How to Repair a Concrete Statue That Is Starting to Decay

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Things You'll Need

  • Wire brush

  • Chisel

  • Hammer

  • Concrete-etching cleaner

  • Scrub brush

  • Dry cement mix

  • Concrete-bonding adhesive

  • Small, round paintbrush

  • Putty knife

  • Pointing trowel

  • Plastic sheeting

  • Misting device

  • Penetrating concrete sealer

  • Paint sprayer (optional)


If the patchwork color does not match the statue's concrete, consider applying concrete stain to unify the color. Apply the stain before sealing the concrete.

Ornamental concrete statues don't have to fall into disrepair.

Over time, exposure to various elements can take a toll on a concrete statue. Weather, for example, commonly results in crumbling, cracks and holes in concrete. If the statue is just beginning to decay, then restoration and preservation are possible. Restoration includes a thorough cleaning as well as patching damaged areas. Sealing the restored concrete preserves the statue's life because the sealer fills the concrete's pores, keeping out water and other damaging substances.

Step 1

Remove crumbling bits from cracked concrete areas by knocking them away with a wire brush.

Step 2

Widen the bottom of each crack that is larger than a hairline crack by using a chisel. Insert the chisel's blade into one of the cracks, and gently hammer on the back of the hammer to remove material from inside the crack. Use the same procedure for each crack that is larger than a hairline crack.

Step 3

Scrub the concrete statue with concrete-etching cleaner and a scrub brush. Rinse the concrete afterward.

Step 4

Create a paste for patching the statue. Stir water gradually into a dry cement mix until a wet, thick consistency results.

Step 5

Paint the insides of cracks and holes with concrete-bonding adhesive, using a small, round paintbrush for good access.

Step 6

Force the paste into the cracks and holes with a putty knife, leveling the paste smooth with the concrete's surface. Use a pointing trowel, which has a narrow blade, to conform to intricate contours of the statue.

Step 7

Wait for the patches to set up for two hours, and then cover the statue with plastic sheeting. Leave the plastic on the statue for five days to facilitate proper curing. Mist the patched areas periodically with water.

Step 8

Paint the concrete statue with penetrating concrete sealer, using a paintbrush or sprayer. Start with a thin coat. When the thin coat becomes tacky, apply a second, slightly thicker coat. Brush in any runs promptly, before they start to dry. Test the seal periodically with water. If water ceases to bead on the surface, then apply a new coat of sealer.


Mason Howard

Mason Howard is an artist and writer in Minneapolis. Howard's work has been published in the "Creative Quarterly Journal of Art & Design" and "New American Paintings." He has also written for art exhibition catalogs and publications. Howard's recent writing includes covering popular culture, home improvement, cooking, health and fitness. He received his Master of Fine Arts from the University of Minnesota.