Did you know that with a few simple materials and absolutely no concrete experience at all, you can make a concrete birdbath? It’s true!
Simply choose a protected location that is rain-free and warmer than 60 degrees Fahrenheit where you can safely leave your concrete for a week to cure. Then you will just need a heavy-duty piece of plastic over a flat workspace and you have the perfect place to create your magic!
Now you want to make a mold over which you will cast your concrete. For that, simply pour a bunch of sand over the workspace you made and add just enough water so that the sand will hold together. Firmly pack your sand into the size and shape of your bowl, keeping it pretty shallow since birds don’t like their baths too deep.
If you want a rough finish, you can place your concrete directly over your sand mound. For a smooth finish, just cut another piece of plastic – a little larger than your sand mound and coat it with petroleum jelly on one side. Place it over your mounded sand, jelly side up so your concrete won’t stick.
Now it’s time for the concrete! Use a trowel to mix three parts contractor’s sand and one part cement in a large plastic bucket. Add water in small amounts until it is the consistency of modeling clay. Cover your sand mound with a ½-inch thick layer of concrete, carefully packing it firmly over your sand.
Then, cut and place strips of plastic drywall mesh over your concrete. Trim around the edges so it doesn’t show and cover your mesh with another ½-inch layer, which you just need to smooth with your trowel. Add one more layer if your birdbath is any wider than a foot and a quarter.
Loosely cover it with a sheet of plastic. Since concrete should remain damp while curing, check it every day and simply spray it with a little water if it appears dry. After a week, pick up your concrete birdbath, turn it over carefully, peel off your plastic, be sure it is dry and voila! You can seal it with water-based concrete sealer, paint it with latex paint or leave it exactly as it is.