DIY: Create Gorgeous Custom Stenciled and Painted Roller Shades | 25 Nov 2008 | DIY Projects

Interested in painting and stenciling your own roller shade, but not sure where to begin? Follow my step-by-step guide and see how easy it is! It can be a fun project for a family to do together, or just a great weekend home design endeavor. Don’t be afraid to take it on; stencil roller shades add something unique and personal to every home.

 1. Choose your
. Material is key here, because it will dictate the type of paint
you use. For the best results, order free samples first. It will allow you to
test the paint on the fabric before you spend the money. Keep in mind that if
you use a darker color shade, you need to use thick, acrylic paint. Choose
something oil-based. Water-based paints will appear dull and not as colorful as
you might like against, say, a blue or green roller shade. Many roller shades
allow you to add decorative options like scalloped edges, which make the shade
look more decorative, and often more formal right from the get go. Light
filtering shades are popular choices for DIY stenciled roller shades; however,
blackout shades like this one often
work best.

 2. Choose your
Local and online craft stores offer hundreds of unique patterns. Of
course, you can create your own using an X-Acto knife. Create a festive and
intricate scene using multiple characters and objects, perfect for a child’s
room or den. You can also go with something elegant and simplistic like a
single flower, or a border of vines lining the shade.

3. Starting to
Once you have chosen your unique design, get out your pencil, and
sketch lightly the pattern you’d like to create. Make sure you have unrolled
the area you want to pattern and that it is laid on a flat surface. Place a
small amount of weight on it to keep it from moving and shifting during
sketching. If your pattern includes straight lines, drafting tape is a great

4. Painting. Now
that your stencil is to your liking, get out that paint and paintbrush! Don’t
be afraid to


begin; it’s going to be beautiful! Use wide or sponge brushes for
larger surface area, and detail brushes for those finished touches. Pour your
paint into paint wells, or shallow plastic cups. Keep water and towels on hand
for washing and drying brushes. It is best to use sponge brushes for only one
color paint, as they do not clean easily and the shade will pick up traces of
residual paint color. Paint carefully in small strokes, beginning with lighter colors.
A second coat might be necessary. Once your light colors have dried, which can
take up to an hour, begin painting with darker colors. Start from the top of the
shade and work your way down so you do not run the risk of your hand/arm
running through the wet paint. Allow ample time for your shade to dry, and
touch up where needed.

You can also:

– Wallpaper your roller shades. The DIY Maven at Curbly has some great examples of this! Check her out.

– Decorate the shade with stickers. Make sure to use glue so
they do not peel off.

– Thread the shade with Christmas or Chanukah lights for a
seasonal touch. You can reuse it each year for a festive touch.

– Sew a pattern onto the shade, though it is recommended
that you use a pattern for this to ensure it comes out exactly how you want it.

– Thread beads, feathers, or jewels along the border of the
shade or the scalloped edge for a more lavish look.

Have you successful stenciled and painted a roller shade
yourself? Did I leave out a crucial step? Post your helpful tips for other

Happy decorating,


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