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topic 12155

Antique finish for cement art



My wife and I would like to give the cement bench and water fountain in our back yard an old look but don't know what to do. We have seen ancient-looking cement castings in art shops in many tones, etc. What can we purchase to stain or treat the cement and how should it be used?

Thanks for any help you can provide.

Yours truly,

Mike and Dawn Hayes
semi-retired - Markham, Ontario, Canada

Sample Stains for Concrete


The only way to make cement appear old is to roughen the smooth finish. You do this with muriatic acid full strength (wear a good respirator) use a garden sprayer the acid will fume up when it hits the cement you need to soak the piece at least four times over the course of a couple of days. Rent a pressure washer 1600 P.S.I and blast the pieces until they look as old as you would like. Then buy green and dark grey acrylic paint in tubes wet the pieces blend the paint and add water until you create a wash instead of a paint consistency. I have done this many times on many cement pieces and fooled even seasoned antique dealers.

You should have a test piece for the finish let it dry after a couple of wash coats and see if you want to go darker. The reason concrete stains won't work in this case is you have washed away the part of the concrete that takes stain. If you want to grow real moss on the pieces take yogurt with active cultures (it will say on the package) mix it with some garden soil and a little water paint it on the piece then cover the piece with an old blank use duct tape to to get it snug on the piece water it down and keep it in the shade for two weeks spraying it every day to keep it wet when you take the blanket off it will by green with moss keep the piece in a shaded area for a month or two misting the piece every day or so.

Bruce Hood
- Hunt Beach, California

July 1, 2010

I have several concrete animal benches. I have repainted them and now wish to antique them with black paint to enhance there appearance. How do I do that?

They are so great in my back yard and I and friends really enjoy them. Thank you for any help you can give me.

Neta Linderman
home - Vancouver, Washington

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