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The Best Home Improvement Store Rocks for Rock Painting

I get asked about the best home improvement store rocks for rock painting. In this article, I show you which rocks I use and rock painting ideas to go with each of them. Let’s get started with the rock painting fun!

The best home improvement store rocks to buy for rock painting

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Rocks for Rock Painting Beginners (and Seasoned Painters)

If you’ve read my piece on where to get rocks to paint for rock painting (6 places), you know I fully recommend beginner rock painters start with home improvement store rocks.

The reason I recommend home improvement store rocks is because:

  • there is a large selection,
  • the selection varies throughout the year,
  • they are VERY cost-effective, and
  • you get a chance to experiment with many rock sizes, shapes, and textures.

RELATED READING: Where to Get Rocks to Paint for Rock Painting (6 Places)!

buy rocks for rock painting at home improvement stores

Home Improvement Store Rocks for Rock Painting

Now that we’ve determined home improvement stores are a rock painter’s friend, let’s break down each type of rock available.

NOTE: I will constantly add to this article. Be sure to pin it to your favorite rock painting board on Pinterest so you can check back later. 

Dorado River Rocks for Rock Painting

These home improvement store rocks are pale in color and have beautiful natural patterns. They are relatively smooth (the smoothest we’ve picked up from home improvement stores).

Dorado river rocks also take less base coat paint to cover them. They aren’t always flat, but we find that they are excellent for rock painting.

Rock painting ideas with these rocks include (more available on our Rock Painting 101 page):

Dorado River Rock Painting Ideas for Rock Painting Beginners

Caribbean Beach Pebbles for Rock Painting

These rocks are gorgeous! The Caribbean beach pebbles are not smooth but make base coat painting a breeze.

You will most definitely have to clean them, as when you stick your hand in the bag, it will be covered with a fine, white powder. Honestly, they are wonderful to paint on if you don’t need a very smooth rock.

If you’d like to quickly and easily make them a tag smoother for painting, use a heavy gesso (pronounced jeh-sew) as a base layer.

Rock painting ideas with these rocks include:

Caribbean Beach Pebble Rock Painting Ideas

Ash River Rocks

These rocks are very dark – some are even black. The various sizes and shapes allow us to vary our rock painting designs and improve our painting skills.

I’ve found they are very, very dirty and need a good scrubbing before painting. Additionally, one side is usually flatter than the other but isn’t smooth like the Dorado River Rocks. That being said, we really like painting on these.

These are the newest bag we’re working with. Rock painting ideas with these rocks include:

camping story stones for kids campfire games

Over to You

What are your favorite home improvement store rocks for rock painting? I think each of these has benefits and drawbacks, but it helps to challenge me as a painter. And that’s fun.

Be sure to pin this to your favorite rock painting ideas board on Pinterest and check back for reviews of bagged rocks and individual rocks.

These are the best home improvement store rocks for rock painting. Included are rock painting ideas for each type and size of rock! #rockpainting #rockpaintingideas #rockpaintingideasforkids #rockpaintingideasforadults #stonepainting #paintedpebbles #paintedrocks #kindnessrocks #howtopaintrocks #rufflesandrainboots

Barbara Bernard

Friday 28th of June 2019

Which rocks would be best for mandala painting?

Sarah Nenni-Daher

Saturday 29th of June 2019

Oh, Barbara - I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the round rocks you can make yourself. Those are probably the best I've seen for mandalas if you're going to really work on getting them perfect.

My friend, Susie, at Rock Painting 101 walked through a tutorial on how to use the set to make a rock. She also has a fun little cheat on making mandalas (if you're a beginner).

1. How to Make Rocks: https://rockpainting101.com/how-to-make-rocks/

2. https://rockpainting101.com/easy-mandala-art-for-rocks/