Garden Project – Weathering Cast Stone Using Yogurt

Monday, December 14 , 2020

Garden Project – Weathering Cast Stone Using Yogurt

Due to the popularity of our previous weathering projects using soot and compost, here is our guide to using yogurt! Yes, yogurt can speed up the weathering process, encouraging lichen and moss growth. It is messy, but as you will see it really works! So, while the garden is dormant and we are waiting for spring to bloom here is an easy project that you can try at home.

Get ready!

You will need one cast stone garden ornament. We used our Mythical Beast statue.  It doesn’t matter what type of garden ornament you use, but it has to be made of porous stone. We chose the Mythical Beast statue as the handcrafted detailing stands out to greater effect as it weathers, especially around the arms and fingers. This Gothic, if grumpy character was bought by Disney to feature their film set for Artemis Fowl.
You will also need:
an old paint brush
gloves
a pot of natural yogurt.
We used Greek yogurt that was already past its sell by date. It doesn’t have to be old, but it’s a way of using up things in your fridge plus the higher levels of bacteria will help speed things up!

Our Mythical Beast statue, fresh from our Kent workshop.

Messy Work

All you have to do it slather on layers of yogurt, all over the statue. Add extra around the areas that you want to accentuate. We focused on the eyes, arms and fingers.Keep the stone out of the rain if possible so the yogurt doesn’t wash off. If it does, just apply some more – simple!

Applying Greek yogurt to our Statue for weathering. It is messy, but straightforward. It would be fun for children to help with.

It is easy and straight forward. Children would find this messy process fun, so it could be a garden project you could do together.

Our Mythical Beast looked grumpy covered in yogurt.

Once the statue is covered leave it to do its thing. We recommend moving it to a shady spot if possible in warm weather, but in winter this is less important. Just wait and see what grows.

After One Week

Think of this as the teenage years of your weathering process. The statue started to smell but this wore off after a week outside. Just don’t place it close to your house initially, or in bright sunshine (unless you like the whiff of fermented dairy!). The statue broke out in red, angry spots and black heads and we started to worry that this was going to turn out to be a horrible mess! Don’t panic! This is just a passing phase that doesn’t last long.

After a week our statue was weathering well. It looked quite gruesome at first, but it quickly matured.

After Three Weeks

The statue had lost the redness after three weeks and was deepening to a rich patina. The smell had gone too and it was encouraging how quickly this stone had transformed. The details really stood out with the face gaining character. This now looks like it could sit along the rooftops in Oxford with the gargoyles, like it had always been there.

The live bacteria in the yogurt encouraged bio cultures to grow on the stone, speeding up the weathering process and making it seem like a much older piece of handcrafted stone.

After Five Weeks

As you can see it is a big transformation. This statue looks like it’s been in our garden for the seven decades we’ve been in business! We were astounded buy the speed of the weathering effect. This has gone from gleaming white to moody Gothic in a month using a £1 tub of yogurt.  There are little clumps of lichen and moss starting to erupt over the statue.

Back in the show garden the statue had developed a dark patina,

Why Weather?

If you are wondering why you would want to buy a a statue you love and rush the weathering process, well, many customers come to us for bespoke repairs. If a car crashed into one gate post, you would want the new one to match the original one still in tact. Likewise, the new section of balustrade we created at Hever Castle after trees crushed it during the famous 1980s hurricane did age over time to match the rest, but many home owners want to hasten that blending process and quickly build a patina. Also, our vintage stone, which is often covered in moss is the most sought after. Customers love the unique way the moss takes over, adding character and charm.

Stone garden ornaments and urns in an autumnal English show garden in Kent

Our weathered pieces, covered in moss are highly regarded by our customers.

Which is your favourite project ?

We have shared three easy ways to weather your cast stone at home, using compost for the Moon Gazing Hare, soot for the horse finial and yogurt for the Mythical Beast statue, Out of our three weathering projects which is your favourite? Yogurt was the most dramatic, but which one works for your garden? Tag us on Facebook and Instagram and let us know .

Two Chilstone weathering projects, our soot weathered horse finial beside our Mythical Beast covered in yogurt.

 

Moon Gazing Hare statue, designed by Seb Wylder, weathered in compost and autumn leaves.

 

Projects for 2021

Our phone lines are open 7 days a week and our show garden are open by appointment to discuss your garden and architectural projects for 2021. All our stone is handmade in Kent and we deliver locally, nationally and internationally. Our pieces feature in homes and gardens throughout Kent and Sussex, the UK and the world! Whether you want a small birdbath for your back garden or you want to restore a grand stately home our experienced team are happy to help.

Thank you so much for all your support throughout 2020 and wishing you all a happy 2021!

Our stone is handmade in Kent from our workshop the same it has been for seven decades.

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