November 19, 2018

The Art of Painting Stones

One of the most popular activities in the arts-and-crafts world right now is painting stones. I can see why people love it so much. Stones are an inexpensive and readily available canvas to create with, and anyone can express their inner Picasso regardless of skill level.

The painted stones can grace your home interior or your garden. Some artists leave the stones in random places as gifts for strangers to pick up. And painted stones can be placed on gravesites as a remembrance to loved ones who have passed.

No matter how you paint the stones or what you’ll do with them, you’ve got to admit that this is a craft that rocks.

What you’ll need:
Foam paintbrush
Acrylic paint
Paint markers
Clear protective spray


1. Select stones that have a smooth surface, as they are easier to paint. If you don’t have stones in your garden to use, they can be purchased at home improvement stores or crafts stores. Don’t take stones from parks or beaches — that’s not legal. Before painting, wash them really well with soap and water, and let them dry thoroughly.


2. Using a foam brush, paint the front side of the stone with acrylic paint. If possible, use paint that is specially formulated to weather the elements, especially if the painted stone will be displayed outdoors. I don’t bother painting the back, as I actually like the texture of the stone to be visible.


3. To paint detail on the stones, you can use either a thin brush and acrylic paint or paint markers. My hands are too shaky to paint freehand with a brush, so I prefer paint markers. These opaque felt markers are much easier to control. There are various brands to choose from. I like the Uni Posca markers shown here.


4. You can paint illustrations or write words on the stones. If you’re nervous about drawing freehand, sketch on the stone with a pencil first. As you paint, allow the colors to dry before using new ones. And when you’re done, spray the stones with a clear protective coating.

Jonathan Fong is the author of “Flowers That Wow” and “Parties That Wow,” and host of “Style With a Smile” on YouTube. You can see more of his do-it-yourself projects at