Rock Painting Supplies

How to Paint Spread Peace and Love Rocks

The How-To Guide to Painting SP&L Rocks
Part 1: Rock Painting Supplies

Painting rocks is a great family, school, club, girl or boy scout, team building, or church group activity! Not only is it fun and relaxing, it can be quite addicting as well :-). While it can be difficult to figure out the right supplies your first go at it, the actual painting process is easier than it looks. Actually, I think the hardest part is coming up with an idea for your first rock! But that is where working in a group helps out. You will find that you will feed off of each other's creativity... the design of the person sitting next to you may spark an idea – and you then can take that idea to a whole new level! So let the creativity take care of itself... lets get on to supplies.

Painting Supplies
(Links are provided for your convenience, Spread Peace and Love receives no payment or remittance of any kind from recommended products or suppliers.)

  1. Rocks –Well it all starts here, doesn't it? The rock you use is the canvas for your artwork. Smooth, flat rocks work best... but you would be surprised what you can do with just about any found rock. We at Spread Peace and Love began with store bought rocks. You can find a nice variety of color, shapes and sizes of polished natural stones in both dark and light colors at craft stores. Here are some options of store bought stones from a variety of  providers.
river rocks walmart

Michaels

Amazon

Walmart

Ashland River Rocks FlowCraft Rocks Panacea River Rock

 

Another great resource is your big box hardware or garden store. Think Home Depot, Lowes, OSHmost carry smooth river rocks in the garden section.

 

Lowes Deco Rock Large Beach Pebbles

Home Depot

Lowes

OSH

Mexican Beach Pebble Large Beach Pebbles Mexican Beach Pebble

 

That being said, we have discovered that we like the natural color, texture and shapes of found rocks better. If you live near a coastal community, rock hunting at the beach makes for a great family, team or club outing. Please be aware of your environment and do not take rocks from private property, State Beaches or National Parks. Hiking trails are another great place to find rocks... enjoy the fresh air, get some exercise, and come home with some "canvases" for your kindness creativity. (Again, please make sure you are aware of and observe the rules of your surroundings.)

Now that we got the rocks squared away, the next thing you need to think about is...

  1. Paints –OK, this is where we start having fun! First of all... you want to paint your rocks with Acrylic paints. There are a number of brands available at craft stores and online. It is important to remember... with paint you do get what you pay for. The slightly more expensive paints will be thicker (so you will have even coverage with one coat of paint) and the colors can be more vibrant. It is also best to select a multi-surface paint that will hold up outdoors as well as indoors.

We have used a few different brands and have settled primarily on Folkart, Americana and Martha Stewart. The reason we vary between the three brands is simply based on color preference. You can find multiple shades of most any color...we choose from these three brands the colors we like best. Acrylic paint is water-based, non-toxic and has a matte finish that can be varnished to create various sheens. You can also purchase enamel (gloss) finish acrylics, but this option is available in a limited color range. Folkart, American and Martha Stewart acrylic multi-surface craft paints can be purchased at a variety of hobby/craft stores including Jo-Ann's, Michaels, Hobby Lobby and online including Amazon and Walmart.

 

Folkart Paint

Folkart

Multi-Surface
Acrylic Paint

Americana

Multi-Surface
Acrylic Paint

Martha Stewart

Multi-Surface
Acrylic Paint

More Info More Info More Info

 

  1. Paint Markers – Paint markers are incredibly versatile and are available in a variety of colors and tip sizes. There are a few brands on the market to choose from; POSCAs are are favorite to work with when it comes to painting on rocks. They are non-toxic water-based pigment paint markers which can write on any surface. The paint is permanent on porous surfaces, and removable on non-porous surfaces such as glass. The colors are vibrant and fast drying. Posca's are available in a broad variety of nibs (tips). The finest nib draws a .7mm line and the broadest draws a chunky 15mm line. The pens can be sealed with paint-on or spray varnish. If fine motor skills are not you strong suit... these will become your new best friend when it comes to hand lettering and fine detail in your designs.

 

Posca Paint Markers tip sizes Posca Paint Markers Full Range of Colors Posco Paint Markers

POSCA Nib Sizes

UltraFine, Extra Fine,
Fine Bullet, Medium Bullet, Medium Chisel, Broad Chisel

POSCA Colors

"Creative Box"
Full range of
Posco Paint Markers
(On my wish list!)

POSCA SET

Basic 12 Marker
Starter Set

 

More Info More Info More Info

 

  1. Brushes and Dot Tools – You will want a variety of brush sizes on hand to work with when painting your rocks. Brushes are made in both natural and synthetic fibers. You can spend anywhere from $$$$$ to $ on a single brush. Take into consideration the surfaces you will be painting on and the age of your rock painting artists. If working with children, I would recommend the lesser quality brushes as they can be a little harder on the bristles and forgetful about proper cleaning. If you are painting on particularly rough surfaces, I would also suggest less expensive brushes as they will have a shorter life span. For adult artists and smooth surfaces, go ahead and splurge on slightly higher quality brushes such as the Calina Madison brushes. No need for artist quality brushes, such as the Windsor & Newton, unless you plan to be working in extremely fine detail.  Dot tools are fairly inexpensive and a fun addition to your supply kit. They are particularly useful for creating Mandala rocks. (I am fascinated with the intricacies of mandala patterns and just picked up the Meuxan Ball Styluses myself... stay tuned for updates on my progress!)
Windsor & Newton Paint Brush set for painting rocks Rock Painting Brush Set

Windsor & Newton
Brushes

High Quality
Round 0, 2, & 6,
Rigger 1,
One Stroke 1/2"

Calina Madison
Brushes

Medium Quality
Flat, Angular, Filbert, Round, Shader, Detail,
and Liner (Rigger)

Meuxan
Ball Styluses

8 Pieces
Ball Styluses
Create fine details

 

More Info More Info More Info

 

  1. Paint Palette – You could use most anything for your paints including a paper plate, ice cube tray, or variety of palettes available at craft stores and online. My favorite is a round white plastic palette with 10 round wells for holding and mixing paint. The one listed below comes with a clear round that cover fits over the top to help keep paints neat and fresh. This is a huge benefit, particularly when you are working with custom mixed paints and need to step away from your project before you are finished.

 

Paint Palette with cover for rock painting 12 pack paint palette

Palette with Lid

Clear Plastic Lid
Keeps paint fresh

12 Pack Palettes

No Lids
Inexpensive Palettes
Group Projects

More Info More Info

 

  1. Varnish – We have started glazing each of our rocks with a coat of water-based varnish to give them an even gloss finish, help the colors to POP, give our rocks a fresh out of the water look, and provide our kindness messages a bit more longevity... particularly when placed in and outdoor environment. If you are going to paint a finishing gloss coat, the argument of enamel verses regular acrylic paint becomes mute as all your rocks will have a beautiful sheen. Gloss Enamel paint is typically a little more expensive than regular acrylic paint. If the plan is to paint a finishing gloss coat...  you can avoid the expense, if not, I would recommend upgrading to enamel paints.

Varnishes are available in spray and brush on format and in both an oil or water base. While sprays can be handy, the concern is for over spray (particularly if you are painting indoors) and toxicity of fumes you may breath in accidentally. We use (and suggest) a water based "paint on" varnish which is both better for the environment and easy on clean-up. Our favorite is Minwax® Helmsman® Spar Urethane. This product is available in both a satin and gloss finish and provides protection for both indoor and outdoor rocks. If you choose to use the spray aerosol rather than brush on, please make sure you are in a well ventilated area and wear a protective mask. (Dispose of contents and container in accordance with all local, regional, national and international regulations.)

 

Minwax

Helmsman Spar
Urethane

Minwax

Helmsman Spar
Urethane

Clear Satin Clear Gloss

 

Hopefully you will find the information and links provided here useful as you begin your rock painting journey. We would love to see your beautiful designs and hear how you are changing the world with your kindness rocks! Feel free to share your images and stories of kindness with us at Spread Peace and Love by sending and email to  ---> info@spreadpeaceandlove.com

xoxo,

¨•.¸¸ Spread Peace and Love ¸¸.•¨

 

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