Saturday, March 23, 2013

Spray Painting Black Fabric Lampshades (no fabric medium)

I’ve been a bit MIA these past couple weeks, but I was working hard behind the scenes and have an exciting project to share. Revolutionary? No. Awesome? Yes. While a ton of bloggers have spray painted lamps and shades before, they were all shades in good condition not grungy linty fabric ones like mine. I had low hopes for this project to turn out well for so many reasons, but in the end I was extremely thrilled with the result.

The shade was fabric, textured with ribbon all over and in black. Black and red are the hardest dark colors to cover up with a white color. If you don’t use top of the line quality paints, the dark color will seep through. I was praying hard that the Krylon H20 would (as always) stand up to the test. It did! I also risked not using fabric medium which is used when painting fabrics (pillows, chairs, couches, rugs) in order to prevent the fabric from hardening and paint from crackling over time.

I figured since lampshades are not handled too much, and not used in the same way as the previous items it would hold out. Worst case scenario I would simply recover the shades with a different fabric and would still have two really cool updated lamps. With the pros outweighing the cons, it was upward and onward from here!!

I started off by taping off the socket at the top of the lamp, and bagging up the cord. A super cool idea I learned from here. I gave the lamp two coats of primer. Better be safe than sorry that your bright lamp turned out dingy from the dark coming through. Then I started off with the evil Ace brand spray in white. I don’t know what it is about this color or brand, but it never fails to disappoint me. The can says “gloss” and when I start, the paint sure enough is glossy, however once I get about half way through, the paint becomes textured and leaves a sandy finish all over! No matter if I clean the nozzle or shake the can, every time, every project this happens. Paint turns from glossy to matte. SO WEIRD.  I never had this problem with Krylon.

After I spray painted the body I noticed some holes/defects in the pole. Very small in this pic, but super annoying in person. I filled them in with white paint and...
...Voila! Disappeared. A tip to consider when buying used lamps, the darker the lamp the less the imperfections will show and the higher chance they will appear if you paint a lighter color. 
If you look carefully you will notice the left lamp glossy and the right one is dull. 

I decided to sand down the “matte” finish as best I could and give another coat of Krylon white. In total each lamp got two coats primer, two coats white, but the lamp that had a dull finish, I gave it a single coat of laquer to match the sheen with the other glossy lamp.

The shades took more elbow grease. Here are the steps I took in order:

  1. Recommended: tape off the top inside of the lamp shade.
  2. I sprayed two coats of primer on each shade.
  3. Between EVERY primer coat I wiped down the shades from the loose fibers with a baby wipe, a lightly damp cloth will work just the same. If the baby wipe or damp cloth is not enough, sand with light to medium pressure. 
  4. After priming I went back with a small brush to fill in the dark spots near the trim. 
  5. After all the touch ups I added two solid coats of Krylon white.
  6. After each coat of paint I gave the shades a medium sand and the finish was smooth as butta’!
  7. Finally, I gave a single coat of laquer for a glossy sheen. 

Since my friend and I couldn’t pick an accent color for the ribbon, we decided to tackle that part later. Even with out the accent color they look cute.
I considered removing the trim and replacing it with another, but found it was too much work & money for no reason.

Taped of the inside so residue wouldn't cause splotchiness.

Notice the bumps and fuzzy fibers. 
Wiping it down. Put a little pressure into it. 
After: smoother primer finish.
Different angle. No fuzziness.
Notice the difference between left trim (unpainted) and right trip (painted)?
Bottom trim up close.
Touching up with a small brush.
Side trim being touched up. 
Medium sanding to remove more fibers and bumpiness.
First coat of paint. 
After each spray, primer or paint, the fuzzy fibers will pop up, 
just keep sanding them down before the next coat.
Left side with one coat of paint and right side with two. Notice the left is blotchy. 
Finally!! Look how shiny! So professional if I do say so myself. (o: 
Very shabby chic, clean and fresh! OHHHH what a difference! I love them. 
Here's more on the art work.

There you have it folks, spray painting grungy fabric shades is possible with a bit of elbow grease. The project was simple, to the point and thank God I didn't run into any detours!! WooHoo! Have you ever repainted or thought about updating lamps? Leave your comments below! Thanks again for stopping by! 


1 comment:

  1. Omg, that was a lot of work! And they are much loved :)
    Thank you, you're the best!


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