How to spray paint glass light shades

Updated March 23, 2017

Many homeowners use spray paint to revitalise furniture and other home accessories, including glass lamp shades. While spray paint doesn't easily stick to smooth surfaces, you can successfully cover properly prepared glass with spray paint. Always take care to cover your eyes and mouth when spray painting, and do not apply spray paint in a draughty area.

Buy a spray paint that is specifically approved for use on glass.

Lightly sand the glass shade with a fine-grit sandpaper to dull the surface. Spray paint has difficulty sticking to a smooth surface, so sanding will help the paint grab onto the glass.

Clean the glass with a tack cloth to remove any particles left over from sanding.

Go to a well-ventilated area, preferably outdoors. Put down a dust sheet to protect the surface under the glass shade.

Shake the paint can thoroughly with the cap on. Remove the cap and hold the can about 30 cm (12 inches) from the glass shade. Hold the trigger to release paint, and apply the paint using even side-to-side strokes. Apply the paint in a thin coat, overlapping each stroke by about a third. If a second coat is necessary, allow the first coat to dry completely before applying it. Refer to the manufacturer's instructions regarding how long the paint takes to thoroughly dry.

Things You'll Need

  • Fine-grit sandpaper
  • Tack cloth
  • Dust sheet
  • Spray paint
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About the Author

Lara Webster has been writing professionally since 2009. Her work has been featured on Relationships in the Raw, The Nursery Book, Spark Trust and several travel-related websites. Webster holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Master of Arts in mass communication and media studies, both from San Diego State University.