How To Paint Rocks-Decorating Techniques

You can learn how to paint rocks with these stone painting techniques. I share no-fail rock painting tutorials with step-by-step instructions that are simple to follow. I’ve goof-proofed them all, so you will be able to easily make colorful painted rocks for yourself or to hide for others!

Photos of hands applying paint decorations to rocks, with "Painted Rock Techniques" Text overlay.
How to paint rocks using markers, acrylic paint and more, plus other rock decorating techniques easy enough for beginners.

Related Reading: Everything you need to know about Rock Painting.

Ways To Decorate and Paint Rocks

Essentially, flat stones are little canvases that you can paint in many of the same ways. Use brushes or special tools to create pictures or mandalas with tiny dots. Add fine details with pens or add images with temporary tattoos if you’re not comfortable with freehand drawing. Even fingerprints can be turned into little rock designs. Keep scrolling for a variety of painted rock tutorials that will have you making your own rock art in no time.

Peeling paper from Love > Hate temporary tattoo on white painted rock.
Use temporary tattoos to add images to flat rocks.

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Collage of rock painting photos with orange text overlay that reads "How To Paint Rocks".
Goofproof ways to paint rocks and decorate stones.

How To Prepare Rocks for Painting

Before you can paint your river rocks, you need to get them ready. The most important part of preparing your stones is washing them thoroughly. A quick scrub with soapy water and a soft brush will remove the dirt and give your paint a good surface to stick to. Let them air dry.

If you choose, you can also seal or prime your rock. Sealing an extremely porous rock can keep the paint on the surface. Using a primer on a dark rock makes it easier for the paint to cover, especially if you’re using a light-colored paint. Both of these steps are completely optional.

All Rock Painting Technique Tutorials

Find a new technique to try and click to take you to the tutorial.