The Best Places to Get Rocks for Painting

One of the questions I’m asked most often is where to get rocks to paint for rock painting. We share a lot of rock painting ideas here on Ruffles and Rain Boots, so we’re dishing about where to buy rocks to paint and where to get them for free.

Learn where to get rocks to paint for rock painting and stone painting hobbies

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Where to Buy Rocks to Paint

No matter where you live, you can get quality rocks to paint to support your rock painting habit! We’ve painted tiny rocks, big rocks, pieces of slate, and so much more without violating any laws or spending a small fortune.

I’ve included where to get rocks for cities, the country, and even how you can paint rocks while on vacation or traveling! Be sure to let me know where you love to get your rocks for rock painting!

Home Improvement Stores for Stone Painting

The “where to get rocks to paint” question was on my mind, too, when I first started. Because of the laws in my area, this is where I started: I buy a lot of rocks from home improvement stores and this is the option I recommend for most everyone.

Below is an image of the three bags of rocks I’ve purchased at Home Depot at various times of year. If you’d like to read more about each, read about the types of rocks for rock painting.

Home Depot, Lowes, Mendard’s, and countless other home improvement stores are great places to buy rocks. You can buy slate pieces individually which is great for larger rock painting ideas or bags of rocks for a large selection.

  • PROs: available all year-round, can choose slate pieces, pricing is very competitive
  • CONs: limited availability certain times a year, your “preferred” rocks might not be available, you have to buy a lot of rocks at once and cannot select individual rocks
buy rocks for rock painting at home improvement stores

RELATED READING: Types of Home Improvement Store Rocks for Rock Painting

Landscaping and Fill Companies

This is a GREAT option if you have a landscaping company near you because they let you choose your own rocks! It’s one of the best places to get flat rocks for rock painting projects.

The first time I went to a local landscaping supply company, he wanted to know why I only wanted a bucket-full and why I wanted to pick them out myself. But he allowed me to fill up my bucket with beautiful stones.

  • PROs: great for selection certain times of year, can choose individual rocks, best prices
  • CONs: you have to do it yourself which means bending over and climbing on rocks, seasonal availability will vary

where to buy rocks to paint landscaping supply

Craft Stores are Great to Get Stones for Rock Painting

I know some rock painters tell you to steer clear of rocks from the craft stores, but I do believe they serve a purpose. We’ve been able to find beautiful stones for kindness rocks for only a couple of dollars – the kids will literally paint EVERY.SINGLE.ROCK in the package.

  • PROs: available year-round, small rocks are perfect for story stones and painted rock series
  • CONs: sometimes are covered in wax which needs to be removed, the most expensive option for “normal” rocks
where to get rocks to paint craft stores

Collecting Rocks in Nature for Rock Painting

This is the riskiest option, in my opinion, but I am a conservationist so take it with a grain of salt. Removing rocks from nature can be a crime in your area, so before you take a bucket to collect rocks, check out the law.

We were on a beach trip to the Oregon coast and the police (or park ranger) stopped a family from filling a 5-gallon bucket with rocks from a beach. Why? It was illegal and carried a fine.

  • PROs: free, you can select individual rocks
  • CONs: might be illegal, might upset an ecosystem

Where to Buy Rocks Online


Did you know Amazon sells rocks?! That place sells everything and if you’re already placing an order, you have to try some of them.

Flat Stones

I purchased these rocks for rock painting on Amazon and the quality was excellent, as they are nice and flat. If you’re looking for flat rocks, it might be a great option to incorporate into your rock painting.

Large River Rocks

A friend recommended this set of large river rocks for rock painting and I was surprised at the quality. Mine were mostly about 4 inches wide, but had some as large as 5.25 inches and some as small as 3.5.

Santorini Stones for Rock Painting

If you want to really take it up a notch, grab this set of Santorini Stones for painting rocks. And should those be too much per stone, try Lulonpon rocks as an alternative.

Buy / Sell Groups on Facebook

Additionally, you can look on Facebook in your local buy and sell groups to find people selling and trading rocks. I set up a meet at a park once so that I could see a rock before I bought it (it was a slab of slate) and I made a rock painting buddy!

I’ve also come across someone selling a rare rock type from Greece on Facebook, so if you find a particular rock you want for a project, do a quick search.

  • PROs: flat rocks available, 2-day shipping with Amazon Prime
  • CONs: not the most cost-effective option, availability can depend on individual sellers

Over to You

How about you? Where do you get rocks to paint to support this fun and additive stone painting habit?!

Please pin this to your favorite rock painting board on Pinterest or share on Facebook. We’d love it if you helped us to get more people to know where to get rocks to paint.

Learn where to get rocks to paint to support your rock painting habit! In all seriousness, picking the right rocks is rewarding and cost effective. #rockpainting #rockpainting101 #paintedpebbles #stonepainting #rockpaintingideas #paintedrocks #howtopaintrocks #rufflesandrainboots

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  1. We spent a week camping on Lake Superior. They allow rock collecting at the beach next to the Shipwreck museum. The rocks are smooth and flat.

  2. I went to the landscape store and bought a huge bag of 75 lbs of rocks for $35. They are 2 to 3 inches. About a hundred in the bag. They were called Mexican river rocks. They had smaller rocks that I could have chosen as well. The dollar tree sized ones. Loved the choices there. And the price was right at about 35 cents each.

  3. This is my first time reading about rocks. I enjoyed it. I am just beginning my childhood rock painting adventure over again after many, many years. I’m truly excited. I think i may buy my first bag of rocks at a local store so i can see and feel them.

    1. Teresa, You will have such a fun time painting rocks. It can be frustrating at first because of the texture, but we find it a thoroughly enjoyable hobby. Have fun!

  4. Shop bought rocks with a waxy residue,,I find hot soapy water and a steel scourer does the trick before I undercoat them before painting.🙂

  5. Have not had a problem with rocks from Dollar Tree. I sometimes paint a coat of chalk paint on first because most of them are black. I make magnets and have not any problems with paint – finding magnets strong enough to hold them is more of my problem.

  6. I bought rocks at Dollar Tree and they had a finish I couldn’t paint over. I tried several ways to get it off. Ended up throwing them out. Won’t make that mistake again.

    1. I love that you mentioned that! I’ve heard many people had that problem with Dollar store rocks.

      Some people boiled them (in a nasty, old pot) to get the waxy coating off. But I’ve never even seen them at the Dollar store, so I haven’t had a chance to test that.

    2. I bake them in oven to melt that waxy film off. I line my pan with parchment paper and bake at 250 degrees. I have boiled them but it is messy and not as clean as baking. I also bake my rocks that I bring in to make sure they are good and dry. In the spring I was having trouble with spray paint not drying. Since I started drying in oven first.

    3. Put them in the oven 200degrees until hot then wipe them off with a cloth let them cool and they’re ready for painting

  7. well, I have an advantage that most people don’t, My husband runs heavy equipment and is always digging & moving rock, so i have access to all the rock i want. plus we go to the North Georgia mountains alot & I can get rocks there too.