When we moved into our current rental, it had a hideous ceiling fan and light hanging in just about the oddest place you could put it. Needless to say, it was the first thing to go. This left us with the dilemma of not having a light source in our dining and living room. I found an oversized shade at IKEA and hung it on a cord and socket (also from IKEA). This solution brought the light that we needed, but the shade was missing something. Its white interior was stark and boring. I thought about painting it, but decided to follow the metallic trend (which I think I am in love with) and add a little glamour with some silver leaf. The end result is an affordable and quick eye-catching pendant shade that sure beats the look of an outdated ceiling fan. —
Read the full how-to after the jump…
- large lamp shade preferably with a plastic interior (You want the bulb to be a safe distance from the edges of the shade. This is not recommended on small shades.)
- baby powder
- adhesive size for leafing
- metal leafing
- wide paintbrush
- soft brush (such as a blush brush)
1. Using the wide paintbrush, paint the entire interior of the shade with the adhesive sizing. Paint the sizing as smoothly as possible, as the leaf will show brushstrokes. Also, paint edges carefully, making sure to paint only the plastic and not the fabric. The leaf will stick to any stray sizing.
2. Wash the wide brush while the sizing dries until transparent and tacky.
3. Powder your hands with the baby powder to prevent the metal leaf from sticking and tearing if you touch it. Start at the bottom of the shade, or the most visible side of the shade. My shade hangs from a pendant, so we look up into it. I wanted the bottom edge to look the cleanest. But if you have a table lamp, you might want to start at the top, depending on its height.
4. Open the booklet of metal leaf. Slide one sheet about an inch over the edge and close the booklet. Hold the booklet by the “spine” and line up the edge of the sheet of metal leaf with the edge of the lampshade that meets the fabric.
5. Use the soft brush to push the metal leaf to the shade interior. Pull the booklet away from the edge, allowing the full sheet of metal leaf to come out of the book. Paint over the sheet of leaf with the soft brush, pressing it down to the shade interior.
6. Continue with steps 5–8 until the shade interior is completely covered. Here are a couple tips:
- After the first piece was on, I found it easier to line up the subsequent sheets with the side of the first sheet rather than the bottom of the shade.
- Move in the direction of your favored hand. If you are right handed, the next sheet should be on the right of the first.
7. Repair any tears in the leaf with small pieces of leafing.