Full Step by Step Rock Painting Guide
Welcome to the full step by step guide to rock painting!
Here you will find all of the information that you need on painting, labeling, hashtagging, sealing, and hiding your rocks!
Let’s get started
(This guide will go into detail on all of the steps for rock painting, including the supplies you’ll need and explanations about hashtags and labels. If you want the quick and to the point version of this guide without all of the extra information, click here.)
First you’ll need some rocks.
You can find rocks just about anywhere in nature, so the choice is yours when it comes to deciding which ones you’ll want to paint.
The size of a painted rock generally looks something like this:
But it can be bigger or smaller if you’d like.
Once you’ve collected the rocks that you’ll be painting, cleaning them is the next step.
The best method would be to simply soak them in hot water for a few minutes, then scrub away at any dirt with a toothbrush or the abrasive side of a sponge.
If there is an excess amount of dirt, be sure to complete this step outside in order to avoid clogging your drain.
Pat with a towel and let air dry completely before painting.
If you would like to speed this process up, simply place the rocks in your oven on 250 degrees for 10 minutes.
Just make sure to watch them and be careful when removing, they will be hot!
If you would rather purchase your rocks online so that they are relatively the same size and already cleaned, here are the rocks that I purchase myself when I need to restock:
Any of the rocks on that page would be a good choice for hosting painting parties with friends and family, or if you just paint a lot and need a good supply!
Next you’ll need some paint and paint brushes.
Now, these aren’t as easy to find in nature as rocks, so you’ll need to pick some up at your local arts and crafts store, or you can buy them online.
The best paint for rocks that I’ve found is acrylic paint. It coats extremely well, so you won’t have to apply a lot of layers.
Think about the colors that you’d enjoy painting with and choose from there.
Here are my top picks for acrylic paint that I’ve found to work the absolute best on rocks.
The paint brushes you need will depend on the project, so getting a variety is your best bet.
You’ll mainly be using a fine tip paint brush when it comes to rocks, but exploring other brush sizes will allow you to create different effects and styles of artwork.
If you’re just starting out, aim to have at least one of each size – small, medium, and large, then you’ll be able find what works best for you.
Check out some suggestions below.
Once you have the supplies, you can paint your rock however you’d like!
Now that we’ve covered rocks, paint, and brushes, the next two things we should talk about are labels and hashtags.
Here is an example of a label on the back of a finished rock:
Adding labels to your rocks does a few things.
It allows the finder to locate your rock painting community on Facebook and other websites.
It also allows the finder to copy your hashtag onto their picture when they post it online.
What’s a hashtag you ask?
Well, a hashtag is just the pound symbol # followed by a few words with no spaces in between.
The unique hashtag you create becomes a link that connects to all pictures of your rock online!
To create a hashtag, all you have to do is make something up and write it on your rock!
You don’t have to register it online or do any extra work, just simply write it on your rock and you’re good to go!
For example: #PaintedRocks or #LifeIsGood or #IMSOHAPPY it can be anything you want!
I suggest that you make the hashtag unique to you however, so that no one else uses it.
An example would be to use your last name, a few numbers, and maybe include the word “rocks” like a lot of people are doing.
If you write the same personal hashtag on all of your rocks, then you will be able to track them every time someone new finds it.
If someone has found your rock and they post a picture of it on Facebook, it will show up when you search for it!
Just search on Facebook for the hashtag you created to see if anyone has found your rock yet!
So, how exactly do I glue those labels to my rock you ask?
Well the answer would be a product called Mod Podge.
After your paint is finished drying, brush a bit of Mod Podge on the back of your rock, using it as glue to add your label.
Smooth the label out with your fingers and let dry for 2 minutes before moving on.
This is when you’ll want to add your hashtag to the rock.
Once the label is dry and in place, write the hashtag that you created on your rock using a permanent marker.
Remember, it can be anything you want!
This is how you’ll track your rock online when others find it, so don’t forget what it is!
Let dry for 2 minutes, then paint a layer of Mod Podge directly over the top of the label and the hashtag as well.
This will need to stand for at least 10 minutes before moving on.
Once the label is sealed, you’ll need to repeat the same process on the front of your rock.
If you use any kind of marker in your artwork the Mod Podge will protect it from running or smearing, and it creates a more protective layer overall.
Add a layer of Mod Podge onto your painting just like you did on the label, and let stand for another 10 minutes to dry.
That’s what it will look like during the process, but don’t be worried! It will dry clear and glossy, I promise!
There is only one step left between you and hiding your rock!
At this point, you should have a painted, labeled, and hashtagged rock coated in a layer of Mod Podge.
The last thing you’ll need to do is seal everything with one final layer, and clear gloss will do just the thing for you.
This is the one item that will allow your painted artwork to endure its travels as it is found and re-hid by other members of the rock painting community.
Not only is it water proof, but it is weather proof, and it will brighten the color of your rock dramatically.
Using gloss means that the hard work you put into painting your rock will last much longer, bringing joy to that many more people when they find it.
Plus it’ll look good when they post it on Facebook!
To seal your rock, lay it face down on newspaper and spray a layer of clear gloss on the back.
Hold the can about 12 inches away from the rock so that it doesn’t get too wet or drip.
Let everything dry completely for at least an hour to avoid it being sticky, then flip it over and repeat on the front.
If your rock feels too sticky after the first hour, let it sit longer.
If you rush this process you’ll end up with the newspaper stuck to your rock permanently, so make sure you’re giving it enough time to dry!
It’s best to leave your rocks outside for a few hours after spraying them, so if you have multiple rocks I would seal them all at once so they can dry together.
Here are some really good clear glosses that I have been using over the past year, guaranteed to keep your rock as beautiful as the first day you painted it.
In just a few hours your rocks will be ready to hide!
Well that’s about it folks!
You should have a painted and sealed rock with a label and a hashtag on it now, waiting to be hidden and ready to brighten someones day!
Go out and hide it anywhere in the world!
At the park, local store or shopping center, school, restaurant, hiking trail, anywhere! It’s completely up to you!
Don’t forget to check your hashtag daily on Facebook to see if anyone has found your rock yet!
HAVE FUN AND HAPPY ROCKING!
If you’d like to learn more, click below!