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1950’s Atomic Concrete Flamingo Restoration

flamingos

Mel and I were out visiting our friends Donny and Romy. While we were visiting, Donny presented a set of vintage concrete flamingos he was looking to get rid of. I have always been a fan of these kitschy lawn ornaments.

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As you can see, they are well used.

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The necks of both Flamingos had numerous cracks and even chunks of concrete missing.

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The paint is beyond faded and just not very impressive.

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I knew the first thing I had to do was address the neck cracks and missing pieces of concrete from the neck. I used high performance DAP wall spackling paste that is specifically for cracks.

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I had to cover the whole neck with this spackling to repair all the issues.

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After the sun cooked them I sanded them, and the necks of these fabulous flamingos are like new!

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Now for the fun part, painting them.

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Now that the main body has been painted it is time for the detail work.

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I looked at so many pictures of flamingos to get an idea of what I should do for the wing portion. Believe it or not, I was unable to find any referencesfor the original paint scheme. From what I was able to tell, it was pretty standard for folks to repaint them over the years as they faded. Because of this, I decided to use my own judgement and customize it. I knew with these flamingos, detail was not the order of the day, simplicity was the rule.

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I was able to ascertain what the heads were supposed to look like.

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While the flamingos were inside drying I took the rebar I purchased from Home Depot and painted them a coral color. I find sticking them in the ground with newspaper at the base makes it easy to paint them and to get even coverage.

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Here is how they turned out!

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It took two days to knock this out.

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Here they are in their natural habitat surround by greenery. Unfortunately, I won’t be displaying these in our front yard because they might get snatched by someone. I plan to make a form and pour concrete around the feet so they can be displayed inside our tiki room.

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18 responses »

  1. I love the flamingos, Shane and Mel! Sad commentary that they might get snatched from the front yard. I had potted plants stolen from the front of our house last year (same street) 😦

    Anyway, GREAT job – it’s like you’re veterinarians! 🙂

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  2. Hello Mel, Let me introduce myself. My name is Danielle. I purchased this lamp several years ago and have not been able to find a shade for it. Do you have any idea where I might find one. Cheers Danielle

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  3. omg i love them!! are you suuuure they won’t be in your shop??! 😉

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  4. I’m speechless! 😄

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  5. Those are beautiful!!!! Love!!Flamingos!!!!!🌴🌴🌴🌴🌴

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  6. Beautiful restoration job. They look great! Diana

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  7. Amazing work .. done

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  8. I have a pair that I am going to be restoring myself, you did a fantastic job!

    But I’m wondering what kind of paint did you use? House paint? Acrylic?

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  9. I’ve saved your flamingo story until I had time to restore my pair of flamingos. I hope they come out as nice as yours. Great story!

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  10. Can you tell me how you attached the rebar to the birds? I have this exact set that I’m currently working on.

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