Powertex students and beginners are sometimes surprised to find their creations can go outside. I'm answering a few questions in this article about using Powertex to create outdoor projects.
Using Powertex for outdoor projects
Powertex Universal Medium is weatherproof when cured which takes three weeks. Construct your mixed media projects in the usual way and use Powertex products to ensure they survive being outside, from door signs to life size figures in your garden. Note that submerging Powertex projects in water is not recommended.
Which Powertex mediums can I use for outside?
All the colours of Powertex are weatherproof in their natural cured state EXCEPT Transparent. I personally recommend to my students that they don’t use Transparent for outdoor projects, even with a weatherproof varnish.
Use your Powertex with natural materials such as wire frames, wood, natural fabrics, fibres and metal embellishments. Powertex Universal Medium should be left to cure for three weeks before being used outside.
This moon gazing hare was made with Stone Art clay but was coated completely with Powertex Bronze over the textures and then dry brushed with Powercolor and Easy Varnish.
How do I get a weatherproof finish with Powertex?
Using Powertex on it’s own will be weatherproof but what if you want to add paint or colour? Well you’re in luck because Easy Varnish is also weatherproof! Mixing your paints from Easy Varnish and powder pigments will ensure a weatherproof paint that can be used for your outdoor project.
Can I use Stone Art projects outside?
I have successfully used Stone Art clay in a small outdoor sculpture and it appears to have weathered the storm! However, this piece used a coat of Powertex on top of the Stone Art clay to seal it and a layer of Easy Varnish for dry brushing colour. Remember that Powertex should coat all the surfaces to provide a weatherproof finish.
How do I make a large sculpture for my garden?
The techniques are really the same whatever size your project. Think about the frame or base you need for your project and create that from natural materials such as chicken wire or wood. Chicken wire can be shaped for animal and figure sculptures if you have the right tools and safety equipment. Wooden bases or mdf can be constructed and coated with Powertex. Create your project as usual with wire, foil, plaster and fabric.
Can I use Bister for an outside project?
Bister has a very particular finish that’s hard to get with any other product. I personally don’t recommend to students that they use Bister on outdoor projects. It’s not permanent or lightfast so my project could look bleached and colour can even run off when it gets wet. Use a spray varnish that’s weatherproof and with UV protection to protect your work but I’ve had mixed results with spray varnish that has caused the Bister to run.
What projects can I create?
Anything you create for inside you can also create for outside! Specific outdoor projects might include:
- house number signs
- planters or flower pots
- garden sculptures such as animals, birds or figures
- LED lanterns
- patio or porch fairy houses
Your imagination really is the limit. Have a try at making something for your outdoor space.
If you've enjoyed this article you might also enjoy my other articles for Powertex beginners. You can find my blog here or try these articles:
Or hop over to the Powertex UK Mixed Media Magazine where the Powertex UK Design Team (including me!) have some great projects for you to make.