Painting a Message on a Spirit Rock

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Does your school or town have one of those big rocks that you can rent and paint a message? Our school got one a couple of years ago, and I was able to rent them for two of my kids’ birthdays this year. I signed up for it and didn’t think much about it… until the panic of “how do I do this??” set in a few days before.

There are companies that do fantastic designs, but they’re not cheap. In my area, I’ve seen anywhere from $100-150 for them to paint the rock for you. I just couldn’t validate spending that much on something my kids will see maybe a couple of times until it’s painted over the next day. So, google it was! I found some good tips, and thought I would share them with you in case you yourself are needing some tips.

First, let me tell you how big the rock we rented was. (The amount of supplies you’ll need will depend on how big your rock is!) Ours was about 4.5 feet wide and 2.5 feet deep.

Second, let me tell you that my design was very simple and personalized. No Pokemon or Super Mario Brothers characters for us! I’m not anywhere near that talented 😉

With that being said, here is what I got:

-2 cans of spray paint for the base coat. I got mine here from Amazon. They are tall 15 oz. cans and two did the trick. The key for this paint was that it was “15 minute fast dry” paint and glossy. You can get other spray paint colors for larger sections of your rock (like, a sky or grass, something that will take up a lot of your rock but isn’t the base color)

-Acrylic paints. This is a great deal here on Amazon. At time of posting, you can get 24 colors for $13.59, and it also includes…

-Brushes. I would recommend a variety of sizes, with 1.5-2 inch being the biggest (unless you have a larger rock).

-Chalk. You can use this to sketch out your words/pictures that you can later paint over.

Optional items:
-paper towels
-plate or paint tray to put your paint colors on
-old clothes
-cup of water to dip your paintbrushes in
-rubber gloves to protect your hands
-smaller rocks to use as part of the theme (see below)

This was how the rock looked before I painted it. I felt prettttty terrible painting over this masterpiece. But, here’s an idea for you if you have good artistic abilities!
These were extra rocks left from previous rock messages.

Step 1: Shake your base coat spray paint color until you hear the ball rattling inside. Stand about 1-2 feet away and spray paint the rock, going back and forth until the previous painting is covered. I would recommend trying to cover the whole rock before going back for a second coat, just in case you run out of paint.

Step 2: Once the paint has dried, take your chalk and draw out what you want to put on the rock. Make sure that your writing is large enough to see from the street/parking lot. (for the above rock, it was hard to see the name on it unless you were very close).

Step 3: Take your acrylic paints (or spray paint for larger areas) and get to painting! I found that it took a couple of coats of acrylic paint to cover the black base coat. I brought several paintbrushes to use for each color, so I didn’t bother with a water cup to rinse them and use again. But, that is definitely an option!

I tucked any extra rocks people had used in the back. I didn’t use them, but could have made them each a different sport ball if I had known ahead of time that they were there.

Step 4: Bring your child early to see it! I took my kids the night before their birthday (we had the rock from 4 PM one day to 4 PM the next day), so we could take pictures and take our time with seeing it. They were both SO excited!

That’s about it! You can be as creative as you want, but it is possible for you to do this!


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