Last week, I lost my little buddy, Pascal. While it has been difficult to adjust my daily routines to not include turning on her lights and having our morning conversations, I’ve noticed that the adjustment has been easier to deal with more than I thought it would. I attribute a lot of that healing to this painted rock pet marker that I did for her.
I saw a few different counselors when I was little for various things. One of them had painted pet rocks. She said that the best thing about the rocks were that they were always there for you and you could almost be a little selfish with them; you didn’t need to water them or take them for walks. They were just there for you to lean on. She had explained that she painted her rocks to give them a little life and color because she wanted to do something nice for them. I remember this on the day of Pascal’s passing.
My Pinterest feed for the last several weeks has been littered with painted rocks projects. I’ve got a ton of unwanted ones in my backyard and wanted to have quick crafts for myself in the future. I used these to help make sure I was on the right track with making the best painting for her as possible. Now, I’m sharing those steps and tips with you guys!
What you’ll need for your painted rock pet marker:
- A rock or many rocks, as smooth and flat as you can (this is because they are less porous and you won’t have to worry as much about applying a million coats on top)
- Acrylic Paint
- Acrylic Paint Top Coat (be sure to get waterproof stuff if your rock will be outdoors, otherwise a simple satin or matte will do)
- Paint brushes and/or sponges
- Your design of choice
Here’s a quick rundown of what I did and what I used: I used acrylic paint from Joann’s (Delta Ceramcoat in Sandstone and White, and FolkArt in Yellow Citron) and Target (Martha Stewart Crafts in Robin’s Egg, Deep Sea, Red Brick, and Goldenrod) that I’ve collected over the years to paint the rock, this chameleon that I found on a Google Images search, and DecoArt Satin Varnish.
Here’s what you’ll need to do:
- First thing’s first: CLEAN YOUR ROCK! You’ll want to make sure it’s free of any dirt. The cleaner the surface, the better the results. Squeeze-pat it dry with a paper towel. I dried mine in a matter of minutes this way.
- Start painting your background. I wanted a gradient design so I used cheap makeup sponges to pat the paint on and blend the colors together, a trick I learned from doing my nails. Prepare yourself: if your rock is super smooth and shiny, you may need to use a primer first. While I didn’t run into this issue, I did notice that the paint I was placing on the bottom portion of the rock was reacting differently than the rest of. It took me 3 coats of the Deep Sea and 4 coats of the Robin’s Egg.
- Take your design off choice and paint it on top. I wanted a painted replica of my pet in the middle, her name on the bottom, and the sun symbol from Rapunzel at the top. At the last second, I added the birch branch underneath and some green vines on the side because I wanted to add elements from her cage on her rock.
- Add your top coat. I can’t stress this enough: BE PATIENT AND LET YOUR DESIGN COMPLETELY DRY FIRST. I didn’t and got some areas of smudge. To be safe, add 2 coats. If your design is only painted on one side like mine is, make the top coat overlap the edges of the design underneath. If your rock will be used as a site marker, make sure your top coat is waterproof to help stand up against rain/sprinklers/general moisture. If it’s a memory rock and will be kept indoors, any satin or matte top coat will do. I advise against glossy as it can be too shiny and light glares will constantly take away from your artwork.
Pretty easy, right? The project overall only took me about an hour to an hour & a half to complete. I let it sit aside for an entire day for moving it to our backyard to make sure the top coat was dry and ready for the great outdoors.
What do you do to remember your little buddies? Let me know in the comments below!