Did you know you can paint concrete garden statues and plaster statues ? The paint on these statues fades over time because of the sun and rain. I found out it's an easy job to repaint the lawn ornaments. A special bonus project using watercolors to paint a cactus statue is included in this post!
This is my first time at painting a lawn ornament. My neighbor has a vintage concrete goose statue that’s been in her yard for as long as I can remember and it was in bad need of a makeover. My neighbor, Ms Evelyn, told me one day she was probably just going to have to get rid of it. Nope, not on my watch. I like seeing that goose from my workshop door and I know she would miss it.
Concrete Goose Statue
I told Ms Evelyn I would try to paint the goose but not to have any high expectations. After all, I’m not a decorative painter or artist. Although we’ve been neighbors for close to 30 years I’ve just gotten to know my neighbor over the past 3 or 4 years.
Ms Evelyn's husband was killed in the Vietnam War and she never remarried. She is super funny and smart and tells the most amazing stories. She keeps me laughing. We have a lunch date once a week but sometimes she doesn't feel up to having lunch.
Anyway, this is how the poor goose looked before I started her makeover. And I say her because I noticed barely there, faded, painted on eyelashes.
You can see here that the goose was not in very good shape. Lots of cracks and places where the cement had broken down. Can you see those eyelashes I mentioned earlier? Isn't that funny. Sometimes it's the simplest things that turn an item into a conversation piece. Bits and pieces are broken off of the tail and base. I was really beginning to wonder if I could bring this little goose back to life.
How To Paint Concrete Garden Statues
Clean The Garden Statue
I first cleaned the goose with Simple Green. I scrubbed and scrubbed but couldn’t get off some of the gunk/spots. When cleaning the bill I noticed there were several loose pieces almost loose enough to fall off.
Make Repairs To The Statue
I grabbed some Gorilla Glue for the cracks then bound the bill and head with painters tape until the glue dried. It seemed to work. Remember where there's a will there's a way.
You guys have to remember I’m just wingin’ it (no pun intended) because I’ve never painted a garden statue. I was definitely going to give the little goose my best though.
Use The Right Paint
Good thing there was enough original paint on the goose that I could kind of figure out where the paint lines were. I used FolkArt Coastal Textured paint for the body of the goose. The paint is for indoor/outdoor projects and was perfect for this outdoor statue. Since this little girl spends all her time out in the sun outdoor paint is a must.
That was the only outdoor paint I had in the colors I needed so the rest of the paint is acrylic from the small bottles like you get at the craft store. These are also multi-surface outdoor paint. I found the perfect color in my sash for the bill.
Paint The Statue
And the webbed feet are the same color. I used a variety of different size brushes and I didn’t use tape for straight lines or anything. The goose was a little rough so I didn’t think it would be a big deal if the paint wasn’t perfect.
I didn’t have the perfect green paint color either so I added black to a bit of green acrylic paint to make it darker. You can see the difference in the paint colors in the picture above.
The special mix green was just right. When I don't have a certain color even when working on a furniture project I will mix colors together until I get the shade I like.
I tried to get the paint into all the nooks and crannies where the cement had broken off or was cracked. A small paint brush worked best for these small hard to get to areas.
The body color of the goose was too uniform and the feathers blended in so I dry brushed a bit of pale, pale, silvery blue paint over the feather details. I think it does make the feathers stand out a bit looking at the goose from the street. A bit of contrast adds depth and dimension to paint projects like this one.
I painted the eyes black with Beyond Paint in Licorice and added the eyelashes with a black Sharpie. Whatever works right?
I’m not sure all that paint is going to stay on even though I sprayed several coats of Krylon Sealer on the finished Goose.
Reset The Goose To It's Home
Isn’t she cute. I’m glad I could do this for my Ms Evelyn and she was so happy. She lives right next door to us and I see this goose everyday if I look out the garage door of the workshop or if I’m working on a project outside.
One of the stories my neighbor told me was about when the Aliens landed in Hopkinsville, Kentucky in 1955. Now, that is right up the highway from us and where my favorite junk shop is.
She started telling me that story and she had me in stitches. I just had to Google it after that and sure enough, the story she told me is true. You can read the alien story here…. ‘Little Green Men’.
Concrete Goose Statue with Patriotic Bow Tie
I took this photo a couple of days after we returned the goose to it’s home. You can see it has a patriotic bow now. I was checking to see if the paint was holding up after a couple of days of rain. So far so good.
Did you know you can paint concrete statues with watercolors?? I show you how in the video below and I also walk you through the project in the tutorial below....
Paint Garden Statues With Watercolors Made For Outdoor Use
I’ve decided you can paint anything if you have the right kind of paint. I painted a concrete cactus using watercolor paint. After painting the neighbor’s goose I was ready to try another lawn statue project. The results were awesome if I do say so myself. I made a video so you guys can see the whole process.
The cactus is just the cutest thing ever now. The secret to this look is using several paint colors to keep the painted cactus from looking flat or one dimensional. The whole paint job took less than three hours including downtime……..watching paint dry. Maybe I should show you how the cactus looked before I painted it then you’ll understand why I’m tickled pink.
I picked up the concrete cactus at my favorite junk shop for $5. It was plain old rough concrete, no paint, no nothing, so it was a blank slate. I didn’t notice the steer skull at the base until I got it home. I think this cactus belongs in Texas.
The paint I used for the project is FolkArt ® Watercolor Acrylic Paint™. The watercolor paint can be used on outdoor items as well as indoor stuff. Perfect for the cactus.
The first step was to give the cactus an all over paint finish. I mixed the white and sap green watercolors together to make a pale green and brushed it all over the cactus.
I dipped the watercolor brush in water to spread the paint on the cactus. The bold concentrated colors spread easily. I didn’t even use half of the 2 oz. bottle of sap green and the color is going to show up again in the makeover.
The next step after the first coat of paint was dry was to brush over the ridges of the cactus with sap green watercolor. I used the largest brush from the FolkArt® Watercolor Acrylic Paint™ Watercolor Brush Set to paint the cactus.
The third step is painting the grooves of the cactus using the turquoise watercolor. I thinned the paint by dipping the watercolor brush in water and mixing it with the paint on a paper plate . The thinned turquoise paint is more of a wash and is a good contrast to the pale green color and the sap green color.
This is how the cactus looked with the three paint layers. Layering paints keeps the finish from being flat and dull. The cactus wouldn’t have looked the same with just one overall paint color.
We have one more step. Adding those little prickly things which I learned are called spines. We didn’t have many cactus where I grew up in Arkansas. I used the smallest watercolor brush and dabbed black watercolor paint here and there on the ridges of the cactus. You might notice a kid car in the background of this photo. Miss Sofi was kind enough to take this photo of me adding the spines.
See why I’m tickled with the paint job? Doing the happy dance. I painted the steer skull with a mixture of white and gray watercolors and I painted the sand or dirt with a mixture of white and ochre watercolors.
Do you love this little cactus as much as I do?? I always thought watercolors were just for canvas art but my thinking has changed. I’ve used the watercolors on wood and fabric and now concrete. The colors are bold and almost have a luminescence to them. I feel more watercolor projects coming o
As always thanks for being here, Kathy