Gaudy Chicken Lamp – From Old to New

My husband laughed as he steered me toward a hideous chicken lamp at the Habitat for Humanity Restore.  He knows I love chickens, so the peeling silver chicken sitting on an old sugar bucket struck him as amusing.  He was correct.  I thought it was tacky myself, but I couldn’t resist the idea of possibly making it look a little better to put a little fun into our house.

He laughed as he took it to the counter and asked, “How much will you pay me to take this away?”

The decided price for the lamp was $3.00.


The chicken lamp was placed among a pile of projects.  The peeling silver chicken needed help.

I pulled out some paints I had and attempted to sand the chicken with some sandpaper.  Alas, silver specks went EVERYWHERE like bad, bad glitter confetti.  It wasn’t a nice picture.

I didn’t have a good primer for the bird, but I did the best I could with the paint I had:  leftover craft paints from years ago when I had painted a slew of Christmas ornaments.  Yep, I was limited to Christmas colors, but I knew mixing paints would get me everywhere.


The colors seemed too child-like. I didn’t want the chicken to look like it stepped out of a first grade art class. I pulled out the gold and white metallic paints and lightly accented over the colors with them.


I used an antiquing glaze over it, and wiped it off. I let it sit overnight. The next date, I sprayed it with a matte sealer. I gave it a few coats, but knew it wasn’t a piece that was going to be handled a lot, so I probably did overkill.

I knew the lamp needed to be rewired and found an entire kit for $5.00 at a clearance table at Lowes because someone had opened the package. I was positive I did the right thing when I took out the previous wiring and saw that a connected wire was black.

I reassembled the chicken lamp.

I cleaned up the bucket the chicken was standing on with a restoration product that I had for wood cabinets. It seemed to make the bucket look like new.

A lampshade purchased at Lowes completed the chicken lamp.

Instead of looking so gaudy, it now looks like a cute, old lamp with character.  The chicken doesn’t stand out like a sore thumb, but seems to go with it’s lamp environment.  The most fun out of all of this was hearing the kids ask who gets to have the chicken lamp.

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