How to Paint Concrete Garden Statues

hand painting colorful garden statue

Concrete garden statues are useful tools for brightening up any household garden. However, if you think uncolored concrete is a little too dull, you may want to consider painting concrete statues.

You can do so in a realistic fashion or a fun, whimsical style. You can also meld the two. If you have a flamingo concrete statue, for example, you could paint it all one pink color. It would not look the same as if you were to do different variants of pink and the eyes and feet a different color but would still clearly be a flamingo.

Step 1 - Clean Your Statue

Cleaning is the first step of nearly every painting project. You'll need to give your concrete garden statue a vigorous cleaning before proceeding to paint it. To do so, begin by using a feather duster or a vacuum cleaner with brush attachments to remove any dust or cobwebs from the statue.

Next, give your statue a thorough scrubbing with a hard bristled scrub brush and a mixture of warm water and mild liquid soap.

You could also try using a solution of vinegar and water.

If your statue has any cracks, deal with these now as well.

Take care during the cleaning process to be gentle. While concrete is heavy, it is breakable, and you should make sure not to knick or even break the statue before you even start to paint it.

Once you are done cleaning the concrete statue, make sure to give it ample time to dry thoroughly before you move on to the next steps.

Step 2 - Apply Your Primer

A concrete statue in a garden.

Now that your freshly cleaned statue has had ample time to dry, place it on a tarp or expendable towel and begin applying your epoxy primer. Doing so will keep your floors or yard clean.

You will likely have a few drops during the course of this project, and the tarp or towel will catch all of these and make cleaning up after you finish the project a breeze instead of a nightmare.

If you wish to paint the underside of your statue, begin the epoxy application by turning the statue on its side and using a paintbrush to apply your epoxy primer to the bottom of the statue. Don't forget to apply epoxy in an open-air or well-ventilated area, and for extra safety, wear a face mask to avoid inhaling any fumes.

Make sure you cover the statue fully in the epoxy paint. Again, let the statue dry thoroughly before you move on to the next step.

Step 3 - Paint Your Statue

After your epoxy primer has had ample time to dry, you're free to begin painting the statue. In much the same fashion as your primer, begin this process by applying your selected color of paint to the underside of your concrete garden statue and allowing it to dry.

Next, you can apply your paint to the rest of the statue using smooth, even strokes. Follow up by applying a coat of polyurethane topcoat for maximum protection. Again, make sure you cover the statue completely in the paint.

Do not paint too heavy a coat, though. You should also make sure not to leave any brush marks as these will ruin the look of your statue.

colorful garden gnomes

How Do I Avoid Messes When Painting Garden Statues?

If you are looking to paint a garden statue, you may be wondering what you can do to prevent it from becoming a messy job. This is where the previously mentioned tarp or towel comes in. Lay whichever one you have under your statue. It will catch any paint that drips and makes for easy cleanup.

Another way to avoid messing things up is to wear clothes you don't care about. That way, even if you do have some paint drip, nothing you care about will be ruined.

You should also keep both water and paper towels or rags nearby. This way, if you do get paint on your hands, for example, you will be able to wipe them on the rags or paper towel instead of on your body or clothes. And if anything drips you can deal with the issue quickly. Dealing with it right away will prevent the paint from hardening and becoming impossible to deal with.

Can I Use Acrylic Latex Paint On My Concrete Garden Statue?

Yes, you can use acrylic latex paint on concrete garden statues. Water-based acrylic latex paint is probably the best type of paint you can use on these statues. These are among the best paint options because they are known for soaking into concrete easily and quickly.

These paints also stain the concrete beyond just its surface.

Acrylic latex paint also doesn't crack and form a shell over time. Oil-based paint, meanwhile, does.

Other Paint Considerations

You may be wondering how else you can protect the paint on your painted concrete garden statues. One way to do so is by using a paint product that provides protection from the sun's ultraviolet rays.

To do this, you should use a spray-on polyurethane product that is also paint at the end of your paint project. Pick one that is advertised as providing UV protection.

Other Concrete Garden Statue Protections

In addition to using a spray-on polyurethane product on your painted concrete garden statue, you should also keep it clean. To do so, you can use a garden hose on a light setting or a bucket of water.

Make sure to remove any dirt or debris from the statue occasionally. Every few months should do the trick, but if you live in a windy or dusty area, you may want to do this more often.

Also make sure to remove any creatures that are on the statue.

Every few years, you should also apply more sealer to your statue to ensure it lasts a long time. This can be sprayed or brushed on sealer.

If you notice pests swarming your statue or the surrounding area, you may want to take some pest prevention and pest control measures.

man painting park statue

Pros of Painting Concrete Garden Statues

One of the major positive aspects of painting a garden statue is to make the statue a unique reflection of who you are as an individual. You could paint something in the colors of your favorite sports team, in a rainbow, or in any color or pattern that is meaningful to you.

Even if you go for a realistic color palette or just one color instead, the painted garden statue will add some oomph to your yard. Because it will be more noticeable when painted, these garden statues will also become a conversation piece, so make sure you have something to say when people ask you about the statue.

Painting a garden statue can also be a budget-friendly way to add more pizzazz to your home. While garden statues range in price, there are often options available that are not too pricy.

Painting the garden statue also means you can buy an even cheaper garden statue since you will be changing its look anyway. In addition to gardening stores, you can look at yard and garage sales and even flea markets for a concrete garden statue that you can paint and breathe fresh life into.

And unlike some garden additions that are great in the summer, a painted garden statue is a great decor option all year. While regular concrete might fade into the background in snowy months, a brightly painted statue will still be easy to see and make your yard stand out.

As a result, you may even want to put the statue somewhere you wish to mark so that you will be able to find it easily all year round.

If you live in an area that is in a drought or where rain is unpredictable, a painted garden statue is also a great way to get some color into a backyard since flowers will be more difficult to grow.

These statues are also great for dark yards. They do not need sun like plants will and can bring some color and excitement to a dark area.

Colored concrete statues are also a great option for small yards since they can be as big or small as you want.

Painted garden statues are also incredibly low maintenance as they do not need water, compost, sun, or anything else in order to look their best. If you are away from your home for long periods of time, this is a great option.

colorful painted elephants

Cons of Painting Concrete Garden Statues

Despite the benefits of painting, there are some negatives. The first is the weight. Since these garden statues are made of concrete, they can be quite heavy.

It may require multiple people to move it from its current resting place or the car if you just purchased one, to your tarp, and then to the location where you wish for the statue to live.

If you know exactly where you want the concrete garden statue to live, this may not seem like a huge deal, but if you are hoping to test how it appears in a few different locations, this will be a difficult endeavor, depending, of course, on the size of the statue.

This also means that you may need help in order to move the statue, and it is not a job you can tackle yourself.

Concrete is also breakable. If you have a smaller, and therefore lighter weight statue, it could be knocked over if you live in an area with strong winds.

The concrete could also break if you are not careful when you are moving the statue to a new location within your garden.

While concrete cracks are repairable, it can be a long process if you do not already know how to do so. You would also have to repaint the concrete garden statue after you finish repairing it, which can be a time intensive procedure.

Painted concrete garden statues can also be distracting. If you have a yard that otherwise has a very natural look, having a hot pink garden statue will detract from the surroundings. Of course, if that's the look you are going for, that is totally fine.

You may also want to check with your area's homeowner's association, if applicable, because there may be rules against yard ornaments.

Furthermore, some statues can even scare small children.

In addition, if you have children playing in your yard, you should avoid having concrete statues, painted or unpainted, anywhere near where they are playing. The kids could run into one and trip and fall and end up getting hurt. The children could also knock the statue over, causing it to break

If you live in an extreme climate, you may actually need to move your statue inside during extreme weather conditions. This makes the concrete statues more high maintenance than you may think.

You will have to find a place to store the statue or statues and be able to move them there. This can be quite difficult depending on the size and weight of the statue or statues.


Painted concrete garden statues can be a great option for your garden. Before you go about adding one to your home, however, make sure to read the tips above.

These painted statues can be a great topic of conversation, are lower maintenance than a lot of other yard decor options, and are drought friendly. They can also be an affordable decor option for your yard and can be sourced from a number of different places.

They also don't require water or sunlight, making them an option for any size or garden location. They can, however, break, and can be heavy and therefore difficult to move.