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Rocking painting for kids is a great way to enhance fine motor skills, encourage creativity, and have fun together as a family. This step by step tutorial and tips for creating beautiful painted rocks will ensure you and your kids enjoy the ever popular crafting activity of making lovely painted rocks you can enjoy for years to come.

Have you ever considered rock painting for kids as a fun activity the whole family can enjoy? If not, you’re missing out! Painted rocks are popular and fun to make, plus painting rocks is a great way to express your creativity.

kids painting rocks and painted rocks on display

Some of my earliest memories are of my grandmother painting rocks at her craft table. From Santas for holiday gifts to smiley faces to greet you at the front door, painted rocks were a part of my favorite childhood memories.

And today’s kids know all about rock painting, too! You may have seen kindness rocks all over the internet for random acts of kindness day. Some local parks have become known places for hiding hand-painted kindness rocks for others to find.

These painted rocks are not only a beautiful way to add a personal touch to your garden, but a beautiful way to show someone you care (even if you’ve never met them).

The Best Supplies For Painting On Rocks

When it comes to painting rocks, you can use what you have on hand if you’re just out for some fun.

However, if you’re looking to paint rocks for your fairy garden, to hide in the park, or that you want to last then it’s important to have all of the proper rock painting supplies on hand.

Here are a few ideas of what you’ll need to have on hand for your fun rock painting family adventure:

  • Paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • Multipack of extra fine tip paint pens
  • Rocks with a smooth surface
  • Optional: Water-based glue sealer or acrylic varnish told hold paint longer.
  • Optional: Black outline paint pens.

What Kind Of Paint Do You Use On Rocks?

Patio paint or acrylic paint are the two best options for painting on rocks.

Both of these paints will stick well to any type of rock surface. You want to make sure you’re using patio paint or acrylic paint so that the rocks can be placed indoors or outdoors and still stay beautiful.

Another option is to use whatever paints you have on hand and then properly seal them.

But hands down the best paint to use on rocks is paint pens designed for this exact purpose. THESE PAINT PENS are fantastic!

Where Do You Find Rocks To Paint?

When it comes to searching for rocks to paint with kids, it’s important to know that you can’t take rocks from National Parks nor is it a good idea to get too close to fast running water when looking for the best rocks to paint with kids.

You can go into the woods, to local parks, your backyard, or a local gardening store or quarry. We’ve always enjoyed getting some from a long a shallow creek bed or a nature walk in the woods, but at times have also wanted to get certain sizes for a game in which case we’ve actually bought them.

If you and your kids are serious about it, a local landscaping supply store will usually sell them cheaply and you can pick out the right size/shape for what you’re wanting.

Once you’ve collected a decent number of rocks, it’s time to move forward in the steps for rock painting with kids.

How Do You Prepare Rocks For Painting?

  • Use bleach or a comparable cleaner to wash the rocks off in warm water with the cleaner. This will remove any dirt residue still found on the rocks.
  • Use an old toothbrush or scrubby pad to scrub the rocks completely clean.
  • Be sure to dry the rocks completely before you apply a coat of acrylic primer or start the rock painting with kids process.
  • You may need to use sandpaper if the rocks have any hard surfaces that you want to be smoothed out prior to painting the rocks.
  • You can use a base coat if you prefer (source) or go au natural.

What do you seal painted rocks with?

The best way to seal painted rocks is to use an acrylic varnish or water-based glue sealer with a foam brush. Gently apply this as your last step when your painted rocks are completely dry. This aerosol spray works great!

This will help seal the painted rocks to ensure their unique design stays put for a longer period of time.

Step By Step Directions: How To Paint Rocks With Kids

  1. Gather up your rocks that have been cleaned and smoothed for the process of painting rocks.
  2. Get all of your rock painting materials ready. Be sure to have a cup of water on hand to rinse out your paintbrushes in between uses.
  3. Set up an area where you won’t mind paint or other materials from rock painting to get on. Consider using newspaper on a table if you’re going to use any of your indoor surfaces when it comes to rock painting for kids.
  4. Apply a layer of varnish or primer and let the rocks dry before you venture towards painting creative designs on your painted rocks.
  5. Using the paint pens, come up with some clever sayings or positive words to paint on each rock. Words like Hope, Faith, and Happiness come to mind when I’m thinking about rock painting for kids.
  6. You can use a black outline paint pen to help the painted rocks have words that pop up to catch people’s eyes faster.
  7. Once you and your kids have finished with the painted rocks, place them in an area free of flying debris or insects to dry.  
  8. The next day you can use another layer of varnish or primer to help seal the paint and allow the painted rocks to dry for another day before using them as decorative pieces or gifts.

What To Do With Your Painted Rocks

So now that you’ve made your lovely painted rocks, what should you do with them?

They make excellent gifts of appreciation for teachers, special ways to brighten up someone’s garden or yard, small ones can be tucked into a lunch sack, and you can always hide them at a local park for people to find.

You can make games, label your garden plants, or leave them on a neighbors porch for a surprise smile.

Examples Of Painted Rocks: Inspiration For Your Art Projects

Painted Rock Ideas

Check out these great ideas for rock painting!

"How To Paint Rocks With Kids" text with examples of painted rocks

Thanks for sharing - You're awesome!

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