Christmas Night (and Saint Francis Garden) specializes in Christmas and Garden statues which are made of fiberglass and generally displayed outside the home. Any manufactured item, such as patio furniture, the siding on your house or children’s toys, when left outside in the sun and the elements, will fade, painted or not.. Direct sunlight will cause faster fading. Painted statues left in standing water or ice covered may chip. As our weather becomes more unstable, outdoor statues may be blown over or damaged by hail and wind. Statues may be knocked over by lawnmowers, pets or children.
Here are some recommendations for protecting and refurbishing your lawn statues and outdoor Christmas decorations.
1. Tether the taller statues using flexible wire or nylon line or ties attached to fixed points such as fence posts or tent connections or a piece of re-bar hammered into the ground. Statues can be screwed onto a wood base or propped up with sand bags. Tethering will eliminate or reduce falls caused by strong wind or vandalism. Nativity creche sets are often displayed in wooden stable which can provide some protection, particularly if the church or individual covers the front of the stable with clear unbreakable resin plastic.
2. If your statue has a small crack, through a fall, or has small chips coming off for any reason, we recommend repair with a product called Marine Tex. This can be found in small repair kits purchased at www.jamestowndistributors.com.
3. Extensive cracking, broken parts or holes will require repair by an expert in fiberglass use and repair. Often a technician who repairs boats or other fiberglass structures such as tanks can be found online. In some parts of the country there are artists who work in materials such as fiberglass, who may also be found online.
4. A statue with a few small paint chips may be repainted. We recommend Testors flat enamel which can be found at http://www.megahobby.com/testors-paint-for-plastic-models.aspx. Be sure to purchase all the matching colors to restore the original look. Also be sure to sand the chipped areas with fine sand paper before painting.
5. If your product has faded badly or has extensive chipping, it will need complete repainting. Unless you are an artist who wants to take on the challenge, we suggest repainting in one color or a few simple colors. Go to your local paint or hardware store and ask for outdoor paint suitable for use on fiberglass. Match your colors and don’t forget to sand all the areas to be painted. Let the paint dry completely before trying antique finishing. If you decide to antique, pick an antique color and water it down. Saturate a cotton cloth with the antique color, squeeze out the excess paint and wipe the areas you want to add to. Immediately use a dry cloth to clean off the antique color from the adjacent areas you do not want antiqued. Do this quickly, one area at a time, before the wash dries
A carefully refurbished Christmas or Garden statue will add to the pride of ownership and display, because you have done it or supervised it yourself. It may be a way for a dedicated parishioner to do something extra for their church or a member of the community to contribute. Refurbishing will extend the life of your statues and your enjoyment of them.