50 Shades of Greige

13 Aug

Not to disappoint all my pervy friends, but this post really has nothing to do with the book. Nope, this post is actually about painting a lamp shade. I know what you’re thinking…….what kind of weirdo paints a lamp shade? The answer ladies and gentlemen is ME!

After refurbishing this awesome console table, I was having an issue with lighting. For the time being, I had this lamp just standing next to the table. Totally doesn’t look right. Plus it’s blocking the wall art that I made last week!

I was watching a show on HGTV last night called High Low. The designer showed how to turn a plain white drum shade into something special by spray painting it. It looked really cool, but she did the whole thing in just one color. So I started thinking of different stenciling techniques to get a geometric pattern on the shade. I read that freezer paper doesn’t work because the heat of the iron warps the shade. Vinyl would work great because you just  stick it to the shade, paint it and then peel it off when you’re finished. Unfortunately I do not have any vinyl geometric stencils and I don’t own a Cricut! Grrrrr

So I decided to use blue painters tape in a diagonal pattern. This is the white drum shade I used.

If I had known I would be painting a lamp shade, I would’ve purchased a perfectly round one and not one that flares out at the bottom. Because of the flare I made a pencil mark every 6 inches on the top and every 7 inches on the bottom. I then connected the dots with the tape.

After doing this, I placed tape over these lines in the opposite direction to make a  diamond pattern.

When deciding what paint to use, I did some research on the safety of acrylic paints verses fabric paint. I was hoping I could use acrylic paint because I had a much larger selection of colors to choose from. Turns out acrylic craft paint is what most people recommend and is perfectly safe on the outside of a lamp shade. With this wonderful news, I knew I wanted to go with greige. Never heard of greige before? It’s a much warmer version of grey and is made by mixing white, black and brown together.

As I mixed up the paint, I thought it would look cool if each diamond was a different shade of greige……hence the title of this post. ; )

I did this by just adding more white or black to each concoction.

I tried super hard to be random about the placement of the light and dark paint. Yeah, I have to TRY to be random……doesn’t come easily for me. When I removed the tape, I was really excited about the crisp white lines the painters tape created. What I was not happy about was you could totally see that I didn’t have enough paint on it.

Notice the streakyness? This was even more apparent when placed back on the stand with the light turned on. I went back and added another coat of paint to the entire thing. I didn’t put the tape back on it because I was completely over this project by now. Fortunately the second coat turned out much better and this is how it turned out!

I didn’t want to use the old lamp stand because it was a really weird height and did not work with the space. Lucky for me I had this one just sitting in the den not being used! Score!

This is how it looks after I rearranged things a bit.

I absolutely love this lamp shade and I love that it cost me nothing for a completely customized look! If you have  white shade in your house, some painters tape and acrylic paint, you can totally do this project! If you decide to give it a try, email me your pictures….I would love to see how it turns out!

Oh….and in case you were interested, I have decided to name this lamp Fifty! ; )


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