How to Lace Painting: Old School Custom Paint Tricks

purple candy bat & skull lace painting

Introduction to Using Lace for Custom Paint

If you’re looking to add a unique and stylish touch to your painting projects, using lace can be a game-changer. Whether you’re customizing a piece of furniture, a wall, or even a car, lace can create intricate and beautiful patterns that are sure to impress. This article will guide you through the entire process of using lace for custom paint, from the materials you’ll need to the finishing touches.

The Appeal of Lace in Custom Painting

Aesthetic Appeal

Lace patterns bring an elegant and delicate look to any surface. The intricate designs can transform a plain object into a work of art, adding a touch of sophistication and personality.

Versatility in Design

Lace is incredibly versatile and can be used in various ways to create different effects. Whether you’re going for a vintage, modern, or eclectic look, lace can be adapted to fit your vision.

Materials Needed for Lace Painting

materials for lace painting includes spray adhesive, lace & tape

Choosing the Right Lace

The type of lace you choose is crucial. You’ll want lace that has clear, defined patterns. Avoid lace that’s too thick or too thin; medium-weight lace usually works best.

Paint Types and Colors

Depending on the surface, you can use various types of paint such as acrylic, spray paint, or even fabric paint. Choose colors that contrast well with the lace to make the patterns stand out.

Other Essential Tools

You’ll need tape, scissors, spray adhesive, a drop cloth, and gloves. If using spray paint, a well-ventilated area or a respirator is essential.

Preparing Your Surface

Cleaning the Surface

Ensure the surface is clean and free of dust and debris. This step is vital for the paint to adhere properly and for the lace pattern to come out crisp and clear.

Priming for Perfection

Apply a primer suitable for the surface you’re painting. Primer helps the paint adhere better and makes the color pop. Let the primer dry completely before moving on to the next step.

Preparing the Lace for Painting

Cutting and Shaping Lace

Cut the lace to fit the surface you’re working on. It’s better to cut a little larger than the area you need to cover to ensure full coverage.

Securing the Lace in Place

Use painter’s tape to secure the lace onto the surface. Make sure it’s taut and flat to prevent any paint from bleeding under the lace.

Applying the Paint

Spray paint is a popular choice for lace painting due to its ease of use. Hold the can at a consistent distance and apply thin, even coats. Multiple light coats are better than one heavy coat to avoid paint running. These same techniques work if you’re using a spray gun or airbrush as well.

Layering Techniques with Lace

Single Layer Designs

For a simple yet elegant look, one layer of lace is often enough. This technique works well for small projects or when you want a subtle pattern.

Multi-Layer Designs

For a more complex and detailed design, you can layer multiple pieces of lace. Apply paint to one layer, let it dry, then reposition the lace and apply a different color. This creates depth and visual interest.

Finishing Touches

Adding Sealants

Once the paint is dry, apply a clear sealant (or automotive clear coat) to protect your design. This is especially important for items that will see a lot of use or are exposed to the elements.

Highlighting Details

If you want to add extra flair, consider highlighting certain areas with pearls or candy paint. This can make the lace pattern pop even more.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Paint Bleed Through

If you notice paint bleeding under the lace, it could be due to the lace not being tight enough or the paint being applied too thick. Make sure the lace is secure and apply the paint in thin layers.

Uneven Patterns

Uneven patterns can result from the lace shifting during painting. Double-check that the lace is firmly secure (adhesive sticking/taped down) and try to keep your paint application method consistent.


Using lace for custom paint is a fantastic way to add a personal and artistic touch to your projects. With the right materials and techniques, you can create stunning and unique designs that stand out. Whether you’re updating home décor or customizing a vehicle, lace painting offers endless creative possibilities.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use any type of lace for painting?

While you can use various types of lace, it’s best to choose one with a defined pattern and medium thickness to ensure the design transfers well.

What type of paint works best for lace painting?

Acrylic and spray paints are commonly used due to their versatility and ease of use. The choice depends on the surface you’re working on.

How do I prevent paint from bleeding under the lace?

Ensure the lace is tightly secured and apply the paint in light, even coats. Using painter’s tape or spray adhesive can help keep the lace in place.

Can I reuse the same piece of lace for multiple projects?

Yes, but make sure to clean the lace thoroughly after each use to prevent old paint from affecting your new projects.

Is lace painting suitable for outdoor items?

Yes, but it’s crucial to use a sealant to protect the paint from weather elements. Choose a sealant that offers UV and moisture protection.

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