sealing a rhubarb leaf

camjanJuly 26, 2010

I made the leaf and painted it with outdoor patio paints and when dry used a spray concrete sealer. Its only been out in the yard a month or so and I see some of the paint is coming off the concrete. It is being used as a real birdbath. I only sprayed one coat of sealer. The reason is the spray appeared to go on kind of cloudy so I didn't want to use alot and lose the colors I painted on the leaf. The product I used was Rust-Oleum water based concrete sealer. It says ideal for use over rust-oleum stained concrete or bare concrete. Can you seal the concrete leaf first and then paint the patio paints on top of that? Don't know which way to go with this and I have another leaf ready to be painted. Maybe there is a better concrete sealer out there.

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nmgirl(8 S.NM)

A couple of things jumped out at me.
1. I'm not positive but I don't think patio paints are meant to be used in a submerged environment. Rain OK, occasional soaking OK, underwater? Probably not OK.
They are called "patio" paints and patios are seldom submerged.
2. Not to disparage Rust-oleum sealer but there are better sealers out there. And again, is the product OK to be used underwater? It says ideal over concrete, etc. but does it say "can be submerged"? Also a lot of sealers are meant only for vertical surfaces, they're basically water "shedders" instead of waterproofers. Read the label carefully. I use a Behr brand sealer that is meant to be used around pools.
Note: most sealers go on cloudy but cure/dry clear.
3. Re: painting a birdbath. Birds have very sharp talons, any little scratches through the sealed surface will allow water underneath the sealant. This in turn will either react with the concrete causing it to flake or become grainy or let "bubbles" form under the paint and sealer skin.
4. Was your concrete leaf completely cured? If not, any paint/stain/sealer applied to it may come off.
5.I wouldn't seal and then paint, the paint may not adhere or go on smoothly.
6. Personally I would recommend using a non-painted leaf for the bath and using a painted leaf as decor. Perhaps paint the under side of the bath leaf?
Don't know if any of this helps or not. Let us know how things turn out.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2010 at 9:21PM
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Check the hypertufa forum.....
There are a couple of posts there that talk about leaves.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2010 at 11:24PM
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nmgirl(8 S.NM)

I've had some sleep since my last post so my in a higher gear let's say.
The best way I've found to color concrete/hypertufa is with wood stain. If you use a verdigris stain you'll get a green-yellow color, maple stain will give you a reddish tone. The stain soaks into the concrete instead of sitting on the surface like paint. Follow up with a good sealer and you should be in business for quite a while.
Of course you should experiment a little first but I think you'll like the results.
Good luck!

    Bookmark   July 27, 2010 at 9:01AM
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You could also use concrete colorant when mixing up your concrete. It comes in a lot of different colors and then when you apply your sealer, the colors really come up. I prefer that to trying to paint concrete with any kind of paint. Sealer needs to be reapplied periodically as well because it develops tiny cracks and holes that can allow moisture into the concrete and will destroy your project eventually. Cheryl

    Bookmark   July 27, 2010 at 3:04PM
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Well that all makes sense to me. I have colorants but love the look when I can blend my own colors. I made the leaf look like a fall colored leaf. I guess just don't use it as a functioning birdbath!

    Bookmark   July 28, 2010 at 7:47AM
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Betsy Rheaume

I've been researching this a little and found some info on another forum. This is from someone who paints concrete statues for a living. She seals the item with behrs sealant first, then paints two coats and then seals it again. She uses an exterior latex paint or outdoor craft paint.

I'm going to use acrylic craft paint and see how it holds up because I can't afford to buy anything else for the small quantity of each color that I would use.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2010 at 7:55AM
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