Some gardeners prefer their concrete garden ornaments to have an aged look, even from new -- I'm not talking about a coating of algae, this can be achieved by painting the concrete with yogurt -- I'm talking about giving the concrete an aged look. This latter effect can be achieved, using the following process.
Add 4 dessert spoons of PVA glue to half a liter (1 pint) of clean, cold water. Mix thoroughly and coat the ornament with the solution, using a paint brush.
Mix an amount of neat cement. The amount will depend on the size of the ornament. Mix the cement with enough clean, cold water to make liquid cement, the consistency of single cream. Apply this liquid to the ornament with a paint brush, being sure to cover the entire area. When dry, the surface coating will be powdery.
Add a little black emulsion (external use) to a quarter liter (half a pint) of clean, cold water. Add just enough for the solution to resemble very dirty water. Coat the surface with this solution. The dry, dusty cement surface will absorb the dirty water giving a blotchy effect.
Allow the surface to dry once more. Rub all the cement coating off the high points of the ornament with an old sponge sanding block.
Stir one dessert spoon of PVA glue in 5 fluid ounces (150ml) of clean, cold water. Paint this solution onto the ornament. This will have the effect of sealing the cement coating. When dry, give the ornament a second coat. The finish on your ornament should resemble the illustration.
Clive is an established part-time freelance writer of illustrated articles for magazines.
He was a manufacturer of concrete garden ornaments but has since retired.
There are a number of related articles on decorating and repairing concrete; see author's other articles.