Tips For Taking Care of An Outdoor Garden Sculpture

Anything left outside will need frequent upkeep to withstand the harsher conditions. Your sculpture's upkeep requirements depend on the material and location.

For instance, those who live closer to the shore will need to increase their maintenance schedule thanks to the air's high salt content.

Regardless of where you live, this comprehensive guide will assist you in taking care of an outdoor garden sculpture.


An easy cleaning may do wonders for the appearance of your statue and the outside space in general. But the question is, how does one go about cleaning an outdoor garden sculpture?

In this regard, when choosing an outdoor garden statue and subsequently cleaning it, you have to consider these three things:

  • The statue's material

Generally, statues made from most materials are resilient enough to withstand the most common cleaning techniques. However, there may be a few you should steer clear of.

Rougher sponges or wire sponges could scratch aluminum or certain metals. Before starting the cleaning process, inform yourself about the chemicals you use and how they can affect your garden.

This is especially important if you've decided to complement your sculpture and start a flower garden after the move.

  • Its fragility

How you clean your statue will depend on its age, the material it's constructed of, the level of detail, and the thickness or thinness of certain portions. A fresh toothbrush is ideal for cleaning sensitive or intricate regions. The tiny, gentle brushes are suitable for cleaning the statue's intricate details without damaging it.

Similarly, a scrubbing brush designed for cleaning garments or shoes can work wonders on other, more sensitive surfaces.

  • The outside temperature

To speed up the drying process, cleaning outdoor sculptures is best done while the sun is shining, and the temperature is high. However, huge temperature jumps can harm the sculpture if you’re dealing with delicate metals.

How to go about cleaning

It would be best if you first gave your statue a quick wash with water from your faucet and a hose set to a light spray. The goal is not to do a thorough cleaning but to remove the built-up filth and wash away the extra dirt.

If your statue is painted, a strong hose spray might peel off the paint or cause the color to fade, so be careful how firmly you squeeze the nozzle.

Work with a toothbrush using a bucket of water and your preferred cleaning supplies. Now comes the hard part: carefully clean all the statue's intricate details using a toothbrush.

When you've finished those spots, go to your bigger scrubbing brush and scour the remaining surfaces from top to bottom.

Let the statue dry in the sun if possible; otherwise, locate a dry cloth or towel. This will also aid in eradicating any lingering soap residue.


A sponge for cleaning an outdoor garden sculpture.
Ensure the cleaning supplies you use are not harmful to the environment!

Seal It

Using chemicals such as polyurethane, you may completely seal the statue. Or, if you're caring for a delicate sculpture such as a bronze one, you can cover the figure completely. Ensure you put it in a case and only bring it out for special occasions or when you expect guests.

Getting rid of the gross stuff on the surface of your statue

The porous surfaces of outdoor statues, along with their constant exposure to the elements, can foster the development of moss, mildew, and mold. It would be best to clean these out as they can damage your statue.

You can make a powerful cleaning solution by mixing warm water and bleach in a 3: 1 ratio, 1/3 cup of mild dish detergent, and 2/3 cup of trisodium-phosphate. Use a stiff brush and rapid circular motions to remove the mildew and mold off the statue. After that is done, you can use a toothbrush to clean the intricate features of the figure. After that, rinse the washed pieces in a mist or shower of water from your garden hose.

The statue should be left alone until it has dried completely. After the statue has dried, you can add a coat of zinc oxide primer or paint to stop the growth of mold, mildew, and moss.

Moving statues

Sculptures are considerably more unusual to relocate than framed paintings because of their wide variation in form, size, and weight. Even though they are often more resistant to shipping damage, you still need to invest in quality protection, even though sculptures can be among the most expensive items to move. Your sculptures will be more secure and safe on the long journey ahead if they are encased in padding.

The ease of transport is a major factor when planning a sculptural installation. Large or tiny sculptures may be a pain to relocate. If you find pros to help you and provide information, including the exact measurements of the sculptures, they'll know just how to get them where they need to be through whatever means necessary.

A moving truck on the street.

When moving statues, you need to take extra care and find pros to help you.

Watch out for trees

Space out your sculptures. It's essential to check the health of neighboring trees and remove any low-hanging branches that might cause damage to outdoor garden sculptures.

Regular cleaning of bird droppings from sculptures is essential to avoid damage, and with fewer branches overhead, that task is simplified. Keep in mind that the droppings can corrode metal and taint stone. So, make sure you take your time planning out your additions to the garden carefully.

To elaborate, it's crucial to prevent tree branches from falling on and denting the sculpture if placed on the grass. On the other hand, having some trees nearby might deter birds from constructing nests or droppings on the sculpture itself.


A very lush garden.

A garden with lush greenery can be a nightmare for your outdoor sculpture!

Final words

Your outdoor garden sculpture can last much longer if you clean it regularly. They need regular upkeep and special care to look good and survive for many seasons. We hope our guide has helped you learn how to achieve just that. 

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