First it was the topiaries. Then it was the column pedestal makeover. And now my mind is racing with thoughts on how to decorate our garden. I finally figured out what I am longing for: English Gardens! Gardens filled with eye-catchers: pavillions, sham ruins, bridges, and water features. Romantic Gardens, soft and hazy to the eye, but permeated with crisp, fresh air. Gardens peppered with fabulous bronze statues, aged to perfection and dressed up with beautiful blue/green patina.
Although seeing this photo on whimsicalhomeandgarden.com got me all fired up for garden decoration, I knew I couldn’t do anything just yet, as our backyard is covered with snow. But I could jolly well start practicing that “English Garden” look indoors. I already had the sham ruins (no, I don’t mean our house! I’m talking about the column pedestal). I also had the topiaries. So why not add another piece to that theme? With this plan, I started searching through our basement for something suitable. When I saw this good old lady, I knew the new piece was going to be an aged bronze statue!
I bought this ceramic bust last summer at a tag sale. It was $3 and had no nicks or cracks. Such a great find! And an excellent piece to experiment on… hehehe. I grabbed my Modern Masters Reactive Metallic Paint and its activator, put on my mad scientist hat, and went to work.
First I primed the piece with Metal Masters Acid Blocking Primer. After 2 coats of primer, my good old lady looked like this.
Then I painted her with 2 coats of Modern Masters Reactive Metallic Paint.
While the second coat of paint was still wet, I applied the aging solution. As I had to move quickly before the paint dried, I couldn’t take pictures of this part, but it was so simple: I dipped a sponge in the solution, then sponged the paint in the areas I wanted to have patina. After 10-15 minutes, the aging solution had already started to work its magic.
In the morning when I got back to the lady, the patina looked amazing, but the bronze painted parts looked pretty uniform.
What it needed was a slight discoloration, just like what would happen with a real aged bronze statue. To achieve that “real” look, I applied Rub’n Buff (Grecian Gold color) very slightly to the raised areas. I forgot to take pictures of this process, but you can find how I apply Rub’n Buff in my “Ornate Frame Makeover” post.
After giving the highlights, it indeed looks much better and realistic. Meet La Femme Patina!
Here are some close-up pictures of her.
I love my new “old” lady! It became an excellent addition to the English Garden theme I had in mind.