How To Paint Your Own Garden Figurines and Décor

How To Verdigris Paint Your Own Garden Figurines and Décor

Painting Garden Figurines and Outdoor Décor

Painting your garden figurines can add a unique and personal touch to your yard, patio and flower beds.  Over 20 years ago, I started painting a verdigris finish on the concrete figurines in my own private sanctuary, otherwise known as my backyard.

After I painted my own backyard décor, I started decorating these little works of art for my friends and family.  I have been asked many times to paint concrete stones or concrete figures for gifts or to sell my painted statues.

Instead of selling my own, I started teaching others how to paint their own beautiful décor.  I do have a friend who did in fact start selling her finished work, after I taught her my fast and easy method for turning plain concrete décor into little works of art for the garden.


Concrete Garden Figurines
Put color and life into your garden.  Painting these garden figurines yourself adds a personal touch to your garden.


Supplies Needed to Paint Garden Figurines

How to Verdigris Outdoor Decor

Supply List for My Verdigris Paint Technique

  • Concrete Figurine
  • Jet Black Paint ~ See Photo Below
  • Green Paint ~ See Photo Below
  • Paint Brush ~ Inexpensive Art Brush
  • Can Opener for Paint Can
  • Stir Stick for Paint
  • Cardboard, paper plate or heavy paper
  • Drop Cloth


Snapshots of the Actual Paint Mix I Use

Both Are Behr Exterior Flat Paint

Only 2 Paint Colors are Needed

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How to Paint Your Own Garden Figurines

Apply Black Base Paint for VerdigrisSelect Your Favorite Garden Figurine to Paint

First you would need to thoroughly clean your garden figurine before painting it. Use water and a brush, then let it dry. Soap may be required if there is a heavy dirt or debris buildup.

Gather your supplies, spread a drop cloth and you’re ready to paint your garden figurines.

Paint the entire figurine black.

Start at the bottom and work your way up. That will allow you to hold the figurine by the top and tilt the piece to thoroughly paint the bottom edges. I do not paint the actual bottom of any of my pieces.

Allow the black paint to dry.


Dry Brush Paint the Garden Figurine

Dry Brush

How to Dry Brush Paint a Garden Figurine

Dry Brush Painting is Really Very Easy

Dab the paint brush in the green paint. Dry brush painting does not require very much paint.

Brush the paint back and forth across your piece of cardboard until there is very little paint coming off the brush.

Lightly brush the paint across the surface of your figurine.


Dry Brush Painting Will Bring Out the Detail of a Figurine

How to Dry BrushVerdigris Painted Concrete Angel Figurine


Verdigris Paint Stepping Stones for Your Garden

For really unique stepping stones, you can use the same technique to verdigris paint concrete stepping stones too.

When Painting a Garden Stepping Stone – Paint Sides First, Then Paint the Top of the Stepping Stone
Verdigris Paint Stepping Stones

Finished Painted Concrete Garden Stepping Stone

Verdigris Paint Garden Stepping Stones

Pick Out Your Garden Figurines
and Liven Up Your Garden!


My Garden Would Not Be Complete Without My Baby Hedgehog!

Concrete Hedgehog

Oh, And My Baby Rabbit! – Little Baby Rabbit Needed a Repair.

Verdigris Paint Rabbit Figurines


Allow Me to Show You the Steps for Restoring Your Painted Garden Figurines

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If You See a Figurine That You Love, but It is Already Painted, No problem!
Simply paint it black and verdigris away!


This Squirrel Figurine Was Brown When I Purchased Him. I Wanted Him to Match My Other Garden Figurines, So I Simply Painted Him.
Verdigris painted squirrel


Give New Life to A Used or Old, Worn Piece


Painted Concrete Birdbath – My Guest at Dusk

Verdigris Painted Bird Bath

Painted Concrete Planters – Even My Flowers Enjoy a Special Painted Concrete Planter

Verdigris painted concrete planter


Here Are A Few Garden Figurines That I Have Not Painted
But, I Think They Would Be Fun to Paint and Awesome in the Garden!

 LARK BIRD CONCRETE ORNAMENT 4Check Price Cast Stone Henry Hedgehog – Collectible Animal Concrete Indoor / Outdoor Garden SculptureCheck Price LAYING BUNNY CONCRETE STATUE 5.5Check Price Standing Garden Friends Gordy GroundhogCheck Price CROCODILE CONCRETE STATUE 4Check Price


Cathy Auger Macedo (see guest’s comments below) opted to dry brush black over a base coat of blue. She shared a photo of her lovely birdbath and gave me permission to share it with you too.
Thank you Cathy!

Painted Birdbath


Please Feel Free to Share this Article With Your Friends!

How to Verdigris Paint Garden Figurines

Originally posted 2016-01-26 13:51:20.



41 Enlightened Replies

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  1. Dawn Rae says:

    I love dry brushing. I never thought about it for garden statues! GREAT idea!

  2. Irene says:

    I have being painting garden sculptures for than 30 years and I have tried all the paint available in my country. All water base type. I followed all experts’ advise but regretefully….all type of paint peeled off in less than 1 year! Black base type last longer. Very difficult to find the right type of paint for outdoor cement sculptures. I made my own sculptures, some 9 feet tall and it really so heart broken to see the paint come off in less than 6 months! Any idea of fixing the peeling thing?

    • Cynthia Sylvestermouse says:

      Are you using an exterior flat paint? No craft paint will last outside. Be sure to use Exterior House Paint for the base coat of paint. In our region, it takes over 10 years for the premium exterior paint (like I recommended above) to start peeling. However, once the paint actually starts peeling, simply use very fine sanding paper to gently remove it. Take a look at the restored bunny and the instructions above.

      • Dana says:

        Looks awesome by any chance have you printed a concrete water fountain using this technique?

        • Cynthia Sylvestermouse says:

          Hi Dana,

          No, surprisingly, I have not painted a water fountain with this technique. Only the birdbath, which holds water. However, I don’t have experience with the durability with constant running water. Let me know if you try it!

  3. Lauren says:

    Could you please tell me the color of green paint you used on your statues? II wasn’t able to read the picture.
    Thank you,

    • Cynthia Sylvestermouse says:

      Of course! So sorry it is not easier to read.

      The green color is Behr Premium Plus Exterior Flat Paint, Amazon Moss (450F-5) Accent Base (4670)

  4. Ethel says:

    What color did you dry brush on the bird bath? It looks blue. Very pretty. I have an old angel statue that I bought at a yard sale. She is a little broken but far to beautiful to get rid of. I will try your method of painting on her. Thanks for the ideas.

    • Cynthia Sylvestermouse says:

      Hi Ethel,

      It was dry brushed with the same green paint as my angels & animal figurines. It must just be the way the sun or shadows made it look when I took the picture for it to have a blue cast.

  5. Junell says:

    I have a statue of a boy on a tractor. Do I use the same method, base coat then do a dry brush coat in a different color?

    • Cynthia Sylvestermouse says:

      That is really up to you. I paint all of my statues the same way, with the same colors, regardless of the design.

  6. Karen Smith says:

    Do you clean them?

    • Cynthia Sylvestermouse says:

      Normally, I am painting on new concrete, therefore cleaning is not necessary. However, if I am touching up an older paint job, yes, it is necessary to clean the figurines first.

  7. Fran Ewing says:

    I have a 3 foot statue of a lady that I’m going to put in my garden. I have used your technique but I was going to spray her with Rust-Oleum satin clear enamel to prolong the finish. What is your opinion?

    • Cynthia Sylvestermouse says:

      I don’t use a sealer on my concrete figures simply because I need to be able to retouch worn areas periodically. We use Rust-Oleum on our outdoor table & chairs. I know they require repainting every 4 years or so. I do love Rust-Oleum, but I would be hesitant to use it as a sealer on the painted figurines because it will weather unevenly too and prevent you from touching up the paint.

  8. Cathy Auger Macedo says:

    Love all your garden statues! I have already sealed my bird baths ( just reading your method now) hoping they will come out as nice as yours! I am going to try to do 2 bird baths using your dry brush painting technique using shades of blue over black. Have you ever dry brushed with black over other paint? Wondering how it would look.

    • Cynthia Sylvestermouse says:

      I have not tried dry brushing black over another paint color. I bet it would be beautiful! Let me know if you try it and how it turns out.

      And, thank you for your kind comments!

  9. Cathy Auger Macedo says:

    Hi Cynthia,
    Am I able to send you a picture? I tried using black over a blue paint I bought on my smaller birdbath using your dry brush technique … would like to show you and see what you think.

    • Cynthia Sylvestermouse says:

      I am sure it is beautiful Cathy! I will send my contact information to your email address listed with your comment above. Thank you!

  10. judy schlosser says:

    I have just finished repainting a life sized Canada Goose with multicolors. Used water based oil paint. I will varnish in six months. I’d like to send you photos, or look on Instagram under judyschlosser. It’s my first try but happy with the results!

    • Cynthia Sylvestermouse says:

      Hi Judy! I did try to look at your Canada Goose picture on instagram, but it shows your account is private. So sad that I couldn’t see your picture. I am sure your painted goose is lovely.

  11. Robin says:

    Hi Cynthia!
    Your work is beautiful! I have a concrete Dachshund that I am wanting to paint for my Dad. There isn’t much detail except in and around the face. Are there others colors that could be used in place of the green, and is there a color that you would recommend?

    • Cynthia Sylvestermouse says:

      Hey Robin, Thank you! I’ve only used the green myself. One of our readers, Cathy Auger Macedo (see photo above), used blue and I thought it was quite stunning. I’m sure your dad will love whatever color you select and a concrete dachshund will be adorable.

  12. Sandra Erickson says:

    I like gray tones (concrete look). If I want to to highlight the details, would I paint all gray, then dry brush with darker gray?…or vice versa? Thank you for taking the time to do this for us.

    • Cynthia Sylvestermouse says:

      It has been my experience that it works best if you paint with the darkest color and dry brush with the lighter. I’m sure the gray will be beautiful! Be sure and send me a picture when you are done.

  13. Donna Doyle says:

    Hi Cynthia,
    What techniques and supplies would you use on resin garden statues? I have a number of them I’d like to refinish, specifically one 24 inch tall fairy sitting on a tree stump, reading a book. I have loved for over 30 years, now a verdigris finish.
    Thank you for sharing your techniques!!!

    • Cynthia Sylvestermouse says:

      I’ve never refinished (or finished) a resin garden statue and I’m not sure what would be the best paint for one. If I come across instructions from someone experienced with painting resin, I will certainly let you know.

  14. Kathy says:

    I have a lady statue that was painted solid white but I love the look of you work would I start by painting it black

  15. Barb says:

    These are most beautiful, thank you for sharing❤️
    Can you tell me if you dry brush with the grain of the concrete, or against the grain? Perhaps both?
    Thank you

    • Cynthia Sylvestermouse says:

      Thank you! I’ve never paid attention to the grain of the concrete. When dry brushing a figurine like the angel, I brush across the details from side to side. I hope that helps!

  16. John says:

    really liked your technique. have some ducks that I need to refinish. want them to end up being white. once I clean them up would I put a base coat of white or still use black? will be painting their bills and paddles orange but haven’t picked out a color for the eyes. what would you suggest? ty, John

    • Cynthia Sylvestermouse says:

      If you want them to be white and not verdigris, I would simply paint the them with a white base coat of paint. I’m sure they will be lovely!

  17. I have two 3-foot ceramic pillars I want to place in my garden. I would like to repaint them to have a weathered black look. Currently they have a brown weathered look. Would you suggests painting in black, and then dry brushing in a light gray? or a dark gray? Also, what would you suggest for a sealant for ceramic garden pieces? Thank you for your reply, and your pieces are beautiful!

    • I forgot to ask…also, what about a primer? Should I apply a primer to the piece after cleaning before applying the black base paint?

    • Cynthia Sylvestermouse says:

      Whichever color you want to be most pronounced should be you brushed color. I wanted the pieces I featured in this article to have a greenish appearance, therefore my dry brushing was done with green mixed color and my base was black. If you want your pillars to be more black, then I would definitely recommend using the gray as a base color and dry brushing the black.

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