Rock Painting 101

Who knew that something that has been a childhood activity for decades would become a motivational art form for adults today? Rock Painting is simple, meditative and rewarding (just like coloring). Supplies are cheap and easy to find and painting miniature pictures and quotes is just plain old fun. It doesn’t require tons of space and can be done fairly quickly.

Recently, I have noticed people doing a sort of “pay it forward” type of kindness project where they paint and hide rocks around town for others to find. It definitely puts a smile on my face when I see a hidden painted rock. I have yet to pick one up and keep it, but those little treasures will someday be found by someone that will bring it home and start or add to their own collection. Maybe it will be just the ‘sign’ they need that day. It’s heartwarming how life-changing something so simple can be.

Our town even has a dedicated Facebook page to these rock painters and collectors offering hints about where some rocks have been hidden – your town may have one too. Talk about a fun community project. It all started with #thekindnessrocksproject by Megan Murphy on a beach in Cape Cod and now it’s all over the world. Their mission is:


Talk about moving! Most of their rocks are painted with inspirational or motivational quotes and are very encouraging. Hearing the right words can make or reinforce a positive change in anyone’s life. No matter what your reason to paint a rock, sharing it in your community will help make connections and hopefully uplift someone’s spirits. Isn’t that worth it?

Are you ready to pay it forward and inspire someone else too?

It’s simple, let’s get you started. Here is what you will need:

  • rocks
  • acrylic paint
  • brushes & newspaper
  • paint pens
  • clear outdoor sealant

My son and I started this project because we found a large container of acrylic paints in my mother’s attic. We sifted through and threw away the dried up and cracked paints and still had a ton of options to work with. (so many, my son had to organize them…) I figured, now is the time to use this paint for something good. Any other ideas are welcome!


The rocks were already washed, so we started by just painting one side of each rock with a base color. So many choices. We used a cap from an empty supplement bottle to raise the rock higher so it wouldn’t stick to the newspaper we laid down to keep my kitchen table clean. #artworkwithkids


It doesn’t take long for that paint to dry, maybe 20 min to an hour depending on the thickness. Some needed a second coat of paint because they were a bit transparent, but it’s all up to the artist. To avoid the second coat, you can mix white paint with your color paint or start with a white coat first and then add a coat of color. My son even did some that were more than one base color for fun.


While your base coat is drying on a few rocks, go do some sketches for your artwork. Maybe you want to paint a cute picture or a design or maybe just write a quote. Maybe your rock looked like something in particular when you picked it up – a fish? a bug? a rainbow? a heart? Do the research while you wait and you will be ready to go when the paint is dry. Some people seal their rocks between coats, but I am just too excited to wait for that to dry. I’m going to try these craft paint pens from Michaels because they look  fun and easy to use. Go get yo’self some!


I simply CLEANED my rock, PAINTED a base coat, ADDED the detail and then SEALED it with the clear coat. Boom.

Here are some great ideas to inspire you:

Just look at these! I am definitely drawn to the beautifully intricate designs and creatures, but I love a simple quote as well. It is all about what the painted rock does for YOU when you see it.

My very first rock is this one:


It’s not perfect, but the possibilities are now endless. I can see how this can become an obsession.

Happy Rock Painting!





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