Hi! Liz here with another simple decorating tip… painting concrete with Fusion Mineral Paint! Yup! Fusion is durable and great for outdoor projects too, like this cute vintage concrete bird I found a couple years ago.
If you’ve been following along with my projects lately, you would know that this isn’t the first concrete thing I’ve painted with Fusion Mineral Paint. Here you can see the concrete porch floor I painted in a faux brick stencil using Fusion Mineral Paint, and here is the post from last year when I painted a vintage seahorse birdbath with Fusion Mineral Paint, (by the way, that has gone through last summer and a very cold and snowy winter outside and still looks as good as the day we put it out!) Here are details to keep in mind when painting concrete with Fusion Mineral paint…
I love birds, and vintage things, so when I find a vintage bird I feel like I found a real treasure!
It really is vintage too! c. 1977… That is 45 years ago. I have to admit, something from 1977 doesn’t really feel vintage to me. When I was first married, in 1979, if I would have found something 45 years old, that would have been something from 1934. Now that felt vintage then, but this doesn’t… at least to me. To my granddaughter, if sure does. Everything is relative, right?! Crazy!
I didn’t love the reddish brown color of this found bird, so in-between other projects, I finally found time to re-do it, and of course with Fusion Mineral Paint.
Fusion Mineral Paint is a great choice for indoor projects, like furniture, cabinetry, woodwork etc. but it’s also a perfect option for outdoor projects, like this previously painted concrete bird. Fusion doesn’t fade in the sun, it’s super durable with a proprietary acrylic resin base, and it is wonderful to work with.
Here are the steps I did to redo this concrete bird to emphasize the vintage quality of it.
First things first. I washed all the dirt and crud off the surface. You can see how there are some chips in the previous paint but pretty much all the rest of the paint was very securely adhering on the concrete bird. If it wasn’t, it would have been necessary to scrape and remove all loose and flaking paint.
Next, time to cover all the reddish brown color. I painted on a quick coat of Little Lamb using one of the flat artists brushes.
Bam! All of a sudden, when that Little Lamb dried, the bird totally looked like a new concrete sculpture! ‘New’ wasn’t the look I wanted, but I was happy to see that I now could start with a fresh slate.
Whenever I do a faux finish, like this bird, where I was trying to do an aged faux concrete finish, (on real concrete LOL) I try to look at something that is really that. If nothing else, I’ll have some pictures of the real thing pulled up on my phone to keep referring to. In this case though, right outside the Frame and Frills workroom we have an aged concrete bench that I could refer to for color. It’s so interesting to me how when I try to closely color match the real thing, rarely is it the color my mind’s eye was reading it as.
I found that a mixture of Cathedral Taupe, Bedford and Plaster over the Little Lamb did a pretty good job of matching the aged concrete bench. In my head, I would have thought that Plaster color would have been too yellowish, but in fact, it looks very close to the real aged concrete!
I didn’t mix these colors together in the tray, instead I brushed/dabbed each color on the bird, wet-on-wet, and then dabbed it back off with a damp paper towel, blending them somewhat in the process.
For definition in the crevices, after those colors were dry, I brushed on Soap Stone, working in very small sections at a time.
After I brush it on in a little section, I sprayed that area with the Continuous Spray Bottle, filled with water, and dabbed and wiped it back off with paper towel. This would leave the Soap Stone in the crevices, but reveal the lighter colors on the bumps and ridges.
I totally could have left it like this. It did look pretty, in a monochromatic old concrete sort of way.
One thing I wanted to avoid is a painted finish on this old bird that looked brand new, like those epoxy painted stones and concrete pieces I’ve seen. That is not my favorite look and I for sure didn’t want to wreck this bird with that shiny new look!
Again, working in small areas, I brushed on the color, Chocolate for the branches and nest, and would immediately spritz it with some water and wipe it back with paper towel, creating a faded version of what it would have looked like painted new 45 years ago, (at in my mind’s eye).
A little Tuscan Orange and Coral on the upper breast. More Plaster and a titch of Little Star on the lower breast and underneath.
Hazelwood and Chocolate mix on the beak, eyes, feet and tips of the wings and tail.
For the blue I mixed Renfrew Blue with a little Seaside.
I love it!
I did brush on a coat of Tough Coat in matte finish, just for a little extra protection. Fusion Tough Coat is a water based poly finish. I don’t know that the concrete bird really needed it, the seahorse birdbath is looking fantastic without that extra layer, but I did water the paint on this bird down quite a bit in the process of ‘ageing’ it, so it for sure wouldn’t hurt it to have that extra top coat on it. Plus, if nothing else, I can test out how I think Tough Coat wears outside.
Here are more posts about redoing something: