Saturday, June 11, 2016

My Own Lawn Jockey, a project from start to finish

I decided to get my own Lawn Jockey. There is a great place that makes and sells these yard statues. You can have it customized in any color you want or you can get an unfinished one. I chose to go with the unfinished aluminum lawn jock. As you can see, it is bare metal when it arrives.

This is how it was shipped, (very fast I might add). That's a very large box! Luckily, aluminum doesn't weigh as much as concrete or cast iron, so it surprisingly wasn't all that heavy. He probably weighs right around 46 pounds. This means I can move him anywhere I want without any trouble. The concrete statues weigh over 100 pounds.

It actually looks kinda cool like this. That's a lot of melted down pop cans folks. Reminds me of T-1000 from Terminator 2. As cool as it looked like this, I had other plans.

The first step was to use primer paint. If you don't use primer paint, the paint won't stay on the statue as well. If you skip this step you'll be looking at touching up your jockey in a couple of years. This guy will be out in the sun, the rain, the heat, the cold, the wind, and snow (if that ever happens in Texas), so you need to use a good outdoor paint. Using a paint for outdoor furniture is a good choice. I went with Rust-Oleum and was very happy with them.
Pimer paint, all ready for colors!

The thing about a Lawn Jock is, they can be in any color you can imagine. Every farm and racing stable has their own colors and designs, so really these guys can end up looking like anything. I had a difficult time on deciding on a color scheme and for a long time I really wanted to do a Claiborne Farms silks design, reminiscent of Ron Tourcotte and Secretariat.

 In the end, I thought that would be too difficult and instead went for a more classic look.

The first thing I painted was the white pants. Keep in mind if you're going for a high gloss finish as I was, the first coat isn't going to look that great. It will have lines in it and be dull, having no shine that a gloss paint should have, but this is completely normal and it will take 3 coats before you get what you want. In this picture my lawn jockey has his 3 coats of white for this pants.

I then had to make flesh color for his hands and face. I thought this would be easy by adding white to a brown, that will make a tan and I'll keep adding white until it's what Caucasian skin tone would look like!  WRONG! Brown plus white equals grey. Don't ask me why, I'm just telling you that's what will happen if you add those two colors together. I had an outdoor tan color for the house, so I used that and added the white to it. It didn't come out as glossy as the pants, and I don't like that. It also wasn't as smooth. HOWEVER, it does look like white guy skin color, and that's what I wanted.

If you want Caucasian skin tone, you need to add, BLUE, RED, YELLOW, AND WHITE. Don't ask me how the hell that equals skin color, but IT DOES. Why or how? Simple answer is, all colors originate from the primary colors. Don't believe me? Try it yourself. The reason why you should consider this is because if all of your paint isn't the same brand or the same in gloss, it won't mix well, as it didn't with mine. The problem was, I didn't have blue or yellow paint and I didn't feel like going out and buying two cans just to make a Dixie Cup worth of paint for such a small surface area. It isn't a big deal and if you already are using those colors for the clothes, so just mix up a batch of skin color. It also works if you want to make African American skin tones.

I went with a very nice red for the coat and hat. As you can see, it is very bright and goes great with the white pants. I plan to make the buttons and wrist cuffs black. That will be painted and it doesn't matter too much if you leave it or cover it in red first, as I did with the buttons. Once the paint is completely dry, the black will go right over the red. I didn't do the hat because I wanted to have his brown hair painted first, that way the red of the hat can be painted over top of the brown.

Eventually I finished. Keep in mind that one coat of paint takes 24 hours to fully dry. This slows things down but it was ok, taking your time is the better way to go. The lawn jockey looks very regal and classy outside my house as he greets anyone that comes here. There are other statues in my neighborhood, but no lawn jockeys, he is the first of his kind on the block. I named him Joffery because it sounded classy.

This was a fun project and I'm kind of sad to be done with it. He is a welcomed addition to my landscaping and I will enjoy for years to come.


Ben said...

I was unaware that they were often painted with different color schemes. I did hear a podcast a while ago discussing how they were started as a tribute to a slave who helped Washington or someone else in the Revolutionary War.

Ben said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Andrew said...

Yes, Jocko Graves, I wrote a blog about that as well

Unknown said...

What type of paint did you use? I’m trying to redo one and I used acrylic but I’m not happy with it.

Unknown said...

By any chance, did you have to sand and buff the statue first? I have a brand new one exactly like yours but it has some places that can use some buffing

Unknown said...

Could you please email me the name of the company which sells the lawn jockeys? If I missed it in your article, I'm sorry.

Jim Nerad

thanks again, you did a great looking job.

Unknown said...

If you don't want the trouble of painting your own... you could try:

Unknown said...