When planning crafts with your children, one of the easiest projects to complete is rock painting. Collecting rocks, painting them, and hiding them is a great way to connect with nature and explore a child's creative side. Finding rocks is also a cheaper solution than purchasing canvases or other material to paint on. As you plan your rock painting session, it's important to have plenty of paint supplies ready. By using this guide and properly preparing, you can have successful rock painting sessions with your children.
Choosing Paints for Rocks
When painting on a hard surface like rocks, you want to choose a paint that can stand out from the rock and be manipulated in multiple ways. Acrylic paint has multiple benefits for this. The paint is fast-drying, allowing you to paint multiple rocks at once. It requires no additional water and will not run or drip when evenly applied to different sections of a rock. Once the paint dries, it is water resistant, allowing you to place the painted rocks outdoors again.
When shopping for acrylic paint, it is typically sold in individual tubes of color. There are dozens of shades to choose from, allowing your children to pick their favorite colors. The thick paint is also less messy than other options like watercolors. This makes clean up a lot easier.
Depending on the rocks that you choose for the project, you will want to have a variety of brushes prepared. For a basic coating of the rock, a thick sponge brush is ideal. It can easily get dipped into the paint and supply a smooth coat of the rock.
Smaller tipped paint brushes are ideal for the small crevices and areas found in rocks. Many rocks feature a variety of grooves and patterns that can get filled in with the small brush. A smaller brush can also give a child more control over their painting. An additional option is paint pens. These are felt-tipped pens with paint in them. These painting accessories are ideal for writing text or small details on the rock. They can be purchased in a variety of colors.
Rock Base Painting
As you and your children start the rock painting process, you will want to focus on the base painting first. By laying down newspaper, your children can paint the base of the rock and turn it over without getting any paint on the table. Rubber gloves can also be worn to help hold the rock and paint all of the sides without getting paint everywhere.
After the base paint is applied, the rock will need to dry for around 5 minutes. This is why it's a good idea to paint the base on multiple rocks at first and then work on painting the actual designs. The base painting will give the rocks an easier surface to apply designs too. It helps even out the textures and will cause less mistakes in painting.
Once the design is done, children can add a number of accessories to the rocks to help enhance the design. One of the easiest accessory to add is a wiggle eye. These eyes add life to characters and animals that are painted on the rocks. They can be purchased in a number of styles including different colors and sizes.
Additional accessories to purchase includes glitter glue, small decals, and ribbons. Present a child with a box of crafting accessories to see what kind of designs they can come up with. The accessories can also help spark the imagination as the rocks are painted.
Once the rocks are fully painted and decorated, it's a good idea to lay them out evenly in a shoe box or old pizza box. Once inside, you can spray them with an aerosol glossy coat finish. This will give a real shine to the rocks and help the paint colors stand out. Spray one side of the rock, wait 12 hours and then repeat the process on the other side for the best results. If only one side is painted, then you only have to spray the rocks once.
As children learn how to master the art of rock painting, you can have a new family tradition in your home. Properly planning can make a huge difference on the end result.