Last updated on February 4th, 2020
The Easy Way to Age a New Cement Statue. TO GIVE THE NEW STATUES in my Pool Garden an old-world patina, I turned to my friend Michael Laudati (above). Michael is a professional make-up artist. Would you like to see how he transformed my Satyr and another cement figure into works of antiquity? His process, which takes only 10 minutes, is surprisingly simple:
A spray bottle, filled with plain water
A bucket or a large bowl
1 pint clear water
1/2 pint concrete bonding adhesive
2 tablespoons charcoal-colored, water-soluble pigment (we used Quikrete Liquid Cement Color)
1 lint-free rag (we used an old cotton T-shirt)
In the bowl or bucket, mix together water, bonding agent and pigment.
1. Spray a small area of the statue with water. Pre-wetting will keep the color-solution from soaking in too fast, and causing blotchy areas.
2. Dip the paintbrush into the color-solution, and apply the color to the area you’ve just wet.
3. Using the rag, immediately wipe any protruding, or “high” areas. (In nature, high points of a statue are always lighter in color than indents and creases — the “low” points.)
Continue steps 1-3 until the entire statue is colored.
4. Step back and look at your work. Are details sufficiently pronounced? Michael and I thought certain low points, such as the Satyr’s eyes, and also the indents between torso and arms, required accentuation. Consequently we applied a second coat of color to these areas.
Before treatment. This 300-pound, five-and-a-half foot-tall cement statue was glaring white and devoid of details.
After treatment. The charcoal “wash” brought out the Satyr’s intricacies.
We applied the same charcoal wash to my statue of “Autumn.” From the creases in her tunic to the grapes in her hand, every detail is evident.
With a brush, a rag, a bonding agent and a little paint — you can turn any painfully-new statue into a glorious old one. And don’t worry — the procedure doesn’t make a mess!