Wednesday, March 19, 2014

How To Paint Shabby-Chic Rocks and Stones

Pretty, shabby-chic painted stones are an easy rock-painting project for both Easter and year-round display.

  • Smooth stones - any shape (oval rocks will look like painted eggs)
  • Acrylic paint in a muted color (I used "Light Buttermilk")
  • Black 3D fabric paint (also known as puffy paint)
  • Brush
  • Pencil
  • Sandpaper
Supplies used for shabby-chic painted rocks

How To Make Shabby-Chic Painted Rocks

Cover your stone with acrylic paint and allow it to dry.

Cover the stone with acrylic

Using a pencil, draw a swirly design on your painted stone. You can go around the edges, down the middle, whatever you like.

Draw a swirly design

Use the black 3D fabric paint to outline your sketched swirls. (You want the line to be raised.) Allow the fabric paint to dry for 4 hours.

Outline the swirls with 3D paint

Once the black 3D fabric paint is dry, cover it with your original color and allow it dry.

Cover the swirls with the original color

Use sandpaper to carefully scrape off some of the paint on the raised design so the black shows through.

Scrape off some paint from swirls


Paint different, muted colors and vary the placement of the swirl design.

"Mod Podge" flowers or other vintage images onto the stone.

Display your shabby-chic painted stones in a pretty dish or bowl.

  • Vintage paint colors are pale and muted - good colors to use are dusty rose, pale green, yellow ochre, cream, etc.
  • Practice with your 3D fabric paint first; it can be tricky if you've never used it before 
  • Matte 3D fabric paint works better than shiny but you can use either one as long as it's black
  • For a raised line, hold the 3D fabric paint bottle like a pencil and angle the tip while outlining your design
  • I did not use a sealer on these rocks because I wanted them to look "old" and the sealer would add shine
  • When you Mod Podge a design onto the rock, tear around the design's edges rather than cutting; the design will blend better into the stone. It also helps to add some of your paint around the design to camouflage the edges   

Helpful resources

The inspiration for this project was a DIY idea for Stylish Easter Eggs I saw on Pinterest.

© Cindy Thomas Painted Rocks


  1. Love your item Great for Easter!

    1. Thanks so much, Theresa. I'm pleased with how these turned out and how easy they are to paint. Start collecting rocks now so you'll be ready for Easter. :-)

  2. Replies
    1. Yes, Me from OC, a matte sealer would certainly help protect the design. In my excitement creating these, that's the one step I neglected to do.