I’ve figured out how to restore a garden gnome and I am scoping-out every gnome I can find to give them all new life! This afternoon DIY takes about an hour from start to finish and you don’t need a lot of supplies.
Grab some soap and water, sandpaper, and paint to get started. Learn why I use the paint and sealant I do and a few other tips and tricks on how to refurbish a garden gnome to last outdoors.
How to Repaint a Garden Gnome
Here at Ruffles and Rain Boots, we have identified a handful of gnomes owned by myself, friends, and neighbors who need a little refresher. This gorgeous cutie was my tester to figure out the best way of how to restore a garden gnome.
You see, this cute outdoor gnome has had quite the life – several coats of paint and they think this vintage gnome might be about 40 years old. For me, age didn’t matter, but giving this gnome a new life? That was the goal. If you have a garden gnome to refurbish, let’s get started.
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Tips to Refurbish a Gnome Into Fresh Garden
- Clean the gnome thoroughly with soap, water, and a scrubbie. If you want to get really into it, use a wire brush. The entire gnome refurbishing project will be ruined by dirt, dust, and soil which might be left on it. Also, a lot of gunk will mean the new paint will be lumpy or chip off.
- If you don’t have one but can’t stand the cuteness of this one, I found a few of this exact garden gnome statue: here, here, and here. Other styles are here and here.
- Do not skip the white paint base layer. It’s going to help the colors really pop and be more true to those hues you’ve chosen.
- To make sure that the paint stands up to the UV rays and rain – and whatever else being outside might throw at your refurbished gnome, I recommend using outdoor acrylic paint like this. I always use this clear coat as well, because it is rated for outdoor use.
- If your little gnome statue is going on a patio garden or covered fairy garden, you could skip the sealant but know the paint will wear faster.
- This painting tutorial will show you how to paint a gnome when you have a basic shape defined by ceramic or concrete molds. If you want to create patterns on the gnome, go for it! I chose to restore this one, but if are refurbishing a garden gnome, go wild. Oh, wouldn’t this be adorable painted as a Christmas gnome?
How to Restore a Garden Gnome?
Below is the written and printable tutorial with pictures showing how I did it. I encourage you to watch the how to restore a garden gnome video tutorial here on YouTube. It details a few more tips and tricks I’ve learned restoring a few of these.
More Garden Gnome Crafts You Might Like
- How to Make Plaster Gnomes – A quick and easy DIY that you’re not going to believe the results of (psst: the gnomes are GORGEOUS).
- DIY Gnomes with Flower Pot Hats – Fun, easy and absolutely a blast to make, this is a customizable gnome you’ll love.
- Sculpt a Garden Gnome from Concrete – Making your own DIY garden gnome is not as hard as it sounds – just check out this quick tutorial.
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