My husband brought home some Christmas figures in 2019 after his Dad died. There are 12 of them, and they are choirboys singing and holding candles (the final one is a really little boy running to join the choir, with his candle tipped over). They are made of wood but they are flat, like someone cut them from a flat piece of wood - not plywood but something similar. We think they date from the 1950's, possibly earlier, because we're not sure when his parents got them or made them. They were stored in the basement for decades, a damp and extremely musty environment.

Hubby replaced the metal stands that stick into the ground, and replaced the candles. They were originally wired together but we found LED battery powered lights and retrofitted them. We had them up last year but we think the paint needs to be touched up in a few places. So I'm looking for suggestions of what kind of paint we can use over what we think is oil based paint on wood. They will be outdoors for about 6 weeks and we can get snow but will probably get more rain and ice. Temps will probably be in the 30's and 40's F.

1 Answer 1


I would say you are limited to using oil based paints to do this. You cannot paint acrylics over oils as the paint will later peel off or flake away. My suggestion is to buy a small inexpensive set of oil paint tubes. You can can buy an art set for as little as $20AUD. After the paint has thoroughly dried, give it 2 or 3 coats of an outdoor varnish to seal and protect it.

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