DIY… Splatter shade

My boyfriend’s parents asked us, if we wanted to adopt their messing-bulb-lamp that was just gathering dust in their basement.

Yes! Where do we sign the adoption papers? Because we sure love a little messing and midcentury vibe in our interior.

But that lampshade… It was a little too serious for our interior. But nothing a bucket of paint and an eager 4-year-old can’t fix!

That being said, I didn’t want to paint the original lampshade. Over time, my taste evolves (I have noticed) and who knows, I might die for this lampshade at a later point in life.

So it is in storage now, and I went looking for a replacement.

Luckily, people throw away all kinds of stuff and on the side of the road -as if it was meant to be- I found a lampshade similar in shape and in mint condition. It wasn’t even dirty!

I thought about how I wanted to upcycle the shade for a long time. First I wanted to wrap new fabric around it, but I couldn’t find a print I liked.

I also really wanted to involve my eldest daughter in changing the lampshade, it is so much fun and she’s so proud when she contributes to our interior.

All of a sudden it came to me. We should just paint it! And not make it pretty, but wild and colorful.

So that’s what we did! I primed the shade with a light green. I purposely distributed the paint uneven, which makes the shade extra dynamic when the lightbulb is on. 

Then it was time to bring out the big guns: my daughter, a brush and the paint. I actually just used watercolor, this way you can easily adjust the ‘thickness’ of the paint – and ours needed to be pretty liquid to make nice splashes.

I made a ‘splatter screen’ behind the lamp, to avoid the paint from ending everywhere. Then my daughter could just start throwing the paint on the lampscreen (despite the screen, I still found paint on my youngest daughter’s head the day after… oops, I hadn’t thought of that little minion crawling into the splatter-zone!).

It was so much fun! If it was up to my kid, she was still throwing paint at it, but you have to know when to quit (aren’t mothers just the best at ruining a good game?!).

After it had dried, I placed the lamp in the darkest corner of our house: we definitely lack lighting over there.

It’s a little difficult to photograph, because there is never any sunshine in that corner, but we have enjoyed the lamp for many evenings in a row now (even though it’s rather depressing that we need to turn on the lights again in the evening).

I hope you’ve been inspired to also create some wild ‘splat art’. It’s the easiest thing to do, and because kids usually are not allowed to throw with paint, it is extra fun!

We were actually so inspired that we’ll also give our youngest daughter’s bedroom a ‘splat-wall’. I will of course keep you updated when we whip out our brushes again. Until then, you can check out my shenanigans on Instagram.