Add an Aged Look to Garden Ornaments

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.

The original concrete statue was stark white.

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.


Rubbing on top coat with a cleancloth.

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.

The original plaque was too light colored to fit easily into the garden.

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.

Painting the base coat.

Begin by wiping the concrete with a clean damp cloth to remove dirt and dust. Allow to dry. Brush on a coat of off-white flat latex paint. Allow the pain to dry thoroughly.

Applying the glaze coat.

Mix one part latex glazing liquid to four parts grayish-green latex paint. Paint about one-third of the panel at a time. As you work, blot and dab with a clean cotton rag. If the glaze seems too thick or thin, adjust by adding more paint or glaze.

Dabbling the glaze off the highlights.

Rub the glaze into crevices and dab off excess paint on the raised detailing to mimic the effects of aging. Add more glaze if needed. After the plaque dries, finish with three coats of clear, flat sealer. Allow drying time between coats.


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