How to Paint Concrete Statues
Concrete statues are commonly found as yard ornaments or objects of interior décor. Because concrete is porous, it is important to clean it, apply a base coat, paint it, and seal it to make the beauty last. When well-cared for, your concrete statuary can be eye-catching and unique.
Cleaning the Concrete Statue
Put the statue in a bucket of plain water and scrub it with a large brush.Don’t use soap in the water since it may have a negative effect on the concrete and the overall painting process. Scrub the statue until you get the large areas as clean as you’d like them. Use a toothbrush to scrub the smaller nooks and crannies in the statue.
Take the statue out of the bucket and let it dry in the sun.It should take a few minutes to dry, depending on how warm the air is. Air drying the statue will kill any moss that’s left behind. Concrete statues look more pristine when they’ve been dried in the sun and when they don’t have any moss on their surfaces.
- Don’t leave concrete statuary to dry outside in the winter, because moisture will collect in its pores, causing it to expand and eventually crack.
Fill in cracks with epoxy putty.Choose a putty that is the same color as the statue, or close enough. So, if the statue is white or gray use silver or gray putty. Break off a couple pieces of epoxy putty or however many you need to fill in each crack. Smooth it over using a wet spatula or a knife and let the putty dry for 3 to 4 hours.
- You can find epoxy putty in craft stores.
- Wear gloves when handling epoxy putty to protect your skin from irritation.
- Use a blow dryer to set the putty quickly.
- You can use epoxy putty to replace missing pieces from a concrete statue, such as toes. The putty becomes hard as a rock once it’s dried, so no one will know a toe was ever missing.
Applying the Base Coat
Dump water on the statue to make the paint stain the concrete.Before applying a base coat getting the statue wet will ensure that that paint stains it under the surface, rather than just coating the surface. Concrete is porous, so the water will pull the paint further in to make the base coat more permanent.
- Have a container of clean water ready for drenching the statue. There is no set recommended amount of water to use on the statue, as long as it’s soaked through.
Mix water with your acrylic base coat to ensure it’s absorbed well.It doesn’t hurt to add water to the actual paint, because this will help it to soak into the concrete. When you water down a basecoat, the concrete absorbs it and stains better.
- There is no recommended ratio of water to use.
- If you plan to use an antiquing or detailing method on the statue, choose white paint for the base coat.
Coat the bottom of the concrete statue with the base coat first.You should paint the bottom first, because you would leave finger smudges in the paint on the top of the statue if you painted the bottom last. Place it on its side to let the bottom dry.
- This should be the same paint that you’re using as the base coat for the rest of the statue.
Apply a base coat to the entire statue using a 2 in (5.1 cm) chip brush.Use an acrylic latex exterior paint for the base coat. The paint can be any color, but popular base coats are black, gray, and brown.
Inspect the statue after letting the basecoat dry for 5 minutes.Feel it with your hand for wet paint. If it’s completely dry, then it’s ready for the top coat. On a warm day the paint may dry in 5 minutes. It may take a little more time on a humid day.
- Keep the wet statue away from pets and children who may tamper with it.
Painting and Sealing the Statue
Use acrylic latex paint on concrete statues.For concrete statuary, water-based acrylic latex paints are recommended for their ability to soak into the concrete and stain it beyond its surface. Acrylic latex paints also don’t dry and crack like a shell over time, like oil-based paint does.
- If you’re painting an animal, you may choose realistic colors, such as brown and white for a rabbit.
- You should always use a paintbrush to paint the statue, as opposed to spray painting it. Spray paint doesn’t look as nice and it doesn’t last as long as paint applied with a brush.
Paint the top coat using the dry-brush method.Dip a 2 in (5.1 cm) chip paintbrush into the color you chose as the top coat. Wipe most of the paint off on a piece of cardboard so that there’s almost no paint left on the bristles. With the brush almost dry, paint against the details of the statue using a back-and-forth dusting motion.
- Make furry animal statues stand out by painting them with a base coat, and then dry-brushing a solid color over it. For example, dry-brush brown paint over a black base. Soften the brown with some white paint dusted over it.
Give the statue a weathered effect by antiquing it, if desired.After applying the top coat, wipe away the excess paint using a paper towel. Apply and wipe away paint as necessary to get the desired effect. A small amount of the base coat should be exposed throughout the statue to make the color look faded.
- Concrete leaf stepping stones are an example of statues that look good with an antiquing method.
Leave the top coat to dry for 24 hours.Allow the top coat to dry for 24 hours before moving on to the next step in painting concrete. Let it sit outside if it’s warm and dry out.
Highlight a statue’s features with the detailing technique.Detailing involves using small brushes to create details in the top coat by hand and using multiple colors of paint. Use this technique to fill in features such as eyes, noses, and clothes on statues. Detailing can be used when you’re painting animal statues with feathers and beaks or gnomes with clothes, for instance.
- One example is if you’re painting a manatee statue and want to give it some pink coloring on its cheeks; use a small brush and give its cheeks a dusting of pink paint.
Cover the statue with a UV/water sealant to protect the paint from the elements.Place the concrete statue on a ventilated surface, such as gravel or rock, when you apply the sealant. Leave it there for 24 hours to dry. Sealants make paint last longer and prevent it from flaking off. Sealants come as sprays and in the form of a paint. They protect paint colors from fading and repel harmful moisture.
- You can also buy a can of clear enamel spray to make the statue look glossy.
QuestionWhat is a good medium to fill in cracks on a statue?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerUse Portland cement (Gray cement) sold at either Lowe's or Home Depot, etc. Mix with water to the consistency of pancake batter. Make a small amount at a time & apply with fingers while wearing rubber or latex gloves. If the mixture needs to be thicker, simply add more cement.Thanks!
QuestionWhat paint should I use to repaint a concrete deer sculpture?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerUse a latex exterior paint with a flat finish, but first clean with water using a stiff bristle brush. Just use a garden hose, as pressure washing is usually not necessary. Don't use TSP to clean, as it will leave a residue & then the primer/sealer and/or paint won't bond to the concrete. After cleaning, apply a water based concrete primer/sealer like Zinsser Bull's Eye 1.2.3 Primer for all surfaces. Typically only one coat is needed. By doing this step you'll apply far less acrylic/latex exterior paint as the concrete won't be as porous or sponge like. Let the concrete dry for 24-72 hours to release the moisture. You can use a fan to speed up the process.Thanks!
QuestionShould concrete be sealed before painting?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes. For inside, use Interior Latex Paint marked for sealing concrete. For outside, use Exterior Latex Paint marked for concrete. Clean concrete with water only and scrub with a hard bristle brush. It must be dry for 24-48 hours before painting.Thanks!
QuestionCan I seal a concrete statue with a concrete sealer?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerFinishing concrete can be tricky, but I imagine something called "concrete sealer" can be used to seal concrete. For my statues. I use an Exterior Concrete Sealer Paint as a first coat. Then I use an acrylic water-based paint to color the statue. And finally I use MinWax water-based Polycrylic clear Satin to seal the statue. Following all directions on the cans or containers of paint or sealer is important.Thanks!
QuestionWhat painting method should I use when painting a dog statue made of concrete?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerAll concrete statutes I paint are all done the same way. If you are not artistic you should paint the dog one color. Clean with water, paint statue with a stiff brush statue, and rinse with water only. Then let it dry for 24-36 hours. Use a sealer paint like "Exterior Paint for Concrete" and apply 2 coats if needed. Concrete is porous and must be covered completely to keep the moisture out. Don't forget the bottom of the statue. For painting the color of the dog, I use an Acrylic water-based paint. You may want to paint the dog one color or if you want to try your hand at detailing go for it. I always put on two light coats. When completely dry I cover the Acrylic paint (water-based) with MinWax water-based "Polycrylic sealer".Thanks!
QuestionWhat do I use to clean the brushes after painting?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerUse turpentine to take out most of the paint, then finish cleaning with Lava soap.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I add accents to a statue?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerAn unpainted cement statue can be dry-brushed with paint to give a weathered look. First find a spare piece of cardboard. Dip your brush in paint, wipe off excess paint on the rim of the can, then swipe the brush on the cardboard to remove more paint. Then, lightly brush the paint across the surface of the statue. Remember that with this technique, less is often more. You can also paint the entire statue with base coat, then use the same dry-brush technique with a lighter color.Thanks!
QuestionI have an eagle statue that I purchased about 10 years ago. How can I paint it?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerApply a base coat to the entire statue, using either a brush or a sprayer. Use either a latex exterior paint or a paint formulated especially for painting concrete, in a color that is appropriate for the top coat color you will be using.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I clean outdoor cement sculptures?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIf your sculptures are painted, use a stiff nylon brush with hot, soapy water. Use an old tooth brush to get in the small areas. Try using Dawn dish washing liquid as the cleaning agent. Rinse and repeat. If your sculptures are concrete and sealed try using a Lomax (found at hardware stores), Bleach and water mixture. Use 2 gallons of water, 3 cups of Lomax and 1 cup of bleach. Mix in a 2 gallon sprayer. Wet the sculpture with water. Spray the mixture on, leave for 5 minutes, and rinse with clean water. Repeat. This will clean the dirt and algae off. Cover any plants that may be in the area as this mixture may harm your plants or flowers.Thanks!
QuestionI have some concrete statues that have been painted before, but the paint is old and faded. I want to paint them to make them look nice again. What do I need to know?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIs it oil based or chipping off? If yes, then you'll need to use a solvent to remove. If not, then clean with water and a stiff-bristled brush. Let dry for 24-72 hours to release moisture, then apply a primer/sealer. Wait an hour, then paint with an exterior latex paint with a flat finish, or apply exterior acrylic paints sold at crafts stores.Thanks!
How much ideal time needed before you can paint a newly made concrete statue?
A few years ago my parents bought two bear cement statues made into lamps. I started on them, but only finished one. One still has a primer on half. Glossy and white. But I don't remember what I used. What should I do?
After my statue is panted, I'd like to use a wipe off stain to darken creases and facial feature. Done this many times with ceramic statues. Can you remove the excess stain on concrete?
How to repaint a lion?
Can I use ceramic paint on cement?
To paint a concrete statue, start by dumping water over it so it's soaked, which will help the paint absorb better. Then, mix some acrylic paint with a little bit of water and apply a base coat to the statue using a 2-inch chip brush. Once the base coat is dry, which should take around 5 minutes, add your top coat using more acrylic paint and the same brush. Finally, let the top coat dry for 24 hours before applying a UV and water sealant to the statue.
- Spray paint is not recommended for painting concrete statuary, because it doesn’t last, and it looks bad.
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