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Friday, January 18, 2008

Aging Concrete Tutorial ~

I thought that since our forecast was snow for tomorrow that I'd have a little pre-gardening, pre-spring tutorial!

Cindy and I purchased some beautiful pieces of concrete for The Plum Tree a while back and I brought this sweet piece home to age it. I wanted to show Cindy how easy it was but I'm just now getting to it!

Anyway, being a lover of all things old, distressed, aged and weathered of course I would love my concrete statuary to have a look of living in a garden for years. These are my steps in accomplishing or at least beginning the aging look and knocking off the newness.

First, I start with about three or four shades of paint. I just use the little acrylic bottles. A couple shades of green, one light, one dark . . . black and brown. Be sure not to get greens that have too much blue in them or you will not get a true representation of the mossy look we all love!

I've used disposable bowls but you can use whatever. I've put about a teaspoon of color in each bowl and added plenty of water to dilute the paint.


Here's my little statue before:



I started with the lighter green and dipped my sponge in the bowl (used a rubber glove here) and squeezed out the sponge over top of the statue to let the diluted color run down. I did this several times with this color.

Next step, I dipped my sponge into the darker green and held my hand over the statue again and squeezed. This diluted color runs down the statue in the same way rain would over the years.



Now I've moved to the black diluted paint water. Dip the sponge in the bowl or container to absorb the color and then squeeze again over top of the statue. I move around to the back and make sure it drizzles down all sides.




I had a pitcher of water outside as well to dip my sponge into just in case my colors were too strong. Remember, you can always add color but you can't really take it away! So the more it's diluted the more natural the look will be. Also remember that when the concrete is wet it will look much darker that it looks when dry. So don't be alarmed when it looks so dark and streaky.


I don't show it here but the last step I drizzled the diluted brown over top. I wanted to knock down the color of everything and dark brown was perfect for that. So squeeze this last color over the top of the piece.


Well, here it is, not quite dry in this photo but beginning to look as if it has been outside for many months now.




I hope this is a technique that you'll be able to use this spring. If you love the look of old and weathered like I do, I'm sure you'll find this is so very easy to do and it gives you instant gratification after you've brought a new piece of concrete home to your garden!


Remember ~ concrete statuary is not just beautiful in your garden but lovely inside your home as well! Try placing a statue in your foyer, master bath or even in the center of your buffet (small and of course with plenty of cloth protection underneath). When brought inside your home, these pieces can then be enjoyed all year long!

26 comments:

Lori said...

well you never cease to amaze me and you've done it again!!! what a wonderful technique, and that piece is just stunning:)

Fete et Fleur said...

I'm always afraid to work with paint. I've had many a disaster trying to paint furniture. You made this look easy!
Thanks for sharing this technique.

Hugs!Nancy

Joanie said...

A beautiful technique! Do you seal the concrete after you've aged it? Will it work on statues that are not concrete?

Elaine L. said...

Thank you for posting the tutorial.
This is something I definitely want to try.

~elaine~

Shop girl said...

WOW! Beautiful, thank you for sharing. You do amaze me...so many things to enjoy on your blog.
Mary

Auntie Joy said...

Wow!
That is great..Thanks for sharing I can't wait to give it a try.
JOY!

red tin heart said...

Dawn I love this! I am going to have to try it. xoxo Nita

~*~ Patty said...

What an amazing tutorial, thanks for sharing. Your statue is wonderful! Lovely music too!

Nancy said...

This is so cool and such a beautiful result! Thank you so much for these instructions. This will be a fun project to look forward to when the weather turns warm.

Lady Em said...

How cool!! I love it!! I'm going to try this out!! We're getting yucky cold rain, I wish we were there for the snow, I haven't seen it in years, and I sure do love it!! Love ya'll!!

Vickie said...

Love the technique Dawn. I definitely plan on using this! I'm going to have to wait for the snow and cold to go away. I like snow, but I sure don't like the cold. I don't know what the windchill is here but it's a brisk 25 degrees and there is wind. Do you seal your pieces? I can see with stain a person wouldn't have to.

Bebe said...

Hi Dawn,

Can't wait to try this technique this Spring! I've been wanting to add more statuary to my garden, but didn't want it to look like gleaming new concrete out there. You've made it look easy and I've printed out your tutorial/pictures. Thanks for posting this!!

Bebe :)

The Promoted Princess said...

Oh how beautiful! I'm going to have to try this. Thanks for sharing!

Kim said...

How lovely it looks! I am inspired to try this in the spring, or at least when the weather is better. Thank you for all the sharing, you are wonderfully generous.

Miss Sandy said...

Lovely technique and results. I tried the yogurt method one time but it failed because my cat came along a licked it off before it had time to mold and moss over! This, I think would work much better!

Storybook Woods said...

This is wonderful. Although living in the NW, aging concrete is never a problem. Actually too much moss is my problem :-) xoxoxo Clarice

Cathy ~ Tadpoles and Teacups said...

Awesome! Like watching it change before our "virtual" eyes.
Thanks for the tutorial~
Cathy

Lynne's Somewhat Invented Life said...

Very nice. I too want to know, do you seal it after it is painted?

Kathy Maximo said...

WOW, I would be so afraid to do that...it looks wonderful.

LivingTheLife said...

Wow!! I love that...and you always make it seem so easy. I will definately try this when warmer weather comes around. One question...Do you let each layer of paint dry between paintings or do you just continue each step one after another without drying?

Thanks for always sharing your wonderful tutorials and creations with us...you are truly a very generous crafter...creator...master of making things new look old...I'm still using your instant coffee method...I am addicted!
Blessings...
Teresa

She'sSewPretty said...

That is so beautiful! I never thought about aging concrete statues myself. Now, I can't wait to try this.

Alison Gibbs said...

Dawn that looks wonderful.
Alison

Sylvia Anderson said...

Hi Dawn, I just popped over here from a friends blog...I LOVE your style!! Your technique turned out great, and thanks so much for sharing your tips with us...I will be sure to give that a try when I pick up a new cement piece this year. :)

Emily said...

Hi Dawn, love the tutorials! Another idea to distress concrete and to get moss growing quickly on it (not a technique for statues in a foyer or other indoor spaces!!!) would be to paint natural yogurt on it and leave it and it encourages moss growth. Blessings xx

Nancy Ward said...

Hi!

I recently posted an entry on my blog with a link to this tutorial.

I'd appreciate your letting me know if that's OK.

Thanks,

Nancy Ward
http://paperfriendly.blogspot.com

the vintage wren said...

I love this tutorial, and I have the perfect statue to try it on. I was a little skeptical in the early photos, but it really turned out very nicely. I also love the photos of the truly aged statues, what inspiration.

Thanks so much for sharing.

http://thevintagewren.blogspot.com

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