Thursday, May 29, 2014

Rock Painting Ideas: Flowers Painted on Rocks and Stones

I enjoy painting flowers on rocks because they look so pretty in a garden and make wonderful gifts any time of the year.

See more painted rocks for the garden

To get my creative juices flowing, I have a new Pinterest inspiration board. It features ideas and patterns for painting flowers on rocks, stones and pavers.

Ideas: Flowers Painted Rocks

There are many simple and realistic ways to paint flowers on rocks, stones or pavers. Painted flower rocks add color, interest, beauty and whimsy to your garden and are unique, eye-catching gifts which will always be in bloom.

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Visit my Pinterest Rock Painting Ideas and Helps board for more tips, tricks, ideas, and patterns to use for painting rocks, stones and pebbles. 

© Cindy Thomas Painted Rocks

Thursday, May 22, 2014

A Solution to the Smell and Mess of a Spray-On Sealer for Painted Rocks

Painted rocks beg to be picked up and handled and a sealer is an important finishing step to preserve the artwork.

My preference for sealing painted rocks has been brush-on products - e.g., Delta Ceramcoat Interior/Exterior Varnish - because I don't like the fumes, mess and danger of a spray-on sealer.

But, recent doodle, tangle and mandala projects using art pens could not be sealed with my usual brush-on sealer. The product would react to the pens and smear my designs.

Then I discovered Krylon Low Odor Clear Finish and gave it a try.

I found the low odor sealer at my local Hobby Lobby in the art supply section (not the spray paint aisle) for $7.99 for an 11-ounce can. The choices were matte and gloss finish and I purchased the matte. With my 40% off Hobby Lobby coupon, the price was less than $5.

I still didn't want the mess of a spray getting all over the place, so I used a box for my "spray station."
  • The box is lined with parchment paper so the rocks won't stick to the bottom
  • The box has a cover so I can close it and avoid dirt and dust sticking to the art rocks while the sealer is drying
  • The handles on the side of the box allow air to circulate when the cover is closed
  • The box is deep enough so the spray is somewhat contained


I sprayed a light, thin coat of the low odor sealer and was pleased with the results. The fumes were definitely lower than normal spray-on sealers and the design on my rock did not blur.

  • It is important to spray a light, thin coat on stones decorated using artist's pens otherwise the design may blur
  • Clean the nozzle per the can's instructions otherwise it may drip and ruin your design
  • Use in a well-ventilated area
  • The spray sealer is dry to the touch in 15 minutes and the rock can be handled in 3 hours 
  • This is still a dangerous product, take care with usage and storage

The combination of the low odor spray finish and my sealing station solved my problem of a fume and mess-free alternative to brush-on sealers.

How I Fixed Two Stones Ruined by a Spray-On Sealer

Useful Links

© Cindy Thomas Painted Rocks

Saturday, May 17, 2014

How to Use a Wash and Tint Technique for Painted Rocks

Painting a beloved pet from a photo proved challenging to get the fur colors accurate. A wash/tint technique saved the day when the fur was darker than I wanted.

First I identified the acrylic colors I wanted to use for Max. Learn how to identify colors from a photo.

Paint colors to use for Max

I used light brown as a base coat but it was darker than I expected. I should have used the creamy color for the base.

I started off with a too-dark base color

Rather than redo the base coat, I kept painting with the hope I could correct the fur with additional shading. But, when I thought Max was completed, the fur color just didn't seem right; it was too brown.

Max's fur looked too brown compared to his photo

I wanted a more golden hue for the fur, so I diluted raw sienna with a little water and washed it over the entire rock being careful to avoid the white areas.

When I compared the raw-sienna-tinted pup to the picture, the painted rock was now too golden. It looked nice but it wasn't Max.

The painted rock is too golden compared to the photo

Next, I diluted the light tan color (identified from Max's photo) with water and washed it over the raw-sienna tint, avoiding the white, painted areas.

That was much better even though not an exact match.

Max's fur is closer to this shade

The wash and tint technique is an effective way to subtly change a hue and soften and tone down paint colors. Because the paint has been thinned, you won't be covering up your earlier paint strokes, just tinting them.

© Cindy Thomas Painted Rocks 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Before & After Painted Rocks and Stones: Machines

Cold, hard machines warm your heart and bring a smile to your face when they're painted on rocks and stones.

The curved shape of this stone reminded me of an IBM Selectric typewriter I used years ago. This small stone had an angled, flat front which was a perfect surface for painting typewriter keys. I painted a manual typewriter because the features seemed more charming and recognizable than the Selectric's.

The shape of this angular rock said "adding machine" even before it was painted. The numerical display panel features the year I painted this office machine.

This large, rounded stone was perfect for a car. Can you see the tire on the front, lower left of the unpainted stone? 

As you can see, more than critters and flowers can be painted on rocks and stones. 

See more before and after painted rocks:

© Cindy Thomas Painted Rocks