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How to Paint Rocks This Summer

Use these rock painting ideas to add a natural vibe to your home - without the mess.

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How to Paint Rocks This Summer
How to Paint Rocks This Summer
This image courtesy of favecrafts.com

Summer is a fabulous time of year for celebrating the earth, fresh air, and all things green. People spend more time outside hiking, biking, boating, and gardening. While some people may find getting down in the dirt invigorating, others may see it as their worst nightmare. But there are other ways to connect with nature without getting your hands dirty.
The next time you take a walk, look around for some smooth, flat rocks. You can use them to create rock painting ideas that will make your home eco-friendly without the mess of fertilizer and potting soil. These DIY garden crafts are perfect for those with allergies or people with young children or pets who want to avoid spills. There are plenty of green crafting projects you can make with stones that look natural and chic. If you want to completely transform the look, however, painting is the way to go.
Follow this easy tutorial to learn how to paint rocks to make your own DIY home decor. These painted rock projects are so simple that your kids can enjoy making them with you!

How to Paint Rocks

Follow these steps to get the best results when making your painted rock projects.

  1. CHOOSE: Pick stones that are smooth, as you're more likely to get an even coat of paint on a smooth surface. River rocks work great, because the edges are naturally smoothed as they roll through the water. Do not use polished rocks for these painting projects, as the paint will not stick as well.

  2. CLEAN: Make sure you clean your rocks before painting them. This will help them look better and make the paint stick better. Soak the rocks in a combination of pine cleaner and water (about one part cleaner to three parts water). Let them sit for a couple hours. If needed, you can scrub the rocks with a scouring pad to get all the dirt off. Dab the stones with a paper towel and let them dry in the sun.

  3. PRIME: Spray the rocks with spray paint primer to help the paint adhere to the surface. Primer also makes the paint look brighter.

  4. PAINT: Use acrylic paint to decorate your rocks. (Acrylic paint is very durable and will last for a long time.) Let the painted rocks dry overnight. 

  5. SEAL: Spray a paint sealer over the stones to protect the paint against the elements and give your projects some shine. This is especially important if you plan on putting them outside. 

  6. DISPLAY: Set your new painted crafts on your front porch, patio, windowsill, or in your backyard. Your friends will wonder where you got these cute decorations at your next party!

Rock Painting Ideas

Here are some ideas to get you started painting rocks.

  1. If you or a family member has a large vegetable garden, you could paint some rocks a bright color and then add labels so you can remember which type of vegetable you planted in each row. 

  2. If birds won't leave your vegetables alone, try painting some rocks to look like strawberries. They'll leave your garden alone once they get a taste of the decoy "berries."

  3. Paint inspirational words on stones and keep them where you'll see them around the house to encourage you when you feel down.

  4. If you want to have something natural in your home but don't have a green thumb, try painting rocks to look like cacti. Place them in terra cotta pots to make them look like the real thing. Your friends won't be able to tell the difference!

  5. You can paint rocks to look like little critters, like ladybugs and frogs, and use them to decorate your patio or place them around your garden.

Let us know:

What other designs can you paint on rocks?

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I love painting rocks. The ideas are unlimited. Paint rocks in a mosaic style, bugs, personalize them, whatever I see in the shape of the rock, I paint that. I found two great Father's Day gifts on this site using rocks. One was Dad Rocks.

I have been wanting to redo my fairy garden and add some cacti but could not decide what to use and if it would die or stick someone and now I see I can paint some to look real. What a great idea. I will not have to worry about them dying and I love the plant labels and inspiration rocks too. I am going to start looking for rocks or maybe hit up the dollar store for some. So simple and fast. Thanks for the great tutorial.

I must be "living under a rock" because I have never seen painted stones to look like cacti! I LOVE this idea SO much! They really do look realistic. I thought all I had to do was clean and paint the rocks, but thanks to this written tutorial, I now know the correct way to do this to extend the life and color of the rocks. These are an awesome idea for those who wish they could garden, but maybe can't because they live in a high rise in the city or they lack a green thumb. Thanks for informing me!

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