Easy Painted Rock Ideas for Everyone

It's fun, relaxing and you can usually find a free "canvas" in the backyard. Just grab a paintbrush and get started with our best painted rock ideas.

Photo By: Jalynn Baker

Photo By: Emily Fazio ©2016

Photo By: Jalynn Baker

Photo By: Jennifer Perkins

Photo By: Jennifer Perkins

Photo By: Jennifer Perkins

Photo By: Jennifer Perkins

Photo By: Jennifer Perkins

Photo By: Alison Gootee

Photo By: Joanne Palmisano

Photo By: Emily Fazio ©2016

Photo By: Cassidy Garcia

Painted Rocks 101

It's no surprise that painted rocks are trending. They're a little piece of art that anyone can make. Some people paint rocks and hide them for others to find, like a giant treasure hunt. Others use painted rocks as creative home decor.

Scoop up some basic supplies and unleash your inner artist with our best painted rock ideas, from easy, kid-friendly patterns to marbled marvels any grown-up would love.

More Ideas: Kid-Approved, Farmhouse-Themed Painted Story Rocks

Pick the Right Paint

Where your rocks "live" once dry will determine the paint you should use. Choose outdoor acrylic paint if the rocks will be left outside or in a garden. Use regular acrylic paint for rocks that stay indoors. And if the kids are helping, make sure they wear a smock or something old, as acrylic paint is permanent. For more painted rock techniques, check out these five favorites from HGTV crafter Jennifer Perkins.

Every Shape and Size

Rocks come in all kinds of shapes, sizes and colors. They can be found in nature or at the local hardware or craft store. When it comes to design, let the natural shapes of the rocks be your guide.

Farmhouse Story Rocks

Whether you’re looking to ease summer boredom or simply want to encourage your child to step away from the TV screen, check out this painted rock idea that uses a farmhouse theme to make storytelling a little more fun.

Get More Ideas: Kid-Approved, Farmhouse-Themed Painted Story Rocks

Mix-and-Match Doll Rocks

Create painted “dolls” with various shaped rocks. Use acrylic paint or paint pens to create a series of outfits on oval-shaped rocks. Then use round rocks to paint fun, whimsical faces.

Rainbows and Sunshine

Let kids get creative and showcase a little artistic freedom with their rocks. Simple painted rainbows or toothy smiles will surely brighten up the day.

Rock Perfect Letters

Add inspirational motives or phrases using letters for another popular painted rock idea. You can, of course, paint letters freehand, or use a stencil to get them just right.

Learn How: Make Garden Spelling Stones

Word Rock Lessons

Here's a fun idea for little learners. Practice painting letters on individual rocks using acrylic outdoor paint. Then encourage kids to practice spelling out words by assembling various letters from the painted rocks.

Get More Ideas: Make Garden Spelling Stones

Paint and Share Kindness Rocks

Gather up some outdoor acrylic paint and challenge your kiddos to paint colorful, happy pictures or inspirational messages on rocks. Then visit a local park or playground and leave them for others to find.

Get More Ideas: 10 Ways Your Kids Can Make Someone Smile This Summer

Marbled Marvels

Turns out, painted rocks aren't just for kids. Another trendy idea involves marbled paint. Combine acrylic paint, a pouring medium and silicone lubricant to create an amazing marbled effect on your rocks. Marbled rocks can be hidden, used as paper weights or kept in a decorative bowl on a coffee table.

Mixed Paint Palette

While this technique is a bit more complicated, the end result will be well worth the effort. Create a multi-color rock by combining three acrylic paint colors with a small amount of decoupage and silicone lubricant. Layer the three paint colors together and then pour over the rocks.

Black-and-White Mood

Add a little more detail to painted rocks with a gel pen. Black rocks lend themselves beautifully to intricate designs with gel pens. Look for pens that dry opaque, like neon, pastels or even glow-in-the-dark paint.

Go for the Gold

Try adding some gold paint or liquid gilding to a handful of rocks and use them to add style to any room.

Get More Ideas: 9 Summer Craft Projects You Can Enjoy as an Adult

Rock Out a Place Setting

Use a paint marker to create unique place settings for your next dinner party. Write each guest's name and then add some flowers or hearts. For a brighter color, go over the name a few times with the paint marker.

Get More Ideas: Budget Friendly Ways to Decorate With Nature

Simple Garden Stone Labels

Take the guesswork out of your gardening with clearly labeled fruits and vegetables. Use ordinary stones and customize with colorful, outdoor acrylic paint.

Learn How: Garden Smart with Simple Stone Labels

Glam Up Your Garden Stones

Once you’ve painted the stones with outdoor paint, try adding a decorative touch by gluing colorful glass marbles or tile pieces onto the rocks for an extra pop of garden glam.

Learn How: Garden Smart with Simple Stone Labels

Beach-Themed Rock Shark

Use regular acrylic outdoor paint to add some fun, beachy vibes to your home with this painted shark rock. Make your rock resemble a shark by using light blue or gray colors for the skin, white around the mouth and red inside the mouth.

Learn How: Beach-Themed Fairy Garden (Shark Included!)

Easy (Sham)Rocks

Painting (sham)rocks is an easy, kid-friendly way to add a little luck to your garden. Simply paint the rocks with a bright green acrylic outdoor paint, and then paint a shamrock shape with gold paint in the center.

Learn How: St. Patty's Day Rocks!

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