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Painting Rocks for the Garden

Anyone out there with ideas for painting rocks for the garden? I am not a artist, but well blessed with rocks.

By katiebear from Grande Prairie, AB

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July 6, 20090 found this helpful

It all depends on exactly what kind of look you are going for. But basically you need to know one very important thing & that's that you need to use a UV safe paint or your work can fade drastically within a year or so. If you're using house paints be sure they're made for outdoors. If you're using acrylic craft paints they should say "garden" on them or "UV safe"... If you've already painted something it pays to buy a can of clear UV protectant to spray or brush on over the artwork. Long ago I didn't know about this & had a beautiful dark purple fade to an ugly shade of dull white.

As far as actual ideas of exactly WHAT to paint on the rocks, you need to remember one thing & that's that the rocks will be seen from quite a distance away, so delicate flowers & tiny details aren't usually the best idea.You need something big & bold. I thing in a garden solid colors work best or a solid color sprinkled with speckles also looks cool.

If you're going for actual "art" rocks with details like flowers & animals you can paint all kinds of things! It's best to start by cleaning them with dish soap & water with a toothbrush or scrub brush of some kind then be sure to paint a base of outdoor high-adheasive primer (Like Zinsser 1-2-3). Some people like to paint the rock to camouflage it into something else. For example you can take an oval shaped rock & paint it to look exactly like a big ladybug. I taught painting classes for years & had a student recently write me that she'd sold her house & bought a motorhome & was now traveling around the U.S. & living on BLM land & painting rocks for fun & profit. She said she was grateful for my painting classes because she now has the confidence to paint her little detailed rocks & is having the time of her life!

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