This is the story of an ugly lamp. Not just any ugly lamp... an ugly rooster lamp. Yes, I said rooster! Let me start from the beginning...
When I first met my sweet husband, we lived two and a half hours away from each other. We talked on the phone for hours each night, falling deeply in love with each other through our words. One conversation I remember in particular was the night I asked him what his house looked like. How was it decorated? I think the way a man keeps his home says a lot about him!
His response was something to the effect of, "I don't know. It's kind of old, and I don't really have anything decorated. Except for this rooster lamp that my uncle made." At the time I didn't think much about the rooster lamp... I was too busy falling madly in love with my future husband!
Fast forward to when we moved in with each other and Mini Martha (that's me!) took over the bachelor pad. I cleaned, I de-cluttered, I organized, and I decorated. Jeremy, bless his heart, gave me free rein to do whatever I wanted... with just a few exceptions. One of them (yep, you guessed it!) being the ugly rooster lamp had to stay.
For 4 years I moved that black rooster lamp from table to table, hoping that it would suddenly match my decor and become a gorgeous, country-chic piece that everyone would be jealous of. I even painted it burgundy red to try to give it some new life, but alas, it was still the ugly rooster lamp that I couldn't get rid of and had no where to put!
After we moved to our new house, I was determined to make that darn lamp beautiful somehow. I grabbed some of my favorite paint colors and went to town. This is how it turned out:
I knew I wanted a distressed look, so I started by painting the edges of the rooster and lamp base with black paint to give it some definition and dimension. Then the rooster and center post got painted a chalky white and the base of the lamp painted the same gray as the color on my walls.
Once the paint was dry, I sanded the edges of the lamp to give it a worn, distressed look. You can now see the black paint showing through! (And a little bit of the old burgundy red!)
The best thing about projects like this is you can do a sloppy, uneven paint job and it still looks gorgeous! You want it to look distressed and aged!
I love me some old, chippy paint!
The square base of the lamp looked so plain and boring on its own, so I added a French typography graphic I found from The Graphics Fairy. I thought this Paris address looked perfect with the French country look of the lamp!
I first tried a transfer method I found on a blog using Elmer's glue and Mod Podge, but it didn't work at all. Not one bit of the graphic was transferred! And being the impatient DIY'er I am, I switched gears and used the old-fashioned method: I printed the image on regular computer paper, placed the paper on my wood lamp base, and used a ball-point pen to trace over the image. Then I used a super fine tip black Sharpie to trace over the impression left on the wood from the pen. I wanted the graphic to look distressed as well, so I gently sanded over the letters and until it looked aged but still readable.
The last step of the makeover was replacing the old, dirty lamp shade with a new white one from Target. Now my ugly rooster lamp is beautiful!
Ok, at the end of the day it is still a rooster lamp. But I'd say it's a pretty chic rooster lamp! It means a lot to my husband because it was made by his uncle, and now it can finally fit in with the look of our home instead of being shoved in a closet. Compromise... it's what keeps a marriage together : )