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Easy Rock Painting Ideas for Kindness Rocks Project

Do you need rock painting ideas for spreading rocks around your neighborhood or the Kindness Rocks Project? Here’s some easy stone painting inspiration and tips!

PS – scroll down to the bottom of the post to get a video with my top rock painting tips! You’ll want to keep these in mind as you learn how to paint rocks, trust me.

Rock painting ideas for the Kindness Rock Project

Rock painting is big these days – and I totally get it. You’ve got one of nature’s smallest canvases upon which to decorate, and endless combinations of paint, markers, and embellishments. If you paint a rock you don’t like, you can easily move onto the next.

Then we haven’t even gotten to the part where you can distribute painted rocks around your neighborhood and put a big smile on someone’s face (have you heard of the Kindness Rocks Project?)

Stone Painting is Fun!

If you haven’t heard of them, kindness rocks are a viral trend! Maybe you’ve seen a painted rock laying around in a random public location – that’s quite possibly a kindness rock.

It started with the Kindness Rocks Project and their mission of “one message at just the right moment can change someone’s entire day, outlook, life.” I happen to completely get behind this mission.

The Kindness Rock Project is the thing that got me started painting rocks in the first place – and now I’m hooked. I’ve painted so many rocks that I have a lot of ideas (and tips!) for you.

Kindness Rocks on a bed of rocks

Simple Rock Painting

Before we dive into the rock painting, let me answer a few commonly asked questions for you. These are important to know before you start, and will give you a general idea of what to expect.

How do you prepare rocks for painting?

All you need is a mild soap, water, and a colander (and really the colander is even optional but just makes it easier). Place the rocks in the colander, turn the water on and rinse.

Rub each rock with a bit of mild soap to remove dirt, then rinse again. You can leave in the colander to let dry or place them out on a towel on your counter. If you’re really desperate to get started, you can even use a hair dryer.

Will acrylic paint work on rocks?

Absolutely! Acrylic paint is going to be your best friend for rock painting. You’ll want to use something that is rated for the outdoors or multi-surface.

What is the best paint to use on rocks?

Funny you should ask! My favorite paint to use for rocks is FolkArt Multisurface. Plaid also carries a FolkArt Outdoor paint and an Apple Barrel Multisurface paint that I love.

I find that the FolkArt Multisurface has my favorite colors, but all three lines are perfect. The Apple Barrel is great for kids’ rocks because it’s inexpensive yet durable.

How do you seal painted rocks?

I love this question – with Mod Podge, of course! Outdoor Mod Podge is my favorite for this purpose, and then a spray sealer. I find that extra durability of using both together makes the rocks extra tough – and the colors last a lot longer.

Rock painting

How to Paint Rocks

Let’s get to the instructions! First you’re going to need rock painting supplies, and I’ve listed those for you below.

Gather These Supplies

Step One: Wash all dirt off of your rocks if you found them outside. Michaels sells flat river rocks which makes it easy since flat rocks can be REALLY hard to find!

Step Two: Decide whether you are going to paint the rocks or write directly on them. If you are painting, move to step three. If you are writing directly on the rocks, prep the rocks with the brush-on or spray clear sealer.

You won’t want to use the Mod Podge Outdoor to prep because it doesn’t take markers very well. Your oil based Sharpies especially can get their tips ruined very easily without this prep step!

Multiple colors of FolkArt acrylic paint in a white paint tray with brushes

Step Three: Place your paint in a palette and get painting on your rocks! I found that most rocks only needed a few coats of the paint.

Simple rock painting ideas - painted blue rocks with brushes

Paint one side, let dry, then flip over and paint the other side. Once you are done painting, let everything dry.

Step Four: If you didn’t do the sealing from Step Two before since you were painting, now’s time. Trust me.

Kindness Rock Project - orange painted rock with white Xs and aqua blue dots

Step Five. Embellish your rocks with sayings, designs, or whatever you like. I made those aqua dots with the end of a paintbrush!

the kindness rock project

Step Six: Once your rocks are dry, coat them with Outdoor Mod Podge! Give several coats and let dry.

Live your best life painted rock for the kindness rocks project

I had a great time decorating my rocks – it’s hard to pick my favorite.

Cute rock painting ideas

I hope these rock painting ideas will inspire you.

Live love friendship rocks - blue with a aqua blue painted heart and orange dots

Remember to be considerate when leaving your rocks places. Don’t leave them at private residences or businesses without asking, and National Parks/National Forests are off-limits due to their “Leave no Trace” policies. There are plenty of other places to leave your fabulous rocks to be found!

Ready to get my top tips for painting rocks? Check out the video in the how-to card below!

Rock painting

Rock Painting

Yield: 6 rocks
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Active Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Estimated Cost: $0

Learn how to do simple crafting with these easy rock painting ideas! These are fun to hide or give as gifts.

Materials

  • Rocks
  • Mod Podge Outdoor
  • FolkArt Multi-Surface Paint
  • Pebeo Vitrea Markers
  • Brush-on or spray clear sealer

Tools

  • Paintbrushes (and a detail brush for writing)

Instructions

  1. Wash all dirt off of your rocks and let dry.
  2. Decide whether you are going to paint the rocks or write directly on them. If you are painting, move to step three. If you are writing directly on the rocks, prep the rocks with the brush-on or spray clear sealer.
  3. Paint the rocks with acrylic paint. Paint one side, let dry, then flip over and paint the other side. Once you are done painting, let everything dry.
  4. Seal if you didn't in step two. Let dry.
  5. Embellish your rocks with sayings, designs, or whatever you like.
  6. Once your rocks are dry, coat them with Outdoor Mod Podge! Give several coats and let dry.

Did You Make This Project?

Please leave a rating or share a photo on Pinterest!


If you love rock painting and are looking for more, check out our 10 easy painted rocks! You’re going to love these ideas . . . just click the image below:

how to paint rocks the easy way
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Andrew William

Sunday 5th of April 2020

These are so cute. I love all of these ideas. Can’t wait to try some colorful ones soon ? Thanks for the inspiration

Katie

Wednesday 11th of March 2020

What a fabulous craft for kids and seniors. Mom is in a senior living facility and they are always looking for easy crafts for their crafty seniors.. can't wait to share this project with them..

mandy pople

Friday 21st of February 2020

Thanks for all the tips . I am going to paint some rocks this weekend with my little girl. Then we are going to hide them around are village.

Chastidy Collums

Tuesday 7th of May 2019

Love it

Creative Khadija

Monday 28th of August 2017

These are so cute. I love all of these ideas. Can't wait to try some colorful ones soon :) Thanks for the inspiration :)