This Empty Nesters Guide to Rock Painting Text over photo of painted rocks Eiffel towers, cactus, watermelon, flower, rainbow
Crafts, Family Fun

Empty Nester’s Guide to Beginning Rock Painting – Instructions, Tips, and Supply List

Rock Painting Station Paints Rocks Brushes, Sealer, Brushes *this page contains affiliate links in which I may receive a small commission if you buy from them at no cost to you. Ever want to try rock painting? It’s as addicting as it is relaxing, and with some of us having more time at home, now is the perfect time to learn. Not that there’s much learning involved; there is no bad way to express yourself while painting rocks. I do have a few tips to share, a few products to have on hand, and a few ideas to keep in mind. Note I am NOT an artist; I am very much a copycat when it comes to rock painting. I see things on Pinterest (check out the rocks I’ve pinned), and then usually take those ideas and run with it. That’s the extent of my creativity, so what I’m saying is you don’t need to be artistic to do this…you just need to enjoy it! Before we even start, my biggest tip is if you are doing this with kids, or you are an impatient person, prime/paint a base coat on many rocks and have them ready to paint. If you try to paint the base coat and design in the same sitting you will have a mess, and that will frustrate you and especially the kids. I may or may not have a very messy rock that I didn’t have the time to wait for the base coat to dry. Before we start let me mention there is rock “paining” and rock “drawing with paint pens”, so if paining is not your thing, you can use paint pens on a plain rock, then seal it, and come up with beautiful rocks. So the first thing you’ll need are some rocks. Where to Paint Rocks   Any smooth river rock will do, but the lighter colored one’s are way easier to cover in paint. Pick them up as you find them; imagining what you can make them into…a strawberry? a heart? an alien? Those are some of the rocks I’ve painted. You can also go to your local landscaping center and buy rocks. Or, you can purchase rocks on Amazon when in a bind. They are smooth and a nice round shape, and no searching! Wash Them Up Scrub those rocks down and let them dry completely. I use a scrub small nail scrub brush. If you’re in a hurry, you can put them in your oven on 250 degrees to dry them. Be careful taking them out; they’re hot! To Prime or Not to Prime   Some rocks have a bumpier surface. I like to prime those with some Mod Podge. However, I find if I prime my rock first with either Mod Podge or a spray primer, my paint seems to go on nicer. Play with it; you’ll find what you like. Sometimes you’re just in a hurry to paint a rock. If you want a solid color background on your rock make sure to paint a few coats of your background color with time to dry in between. You can buy larger containers of black, white, etc. in order to have an ample amount of paint. If you want no background, you can paint right on your clean rock or on top of a base primer. What to Paint Sometime’s this is the hardest step. With so many options, what do you paint? I keep a Pinterest Board. I’m constantly adding cute rock paining ideas to it. Feel free to follow my board and my Pinterest, and create a board for yourself for reference. Now Time to Paint Grab a cup of water and an old towel or some napkins and let’s get started. After I know what I want to paint, I squirt a little on a paper plate or in container. I have all kinds of containers to hold my paint…I use washed out dog food containers, liquid medicine cups, or anything I can reuse. Now grab a brush and paint away. Make sure to let colors dry in between coats and colors. Sometimes I have several rocks at different stages of completion all over my rock painting table. This way I go back to it and paint the next color. Don’t Forget to Sign Your Name or Affix a Label and SEAL IT! Sign your name and date your rock. Some people like to hide their rocks and put a little paper on the back with instructions. They affix this to the back with Mod Podge then seal it with a spray sealer. Same with Sharpie Markers. They are great to add finishing touches or sign your name, but you need to cover with Mod Podge and then spray seal or else it will run. Make sure to use a Spray Paint Sealer to seal your rocks – make sure to do both sides – drying in between, of course. Give Away or Hide This part is the most fun. People are so happy to get their rocks from you, or to find them around your town. You are going to find this craft very addicting, I’m sure. After you get the hang of it you can totally take it to the next level. Check out Mandala Rock Painting. Wow! Below is my list of supplies. Happy Painting!  
If you can’t rocks, light colored work best…. Rocks 12 rocks $15.99 Rocks option 2  20 pieces (2.4 pounds) $21.99 Primer You can prime your rock with paint but sometimes a primer fills the nooks and crannies way better. You can also prime with Mod Podge. Kilz Primer 1 quart $7.88 Acrylic Paint Acrylic Paint Set – Apple Barrel 18 pack 17.99 FolkArt Multi-Surface Paint 20.47 Martha Stewart Acrylic Paint 44.99 for 18 – fancier and best quality Larger Bottles Paint 16 oz  $4.47 – should get in black, white, and other base colors you might want Paint Pens Uni-Posca 21 colors $45 aprox $2.15. -$2.50 each *beware of price gauging Fine point set 8 for $15.27 Extra fine point Paint Brushes 25 piece set 10 piece set Dotting Tools Crochet tips work too! Smaller set of dotting tools Sealer This step is to seal permanent markers so it doesn’t bleed or to seal labels on the back. You still need to spray seal after this step. Mod Podge Gloss Mod Podge Matte Paint Sealer Final Step, seal both sides of your rock, letting dry in between Spray Sealer Gloss 5.97 Spray Sealer Matte Other Rock Painting Supplies Vinyl Tablecloth Apron looking….. Storage Stay wet storage Craft Storage Paint Storage for 2oz bottles 21.97    

1 Comment

  1. Mary

    Great Advice, Besutiful!

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