How to Dye a Lampshade

Updated February 21, 2017

Lampshades can certainly add to the look of your room. If you're going for a dramatic look, select a deep burgundy lampshade; for a subtle beachy look, choose a light blue shade; if you're going for a bright and happy look, consider an orange or yellow shade. Finding these colours of shades, however, will most likely be a challenge. Instead of searching for weeks or months for the perfect shade, purchase a white shade with a look you like (the style, shape, size, fabric, etc.) and simply dye it. Unless the shade is made of 100 per cent polyester--most are not--you can easily dye your lampshade any colour.

Take the lampshade off the lamp. Be sure the shade is free of all dust and dirt. Place the lampshade inside a large bucket. You will want the shade to fit well in the bucket with extra room on all sides. If there is not enough room in the bucket, you can use a large sink or a clean plastic garbage can to dye the shade. Take the shade back out of the bucket.

Fill the bucket 3/4 with hot water. If you're using a sink, plug the sink with a drain stopper and fill it 3/4 with water.

Pour 1 packet of powder dye into a medium-sized bowl. Add 2 cups of hot water to the bowl to dissolve the dye.

Pour the dye into the bucket or sink to create the dye bath.

Put on a pair of rubber gloves to protect your hands from staining. Immerse the lampshade into the dye bath.

Twist and turn the shade to "stir" it with your hands while it's in the dye bath. The lampshade should be in the dye bath for at least 30 minutes. For a deeper, darker colour, leave the lampshade in the dye bath 45 minutes.

Pull the lampshade out of the dye bath, and rinse it under warm water until the water runs clear. Allow the lampshade to air-dry before placing it back onto the lamp base.


To prevent dye staining, pour 1/2 cup of bleach and 1 cup of water into the bucket or sink. Use a sponge or toothbrush to scrub the inside of the bucket or sink.

Things You'll Need

  • Lampshade
  • Large bucket or sink
  • Powder dye
  • Medium-sized bowl
  • 2 cups hot water
  • Rubber gloves
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About the Author

Andrea Griffith has been writing professionally since 2005. Her work has been published by the "Western Herald," Detroit WDIV, USAToday and other print, broadcast and online publications. Although she writes about a wide range of topics, her areas of expertise include fashion, beauty, technology and education. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and English from Western Michigan University.