Monday, November 6, 2017

Helpful Rock Painting Tools and Supplies

To paint a rock, all that's required is a rock, paintbrush and paint.

These are the helpful tools and supplies I use to create painted rocks. These products are not necessary but they are nice to have.

(Most of my rock painting tools and supplies are purchased at Hobby Lobby or Occasionally, I'll find something at Walmart, Michael's or JoAnn's.)

Note: When you click on certain links in this post, I may receive a commission for the purchase of products.



I recently discovered gesso and now it's my go-to primer. In the past, I used white acrylic paint as a primer. Now I prefer gesso for it's coverage and "tooth".  You can learn more about gesso here.

Regular gesso is what I use to prime smooth stones.

Regular gesso on a smooth stone

Super heavy gesso is what I use to prime pitted stones.

Super heavy gesso on a pitted rock

The following photo illustrates the difference gesso can make in paint color intensity when used as a primer.

Note the paint color intensity on each stone based on no primer, white paint, and gesso 

Specialty Brushes

Nail Art Brush Set

This set of nail art brushes is helpful for getting the paint into tight spaces. Fingernails are a tiny canvas, so it follows that tools used for nail art would be suitable for rocks too. Learn more about nail art brushes here.

Not only do the nail art brushes get into tight spaces but they're also perfect for painting very small stones.

Script Liner Brush

I paint thin lines and detailing with this script liner brush. It took a little practice to get used to this long, thin brush, but it became my favorite once I did. It's important the paint consistency isn't too thick when using this type of brush for lines and details.

Note: When you click on certain links in this post, I may receive a commission for the purchase of products.


Paint Pens - I use the extra fine point Posca paint markers for adding details and filling in small areas of my painted rocks. (The Posca pens are also available in bold point, medium point and fine point if you'd like to use them for larger areas.)

0.35mm Black Pen - I use this Pigma Micron 03 pen to add thin details and write on my stones. The line is thinner than the 08 Micron pen.

0.50mm Black Pen - I also use this Pigma Micron 08 pen to add details and write on my stones. The line size is slightly thicker than the 03 Micron pen.

(This 10-piece Micron pen set features a variety of sizes and shows the line width of each size.)

I used acrylic paint, Posca paint pens and the 03 and 08 Pigma Micron pens to create this owl.

Note: When you click on certain links in this post, I may receive a commission for the purchase of products.

Miscellaneous Tools & Supplies

Paint Eraser/Clay Shaper Tool 

I use this two-sided, rubber nib paint eraser tool to wipe away mistakes while my acrylic paint is fresh. It's very handy when the area I've messed up is in a tight or small spot. Just remember, you have to be quick and erase the mistake before the paint dries. Learn more about correcting rock painting mistakes here.

Embossing-Stylus Set

I originally purchased this 3-piece stylus set for tracing a design onto a rock with graphite transfer paper. Now the set does double duty as my dotting tools.

All of the dots on this heart were painted with the 3-piece stylus set.

Graphite Transfer Paper

I use graphite transfer paper to trace a design onto a stone.

For dark stones, white graphite transfer paper is used. And gray graphite transfer paper is used for light-colored stones.

Adhesive Glue

People often ask "what's the best glue for attaching rocks together." I have found E6000 glue to be the best-holding glue to secure painted/unpainted rocks to each other.

E6000 glue was used to attach the snowman's head to his melting body. Learn how to make a melting snowman painted rock here.

How to make a melting snowman painted rock
Brush Conditioner

Painting rocks can be tough on brushes. I clean my brushes with soap and water then condition them with Pink Soap to extend their life. A little goes a long way and a bottle lasts for quite awhile.

When you have the right tool, the task is easier. These are my helpful, rock painting tools and supplies which assist in the creation of unique, painted rocks art.

Note: When you click on certain links in this post, I may receive a commission for the purchase of products.

Helpful Links

Regular gesso
Super heavy gesso
15-Piece nail art brush set
Script liner brush
Posca paint pens (extra fine point)
Posca paint pens (fine point)
Posca paint pens (medium point)
Posca paint pens (bold point)
Pigma micron 03 pen
Pigma micron 08 pen
10-piece Pigma micron pen set
Paint eraser
3-Piece stylus set
Gray graphite transfer paper
White graphite transfer paper
E6000 glue
Pink soap

© Cindy Thomas Painted Rocks


  1. Very helpful post. I didn't know about the transfer paper. I'll be ordering some of that very soon! I have everything else except the Micron pens and the eraser tool.

    1. I'm glad to hear you found this post helpful, We are:Clamco. It sounds like you're in good shape as far as helpful rock painting tools go.

  2. Thank you so much! It will help me a lot! Thanks for share your tips!

    1. You're welcome, Joycemay. I'm happy to hear you found the information helpful.

  3. Is there something you use as a final sealant to preserve the paint?

    1. Yes, Sue, there is something I use as a final sealant to preserve the paint. Actually, I use 2 products. I brush on a first coat of Mod Podge then once dry, I follow it up with a coat of Americana DuraClear Satin Varnish. You can learn more about my experience with sealers on this blog post:

  4. Replies
    1. Thank you, northierthanthou. I like painting those types of rocks. There are so many color and design possibilities.

  5. I am going to have to purchase rocks. Do you have any recommendations? Thank you.

    1. Hi Judy. Either Home Depot or Amazon have beautiful white stones for painting. My blog post "Where Can I Find Rocks for Painting" has the info:


    1. Thank you so much, Brenda, for letting me know you found this rock painting info helpful. Thanks for sharing it too.