Check out my (super simple) faux metallic DIY dog statue. So cute. And so simple! Need a little bit of decorative doggy flair for your holiday vignette or perhaps a creative DIY Christmas present for a dog lover? Check out the details below for how to turn just about any object into a vintage style faux metallic decoration. We won’t judge if you decide to make a cat ornament. We promise…
Christmas Has Gone to the Dogs!
This is an easy (and inexpensive) makeover painting project for new, old, or upcycled objects. I’ve opted for a hammered metal paint, but you can easily adapt to other painting finishes to suit your person decorating style and tastes. I used a pre-made Christmas tree (wood) and dog figurine (papier mache) for two different examples in two different finishes to demonstrate just how simple and versatile this little DIY can be. The tree was purchased to paint for Christmas and the dog figurine had been lingering in my craft stash for years.
Options for the Base Dog Statue
Finding a Ready Made Dog Statue
Making Your Own DIY Dog Statue
- Making a 3D Papier Mache Dog Sculpture (Jennevieve Schlemmer) It’s enormous! We love it!
- Papier Mache Tutorials (The Papier Mache Resource)
- Paper Mache Tutorials – Animals (Ultimate Paper Mache)
Other Makeover Ideas
What to paint? That’s completely up to you! Letters and words (wooden or paper), picture frames, and general decorations work great with this method. You can paint just about anything for your Christmas decor or other purposes, for yourself or for gifting. My tree holds the stack of our incoming cards (we save them for opening on Christmas Day each year). The silver dog was originally part of our Christmas decoration display, but after the holidays, it moved to the office. It occupies pride of place atop my dog books on a shelf. Metallics are so easy and versatile. Objects can easily transition from day-to-day decor to a custom holiday vignette and back again.
Want a metal look and a weighty metal feel? If you are using papier mache like my dog figurine and would like to make it into a paperweight or bookend, you can drill, fill, and patch before painting to transport a simple shape like this into a hefty metal-like object. Alternatively, you can leave it hollow and mount it on a block for weight.
Painting the Dog Statue
Using Hammered Metal Paint
With a little bit of prep and the right paint, you can transform just about anything. For easily creating a slightly antiqued vintage fake metal look on any surface, I love hammered metal effect paint. They’re made for painting and restoring metal, but work nicely on other substrates (patch test first if you are unsure). Brands and options will vary depending on where you live, but here they’re usually in the metal and rust paint section of the hardware store. Using the brush-on version takes a little longer, but creates a nice thick authentic metal-like finish even on non-metallic objects. Check out my vintage pet picture frames to see the same paint applied with an additional antiquing. We rarely use solvent-borne paints, but we think that the outcome justifies the exception to our tree-hugging ways for this purpose. A little tin goes a very long way and a fresh new paint job has saved many a dilapidated and well-worn item from rubbish around our place.
Supplies and Materials
To paint a statue, like the some shown here, you will need a suitable base shape, suitable paint (see above), and paint brush. Choose a suitably sized brush for your project. This is one instance where I’m happy to use a low quality or single use brush, as clean-up is a nightmare with this hammered metal paint. Bonus points if you can paint multiple projects at once for better brush efficiency. As a extra tip, wrapping the bush in cling-film or inverting your glove onto the brush will keep it usable for the next coat.
- Base statue or figurine (see tips above)
- Paint brush
Preparation and Painting
- Ready-made papier mache like my dog statue doesn’t require any special prep. You may need to wash, dry, sand, and or prime some objects. Ensure that your object is clean and dry is clean and dry before you start painting.
- Set up a work area in a well-ventilated location. This is stinky messy work, so outdoors on a warm (not hot) day somewhere sheltered from direct sun is ideal. Follow all of the safety guidance on your chosen paint product.
- Apply paint according to your chosen product instructions. Hammered metal effect paint is very thick, and is best applied in thin coats to avoid gloopy dripping and sagging. Intricate objects, like the Christmas tree, work best when you paint the detail or inset areas first and then smooth the transition onto the flat surfaces. Work in multiple coats for a nice finish, with a light sand in between coats if you have any irregularities or drips to fix. Dry thoroughly before use.