To join in the painted rock craze, home is the best place to start. Even people without a natural artistic bent can find joy in creating unique pieces that add delight to their homes. The process itself is relaxing, and the result can bring delight for years to come. Painting rock enthusiasts recommend acrylic paint as it typically is thicker, easier to apply, and needs fewer coats. Paint details with small paintbrushes or use paint pens and markers for the finer points. Finish your art with a clear sealant to weather-proof.


Paint your rocks with a marbled effect

Add marbling medium to paint to achieve a stunning marbleized finish on your rocks. For each of your desired colors, mix one-part paint with two parts marbling medium in a small container. Drip prepared paint onto your rock with a plastic spoon or craft stick. Drag lines through the wet paint with a toothpick. Let the rock dry on a craft plate or cooling rack.

kids painting rocks AHPhotoswpg / Getty Images

Create celestial rock art

Give your rocks an out-of-this-world look with a galaxy theme. Lightly sponge dark blue acrylic paint onto your rock with a foam brush. Next, sponge a lighter blue next to the dark blue. Add more colors and sponge to blend, leaving some darker areas. Add stars and other heavenly bodies with a bit of white acrylic ink or white acrylic paint. Allow the rock to dry between layers.

galaxy design yourtimetoshine / Getty Images

Plant a cactus rock garden

Create a carefree cactus garden with some rocks and coats of paint. Prime your rocks with white or gray primer to ensure an even look. Once the primer dries, paint the rocks green, allowing them to dry again and adding a second layer of green. Add spots, stripes, or any design with paint pens. Glue a felt flower on top and place your cute cacti on a bed of small pebbles in a planter.

Light up the night with glow-in-the-dark rocks

Glow-in-the-dark rocks can illuminate your nighttime yard or driveway without the expense of electrical or solar lights. Phosphorescent paint absorbs the sun’s UV rays during the day and emanates a gentle glow when the sun sets. Simply apply two coats of glow-in-the-dark paint to rocks of any size, allowing the rocks to dry between coats.

Bear in mind that the rocks will not glow from the paint alone. The chemicals in the paint must sit under sunlight or a UV light to charge for 10 to 12 hours. Flat rocks work best as light can easily reach the surface.

Practice the ancient craft of mandala

Mandala art is quite popular as a medium for relieving stress. It is made up of intricate, complex-looking geometric designs, but even beginners can create beautiful rock pieces with this style. The dotting technique is perhaps the simplest for newbies, using dotting tools or ordinary household items such as pencil erasers or bobby pins. Mandala stencils make the project even easier.

Choose or create a pattern and practice it on paper first. Paint your rock with a dark base coat to help your patterns and colors appear sharper.

mandalas andresr / Getty Images

Build a durable tic-tac-toe-game

Construct a customized, paper-free tic-tac-toe game set with small painted rocks. Paint at least nine rocks with paint in any color or combination of colors. When the rocks are dry, draw an “X” or an “O” on the top surfaces in black or another contrasting color. Draw or paint a grid on a flat surface such as a paper plate or wood slice.

Write positive notes that last

Record your favorite sayings on stone with plain, calligraphy, or graffiti writing styles. Start out with one word, practicing on paper first. Trace the word on your rock with a pencil before filling in with a paint pen or fine black ink pen. You could also use carbon paper to transfer a word or phrase onto your rock. As you become more comfortable, try your hand at writing small fun or inspirational quotes.

happiness quote ANDREA DUNN / Getty Images

Get wild with painted creatures

Turn rocks and pebbles into lifelike or comical animals or monsters in a few steps. First, draw a pencil outline of your creature on the rock to make sure the features align as you wish. Go over the pencil lines with a round synthetic brush and black paint. Let dry, then apply colors, making sure each layer is dry before adding another. Fill in details such as eyes, ears, and whiskers.

bears LaperladiLabuan / Getty Images

Welcome guests with a colorful creation

Hand paint stones to help family and friends feel at home. A larger rock might be easier to design and color in, and it would certainly be more visible. However, painting each letter of the word “welcome” on a separate rock is another delightful option. Touch up words with glow-in-the-dark paint to welcome your loved ones home every evening.

welcome message CasarsaGuru / Getty Images

Hit the mark with paint pens

While you can draw rock art with permanent markers, your work will likely fade quickly. It is difficult to seal marker ink due to its chemical composition, and it often runs when sprayed with sealant. Paint pens come in a wide range of sizes and can provide a more reliable, sharp finish that lasts with a sealer. If you want to take your chances with permanent markers, you may find success with a decoupage medium. Complete your design and apply two coats of the medium. Allow to dry completely over several days, then seal.


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