How To's, Sewing Projects And How Tos

Adding a metallic lining to lampshades

Adding a metallic liner to a lampshade

Ever wanting to get that luxe look on a budget I tend to buy at the cheaper end of the market or in the sales which can make life a little difficult to be honest. For instance I found a lovely pair of lamps a couple of years ago in the sale at Debenhams that sit in my living room. An absolute bargain at £35 each, the bases were super quality but sadly the shades let them down. They’re a mock silk (yuck) and a pale grey (not a colour that says wow, I’m expensive). For a while now these shades have been really irritating me. I don’t want to throw them away, that’s not me. So I decided to give them a revamp by adding a metallic lining to the lampshades and changing their colour.


The lampshade prior to it's makeover

The lampshade prior to it’s makeover


Not only that but I want to get rid of the nasty colour too. I’m hoping you like the easy fix, it only takes an hour or so to transform a lampshade from bleuch to beautiful. Are you with me? Have you got a shade that makes your eyes water too every time you look at it? Right, let’s take a look at what you need for your shopping list.


What You Will Need for Adding a Metallic Lining to Lampshades



A Lampshade ( in the famous words of Homer (Simpson that is) Duh!!)

Spray Fabric Paint – I used this one from Rustoleum

Metallic Sticky Back Lampshade Lining – This is the one I used

Disposable Gloves (Unless you want dyed fingers like I now have)

Ruler (preferably metal)

Cutting Board

Craft Knife




Before going any further measure around the outside of your shade from seam to seam. Take a note of the measurement and then measure on the inside the distance between the top and the bottom of the shade not including the frame rings. Take a note of this measurement too.


Hanging my Lampshade prior to Adding a metallic lining

For easy access for painting hang the shade up


Now, onto the painting. Firstly don your gloves. Do not miss out this stage unless you want, like me (on my first attempt), to dye your fingers as well as your lampshade. Then grab your fabric paint and begin to spray the shade in even sweeps holding your can around 25 cms away from the fabric. To make life easier I hung my shade up so I could coat everywhere in one sitting. Make sure to work in a well ventilated area too, this paints pongs. I mean it reallyyyy smells bad. I also recommend wearing a mask to be on the safe side too. Once well and truly coated with the paint leave it to dry. Drying times will vary depending on ambient temperature and humidity but mine was dry within half an hour.


Spraying my lampshade prior to Adding a metallic lining

Spraying the shade with fabric paint


Whilst your lampshade is drying it’s time to cut your lining to size. Take your measurements and mark them out on your sticky back lampshade lining. Adding around half a centimetre to the length to allow a slight overlap at the seam. Then using your Metal ruler as a guide cut it to size using the craft knife. I do recommend a cutting mat as it makes life easier and avoids any damage to the surface underneath. And, you could try scissors instead but It doesn’t give quite as perfect a finish to the edge.


Cutting the metallic lining to size

Cutting the stick back lining to the correct size


Once your shade is dry it’s time to starting adding the metallic lining to your lampshade. The most important part of this step is to line up the lining so that as you work your way around the shade it stays true and inline with the top and bottom ring. Start by peeling back a small amount of the backing paper and line it up carefully. Be sure to start at the seam and then using your fingers carefully apply the sticky back plastic to the lampshade. It helps line everything up if you roll the lining up into a tube and placing it inside the lampshade. Keep working around the shade, releasing a little more plastic at a time from the backing paper, smoothing it onto the shade and repeating until you come full circle and meet at the seam.


Adding the Metallic Lining to your lamp

It looks as though the lining is being scratched here but do read on to find why that isn’t the case.


Now all you have to do is remove the top protective layer of plastic from the sticky lining. It just peals off in the same way as the backing paper to reveal the glossy gold underneath.


Removing the protective film from the gold lamp lining

Peeling the protective cover away from the lining


And voila! You now have a stunning shade for a fraction of the cost of a designer one. Plus it’s totally unique to you too. You could go even further and add some trimming to the bottom edge too. I’m undecided as yet but I may add some fringing to mine. What do you think? should I go for it or will it end up too OTT? All in all it cost me less than £20 to give each shade a makeover (Note – July 2021) Sadly the lining is now more expensive but more importantly can only be bought in 2 metre lengths where I bought 1 metre, it will still work out cost effective per shade but only if you are making several of them).


The finished DIY shade with a gold metallic lining

The finished shade looking rather lush even if I do say so myself

Rachel's Signature

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  • Reply Michelle July 1, 2021 at 7:56 pm

    Hi Rach – I clicked on your link for Metallic Sticky Back Lampshade Lining and the smallest roll you can order is 2 metres £69.69 Exc. VAT £83.63 (inc. VAT) and obviously this is without the rest of the materials mentioned. But you stated that it cost you less than £20 to give each shade a makeover?

    • Reply Rachel Edmonds July 2, 2021 at 6:18 am

      Hi Michelle, I’m so sorry, I made these a couple of years ago and it looks as though like many thing post both Brexit and Covid that the lining has gone up in price and when I bought it you could buy it in 1 metre lengths too which is all I needed for 2 lampshades with enough left over for a smaller third shade. I’ve had a google for alternative linings for you too but I’m afraid I can’t find anything. Thank you also for letting me know, I’ve updated the post to reflect this.

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