Add A Reflective Touch To Your Lighting For Less Than $20

Add A Reflective Touch To Your Lighting For Less Than $20

Sarah Rae Smith
May 27, 2010

Lighting has always been a great way to personalize your home, but it can also be draining to the pocketbook. Saving for something you love is fine, but if you're trying to makeover an entire home, sometimes you're left deciding between buying fixtures like toilets and sinks — or super cool shades for your lighting choices. Try this quick trick to makeover any shade for under $20!

Although we love this pendant shade from West Elm and it's fairly decent price point, sometimes $150 is more than we can spend, so making our own is always the first choice. To make this look at home here's what you'll need:

• Inexpensive Lampshade: You can usually find stray shades for just a few dollars at thrift or second hand stores. Quite often if you ask, they have a pile of shades sitting in the back room, waiting for bases to be donated. So don't be afraid to ask! You should be able to find one around the $5 mark.

• Metallic Spray Paint: There are several options for spray paint and although it can be found at hardware stores and bulk retailers, we prefer to head to an art store that carries specialty paint. It will not only last longer, but doesn't carry the same horrible fumes with it. Although craft paints now come in metallic colors, we've found they don't give the same even and realistic look we're going for, though they are certainly an inexpensive option if you can't find specialty spray paint in your area. Be prepared to spend half of your budget on good paint, so don't be shocked if it's $10 a can.

• Large Sheet of Vellum: Although you can use cardstock, poster paper, or any other heavy weight paper product, we do love vellum for how light it is and it's ability to still let a little light through, even when covered in paint. Head to your local art store and ask for the biggest sheet they have! If you happen to have a specialty paper store near you, hop in and check to see that they don't have any metallic papers. It will kill two birds with one stone and save you the task of painting!

The Process: is a simple one. Start by measuring the largest circumference around your lampshade. Cut a rectangle of paper to match and place it inside the shade, overlapping where needed. Use a low tack masking tape to help hold the ends together, while you draw a pencil line around the top of the shade on the paper, showing where the paper needs to be trimmed to fit perfectly to size.

Next, remove the paper, cut it to size and then begin spray painting. You will want to use thin coats, even if it takes you twice to get everything evenly covered without drips. If you're using a specialty paint, it should dry quickly and lay down quite smooth, you might only need one coat, so don't apply two it isn't needed! Once dry, re-fit the paper back inside the shade and secure with craft glue, hot glue or our favorite E-6000 glue!

You can do without the paper all together if your lampshade is smooth on the inside. Some vintage shades are rough and knotty, whole others have a more slick, plastic-y feel to them. If that's the case, just tape off the outside of your shade to avoid overspray and get to work, no paper fitting needed!

That's all there is to it and you can make any space have a little glitz or glamor without breaking the bank, your budget or even your back!

(Image: West Elm)

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