How to Paint Cement Yard Art

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Painted cement or stone statues add a bit of whimsy to your yard.
Painted cement or stone statues add a bit of whimsy to your yard. (Image: Stone Turtle Statue image by bayu harsa from Fotolia.com)

You can make a landscape go from dull to wow with colorfully painted pieces of yard art nestled among the flowers and ground cover. You can paint a cement turtle or gnome inexpensively with stain or latex paint. A gnome in the yard is colorful and whimsical when painted in bright latex colors. Stain a turtle to create natural appeal, then seal with a wax sealant. Use these step-by-step guidelines for the best results and have fun.

Things You'll Need

  • Roll of plastic or newspapers
  • Cement turtle
  • Bag of rags
  • 2 cans of stain in pine green and light walnut
  • 3 stain brushes, 1-inch each
  • 3 pairs of latex gloves
  • Can of stone stain wax sealant
  • Cement gnome
  • Can of masonry primer
  • 4 pints of outdoor latex in red, green, black and white
  • 3 paintbrushes, 2-inches, 1-inch, ½-inch

Stain A Turtle

Prepare a flat surface area with plastic. Set the cement turtle, gloves, two rags, two cans of stain, stain wax sealant and three stain brushes on the prepared table. Put on the latex gloves and use a rag to clean off the cement turtle of any sand, dirt or debris. Use a dry ½-inch brush to get inside crevices to remove any powdered cement or stone. Rinse out the brush with soap and water after use.

Paint the turtle, not the shell, with the pine green stain, using the 1-inch brush. Use a rag to rub away some of the stain from protruding parts of the turtle. Rub the areas that should be lighter in color than the rest of the turtle.

Spread the light walnut stain on the turtle's shell with a 1-inch brush. Use a clean rag to rub the areas that need to be lighter for contrast. Allow to dry. Use the last stain brush to seal the stain with stain wax sealant. Allow the turtle to dry, then add one more coat of stain wax sealant.

Paint a Gnome in Outdoor Latex Paint

Cover a flat surface area with plastic. Set the cement gnome, gloves, two rags, four cans of outdoor latex paint, can of masonry primer and three paintbrushes on the prepared table. Put on the latex gloves and use a rag to clean off the cement gnome of any sand, dirt or debris. Use a dry ½-inch brush to get inside crevices to remove any powdered cement or stone. Rinse out the brush with soap and water after use.

A brightly painted gnome can accent your outdoor garden.
A brightly painted gnome can accent your outdoor garden. (Image: park gnome 01 image by fotosergio from Fotolia.com)

Paint the gnome with masonry primer, using the 1-inch brush. Allow to dry. Wash out the brush in soap and water.

Paint the pants and shoes black, using the ½-inch brush. Wash the brush. Paint the shirt with a ½-inch brush in green paint. Apply red paint to the gnome's hat and leave the white pom pom on the end. Mix white with a bit of red and black to create a flesh-tone for the gnome. Apply the face color to the hands and face, then allow the gnome to dry.

Tips & Warnings

  • An outdoor latex paint will last 15 to 20 years depending on the manufacturer. Latex paints can withstand up to 200 degrees Fahrenheit and cold temperatures as well. Keep the extra latex paint for touch-ups as needed.
  • Paint in a well-ventilated area. Use latex gloves to protect your skin.

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