How To Paint Roller Shades

Roller shades are useful in keeping out hot sunlight from any room. They’re also useful for privacy. Apart from their functional uses, roller shades can help accentuate any room. Some shades are sold pre-designed with patterns and shapes. Most will be plain, though. If you want to spice up your room, or give it a touch of style, you can paint over your roller shades.

What you need:

  • Latex based paints
  • Palette (paper plates will do)
  • Sponge
  • Stencils
  • Ruler
  • Utility knife
  • Masking tape

Prepare your roller shades. Before anything else, you need to know what material your roller shades are made of. Roller shades made of fabric or fibrous materials are the best choices for painting over. If your roller shades are made of plastic, this can be problematic, as paint will most likely peel or chip off, especially with frequent rolling up and down.

Then you will need to dismount your roller shades from the ceiling and place them on a work table or the floor, if they are already mounted. Then make sure these are clean and dry before painting. Otherwise, newly-bought roller shades are great to work with straight out of the box.

Prepare your stencil. You can purchase stencils from any crafts store. However, you can also print out a pattern on heavy-weight paper, and cut out stencils using a utility knife (an Xacto knife works best here). You will need to attach the stencil onto the roller shades with masking tape. Since you will be filling in vertical space, it will be a good idea to have different stencils of the same design, arranged repetitively.

Start painting. Pour small amounts of paint onto the palette. Take the sponge, dab it on the paint and dab off any excess paint onto an empty area in the palette. Start dabbing the paint onto the roller shades. You can use different amounts of pressure, so the paint will have varying levels of intensity on the roller shades. Repeat the process until you’ve filled in empty spaces on the stencils.

If you want a repetitive or symmetrical design, you will need to move the stencils across the roller shades. You can use a ruler to ensure consistent spacing. Then repeat the painting process on the different parts of the shade. Let the paint dry for two to four hours before mounting the shade.

Other techniques. Apart from using stencils, you can also paint designs on your roller shades in free-form. Simply use the sponge to dab designs. You can also use a paintbrush, but make sure you paint in thin layers, since the paint might chip off or bunch up when the shades are rolled up. You can paint your roller shades with different designs, depending on the theme you want for your room. Children’s rooms would probably look great with under-the-sea motifs, or a forest look. You can even paint the daytime or nighttime sky.

Painting on roller shades can be a fun project. Remember to use safety precautions when working with paint and utility knives. Wear work clothing and a mask, and ensure adequate ventilation while working. Utility should never be handled by small children, and should be retracted and locked when not in use.


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