Finding rocks for painting can be more difficult than it may seem. There are specific characteristics that you want to look for to ensure that the rocks will do well as a painting surface.
So, what are the best rocks for rock painting? The best rocks for rock painting are relatively flat, have a smooth surface, have minimal pitting or chips, and are lighter in color.
All of the characteristics above make rocks ideal for painting. You can find rocks that fit this description online or in nature, depending on what’s easiest for you. Check out our guide below for the best rocks for rock painting.
The Best Kinds Of Rocks For Painting
Before we dive in on the characteristics below, it’s important to note that no rock will ever be perfect.
Rocks are a natural item found in the woods, on the beach, in a river, and in other places in nature. They will never be perfectly smooth or flat or light.
The traits below are meant to be a sort of guide to the general look and feel of the rock.
Even though it may be ideal to have a rock with minimal pitting or chips, or a smooth surface, you will find that most rocks have at least some pitting, chips, and roughness on the surface.
This is to be expected, and these rocks should still be considered good candidates for painting.
Painted rocks generally have some sort of image on them, maybe of a fruit or vegetable, maybe of an animal, or they have a word or phrase on them.
No matter what you choose to paint on your rock, it’s important that the rock has at least a kind of flat surface for you to work on.
It’s normal to expect that the rock would be generally rounded, but you’ll want to look for one that has a flatter surface at least on one side, rather than a rock that’s shaped more like a perfect sphere.
A flat surface will give you a space to paint on so you can add your image or phrase with ease, rather than trying to work around a completely rounded surface.
Although most rocks are not perfectly smooth, it will work better if you have a rock that has at least a semi-smooth surface. It’s normal to feel a little roughness, but it should generally feel smooth to the touch when you run your fingers over it.
This smoothness is what will help the paint achieve more complete coverage of the rock’s surface, as well as help the image stand out more clearly.
If the rock is too rough, it may be difficult to make out the image or phrase that you’ve painted into the rock.
Minimal Pitting Or Chips
Rocks are from nature, so it makes sense that they may get a little dinged up over time and have a few chips here and there. For rocks that will work well for painting, you want to try and find some that have minimal chips or pitting in the surface.
Pitting describes the places in the rocks surface that may have a bigger divot or dent compared to the rest of the flat surface.
Pitting and chips can make it difficult to achieve the image or phrase you’re working to create. It can distort the image or make the lettering difficult to make out.
It’s best to find rocks that have minimal pitting or chips in the surface, if any at all.
If you want to completely disguise the rock underneath and cover it with your newly painted image, you’ll have an easier time with rocks that are lighter in color.
The darker the color of the rock, the more coats of paint you’ll need to help your colors and images appear more saturated and stand out.
If the rock you’re painting is already lighter in color to start with, you won’t need to add as many layers of paint to achieve dark, saturated colors.
The Best Rocks For Rock Painting
|YEAHOME River Rocks for Painting
|20 rocks, smooth and unpolished, assorted size, medium color
|10 Extra-Large River Rocks for Painting
|10 rocks, extra-large size, assorted colors, smooth and unpolished
|BigOtters Painting Rocks
|25 rocks, assorted medium sizes, lighter color, smooth and unpolished
|Hogardeck 20PCS River Rocks for Painting
|20 rocks, assorted medium sizes, lighter in color, smooth and unpolished
|Lifetop 24PCS Painting Rocks
|24 rocks, assorted medium sizes, medium grey color, smooth and unpolished
1. YEAHOME River Rocks for Painting
This pack of 20 river rocks from YEAHOME are estimated to be about 2-3 inches in size, which customers confirm is an accurate description for what you get.
They range in different colors and shapes, though they are mostly medium in color and round in shape with a flat surface.
Though the size is 2-3 inches, this is just an estimate and the sizes can vary depending on each rock.
The surface is smooth, unpolished, and ready for you to paint.
2. 10 Extra-Large River Rocks for Painting
If you’re looking for larger rocks, we recommend this pack of 10 extra-large rocks from PENXUA.
These rocks are estimated to be about 3.3-4.7 inches in size, though the exact size can vary.
This is considered a larger rock for painting, giving you a larger, flat surface to paint on.
These rocks will vary in color from dark to light, so prepare to add a few more coats of paint depending on the rocks you get.
The good news is that they have a smooth, unpolished finish, so you’ll be able to paint with ease.
3. BigOtters Painting Rocks
If you’re less concerned with size and shape and more focused on getting rocks that are light in color, then this pack of 25 rocks from BigOtters is perfect for you.
These rocks vary around 2-3 inches in size, estimated. They also vary in shape, with some being more rounded than others, though they all have a suitable flat surface for painting.
The great thing about these rocks is that they all come in a very light shade of grey that almost appears white.
The lightness will make it easy to paint with just a couple layers of color.
4. Hogardeck 20PCS River Rocks for Painting
Another great option is this set of 20 river rocks for painting from hogardeck.
These rocks vary in size around 2-3 inches. They have a generally smooth surface, though some pitting may be expected.
They vary in shape, with some rocks being more rounded and some being more elongated. The one consistency is that they all have a great flat surface for painting.
They also may have different colors, with some being lighter and some being darker in color.
Overall, this is a great variety pack of rocks for painting that will fit many different painting styles.
5. Lifetop 24PCS Painting Rocks
The final option is this 24-pack of rocks from Lifetop. These rocks are also about 2-3 inches in size, though can be slightly bigger or smaller.
They have a smooth, flat surface for easy painting and usually come in a medium grey color, though you may see some that are darker or lighter, depending on the batch.
It’s important to note that while you may also see the 10 pack and 120 pack options, customers do not recommend either of these. The best choice from this brand is the 24 pack.
Customers have noted that the 120 pack of rocks are too small to paint on, and the larger 10 pack is not a good deal for the money you pay and the rocks you receive.
Where To Find Rocks For Painting
To some people, it may seem silly to buy rocks online when there are rocks scattered throughout natural landscapes.
If you’d rather find your rocks for free in nature, there are a few great places you can check, but it’s important to check your local laws first.
Some states or counties may have laws against taking rocks from public parks and areas. Across the entire country, it is illegal to take rocks from National Parks.
Keep these laws and restrictions in mind when choosing where to hunt for rocks. As long as you’re not in a National Park and you’ve found no local laws against keeping rocks you’ve found in nature, time to start looking!
The two best places to find rocks are in rivers or on beaches. Many of the rock packs we listed above refer to them as “river rocks.” This is because the type of rocks that are ideal for painting are usually found in rivers.
They lay on the bottom of the river, becoming more smooth over time as the water rushes over them. These rocks are ideal for painting.
If you don’t have any rivers nearby but you do live by a beach, you can search the sand or nearby grassy landscape for rocks. Rocks can often be found near or in bodies of water, so these are always great places to check for rocks for painting.