Decorating Roller Shades with Paint or Decals

What You'll Need
Roller shade to fit your window
Acrylic craft paint, like Ceramacoat
Stencils or pattern
Decals (optional)

If you are decorating on a budget, then painting, stenciling or applying decals to roller shades may be the perfect answer for you. These shades are inexpensive, durable and are the perfect canvas for your creativity. Follow the simple steps below to decorate unique roller shades.

Step 1 - Prepare

If your shade has been used before, make sure it is clean. Paint will not adhere to a dusty or greasy shade. Cover the surface you are working on with newspapers or plastic.

Paint with stiff bristle brushes since most shades are textured; the stiff bristles will enable you to cover all the area more evenly. Also, if your shade isn't white, you should put a coat of white paint on the area you are painting for better coverage.

Step 2 - Select Design

Lay your shade out on your surface and decide what design you want to use. You can copy colors from your paint or wallpaper boarder, or you can trace pictures from a child's coloring book onto the shade using carbon paper.

Step 3 - Paint

Squeeze a little of your paint onto a piece of wax paper or an old plate. Mix with a tiny bit of water, but don't make it too thin.

Then just paint in your design. Don't put too much paint on as 2 thin coats are better than one thick coat. Remember that if you roll the shade all the way up when not in use, the design must be flexible. 

If you are not painting a hand drawn design and using a stencil instead, follow these same directions. You can purchase ready cut stencils at any craft store. Consider putting a border just across the bottom of the shade and gluing on some upholstery fringe for a custom look.


If you decide to use decals, the process is actually much easier than painting. However, you may be more limited in the designs you can use since you will only have what is available in stores. Follow the directions on the package for applying decals. These are better on shades that are completely smooth as the textured shades may cause you problems with adhering.

Another product you may use that is similar to a decal is the rub-ons that scrapbookers use in their work. There are hundreds of these products available, and they can be used in various combinations. You can even find letters and complete words. You can also use these with the paint or stenciling techniques for a custom look.

Whichever technique you use, finish up by spraying a layer of clear fixative or coating.