Those hardware-store stirrers can do more than just blend semigloss. Instead, use them to ring any cylindrical shade that's up to 14 inches tall.
Step 1: Measure the circumference of your shade to determine how many paint sticks you'll need. Each one is approximately 1"W, so for our 40"-circumference lampshade, we used 40 sticks.
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Step 2: String up a length of twine with a drop cloth underneath. Dunk the unnotched end of one stick into a can of semigloss paint (we used Benjamin Moore's Cedar Grove). Secure the unpainted end to the twine with a clothespin. Repeat with remaining sticks, varying the heights of the paint lines. Let dry for four hours.
Step 3: Place your lampshade upside down on a flat surface. Apply a line of hot glue along the length of one stick's back side, and adhere it to the lampshade, placing the notched handle end flush against the top edge (the ends of the sticks may extend past your shade's bottom edge). Repeat with remaining sticks, placing them side by side until the lampshade is covered. Finally, flip it over and position your shade on a pendant- or table-lamp base to really brighten a room.
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Plain cylindrical lampshade (if you don't have one, try the White Swag Style Plug-In Chandelier, $99.99, lampsplus.com)
40 stir sticks, 14" ($0.37, amazon.com)
Semigloss paint, 16 oz. ($6.99, benjaminmoore.com)
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Reprinted with permission of Hearst Communications, Inc.