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Topic: Painted garden stones  (Read 1932 times)
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trufflegirl
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Joined: 11-Jun-2004

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« on: June 20, 2004 04:07:40 PM »

Over the past few years I've run a (very) small business called Painted Trillium (after a local variation of the trillium flower) where I paint and sell slabs of stone for the home and garden. Well, the profit margin was great when I had time to deal with it, but I've had to let things fizzle for a while. Since I don't think my 'business secret' is in any danger from competition on this site (no one lives in my area, from what I can tell!) I thought I'd share my technique, and see if anyone else gets inspired from it.

http://www3.sympatico.ca/anne.whitcombe/ladyslip.jpg

I bought slabs of stone from the local garden/landscaping centre --- they gave me great deals on pieces that had broken off of larger tiles, so I could usually get about a dozen stones for about $15. Limestone's the easiest to work with, because it's smoothest; sandstone's not bad either; but granite and quartz are very rough to work with. I took them home, laid them out in the driveway and hosed them off (really dirty ones got scrubbed with TSP and rinsed off again), and let them dry.

Then, using a dark drawing pencil (6B or so, to really show up on the rocks), I sketched out my drawings. I gathered images from field guides --- my focus was local flowers, leaves, and butterflies, for the most part. I realle enjoyed finding the best place on the stone to put the picture, using the natural layers of the rock to add depth and interest.

http://www3.sympatico.ca/anne.whitcombe/dogwood.jpg

Once the image was plotted out, I used plain acrylic craft paints and cheapo (but fine-tipped) nylon brushes to paint the picture. (Painting on stone is hard on the bristles --- go figure!) To make the image really "pop", I used some diluant (a thinning medium for acrylics) and a little bit of black paint to make a transparent shadow effect around the edge of the image, so it looks like it's hovering a bit above the stone.

Finally, I sealed the whole thing with concrete sealer, which comes in big jugs for a few bucks at the hardware store. This not only protects the paint (if water seeps underneath it, it would peel), but also gives a nice glossy shine to the painted areas. The rock itself doesn't turn shiny, don't worry.

http://www3.sympatico.ca/anne.whitcombe/daisy.jpg

We've had a number of these stones sitting out in the garden at home (even during brutal Canadian winters) for about 5 years now, and they're only just showing signs of beginning to fade. I suppose you could use outdoor acrylic paints, which might last a little longer, but I can't see the need...

http://www3.sympatico.ca/anne.whitcombe/monarch.jpg
« Last Edit: October 07, 2010 03:25:11 AM by SevsOnlyGirl - Reason: missing pics » THIS ROCKS   Logged

The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity. --- Dorothy Parker
paigeywithwings
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2004 05:07:11 PM »

I really like this idea.  I think that this is something that would definately sell big around here.  I live in eastern Kentucky, where flower gardens bloom with pride.  People around here would definately love these.  I may have to start production.  Tongue  Great work.  Great idea.
THIS ROCKS   Logged

Check out my Etsy shop!
helenpaige.etsy.com
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