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Easy Rock Painting Ideas for Beginners – Everything You Need to Know

Rock Painting Ideas For Beginners
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Rock painting has existed for thousands of years throughout human culture. Some of the earliest works of art were created on stone walls, or on rocks and stones of all sizes. Much like rocks themselves, the creativity applied to painted rocks can last for generations, making for a great craft project that you’ll be able to keep forever.

If you’ve been looking for a new hobby, something fun to do with your kids, or if you want a new and unique way to release your creativity, then some simple and easy rock painting ideas projects could be exactly what you need.

Rock painting ideas for beginners requires only a small investment, and the fun that you get out of it is something that you can’t put a price on. From how to prepare rocks for painting, to unique rock painting projects for beginners, this is the only guide you’ll need when you’re getting started.

What is Decorative Rock Painting?

Rock painting is the simple act of creating art on stone. Just like all forms of painting, you could approach rock painting with simple and colorful designs, or even more intricate artwork if you have the time and patience. With large flat rocks, you could paint whole scenes just as you would on a canvas. On smaller rocks, you could create fun caricatures for kids, or attractive designs and rock painting ideas just like you would on painted Easter Eggs.

There are no rules when it comes to rock painting ideas, which is why the activity is becoming more popular every year. It’s suitable for all the family and kids of all ages, and the finished rocks can be displayed proudly in your home, or even given as gifts.

The only tricky thing about rock painting is getting started, and even that is simple once you have all the basic tips and ideas. If you’ve considered rock painting but didn’t know how to prepare rocks for painting, or what type of paint you should use, then the following tips will get you on your way.

The Benefits When You Learn Rock Painting for Beginners

Rock painting is not only fun, it’s also therapeutic and can stimulate brain activity. For both adults and kids, rock painting is a truly rewarding experience that comes with many benefits.

  • Painting, even on rocks, can improve your concentration and help you to focus.
  • When you learn how to do rock painting you will improve your fine motor skills, allowing you to become more adept at any skillful task that requires precise hand movements. You’ll become a better artist and could build the foundation skills that help you to type, learn a musical instrument, or operate complex mechanisms.
  • As you learn rock painting you’ll likely learn a lot about diverse cultures and periods of history. You could look to rock paintings ideas from before the modern age as inspiration, or you may want to look at contemporary or classic art to get fresh ideas.
  • Rock painting is relaxing and can be a great stress reliever. Learning how to do rock painting for beginners could take your mind off stressful life events or simply help you to disconnect and unwind after an exhausting day. Rock painting also relaxes children and it could be a positive outlet for overactive kids.
  • Learning rock painting boosts creativity at any age. You’ll constantly learn new ways to approach your painting and could improve your abstract thinking. For kids, rock painting is a wonderful way to boost creativity by allowing for self-expression.
  • Rock painting builds confidence! When you finish a new rock, you’ll see the result of your hard work and focus. With each completed project, there’s a sense of self reward that is incredibly uplifting.

With so many benefits to rock painting (and we haven’t even covered them all!) there’s no reason why you shouldn’t get started today with rock painting idea projects for beginners and kids.

How to Find Rocks for Painting and Rock Painting Ideas

Rock hunting can become a fun activity for all the family. Even just around your home  for garden rocks or neighborhood you’ll come across hundreds of rocks that could be perfect for hand painting. The shape and texture of rocks could be inspiration for your next piece of artwork. Rocks that wash up on the shores or around riverbeds are generally smooth and rounded, whereas small rocks on walking trails are often rough edged and sometimes have flatter surfaces.

There are no good or bad rocks painting ideas or rocks to paint with – just find the perfect shape that catches your eye!

In National and most State Parks it is forbidden to remove rocks and other natural features from the environment, so check your local rules. If you can’t get rocks locally, then head to your nearest garden or landscaping supplier. You’ll find a whole range of all shapes and sizes, and the cost for a small quantity of rocks is very reasonable.

Craft rocks for painting are also available from craft shops and online retailers anywhere in the world.

How to Prepare Rocks for Painting (DIY)

Rocks should be washed and scrubbed thoroughly, especially if you’ve picked them up from a trail, along a beach or lakeshore, or even from a riverbed.

A quick rinse in cool water will be enough to remove most of the dirt and debris that can collect on rocks. You can then scrub the rocks with a toothbrush or any soft bristled cleaning brush. Particularly dirty rocks can be soaked and cleaned with a mild hand soap or dishwashing detergent. Avoid using chemical cleaners as they could be absorbed by porous rocks.

Rocks need to be dried thoroughly before painting. Hand dry with a towel and then set the rocks outside in the sun, turning them occasionally until they are completely dry.

Rock Painting Ideas Sites and Paints to Use When You Need Inspiration

The paints you use will be important for your first rock painting project. You’ll need acrylic paints to get long lasting vibrant colors that easily adhere to the rock surface. You’ll also need to consider a base coat for your projects.

Base coat is all down to your personal preference and the type of rocks that you are working with. If you have fallen in love with the shape and feel of a rock that is porous with hundreds of small holes, then a base coat is recommended. This will stop your paint from being absorbed, which could lead to an uneven finish. A simple black or white base coat will be perfect for porous rocks.

Choose a darker base coat if you will be working with colors like reds, greys, and greens. If you want a more vibrant result, then use white for your base coat. Spray on base coats or brush applied coats are fine, so just work with what you have available. Note that children should not use paint sprays, so you’ll need to prepare your rocks in advance, spraying them evenly on all sides in a well-ventilated area.

Modern craft products make rock painting easier than ever before, especially when it comes to the paints that are available. If you are more comfortable drawing with pencils, pens, or charcoal, then you may prefer to use a paint pen. This will allow you to apply your designs in a way that is fun and familiar. Paint pens are also great for kids. If you have a child who loves drawing with crayons, pencils, and pens, then a paint pen will be perfect for simple and easy rock painting ideas and projects

Brushes also work well, and there are plenty of options out there. It pays to have a selection of brushes of varying sizes on hand. Larger brushes are perfect for filling in areas of the rock, and you can use finer brushes for detailing. For kids, working with a variety of brushes will allow them to explore their full creativity.

Should You Seal Your Big Rocks When You’re Done with Painting?

Sealing can add a gorgeous finish that reflects light and protects the artwork underneath. An aerosol sealer is a good idea if you are painting regularly, or even if you are painting in a group with friends and family. Aerosol seal coats should only be applied by adults in a well-ventilated area. Brush on sealers can also be used. Look for one that is designed specifically for artwork and that is UV resistant.

Unique Rock Painting Ideas Kids from Pinterest

Now that we’ve covered rock painting ideas hunting, preparation, and paints, it’s time to get started with your first rock painting projects for beginners. Again, there are absolutely no rules, and you should let your creativity run free, especially when painting with children. Use these simple ideas as a starting point and see where your rock painting journey takes you!

Paint a Craft House Rock  

  • Have you found a rock with the perfect shape and just a hint of a triangular roof? Paint a house façade for an attractive decoration rock. Add doors, windows, the shape of the roof, and you could even use a fine brush to add details like flowers and bushes. This is one of the best early rock painting ideas for kids.

Rock Painting Crafts: Create a Rock Family 

  • Another one of the best rock painting ideas for kids is the rock family. You could even do this one as a group project. Find the perfect shaped rocks to create mini caricatures of everyone in the home.

Smiley Rocks or Love Rocks for Valentine's Day

  • Here’s a great simple rock painting idea to get you into your new-found hobby. Paint classic smiley faces and emojis onto rocks and you can bring your favorite instant message characters to life.

Lady bug Rock Painting Inspiration

  • These cute critters are perfect for rock painting. They’re simple when you are learning how to paint rocks, and the designs can become more intricate as you get more comfortable. You could even add other craft supplies like glitter or stick on googly eyes for more fun and personality.

Rock Painting Inspiration: Strawberries

  • Your favorite dessert fruit could become your favorite painted rock design. Use smaller rocks to paint strawberries that you could seal and then use as kitchen or dining table decorations.

Marbled Rocks Flowers or Fairy Garden

  • You could use your favorite colors to create beautiful marbled rocks with attractive swirls and blotches. Instead of using a brush, pour paint onto your rock and then use a toothpick to swirl the colors together. This is a fun one for kids and you can let your creativity go wild with designs that are 100% unique every time.

Easter Eggs, Halloween, Christmas Rocks

  • Want a healthier and more creative Easter Egg hunt? Instead of hiding chocolate eggs in the home, get the family together to paint egg shaped rocks with colorful Easter designs. Hide them around the house and have the kids find them all before they get to their Easter treats!

Add a Quote (kindness rocks)

  • Paint a base design on a rock and then add a quote or mantra in designer lettering. You can keep the rock on your desk, give it to a friend, or display it somewhere in the home.

Animal Faces

  • You don’t have to paint the entire rock to get fun and attractive designs. Animal faces are perfect rock painting ideas for kids and adults. Work from your favorite cartoon designs or go wild with your own imagination. Different shaped rocks could inspire different animal choices.

Christmas Rocks

  •  Put some craft into Christmas or holiday season decorations by painting vibrant patterns on rocks of various shapes and sizes. These can be used under the Christmas tree, displayed with gifts, or put on the table when the whole family comes together for the holidays.

Any of these rock painting projects are great starters when you need rock painting projects for kids, or even adults. Rock painting is enjoyed around the world, and is the perfect activity to relieve stress, release creativity, and create works of art that are great for gifts or decorations in the home.

Tic Tac Toe Painted Ideas

Anybody can start painting rocks today, and you’re now ready to go with your very first project!


What Are Some Recommended Rock Painting Tutorials?

We recommend the video from Art la Carte. You can watch this rock painting tutorial video below

What do you use for rock painting?

  1. Washed and rounded rocks
  2. Acrylic paint
  3. Rock painting pens

What kind of rocks to use for rock painting?

What are some painted rock ideas resources?

Where can I find printable rock painting patterns?

Where can I find rock painting inspiration on Pinterest?

Where can I find animal painted rock art ideas and design for kids?

  • Cats
  • Frogs
  • Owls
  • Turtles
  • Bugs
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