Take the glare off new garden accents by applying aged finish.
Adding a new concrete statue or plaque to your garden can be a little like wearing a new pair of sneakers. The brilliant whiteness calls too much attention to itself. What you really want in a garden accent is for it to look as if it has been in your garden for decades -- even if it has only been there for a couple weeks.
The faux-finish aging techniques described below can give that new concrete garden art a warm, weathered look of antiquity that helps it accent, rather than overwhelm, your garden.
In this example, we are using a purchased concrete garden statue. Begin by adding a coat of off-white paint with a brush. Use a cloth to rub the paint into the folds and crevices. After the base coat dries, spray on a light coat of sealer to protect the finish. If the basecoat fails to cover adequately, apply a second coat.
To create the aged patina, mix three to four parts caramel-colored paint to one part latex glazing liquid. Adjust with paint or glaze as needed to achieve a pleasing color. Rub the mixture on with a clean rag. Allow to dry. Dab on patches of diluted off-white base paint. Blend by rubbing gently with a clean cloth. Seal with a semigloss sealer.
Verdigris is the greenish blue color that copper and rust take on over time. This simple concrete plaque will take on a whole new look when it is finished to resemble a venerable antique.
The instructions below explain how to achieve the look of verdigris in a few hours.