Painting rocks is so much fun! In this step-by-step guide, I will explain how to paint rocks with acrylic paint and paint pens.
Our family has been painting rocks forever and a day! I think we first started painting rocks while on a camping trip.
We were camping near a river and found some beautiful river rocks. I had my craft bin in the car, so we started painting rocks!
And we’ve been painting rocks ever since!
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Painting Rocks has Become Trendy.
Because of The Kindness Rocks Project, rock painting has become trendy! The kindness rocks project is so inspiring!
Using our creativity can change lives!
What is The Kindness Rocks Project?
The Kindness rocks project is a trend where people, commonly children, paint rocks of all shapes and sizes, leaving them all over the place for others to find and collect.
The trend originated in the U.S. and has spread to the U.K., Australia, New Zealand, and other countries.
Here’s a video on how to plant a kindness inspiration garden. You can join the kindness rock project here.
How to paint rocks with acrylic paint and paint pens
Rock Painting Supplies:
Rock Painting Supplies:
- Acrylic paints
- Paint markers
- Bling + glue
- Paint Brushes, q-tips, and pencils
- Paper Plates
- Paper Towels
- Jar of water
- Sealant Spray
The Best Rocks for Rock Painting
The absolute best rocks for painting are smooth, flat rocks.
The first thing to look for in a suitable rock painting is texture. The most important thing is that the rock is smooth vs. rough, deeply pitted, or chalky.
Avoid buying rocks with a wax film over them to make them shiny. This makes it difficult for paint or markers to adhere to the rock.
Flat(ish) rocks are best, but honestly, you can paint any shape rock you please!
Where to Find Painting Rocks:
You can find good painting rocks everywhere! Just go for a walk in your neighborhood or at a nearby park and keep your eyes peeled for painting rocks.
But if you have difficulty finding nice smooth painting rocks, you can always purchase painting rocks online, at your local craft store, or your nearest landscaping business.
Landscaping companies sell river rock by the pound. 🙂
The Best Paint for Rock Painting
The best paint for rock painting is acrylic paint. Acrylic paint is the safest and best for rock painting.
Acrylic paint is the best choice because it’s water-soluble, which means easy water and soap clean-up and no fumes.
Acrylic paint is strong, and once sealed properly, acrylic paint will hold up for years and years on your painted rocks.
I have rocks in my garden that were painted over 20 years ago!
The Best Acrylic Paints for Painting Stones
Many acrylic paints are on the market today, but not all are good quality.
I would recommend all-purpose craft paint that is in the middle of the road price-wise.
You don’t want to go with the least expensive, and you sure don’t need to go with the most costly acrylic paint when painting rocks.
I recommend any of these four brands of acrylic paints for painting rocks.
Rock Painting Ideas:
- Paint a butterfly, ladybug, or cute little bubble bees
- Flowers, trees, cacti, and plants of all kinds!
- Cute animals like owls, bunnies, puppies, and cats
- Paint positive words: DREAM, PEACE, and LOVE
- Create kindness rocks! Think of encouraging statements like: Stay strong, You’re doing great, I believe in you! Etc.
- Hearts, rainbows, and unicorns!
- Peace signs, crosses, and smiley faces
- Paint the sun, clouds, and rainbows!
- Paint a Mandala rock! Here’s how!
Check out my Rock painting Pinterest Board for more Inspiration!
How to Paint Rocks with Acrylic Paint: A Step-by-Step Guide:
1. Wash Painting Rocks.
It’s a good idea to give your painting rocks a good scrub.
I suggest washing your rocks like you would potatoes. Then, use a vegetable brush and warm water and scrub your rocks.
Let the painting rocks dry thoroughly.
2. Gather Rock Painting Supplies, Set up Work Space.
Before you start painting rocks, getting everything set up and organized is a good idea.
Organize paints by color and put paint markers and brushes in a coffee cup or jar for easy access.
Lay newspaper down on your painting service and fill up your water jar (for rinsing paint brushes).
You will have to change the paintbrush water often.
Use a paper plate to paint your rocks on. (write your name on your plate if you are painting with friends, so rocks don’t get mixed up)
3. Paint Your Rocks + Rock Painting Tips
Now that you are all set up, it’s time to paint your rocks!
A few rock painting tips:
- Let paint completely dry in between layers. That way, your paint will be less likely to smear.
- If you are painting words on your rock, consider painting a base color for your design. Painting a base color before the lettering will help your design pop!
- Use the eraser on a pencil or q-tips to make polka dots with paint if you don’t have paint pens.
4. Let Rocks dry + Clean up
Once you’ve finished painting your rocks, let them dry completely before sealing (See below)
While waiting for your rocks to dry, don’t forget to clean up your workspace!
The great thing about using acrylic paint to paint your rocks is that acrylic paint cleans up easily with soap and water.
Clean your brushes thoroughly and put on a paper towel to dry them.
5. Seal Your Painted Rocks
After your rocks have dried completely, it’s time to seal them to give them a beautiful finish and to protect them for years to come.
How to Seal Painted Rocks
I have found that the best way to seal painted rocks is to spray them with a clear acrylic finish. I usually spray two coats.
How to seal painted rocks with spray sealer:
- Let rocks dry completely (overnight is best)
- Make sure rocks are dust free
- Apply two coats, letting the first coat dry for at least an hour (follow instructions on the can)
- I like both gloss and satin finishes.
What to do with Painted Rocks
- Put your painted rocks in your garden
- Use painted rocks as a paperweight
- Give a painted rock as a gift!
- Leave your rock somewhere for another person to find and enjoy.
FAQs: How to Paint Rocks with Acrylic Paint
How to Paint Rocks with Acrylic Paint
Alrighty then! I think I’ve covered everything you need to know about rock painting and how to paint rocks!
Rocking painting is always a fun activity that never gets old.
Are you going to paint rocks? If you do, please hop over to my Instagram and share photos of your painted rock masterpieces!
Let me know in the comments below!
Thanks so much for stopping by!
Until next time remember, YOU ROCK! (get it?) LOL