We found a large concrete dog with a broken ear, two concrete lions, a bicycle pack, a mirror, lots of beer bottles, several large conch shells and an alligator with a broken tail. All of these were under and inside the massive bush that covered my front yard when we moved in. As pitiful as it was, I kept the alligator. I liked it. My little concrete alligator has been in our front yard for the last 3 years. In his original worn out state. This morning I turned him into a DIY faux bronze garden statue and now he looks like I paid big bucks for a bronze statue!
Floridians love their yard art. Seriously, I can take a ride down any one of our neighboring streets and see manatee mailboxes, boat hulls as gardens, pelican statues, light houses in the front yards and more. Any where else it might be too kitschy, but here on the island beach residents are anything but stoic when it comes to jazzing up the front yard. They take pride in their yard art.
Now that I finally have a dent in our curb appeal with my DIY Landscaping and Butterfly Garden project, I’m ready to add some yard art of my own.
I shopped around at first. One little iron pelican was over $100, the concrete “Pelican Pete” that is so popular out here was over $60. Unpainted. 🙁 Then I remembered my little orphan alligator was out in the yard, under a bush. I had nothing to loose, he looked awful.
This is my supply list to make a DIY faux bronze garden statue (affiliate links). I love these products, but they can be hard to find so I’ve linked them to a source here.
- Primer – Modern Masters AM203-04 Acid Blocking Primer White, 4-Ounce
- Bronze paint – Modern Masters ME396-06 Reactive Metallic Bronze, 6-Ounce Color: Bronze Size: 6-Ounce, Model: ME396-06
- Aging solution – Modern Masters PA902-04 Aging Solution Blue Patina, 4-Ounce – This also comes in green.
- spray top – Modern Masters SP120 Metal Effects Spritzer Cap
- Optional sealer – Modern Masters AM204-04 Permacoat X-Treme Sealer, 4-Ounce
- paint brush
- drop cloth
Start with a clean and dry item. Apply two coats of primer, allowing them to dry in between coats. Let cure for 12 hours or overnight. Next paint two thin coats of the bronze metal effects paint.
A little paint goes a long way. I painted two coats on my alligator and still had about a 3/4 jar of bronze paint left over.
While the second coat of paint is still wet, mist all over with the spray top attached to the Patina Aging Solution. You could spray a lot lighter than I did. I wanted a heavily oxidized patina. No worries if you don’t like it, you can always paint on another coat of the bronze and re-spray the aging solution.
Sit back and watch your masterpiece turn into a faux bronze garden statue. It will take a few hours to completely oxidize and show the rich time worn and weathered patina. But, ooh, you’ll love how realistic this finish is!
Leave it unsealed to continue to weather naturally in the elements or seal with the Extreme Sealer.
I had my son carry him all over the front yard for photos. He’s heavy and solid concrete. I still don’t know where I’ll put him permanently. I think I like him by the front of my butterfly garden so he can be seen easily from the driveway, but I’ll probably change my mind tomorrow;)
I love metal and the look of aged patina…I’ll put it anywhere I can get away with it. Here are a few more of my favorite faux painted metal projects… my front door is Faux Painted Aged Copper (click here) and my mailbox is an aged copper patina (click here) using the same Modern Masters products but with the green aging solution instead of the blue. I share how to How To Faux Paint a Metal Finish here… I could go on, but you get the idea:)
What would you turn into a DIY faux bronze garden statue?
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Statues make your garden reflect your personality! I love that you can change the whole look of your yard by moving, changing or modifying your statues. My personal favorite is the traditional garden gnome!
Ethel…I’d put a gnome in my garden now:) I’m always game for a rich patina on anything so when I had the chance to update my old alligator I was all over it. It looks like real bronze which I love:) Thanks so much for your visit:)
I love the look of that bronze, too. It could fool me for real! Thanks for the post! I thought it was really cute and fun!
Ethel. It looks even better in person. I’m loving this finish, it would even work on plastic and the proce is so much better than the real thing. Thank you so much for your visit & sweet comment:)
[email protected] says
I am scared to death of alligators but I’ll have to admit that this guy is pretty darn cute!
Paula.. I’m with you & thank you! We even saw them in the pond next to the dining facility here when we were looking for colleges for our son! I’ll take a little concrete one anyday of the week.
What a cool project Wendi!
Hi Deborah, LOL… he’s cool now, but was pitiful before:) This product is awesome, you have to try it out. Totally transforms anything. Thanks so much for your visit!
[email protected] Interior Frugalista says
Awe, your alligator turned out fabulous! I had a visual of your son walking around hunched over carrying this heavy alligator while you’re shouting from the sidewalk, “try over there” “no, over there” “hmm how about over there”. Hilarious!
HaHa! You’re spot on! I took a bad fall on the wet pavers coming in from the first round of photos…so after that he had to carry the “gator” all ove the yard, moving it “a little to the left…and slightly to the right”. He’s handy to have around, my son that is:) Have a fantatsic week!
Serena @ Thrift Diving says
Awww….it turned out really cute! Hmmm….let’s see…….I may have to bronze something for my outdoor patio! That’s the space I’m trying to pull together this month. It’s a hot mess! I would love to try this on my outdoor lamps!
Serena… This would be awesome on outdoor patio lamps girlfriend! Try it! I’m sure you’ll knock it out of the ballpark with something amazing!