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Ask the Expert Question-and-Answer Archive

by Ron Joseph

May, 2006

Painting a Concrete Statue

Q. Am wanting to paint a larger than life statue of a concrete gorilla statue using different shades of browns, grays and greens on the base so it will look more dimensional. The concrete is clean and has not had anything applied to it. What type of paint? acrylic, latex, oil? And your best thought on what type of sealer. Thanx for your time.

A. You have not given me any indication of the purpose of the statue, where it will be located, to what environment it will be exposed, for how long you wish to have a great looking finish, how you intend to apply the coating, etc.?

If I had my own statue that I wanted to paint and were to choose between an acrylic latex and a solvent based paint (oil-paint) I would probably select an acrylic latex. They are easy to tint to the desired shade, and you can repaint them with relative ease when the statue starts to look shoddy.

"Oil" paints come in various resin types; alkyds, acrylics, alkyd-modified acrylics, silicone-based alkyds, and polyurethanes. Each has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. You can go to the Internet and scout around for information on each coating system and then make a decision.

No matter which coating you select, I strongly suggest that you read the vendor's instructions for surface preparation, sealing, priming, and topcoating.

Best wishes,

Ron Joseph

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