There isn’t a lot of information on this topic, Good information that is, I know because I searched for it and it is why I created this site. I will tell you what kind of paint to use and how to properly apply it to your concrete statue. This is my “tell all” guide to paint concrete statues. You will have a paint job that will last a long time if you follow my advice.
What Kind Of Paint To Use On Concrete Statues?
The quick answer is Flat Exterior acrylic latex paint. It is the best to use cause it will last for years when done right. Plus if you’re painting a concrete birdbath, this paint won’t cause your backyard friends any harm. I recommend MyArtscape Acrylic Paint Set (link to Amazon)
You do not have to use the brand names I am going to mention, But I highly recommend you use the same type of paint. More than likely you can get these paints at Wal-Mart or any hardware store. I do have links to Amazon if you want to buy them online.
My family and I have been making concrete statues and painting them for a long time (1979). So you can have faith and trust in what I say 🙂
Basecoating Concrete Statues
I recommend Glidden Flat Black Exterior Paint (Link to Amazon) You don’t have to use that particular brand or even color. I just prefer a black base coat. Always use a flat paint that is latex exterior and you will be fine. The top coat on your concrete statue you can use almost any kind of latex paint. My preference is flat acrylic paint. Just as long as it’s an exterior acrylic latex based paint, you will be fine, and so will your statue.
The reason I say flat paint instead of medium gloss or enamel paints is because they tend to smear. Whereas flat paint won’t. It’s just easier to work with.
The general rule of thumb I was taught is if the topcoat of your paint is going to be dark colors or mostly dark colors, use a dark basecoat, like black. The opposite holds true too. If your topcoat is mainly brighter colors, use a bright basecoat, like white.
That is how I paint everything, whether it is painting garden gnomes, animals, birdbaths or any other concrete yard ornament.
How To Paint Concrete Statues
The base coat is the single most important step to painting your concrete statue after it is cured. If you don’t apply it in the right way, your paint will bubble or chip from your statue and then your gonna have to remove the rest of the paint and start over. Removing paint from a statue is not very fun. Trust me!
Applying A Base Coat
This best and only way to apply the base coat, in my opinion, is to wet the statue with water (don’t be afraid to drench it) first and then apply the base coat while the piece is still wet. That way the paint will absorb into the concrete creating a seal, which will protect your top coat of paint. I water down the paint too. That will also help it absorb into the concrete. I do 50/50, 50% paint 50% water mix. Only do that to your paint that you are using for a basecoat, not your topcoat paint.
Here is a video I found on youtube that demonstrates how to apply the base coat properly.
After your base coat is dry, it is time to apply your top coat. The type of paint I use for my top coat is Myartscpe Acrylic paints you can find it here, MyArtscape Acrylic Paint Set (link to Amazon)
Applying A Concrete Sealer
The final step on your painted statue is to seal it with a nonyellowing UV resistant outdoor acrylic paint sealer.
That will help protect the paint from mother nature. Plus it adds a shine to the statue for an added bonus. That is pretty much it. As for the sealer to use, I recommend this sealer, Rainguard International SP-9004 Ready to Use 1 Gallon Premium Paint Sealer (link to Amazon) it has done well for me.
If you do not have that many items to seal, I would use a clear enamel spray. It does just as well and is a cheaper option. When I used to use a spray sealer, I used this stuff here, Krylon Colormaster Crystal Clear Gloss Spray (Link will take you to Amazon) Each year you might want to give it another coat of sealer, but it is up to you.
Spray Paint For Concrete Statues
I would not and never have recommended spray paint for concrete statues. It won’t last on concrete. Yes, painting concrete statues with spray paint is quicker and cheaper (in some cases), but I hope you like painting the same statue over an over year after year. When that concrete gets hot in the summer sun your spray paint will peel off and I don’t think you would want that.
If you follow the advice given above, you’ll be painting concrete statues like a pro. That is how I do it and what I use and your painted statues should last for years to come! Hope you found this helpful.
If you would like to learn more about making your own concrete statues check my post on it HERE. In that post, I will tell you how to make your statues and molds.