Inexpensive Black Lamp Shades

I love black lamp shades best, but seriously, who wants to pay $50-100 for a largish drum shade? Not I. The good news is these $16 white shades from Target take paint really well.

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I was in a time crunch, and didn't have the right black spray paint on hand (like I thought I did), so I sprayed the shades with oil-rubbed bronze paint first, which made it really easy to cover the inside of the shade well.

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The spray paint worked on the outer fabric wrap too, but it was a little trickier to get the saturation  just right. 

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I did a light sanding after the spray paint dried, just to get any of the loose stuff off and and to smooth out drips. And then I lightly brushed on some black screen printing paint, which I'm learning is the best type of fabric paint around.

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And I ended with a final light sanding.

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It ended up being a lucky surprise how much I like the way the oil-rubbed bronze and the matte black paint finishes work together! Not at all sparkly like oil-rubbed bronze paint can sometimes be, but just enough of a sheen to look nice and, well, not spray painted. :)

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Besides the obvious cost savings, fabric shades are much more durable. Paper shades start to show their wear after a couple years of being in a house with kids and moving a few times. And I think these look almost as good in person as a $120 shade from Just Shades (my favorite splurge shade source).

31 comments:

The Davis' said...

I've considered doing this to a shade I already own, but wondered if it would block out too much light for our room. Does the paint allow any light to shine through the shade?

VLScavenger said...

It looks great. The target shade has the new type of frame that doesn't use a harp. I assume the lamp is vintage. Did you have to rewire the lamp with a newer socket/fitting, or do you have a trick? I have been wondering if there was a trick for this for ages. Thanks!

VLScavenger said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jackie said...

I've spray painted the bases of old lamps to match each other, using the Rustoleum Wrought Iron finish. But I never thought of painting the shade before! I'll have to give this a try.

http://www.missadventurenaut.com/

Patricia Blackshear said...

Wonderful! Thank you for posting this. I have too many shades from Target that need some help!

I did do a modified ombre using Rit dye on a more textured shade from Target that looks really pretty. I just left the middle part neutral with the top darker blue from leaving it in the dye bath a bit longer and the bottom a lighter blue. It's very beachy.
Love your blog.

mom23 said...

Thank you for this, Jenny! I love how you TRY stuff and share with us! I have the same question as previous commenter...I want to buy Target "no harp" needed shades but most of the lamps I have need harps. Is there a way to modify the older lamps for the Target shades? Thank you :)

Stacey {steward of design} said...

I would never have thought to do this. It looks great! Where do you find the screen printers' paint?

Gwen said...

I actually just bought some black cotton velvet to cover a lampshade this morning! I had thought about painting, but wasn't sure. I think I'll save the fabric for another project and give this a try. Thanks, Jenny!

jtc said...

The shades look great! Have you ever painted the inside gold and the outside black? If so, how did you do it and how has it worked out? Thanks!

My Interior Life said...

Great idea. I've tried painting some shades before without much success, so I'm glad to hear of the screen printing paint trick. I'm wondering too about fitting the Target shades without harps. That's the biggest challenge in vintage lamps, I think. I've been lucky to find some vintage black paper shades from time to time, but not always.

alison g. said...

You may already know this source, but I've had great luck with Fenchel Shades, too. http://www.fenchelshades.com/
Like any custom shade source, they're not cheap, but you can get the perfect size/shape, and their service is outstanding.
I've had shades shipped down here to Brazil, and they arrived in perfect shape. (Not something I can always say of Amazon, etc.)
alison g.

My Interior Life said...

Oh, and I meant to ask in my earlier comment, have you discussed the art/poster above your desk? It looks like a poster sized version of an upholstery chart. Did you make that or purchase it somewhere? I'd love more info on that as I'd love to do something similar. Very cool.

Thanks!
Kathy

theanatomyofdesign.com said...

gorgeous! have you used the screen printing paint for any other projects? such a good trick!

stephanie said...

wow looks great -- never would have thought to paint them black -- fearful of it covering well but yours look great!

nikkirm said...

I just did this last week! Even better they take Metallic Gold spray paint on the inside too! And per my post today, white wall paint also works on the printed shades!

http://moreforfour.blogspot.com

Susan Davis said...

I found this at Amazon--did not know such a thing existed!
"Slip Uno adapters are made to fit directly over a lamp socket found on lamps usually purchased at places like IKEA. The adapter will then let a harp attached to it."
Slip Uno Adapter Harp Converter Lamp Shade Uno Euro Fitter 1 9/16 I.D.
http://www.amazon.com/Slip-Adapter-Converter-Shade-Fitter/dp/B005LJOBRS/?keywords=ikea+lamp&qid=1356480112&ref=sr_1_103&ie=UTF8&sr=8-103

Dara said...

I've been thinking of doing this with Target shades, since I'm in need of a couples of black shades myself. Thanks for the tips Jenny!

royaltysparkles said...

I had no idea they made screen printing ink. I used to work at a screen print shop and we had to run the shirts through this insane "dryer" to get the ink to set. How does this ink dry??

Lee said...

cc

Craftivity Designs said...

What a great idea! I love the black & gold! I featured you today on my Kick-Off Friday post! Have a great weekend!

http://craftivitydesigns.blogspot.com/2013/04/kick-off-friday_19.html

Erica

The Famous Home said...

Looks fantastic! I wonder if something like this would work on a pleated shade?

Anne {Almost Home} said...

Great tip! My only hang up with these Target shades is that they don't use a harp! I hate how they always seem kind of wonky when they're on any lamp base other than a Target one. Has this been your experience?

simplymodernhome.com said...

What a super idea! You're right, lamp shades, in general, are far too expensive...especially the nice ones. This is a great solution!

Susan

http://simplymodernhome.com/

Jen of MadeByGirl said...

Pretty clever...a lot of times it difficult to find a good black shade, so this is ideal.

Madebygirl.blogspot.com
MadeByGirl.com

Debra Rozenman said...

Thanks for sharing this great idea with us, I am a designer and a lot of time I do the same, but most of the people don't know that there is an easy and cheap solution for a high end look.
To visit my website click here

Jenny at LGN said...

Thanks for your comments, guys!!

The black paint does block the light, so I would be sure to have multple lighting sources (the recommendation is actually something like 7-12 sources per room!).

That shade adapter from Amazon looks like a great way to fix the Target fitting to a harp! Looking forward to trying!!

xo

Dishes, Runways and Briefcases said...

Can't wait to try this!!!! I have a few shades that need sprucing up.

Thank you again for another great idea. And thanks for the Boston love, much appreciated.
Xo
N

VLScavenger said...

Ok, so I might have missed something, but I still can't figure out how you attached this shade to a vintage lamp. The adaptor on Amazon looks handy, but it works the other way around, right?

Jenny at LGN said...

Target shades still fit on most lamps (and they actually fit perfectly on these). They can just be a little wonky sometimes. In the past I've used a rubber band on the lamp to stabilize the shade and it worked like a charm!

an artful nature said...

Great idea! I can't wait to try this DIY. I am going to try the metallic gold on the inside. Thanks.

Samantha Baldwin said...

I think IKEA has black shades, too.

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