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How to Repaint and Restore Your Metal Statue

If you’ve invested in a metal statue for your indoor decor or to place as home and garden art, you might want to repaint, or restore, it. Repainting your metal statue will maintain it’s beautiful appearance and protect it against age and the elements (ideally, you’ll have purchased a metal statue with a warranty of craftsmanship, that’s weatherproof with non-corrosive construction, and that will last you for many years). 

You might have a statue that’s made of cast-aluminum and painted to look like bronze. Whatever its surface finish looks like, and whether it’s a giraffe, dinosaur, mythical creature, religious figure or any other it likely contains impressive detail and so it’s important to care for it well.

Caring for your metal statue, and enjoying its unique appearance, means repainting it as needed. Fortunately, it’s easy to repaint your metal statue. Reasons you might want to restore your statue this way include expressing yourself with colors, protecting the patina and preventing rust, and refreshing an original paint job that’s faded or worn. This article will guide you through the process of repainting your metal statue.

Repainting Your Metal Statue

Step 1: Before anything else, use a soft brush with soap and water to clean your statue completely of any dirt. Then, let it dry.

Step 2: Sand the entire surface with fine grit sandpaper, such as 150 grit, to remove rust, grit and loose paint that could lead to chipped paint later. Extra tough spots might require a wire brush.

Step 3: Clean your statue using a towel soaked in a solvent cleaner like Naphtha to remove grease, dirt and any fine particles created when you sanded. Be sure the Naphtha evaporates completely. Dispose of the towel in a safe and legal manner.

Step 4: If there are any areas you do not want painted, mask them with tape before painting.

Step 5: Prime your statue (Rustoleum primer is best). This will seal the surface and provide a smooth surface on which to paint. If the statue’s been painted before, primer will help hide those colors fully. Next, let your primed statue dry, or “cure” (two to six hours will probably be long enough). Consider using 220 grit sandpaper between primer coats to get an extra smooth surface.

Step 6: Paint your statue using Rustoleum Gloss Black Spray Paint. To be safe, wear a face mask to protect yourself from harmful fumes, and gloves to protect your hands from the paint. When you finish painting the statue, let it dry outside for 24 hours.

Step 7: Detail your statue. Choose the color you prefer, such as Leather Brown, and apply it with a brush in light layers across the grain of the design to create a feathered effect—be careful not to leave globs of paint. Apply a second layer over the first dry coat if needed.

Remember, repainting your statue is an art, not a science. It might take a few times for you to achieve the finished effect you want. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll want to repaint all your old statues.