So, I’m working on this guy and thought I’d show a shortish process how-to for doing him, which would also work for painting and decorating any rocks that you might make for hiding for other people to find like the Kindness Rocks.
You start out with a rock that has been washed and left to dry for at least 24 hours, the rock at the far left in the picture below. Then the rock next to it (moving to the right) has wood-filler on it to fill in major holes and cracks. You’re trying to make the surface of the rock as smooth as you can so it will hold the paint and varnish better. A smooth surface is also easier to write on if you want to use pens to embellish your rock. So I use “ELMER’S Carpenter’s Wood Filler Stainable Interior/Exterior”. It dries in 24 hours and is sandable and stainable(means you can stain or paint over it). The next rock to the right has been sanded and is ready for a prime coat. I’ll probably make it a zombie because it sits nice.So, in the picture below, the rock to the far left has been primed with white acrylic paint. Priming seals the surface of the rock and makes like a canvas to embellish however you want. The next one to the right, has one coat of a base coat color, this one will eventually be a pig. The two rocks on the far right are fully base coated, usually at least three coats if this is to be your background color. Let the paint dry overnight between each coat you apply. The light blue one will eventually be a spotted girly cat and the dark blue one will be a starry sky rock. Now we finally get to the zombies! I’ve been using various rocks that I had in various stages of doneness to show what I was trying to explain. In the picture below, the rock at the far left is at the very beginning stage of becoming a zombie. He has been base coated green and then dry brushed with a rusty tan(to look like he came up out of the ground, zombies aren’t clean and tidy creatures). He has his teeth and eye-whites and patches painted on with white acrylic paint. The next one over, moving to the right, I used an ultra-fine point “Sharpie” pen to outline the eyes in black and do the pupils of his eyes and to do what there is of the mouth and for outlining the bottoms of the teeth and his nose opening. I also used the black pen for his stitches. On the next rock, moving to the right, the one I’m working on now, I used various colors of blue and yellow ultra-fine point pens, also “Sharpie”, to do his eye colors. Lastly, I used various colors of the pens to embellish his patches and the black pen again for the stitches that hold his patches on(I’m a nice zombie master, I patch them up after they’ve been hurt). The rock on the far right is one that is finished & varnished.And here is a close-up of him, below. He hangs out on my book shelf near my science fiction books. He was going to be a bookend but he’s not heavy enough to keep the books upright, so he sits in front of the books. He’s finished with five coats of varnish.
And here in the picture below is what can happen if you don’t varnish or seal your rocks. The paint can bubble and lift, causing it to start chipping and flaking off. This rock was done in watercolors and then not sealed, so the paint started washing off out in the rain. My husband found this one as he was out and about.
Be sure and put some kind of an identifier mark on the bottom of your rocks so if you want to track them, say if someone finds them and posts pictures of them on Twitter or Facebook or Instagram, you’ll see it. Put a short message like: If found Post pic on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, Keep or re-hide, #your-name-or-identifier-number. Something like that so the person finding it will know what to do with it. I post pictures of the rocks I find, on the homepage of my local Kindness-rock group on Twitter and on Instagram.
You put some effort into painting your rock, so you want to give it some protection if you’re going to hide it, or give it as a gift or sell it. I use “Delta Ceramcoat Gloss Exterior/Interior Varnish”, or that in the satin finish. It is a brush-on varnish, it is water based and non-toxic and I use a soft camel-hair watercolor mop brush to apply it. Or you can use a spray on clear-coat varnish such as : “KRYLON Colormaster CLEAR SATIN CRYSTAL CLEAR”. It is an indoor/outdoor spray on varnish/sealer that dries in 10 minutes, apply it outside because it is very strong smelling while wet. It works on wood, metal, plastic, etc. If you’re going to put the rock outside use at least three coats of the brush-on varnish or the spray-on varnish.
So, there you go! A shortish how-to for painting rock zombies. The basic steps can also be used for painting any other theme of rock. And if you’re putting your rocks outside, don’t have any glued on embellishments on them, just stick with paint. Glued on things can come off and small animals might eat them and get sick and or die because of it.
If you’ve read all the way to here or even just parts of this post thank you and I hope you find this article a little helpful in your rock painting endeavors. Rock painting isn’t hard and is a very nice, relaxing hobby to get into. Plus, it is not very expensive to do. You just need paint, permanent marker pens, brushes, wood-filler, sand paper and a varnish. All the products I use for rock painting are water-based and non-toxic. But be aware, rock painting can become addictive, but at least it’s not a bad addiction to have! And I got the idea for these guys from two pins on Pinterest.
This guy, above, is from a “pin” posted by ChestFullOfMemories. This is where I got the idea for my zombie’s teeth.
And these guys, above, are from a “pin” posted by Cara.dura.designs. This is where I got the idea for the stitches and the nose openings on my zombies.