Faux Cement Paint Technique and Recipe

Faux cement paint treatment and recipe. Great for revamping accessories.

Faux cement paint treatment.

For several years now, I have been doing this faux cement paint technique with a super easy recipe that I came up with that has been a great way for me to change the look of old accessories and decor.  It’s a great way to get a true thick cement finish quickly without having to mix a bag of cement.  When I say quick, you won’t believe how easy this recipe is and the finish that I get. Better yet, you can do this treatment in any color!

First of all, let me just touch on when you might want to use this type of faux cement paint technique and what type of things you could do this technique on.  The possibilities are endless really but this technique is especially great for old wooden boxes, candlesticks, lamps, frames, dated framed mirrors, urns, etc.. Old dated lamps are really fun to do and it’s an amazing transformation!

Again, if you have something that you would love to have a cement finish, this technique works like a charm because when it dries, it’s thick, chalky and cement-y.

Faux Cement Paint Treatment and Recipe. Dries just like cement.

I had this large decorative garden type fiberglass decorative urn/finial that I wanted to have a black layered zinc/cement type finish.  The finial looked cheap and plastic to me and I wanted to make it layered black and add a cement type finish. Really, this piece is  meant for the outdoors and I wanted it to work it into my decor indoors.

This is what it looked like before I started.

Faux Cement Paint Technique and recipe

This is what it looked like on my dining room buffet when I was finished.

Faux cement paint technique and recipe. Thick cement finish.

Faux cement paint treatment and recipe. Thick cement finish that can be done in any color.

The recipe is really simple!  It’s 3/4th part lightweight spackle to 1/4th part tinted primer.   You can also mix primer and paint combined for your 1/4th part.

Faux cement paint technique and recipe. Looks just like cement when it dries.

As crazy as it sounds, I have tested several different types of spackle and I have found the best results from Sherwin Williams brand of lightweight spackle.  Also, keep in mind that the spackle and primer are white and will dilute your color. I will go at least two shades darker in my color to get the color I want when everything is mixed.

One more thing, black is almost impossible to get by mixing with this recipe because of the white dilution, so if you want real dark black, you’ll need to paint over your base layer or top layer once the faux cement is completely dry.

To get started for this dark gray/black urn, I began by painting the urn black and not starting with the cement mix quite yet like I would normally do.  Again, because I wanted the dark black in my layers and the cement recipe would dilute the black to gray, I started by painting the piece black.

Faux cement paint treatment and recipe.

I then mixed my spackle and tinted primer in a plastic container (I added more spackle after I took this picture).

Faux cement paint treatment and recipe. Looks just like cement when it dries.

Faux cement paint treatment and recipe.

Next, I went over the urn with a very heavy layer of the faux cement mix, which was a gray color (I had the primer tinted Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black and this dark gray was the color after mixed with the white primer).  It’s best to apply the mix with a foam brush to keep brush marks to a minimum.  I also didn’t completely cover the black.

Faux cement paint treatment and recipe. Can be done in any color.

No matter what color you are doing, you will want to work with a dark and lighter shade as you alternate each layer for shading. Cement is not one color but shades of a color, plus, you can better define and highlight any raised areas.

So next, I sporadically went over the urn again with black. Really, I highlighted raised areas with the black and lighting defined.

Faux cement paint treatment and recipe. Looks just like cement when it dries.

You can see in this close up picture how I just highlighted and sporadically defined with the black on the raised areas.

Faux cement paint treatment and recipe. Looks just like cement when it dries.

The magic really happens after about 24 hours when the cement mix really dries.  It takes on that chalky sandy cement finish, which looks just like cement.

Faux cement paint treatment and recipe. Thick cement finish that can be done in any color.

Faux cement paint technique and recipe. Thick cement finish.

If you want to do a traditional light gray/white cement finish, Benjamin Moore Sterling is a good color to use or Gray Owl if you want it slighting warmer.

You don’t need to do any sort of top coat or sealant because the spackle has a bonding agent that hardens the finish.  The possibilities are endless with this technique and I hope you guys can use it to turn trash into treasure!

Thanks for stopping by today friends!



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12 Responses to Faux Cement Paint Technique and Recipe

  1. Nancy says:

    Your talents r
    Never ending! Love all that you do

  2. Beverly M says:

    Would you be able to use this technique on an object for use outdoors? This gave me lots of ideas for a few things of ours that look a bit tired,

    • Cyndy says:

      I think it should work just fine because spackle has a very strong bonding agent (glue) in it. Plus, primer also has a bonding agent as well. So the finish should be extremely durable after it cures (maybe 7-10 days?). When it dries, the texture is just like cement. I wouldn’t hesitate to do it on outdoor pieces. 🙂

  3. Dyan says:

    Terrific idea! Thanks so much for the detailed tutorial.

  4. Jacqueline says:

    Will this technique work on plastic urns? I have two on my covered front porch that I’ve been wanting to change for awhile. You did an awesome job with this technique!

    • Cyndy says:

      Are they plastic or fiberglass? The urn I painted was fiberglass. If it’s plastic, I would be safe and just spray it with a spray plastic primer first. Then between the two bonding agents in the spackle and primer in the faux cement mix should adhere very well! Your plastic urns would be a great project for this technique! If you do it, please send me pics!! Thanks for your note! 🙂

  5. Mary Anne Komar says:

    What a great tutorial! Thanks!

  6. Carol says:

    This is wonderful Cindy! I have been looking for something like this instead of struggling with cement.

    You are wonderful!

    Thank you for being so brilliant and artistic all rolled into one individual

  7. Cindy Lou says:

    I just recently broke (accident) the fleur-de-lis off the top of a lidded urn & have not yet tried to glue back. I definitely will try this technique to hide the fracture if it shows after gluing. In fact, I am very excited to learn of this technique because I am an antique dealer who salvages, repurposes & creates items to add interest to & draw in shoppers to my booths. I have been following you for a few years now & appreciate you for sharing your knowledge (& recipes) with all us out here!

    By the way, I like your name!

    Cindy Lou in Rockwall, TX

    P.S. A few summers back you mentioned “The Mosquito Cafe” in Galveston, TX in one of your postings. My parents were camping at the time on the beach in Galveston & I emailed my Mom that I had heard good things about this cafe & they went the next day! She said they had to wait a little bit before getting to eat but it was well worth the wait. They go to Galveston frequently with their camper (they are coming home tomorrow from there) & had to miss a few years after the hurricane. Anyway, they still drop in & eat at “The Mosquito Cafe” …. just thought you would like to hear that story!! ?

    • Cyndy says:

      Awe Cindy Lou, your note has made my day! I am so thrilled to hear that you can put this cement technique to use! You’ll have to keep me posted. If you do get a hold of some old beat up frames, try this technique on them too! You will love how it looks after it dries! 🙂 I am so glad that you shared the story that you passed on my recommendation of the Mosquito Cafe to your parents! I’m so glad that they loved it! Makes me crave some of that Lemonade Cake and chicken salad just talking about it! I am so glad that you left me a note and shared all this with me! Makes it all worthwhile hearing from you! 🙂 I love your name too! Many of my family members call me Cyndy Lou, even though my middle name is Kay. Big hugs and please keep me posted on your projects. Thanks for your sweet note! xo

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