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Topic: Painted garden stones  (Read 2468 times)
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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.


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.


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.


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...

« 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
« 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.

Check out my Etsy shop!
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