Thursday, March 29, 2012

Painted Lace Rocks Tutorial

I've been eyeing the lovely lace and crochet rocks on Etsy, but the prices are out of my range.  So here's a really beautiful way to make faux lace rocks with paint for a whole lot cheaper!
 You will need the following supplies:

  1. Polished river rocks
  2. White acrylic paint
  3. Polyurethane outdoor gloss sealer
  4. Painting surface
  5. "Spotter" paint brush
  6. Soft, flat brush with rounded sides
  7. Water

 First, wash your rocks with soap and water to remove any oily residue.  Dry well.  

Then, squeeze out some white paint onto your painting surface.
 Add some water to your painting surface and use the water to dilute some of the white paint until you have a smooth mixture to work with.  You don't want it too watery or the paint will dry light coloured, but you don't want the paint too thick or it will make giant blobs instead of neat, small dots.
 Start with a small ring of dots and then start adding dots out from the center.
 Work in a circle and keep adding dots to make an interesting design.
 Keep adding more dots in curved arcs.  Depending on what you want, you could even stop here.
 Add dots outwards to extend the design.
 You can form petals by connecting dots into triangles.
 As you get closer to the edges, you can modify the design to fit the size/shape of your rock.
 Here's the finished design!
 Here's an alternative design idea.  Start with a ring of dots that touch each other.
 Make a cluster of these rings.
 Keep going...

 As you form a good shaped mass of these clusters, start to imagine what design you would like to finish with.
 I added paths that curved out in opposite directions.
And then built up the shape into something that I considered to be lace-like in design.

Once you're finished with your design, let it dry overnight. 
 The next day, take the soft, flat brush with rounded sides and paint the surface of your rock with the outdoor gloss sealer.  

Work in short, slow strokes to avoid bubbles forming.  Paint along the sides of the rock too, but don't let the sealer drip down the sides.  Always use a thin coat of sealer.
Let it dry for at least 30 minutes before painting a second coat on.  Do only one side on the first day. 

Let it dry overnight.  Then flip the rock over.

 If you want, you can paint a new design on the other side.
 The possibilities are endless!

  Seal the other side with sealer in the same way, being careful to ensure that the sealer eventually touches the sealer on the other side of the rock so that the entire rock is covered with sealer in the end.
Never try to seal the whole rock at the same time.  Do one side at a time and be patient with drying. Otherwise, the sealer will look ugly on the side that touches the drying surface.
Never paint sealer on a wet rock, the sealer will bubble up and look cloudy.  Don't add water to thin the sealer either.  (But follow the instructions on your sealer in case it's different for your brand of sealer.)
The rocks look great on a windowsill or in a bowl.  You can use them as paper weights, home decor, or as outdoor decor (if you used an outdoor sealant).  They would make lovely gifts for friends, I think.

Enjoy your new painted lace rock collection!

Don't forget to post photos of your finished work on the Flickr page here.

If you're interested in buying some painted lace rocks.  You can find some here.

Have a great day!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Those are AWESOME! They look very nice. :)