurposing project.  Shopping at Goodwill is a triple win: You get big savings, you help the environment by repurposing goods, and you support job creation for your local community.  To learn more about Goodwill of Orange County visit


Interior Designer at Janeane Pittman Interior Design


  1. Another great post. Did you paint the stencil on the wall as well?

    1. Again, thank you for the praise Rebecca. I did the wall with a pattern I made myself and then hand painted it.


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