Get TEN ideas for beautiful painted rocks PLUS instructions on how to paint rocks! These decorative rocks are perfect for gifts or home decor. Don't forget to scroll down to the bottom of the post to watch a video. You'll learn how to make the fairy garden rocks shown in this post!
Skills Required: Beginner. These decorative rocks are extremely EASY. There are a few tricks for making them, but I'll go over that in each description. If you follow the instructions, you'll have success.
Painted rocks are all the rage right now! I'm not sure if you've heard of the Kindness Rocks project, but it's the reason why people are painting rocks in the first place (besides the fact that it's just fun to do).
The idea behind painted rocks is that you will decorate them and place them in locations for others to find as a “random act of kindness.” Isn't it a cool idea? I love the thought of making someone happy with a pretty painted rock and inspirational message. In a world where we're just looking for a little something to brighten our days, these rocks are perfect!
Of course you can also keep the rocks for yourself or give them as gifts. Decorative rocks are perfect for displaying on shelves, in your garden, or as vase filler (the smaller ones, anyway!).
How to Paint Rocks to Achieve Success
Here are my favorite tips for achieving the best painted rocks:
- Pick smooth, flat rocks. You can decorate any rock, but it's harder to decorate ones with ridges. If you can't find them in nature, the craft stores sell them as do home improvement centers.
- Wash the rocks before painting them. You want to remove dirt so that it doesn't mess your design. You can wash several at once with dish soap and leave in a colander to drain and dry.
- Seal the rock before painting on it. Use a clear brush on or spray sealer. This helps so that the rocks (which are porous) don't suck the life out of your markers. Another option: prime with white paint to help the colors that you paint on top appear more vibrant.
- Paint your design on top and use several coats . . . let dry between layers. Use an outdoor or multi-surface paint to help them hold up to the elements.
- Use small brushes or a stylus to make small details and/or dots.
- Use oil based paint pens and Sharpies to write on your rocks. These work the best for me! Just make sure to let fully dry before any writing.
- Finish off your rocks with a coat (or two or three) of Mod Podge Outdoor. This will help protect your beautiful painted rocks from the elements.
And my favorite tip for painting rocks: if you mess up, wipe it off or wash it away while the paint is still wet. You can dab a corner of a paper towel in water and do it quickly and easily. Trust me . . . we've all had to do it. You'll have a blast learning how to paint rocks!
10 Painted Rocks You'll Love
Now that you have my favorite tips, check out these 10 painted rock ideas below. There are so many ways to decorate rocks to make them fabulous – which one of these is your favorite?
The trick for painting rocks with quotes on top? Paint your base colors, then let dry. Then write your quote with a white gel pen, leaving enough room so that you can use a liner brush to go over the top of each letter.
You might think someone with a very steady hand painted these decorative rocks, but nope – they were designed with stencils! Stencils are going to be your best friend for this project (plus the video at the very bottom of this post shows you how to make the rock on the left with the door).
My aunt is recovering from breast cancer and these painted rocks would be a perfect gift for her! If you feel uncomfortable with the lettering, use a white gel pen as your template as I suggested in the first project . . . then paint over the top with a liner brush. As an alternative, you can also stencil words on top of the rocks OR decoupage them.
If you want to learn how to paint rocks but want to start with something easy, these decorative rocks are perfect! You'll simply basecoat (completely cover) the rocks with paint, then use Mod Podge to apply scrapbook paper and lace on top.
These decorative rocks are perfect for hiding outside! They have a message decoupaged on one side . . . flip them over and they have something else to say. You could even tell silly knock knock jokes with them.
You might think these painted mandala rocks are difficult given the detailed design – but I promise you, they aren't! You can use toothpicks or a stylus to achieve the dots. You'll need patience and a lot of paint colors, but anyone can do it.
7. Beachy Rocks
These decorative rocks have a hand painted look, but they were actually made with stencils. Then some details were added and some distressing was achieved with sandpaper. I love the beachy feel and that's a perfect place to hide them.
I love the bright colors and messages used with these painted rocks! This is a project just like the first one I shared – you're going to use the white gel pen and a liner brush to achieve the writing. Of course, there are white oil based paint pens if you prefer to do the script that way.
My mom and I were teaching ourselves how to paint rocks, so we started with these little beauties for our first try. Once we tried, we were hooked . . . but these rocks were how it all began.
Sketch the herbs of your choice on the rocks (after painting them black) using chalk. If that's not really up your alley, simply print out pictures of the herbs online and decoupage them to the rocks instead. Either way, these make fantastic garden markers! Use them for a variety of crops.
11. Heart Rocks
Okay, I said I was only going to share 10 painted rocks, but I couldn't help myself . . . these color shift rocks are too cool for school! I wrote an entire guide for Color Shift Paint, and once you put this paint on a surface like a rock, you'll never go back. Trust me.
Now that you know how to paint rocks, you'll want to see the video I promised! Learn how to paint rocks to look like a fairy garden in the video below. You'll see how easy it is – just click PLAY!