How to restore/paint a concrete outdoor statue

If you’re looking to paint or restore a garden statue, you’re in the right place. The post below takes you through the various steps and techniques to properly restore/paint concrete outdoor statues so that they look great and will last for years to come. 

Preparation to Paint Concrete Garden Statues

The first step is to pick the statue that you want to restore or paint. As long as it’s made from concrete, you can continue with the rest of the steps. 

  • If the statue is small enough, place it in a tub of lukewarm water. Use a soft-bristled brush to scrub it gently. 
  • Be sure to avoid using soap! It can damage the statue and make it more difficult for the paint to stick. 
  • Once you’ve cleaned the statue, you may notice there are still some areas of dirt. Use the brush to gently scrub away until it’s completely clean. 
  • Alternatively, you can use a garden hose to soak the statue before brushing it. This is ideal for larger statues. 
  • If the statue is particularly dirty, use a natural cleaner that isn’t abrasive. 
  • Apply a small amount of the cleaner to the bottom of the statue to see if it reacts badly or not. If not, you can go ahead and apply it all over. 
  • When the statue is completely clean, you can add a base coat. 
  • Ensuring that your painted statues can withstand the cold weather and outdoor conditions is important for their longevity and adding a base coat of paint helps.
  • Use a solid color and make sure that it’s acrylic paint. 
  • This ensures that the base layer of the statue is smooth and easier to paint going forward with whatever colors you choose next. 

Painting Outdoor Concrete Statues

When looking for craft paint for painting concrete, be sure to find ones that are appropriate for outdoor use. If not, the paint on your statue is likely to wear down pretty quickly. 

It’s also worth keeping extra paint in case any cracks appear, or the paint gets damaged by nature or the weather. You can ask the people working at your local craft stores about which paint is best for a painted statue.

You can choose between the following paint options for your outdoor concrete statue:

  • Acrylic paint
  • Acrylic latex paint
  • Exterior latex paint
  • Latex concrete paint
  • Standard paint
  • Exterior paint 

Water-based acrylic paint is a popular choice due to how it looks great and can withstand harsh weather conditions. Make sure not to use oil-based paint due to how they’re more prone to cracking and drying up. 

It’s also not a good idea to use spray paints on a cement statue as it’s hard to create an even finish due to all of the nooks and crannies. Whilst you can still spray paint concrete statues, you may struggle to cover the entire statue.

As far as paint colors go, you can pick anything you like!

When it comes to painting the statue, there’s no singular rule to follow. Some people like to paint their statues as perfectly and as evenly as possible. Others prefer the imperfect painted aesthetic. 

In either case, as long as you’ve thoroughly cleaned the statue and added the base layer of acrylic paint, the paint that you use on top should last for a fair while. 

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Hopefully, the details mentioned throughout this post have been useful in helping you to feel more confident about painting or restoring old concrete statues.

The cleaning and preparation steps for a concrete statue are more important than the painting itself! The above steps can be used for concrete garden ornaments, bird baths, and more.

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Written By Adam Rushton

Adam has made a name for himself in the illustration industry and is a passionate blogger and writer on the subject of art, illustration and graphic design.

His artwork has been featured in countless publications and used for very well-known media projects. As a professional illustrator for over 20 years, Adams media outlets, a wealth of knowledge, and experience enable him to consult and advise artists and illustrators in this country (from York and Manchester to Southampton and London) and all over the world.