Skills Required: Beginner. These decorative rocks are extremely EASY. There are a few tricks for making them, but I’ll go over that in each description. If you follow the instructions, you’ll have success.
Painted Pebbles / Rocks
The idea behind these rocks is that you will decorate them and place them in locations for others to find as a “random act of kindness.” Isn’t it a cool idea?
How to Paint Rocks to Achieve Success
Here are my favourite tips for achieving the best painted rocks:
What you might use to decorate your rocks (click on link to go to product – will open in a new tab):
Gesso – a white surface primer to seal your pebble and give you a great painting surface
Pick smooth, flat rocks. You can decorate any rock, but it’s harder to decorate ones with ridges. If you can’t find them in nature, the craft stores sell them as do DIY and Garden centres.
Wash the rocks before decorating them. You want to remove dirt so that it doesn’t mess your design. You can wash several at once with dish soap and leave in a colander to drain and dry.
Seal the rock before painting on it. Use gesso primer to provide a clean keyable surface to paint on. This helps so that the rocks (which are porous) don’t suck the life out of your markers or absorb your paint.
Paint your design on top and use several coats . . . let dry between layers. Use an outdoor or multi-surface paint to help them hold up to the elements.
Use small brushes or a silicone colour tool to make small details and/or dots. I suggest that a round brush number 1,2,3,4 size would work well. But browse the selection.
Use acrylic Posca Markers to write on your rocks. These work the best for me! Just make sure to let fully dry before any writing.
Finish off your rocks with a coat (three or four) of Montana Spray Varnish. This will help protect your beautiful painted rocks from the elements. You can choose Gloss (shiny) Satin (soft sheen) or Matt (Flat).
When you buy a pre-stretched canvas you may have been surprised to find a small bag of wooden pieces attached to the back of the canvas stretcher. Feedback tells us that a lot of people wonder what they are actually for (and so many just throw them away, or put them in a box with many of their friends. Don’t cast them out … use them
Most pre-stretched and primed canvases will have good enough tension to allow you to start painting on them as soon as they are in your hands. Occasionally you may find that the surface has slackened slightly, before or after you have started painting. In most cases, your canvas will come with a bag of wooden canvas wedges (also known as canvas keys), which can be used to tighten up the tension of your canvas if you find it has loosened.
What causes a canvas to sag or twist?
During the painting process, the addition of paint, collage and other elements will burden your canvas with extra weight, which over time can cause the surface to loose its tightness. Environmental factors, such as temperature and humidity, can also cause the material on your canvas to move and shift. If you have completed a painting and find that it is slackening on the stretcher you can use canvas wedges to tighten it back up again.
Time needed: 15 minutes.
Step By Step Guide to How to use Canvas Wedges
Insert the wedges by hand into the corner slots, in the orientation shown.
Protect Your Canvas
Place pieces of card between the stretchers and the canvas in each corner. This protects the canvas from any accidental contact during wedge fitting.
Prepare to Fix the Wedges
Stand the canvas upright.
Carefully Drive the Wedges Home
Using a small hammer, knock the wedges upwards into the slots while supporting the canvas with your free hand.
Work in a Logical Way
Always use the wedges to move one stretcher at a time, thus keeping the canvas square.
Finishing and Tensioning
Rotate the canvas and continue to knock the remaining wedges with the hammer until the desired tension is reached.