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How to Paint Concrete Statues

Michele is an author who enjoys painting statues and lawn ornaments.

Learn how to successfully paint concrete statues and lawn ornaments in this easy-to-follow guide

Learn how to successfully paint concrete statues and lawn ornaments in this easy-to-follow guide

Why Paint Concrete Statues?

Concrete lawn ornaments are a great way to spruce up your yard or garden. They come in so many different varieties, so you can always find something that is right up your alley. Whether you like wildlife—deer, bears, penguins—or figurines, you will be able to find an ornament that fits your personality.

My mother and her husband ran a concrete lawn ornament business for seven years. I was amazed at the variety that they had and what you could do with them. Neither of them had any previous painting experience, but it really isn't that involved or difficult.

My nephew was about 12 at the time, and he did a great job painting many ornaments for them. Their neighbor also loved to come over and help. None of them had any previous artistic abilities. They also let my children try to paint when they were about 6 and 4 years old. The results were definitely a little rough, so I wouldn't say that anyone can do this project.

The ornaments usually come natural, or unpainted. My parents did get some that were pre-painted, but they painted most of their own. Here's how to do it!


Painting concrete lawn ornaments can be great fun and very relaxing. It just takes a little know-how and a few tools. Painting concrete isn't like painting a painting.

1. Clean the piece. Here are a few ways to do this:

  • Power washing
  • Jet spray from a garden hose
  • Brushing off loose dust with a stiff brush

These are a few of the ways to prepare your piece. You can use warm, soapy water if needed. Just make sure to rinse the soap off thoroughly. Check your piece over to see if any needed repairs or rough seams should be smoothed down.
2. Once the concrete is clean and dry, paint a base coat on the piece. Since the concrete is porous, you need to use a latex block filler which can be found at most hardware or paint stores.

3. When the base coat is dry, use a dry brush and paint the piece however you please. Use exterior latex paint.

4. Use a sealer whether it's specifically for concrete or just for outdoor use. This helps protect the paint from the elements. It won't protect it forever, but it will add life to your piece.

How to Base Coat and Dry Brush Concrete Statuary

How to Repaint or Touch Up Ornaments

If you have ornaments that are already painted and just need touching up (or maybe you don't like the paint job), you can still follow the instructions above. You just need to decide if you will be painting the entire ornament or just doing a little touch-up.

  • Touching Up: Touching up an already painted ornament is simple. Just make sure the ornament is clean. Then, address the areas that need it. Once done, cover everything with a sealer.
  • Repainting: Repainting an ornament is like starting from scratch. Just make sure the ornament is clean, then cover the existing paint with a base coat. Follow all instructions above as if the ornament was never painted. Once done, cover with a sealer.

How to Repaint an Old Concrete Statue

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Use Ornaments to Decorate Your Yard

Concrete ornaments can be used in so many different ways. You can use them as a centerpiece in your yard, or just as accents. My mother used to put some in her flower beds. They weren't always right out in the open. Sometimes they were hidden among the flowers and plants. She also used many around her pond, and they added a lot of character. They also had a Loch Ness Monster on one end of their yard that was visible from the road. She lived by a highway with a lot of traffic, so it was seen by many!

Many people also like concrete ornaments for gravesites. A little angel or a stone with a quote can be very nice. The only problem is that they are sometimes stolen. It's sad that someone could steal an ornament off of a grave, but it happens.

However you choose to use concrete ornaments, they can be a great addition to your landscape!

Questions & Answers

Question: Do I have to use an exterior paint or can I use an acrylic to paint concrete lawn ornaments? I only need to paint one name, and I don’t want to buy a can of exterior if I don’t have to.

Answer: You can use Acrylic, but it may now hold up as well.

Question: I want to paint a concrete rabbit but will the paint last forever?

Answer: Unfortunately no the paint does not last forever. But if you painted good with good paint and you put a coat to seal it, it will last for several years

Question: I want to paint my daughter's headstone. How do I keep its surface protected and looking nice?

Answer: You can put a clear coat over the top, but there really is no way to protect it from the elements altogether.

Question: Do I need to use a base coat when painting concrete ornaments? My paint is in good shape, but starting to fade?

Answer: You should not need a base coat if you are painting over paint that is fading.

Question: Can I use finger nail polish to add more interest to my statue?

Answer: You could try but I am afraid the nail polish would chip very quickly.


Michele Redmond (author) from Central NY on August 08, 2020:

A base coat is a coat of primer that you put on the concrete before painting it

Kevin Cogan on August 08, 2020:

What is a base coat?

Teresa on May 12, 2015:

I wondered how to get the edges of extra concrete cleaned up?

Cathy from Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, Missouri on March 23, 2013:

Philip, this hub was interesting and you did do a good job with your content and instructions. The images, especially the bear, provide a good visual of what can be accomplished with this hobby or skill.

Michele Redmond (author) from Central NY on February 24, 2013:

Thank you. I enjoy writing and love to be able to share knowledge that can help others!

Dilip Chandra from India on February 23, 2013:

Useful hub Philip. Well written, i voted it UP