How to Make Hypertufa Look Old

Rustic Garden Art Tutorial

The weathering process of rock, stone and hypertufa all create a similar patina – darkening, moss encroachment, or (if you’re lucky) the growth of lichen all combine to give the look of age to items made with these materials.

How to Make Hypertufa Look Old...

You can speed up the look of weathering on your rustic garden art by applying some simple sprays to encourage the moss and lichen to grow. 

Soak or spray the item using plain water before you attempt to get moss to grow, to get rid of the alkalinity of the cement. 

You can spray it with vinegar diluted with water to increase the acidity; these types of organisms prefer an acid base.

Keep the piece in the shade, especially in hot sunny areas to help the moss get a foothold.

Here’s How to Make Hypertufa or Rock Look Aged and Weathered:

  • Boil rice in water, and strain off the water.

 Once it's cooled, you can spray this on the rock or hypertufa, and the glutinous mixture will allow the spores of moss to stick to it and give it a start to grow on.

After it's established, the moss will continue growing on the hypertufa.

Ready to get aged and weathered
  • Make manure tea using sheep manure or other ruminant; this will do the same thing, and is a little more unpleasant to use.
  • Buttermilk, either as powder form or liquid mixed with water and sprayed will give nutrients to already established moss and lichen, boosting its growth.
  • Mix yogurt (the live strain) with water to dilute it and spray your hypertufa creation.
  • If you have moss, you'll have spores; break up a few pieces in water and let it sit for a day or two (if you have an old blender that you don’t mind donating to the cause, use that to make a slurry). Paint the mixture on wherever you want moss to grow.

Cynthia contacted me and says this;

Just made some hypertufa pots and came across your site which is cool. I see how to encourage moss on pots. I will try your methods.

I also heard from someone else that blending elmer's glue, yogurt and moss and painting it on the pots, etc. works too! The glue makes the moss super adhere.

If you have any other tips on how to make hypertufa look old, please let me know so I can share them with other hypertufa enthusiasts.

It doesn't take long for the moss to colonize the peat moss particles...

Keep the item in shade if possible, and spray with plain water in really dry times, and you’ll quickly see the sheen of green which is tiny little moss plants colonizing it.

Try these simple ways to get the weathering process started with your hypertufa projects and rustic garden art, rock benches or stone lanterns, making them look old, even if they’re not.

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Hypertufa Projects