Custom Paint: Yay or Nay?

There’s nothing like a splash of color to liven up a piece of sculpture. And it’s not just about livening it up--color can be used to communicate meaning. When it comes to paint, what kind do sculptors like to use? What colors do they like, and why?


One of our sculptors (and the owner of our delightful Sculpture Grounds), Gilbert Boro, often uses custom paint. If you visit the grounds, you’ll notice that in many of the pieces. How can you tell? Well, custom paint is exactly that--custom.


You’re not going to see it anywhere else.


One of our favorite colors is Boro’s Custom Red paint, and you can tell it’s one of his favorites, too, because it appears on several works, such as his iconic Pipehenge. This work is playful, and so is its color.


Red can be used to symbolize so much, and Boro’s custom version is no different. Some of his newest pieces, in the Musical Masterworks series, sport the custom red paint. Come visit and take a look at Nest and Wing. These pieces are movement and energy themselves, and the custom red conveys that.


Here’s another great reason to utilize custom paint colors: When artwork lives outside throughout the seasons (especially here in New England), it needs a touch up from time to time. With custom paint colors, there’s no worry about the manufacturer changing their formula and coming out with a different tint or hue.


Custom paint colors mean consistency over the years. Custom paints allow large-scale outdoor sculptures to weather the outdoors in ways that factory-blended colors could not.


This brings up another important point. For sculptors who are creating outdoor work, it’s important to consider how your work will look over time, exposed to the elements. Will a petina help or harm the work? What about rust? Will cold or moisture affect it? Every material has a part to play, just like the coat of paint that give a work so much character.