How Can I Frost Glass Shades?

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Frosted lamp shades are usually off-white in color.
Frosted lamp shades are usually off-white in color. (Image: Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images)

Frosting a glass lamp shade is a simple way to customize the look of your lighting. The frosting application will make the glass shade semi-transparent, diffusing light for a softer look. Unlike traditional glass frosting that involves acid application, frosting glass shades with a frosting spray is safe. Always apply spray on products in a well-ventilated area, and wear a protective mask so you do not inhale fumes.

Things You'll Need

  • Bucket
  • Soapy water
  • Sponge
  • Clean towel
  • Cardboard
  • Frosting spray

Remove the glass shade from the lamp and take it to a well ventilated area with a temperature between 50 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Fill a bucket with soapy water, and wipe down the inside and outside of the shade with a sponge dipped in the water.

Rinse the sponge in clean water and wipe down the shade again to remove the soapy residue. Wipe the shade with a clean towel, then let it air dry completely. Set the lamp shade on a piece of cardboard or newspaper.

Shake the can of frosting spray for two minutes. Hold the can upright, 10 inches from the surface of the lamp shade. Depress the trigger and spray on the frosting in a back and forth motion. Overlap each stroke. Continue until you coat the entire lamp surface.

Let the lamp dry for 2 minutes, then apply one more coat. Wait 10 minutes for the frosting spray to set. Replace the shade on the lamp.

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