a "HOW TO" on aging statuary....Creating the French Look
Don't you love the look of a very beautiful and old 18th century statue, it's coloring bleached white and gray with age, it's paint distressed and crumbly? Well....I am going to give you my secret for getting that look on a new piece or unaged piece. .....
yes....good ol' regular garden variety dirt
The old gold piece of statuary above is what I started with. She is some type of chalkware but I think you could use this method on most any type of medium.
I used the plaster of paris homemade chalk paint colored in a simple "antique white". Paint your piece, going lightly over any raised areas, leaving the original color of your statue in any cracks, crevices and folds. Mine was a very worn gold. By the way, my gorgeous statue, I found at a yard sale this past weekend. It's an Italian piece of a young person reading to a child, stands 20" tall and is 8" in diameter at the base.
rub the dirt (I used purchased potting soil) into parts of the of the wet paint and in the nooks and crannies. Skip some areas while going heavy in others. There is no wrong or right way to do this. Just play with it and have fun.
Using an old paint paintbrush, mix the dirt into the paint. It will mix with the white paint, making it a little grayed and dirty, while knocking back the highlights on raised areas. I used care to keep some of the dirt in crevices, just as would happen over time.
In these photos you can see up close how the piece was transformed. With the addition of the dirt, the piece becomes crusty and decayed looking, like weathered concrete, having an old French white appearance with a patina of gray. When your piece has dried, use a soft brush to wipe away any excess dirt.
And voila, you have a beautifully aged "priceless antique" :)