Spreading Kindness & Joy One Rock at a Time

Kindness is a gift everyone can afford to give
-Unknown

What are Kindness Rocks?

There is a growing trend in communities across the world, where people paint rocks and leave them for others to find. Simply put, you paint a rock, usually with a cute design or encouraging saying, and then hide or leave it in a public place for someone else to find. When someone finds it, they can re-hide it for someone else to find or keep it to treasure. It’s a simple way to bring a smile to a stranger’s face and help spread kindness in your community and beyond. Rock painting can be relaxing and fun, and the goal to brighten someone’s day often brings you joy as well.

Why Do I Paint Kindness Rocks?

I paint kindness rocks to create connections in the community, bring a smile to someone’s face, and inspire others to find ways to spread kindness in our community and world. It’s a simple action that can have a rippling effect. Check out the video below to hear more!

How Can I Get Started?

I would LOVE for you to join me! Here is some information to help you get started.  Listed below are the general steps to painting kindness rocks and the basic supplies you will need. Step 5 is very important for rocks that will be hidden outside. Be sure to find a sealing spray that is UV Resistant or Non Yellowing to help it last through sun and rain. Check out the recommended product list on the bottom half of this page!!
Kindness Rock Steps

Where Should I Hide My Rocks?

Leave your painted rocks in places with enough foot traffic that someone will find them.  Leave them on a bench in your town, in a park,  outside your favorite store, on a picnic table at a playground, outside a community center or take a couple on your next road trip! There are many places to hide them, however, please be considerate when choosing your location. Please do not leave them in the grass where they could cause damage to a lawn mower, or inside a business that does not give permission. You don’t have to hide your kindness rocks; you could gift them them to friends, teachers, frontline workers, family, coworkers or create them as party favors!

What Should I Do If I Find a Kindness Rock?

If you found a kindness rock, congratulations! First, enjoy the message or design and know that someone intended to brighten your day with this random act of kindness. 

Next, if you would like to, share the love. There may be a label on the bottom of the rock that shares where that rock came from, or a local rock group you could join and share where you found it. Share a picture of the rock you found on social media so people can follow the journey of that rock. One of my painted rocks made it all the way to a national park in Africa!!

Lastly, brighten someone else’s day by hiding the rock in a new place for someone else to find.  Pay it forward! On the other hand, if that rock has special meaning for you and you would like to keep it, paint another kindness rock and hide it in its place. 

Supplies and Resources

I thought it would be helpful to create a tools section that rock painters could use to see the products that I use and recommend. This list will continue to evolve as I find different resources that are worth mentioning.

Disclosure: Please note that some of the links below contains affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase using the link, I earn a commission at no additional cost to you. This helps support the page, allows me to provide content for free, and continue to paint. I only recommend products I use and love. Thank you for your support!

Acrylic Paint

I have used both of these paint brands and they are good for beginners. Craft Smart is a little cheaper so you can get more colors for your money, but doesn’t give quite as good coverage so you may have to use more layers. Both fine choices for starting out!

Decoart� Americana� Premium Acrylic Paint Value ct By Deco Art | Michaels�

DecoArt® Americana® Premium Acrylic Paint Value Pack

These acrylic paints from DecoArt are water-based and non-toxic. They deliver superior coverage and a durable matte finish. You can also varnish the paint to create an array of sheens on almost any surface.

Details: Includes assorted colors, 2 fl. oz. (59 mL) per bottle, 12 acrylic paints, Durable matte finish
Nontoxic

16 Color Matte Acrylic Paint Value ct By Craft Smart� | Michaels�

16 Color Matte Acrylic Paint Value Pack by Craft Smart®

Make attractive paintings, home décor accents and more using this acrylic paint pack by Craft Smart. You can mix the colors of this pack to create new shades and use them on canvas, paper, fabric and other craft surfaces. Perfect for fine art techniques, card making, calligraphy and more. Ideal for beginners to professionals, this artist-quality matte finish acrylic paints are for every level of expertise. 

Details:  • Includes 16 assorted colors, 2 fl. oz. (59 ml) each, water-based and nontoxic, fast drying paint, matte finish

Mod Podge

Mod Podge is used to secure your label to the bottom of your rocks. This lets the finder of the rock know where they should post a picture of the rock. You can use matte or gloss depending on your preference.

Mod Podge� Matte in None | 2 oz | Michaels�

Mod Podge® Matte

This all in one decoupage glue, sealer and finish is quick-drying for multiple coat build up. It dries clear and is easily sanded to a smooth matte finish. It’s great for all types of crafts and kid’s projects. Easily cleans up, while wet, with soap and water.
 
Details: Available in multiple sizes, water based, quick drying, certified AP nontoxic

Mod Podge� Matte in None | 2 oz | Michaels�

Mod Podge® Gloss

This all in one decoupage glue, sealer and finish is quick-drying for multiple coat build up. It dries clear and is easily sanded to a smooth matte finish. It’s great for all types of crafts and kid’s projects. Easily cleans up, while wet, with soap and water.
 
Details: Available in multiple sizes, water based, quick drying, certified AP nontoxic

Sealant Spray

Be sure to use a clear sealer spray to protect your paint. Select a UV-resistant, non-yellowing kind that will help protect your paint longer in sun and rain. This one below is my favorite.

Krylon� Uv-Resistant Clear Gloss Paint | Michaels�

Krylon® UV-Resistant Clear Gloss

Give your craft projects and artwork a permanent, protective and longer lasting clear finish that protects surfaces from damaging UV light rays. Permanent finish guards against fading and is just right for anything made of paper maché, ceramic, plaster, glass, metal, wood, plastic or dried silk flowers.

Details:  Non-yellowing, moisture resistant, clear finish, dries to touch in 10 minutes, dries fully in 5 hours, 11 oz. (311 g), 
WARNING: Extremely Flammable.

Acrylic Paint Pens

You certainly don’t have to use acrylic paint pens, but I have grown to prefer these as they dry faster than standard acrylic paint, you don ‘t waste paint and there is no mess to clean up when you are done! I also have better control with the pens when trying to achieve finer details. Posca paint pens are wonderful!!

uni Posca Paint Marker Pen – Medium Point – Set of 15 (PC-5M15C)

It is a water-based pigment ink that is non-toxic, lightfast, and waterproof.
Set includes: white, light blue, Gray, brown, orange, peach, light orange, Yellow, pale green, purple, blue, green, pink, red, and black.
Unlike alcohol-based marker ink, The ink does not bleed.

uni Posca Paint Marker Pen – Extra Fine Point – Set of 12 (PC-1M12C)

It is a water-based pigment ink that is non-toxic, lightfast, and waterproof.
Set includes: red, orange, yellow, pale green, green, light blue, blue, purple, pink, brown, white, and black.
Unlike alcohol-based marker ink, the ink does not bleed.

uni Posca Paint Marker Pen – Fine Point, Set of 7 Natural Color (PC-3M 7C)

Fine tip : 0.9Mm-1.3mm line
Natural 7 colors set : pastel Yellow, pastel orange, pastel green, pastel purple, sky blue, light pink, Coral pink
Non toxic water based paint marker

uni Posca Paint Marker Pen – PC-1M Gold & Silver, 2 pen pack

Extra fine tip : 
Gold and Silver colors
Non toxic water based paint marker

Rocks

Where can you find rocks to paint?

There are several ways to source rocks, some with beautifully smooth but expensive options and some with more economical but perhaps bumpy options. The goal is to find sources that offer economical options that are still smooth enough to paint on. Here are some places to find rocks both in your area and online.

Check local home improvement stores for landscaping stones and a more economical option. I like the Dorado River Rock and the Imperial River Rock bags from Home Depot. Every time I go on a road trip I stop at home improvement stores surrounding bigger cities as they have even more selection. Typically they are sold in 40 pound bags. Imperial has larger rocks and Dorado has smoother rocks. These are just a couple that I have tried. I prefer rocks that are between 2-3 inches and smooth, and these have worked well for me. They are also reasonably priced. Check your local home improvement stores and don’t forget to check if they have a Ship Free to Store option! 

Check your local landscaping stores that have outdoor piles of landscaping rocks. Often they have large bins of landscaping rocks of different sizes. Some will allow you to bring in a bucket and choose the rocks you want for a price per pound. 

For the Iowa City/Coralville area: King’s Materials in Coralville sells Mexican Beach Pebbles which are a really nice option. They are a fantastic size for rock painting and are very smooth, making them easier to paint on. They are more expensive than the option above, but also better to paint on, so you get what you pay for. King’s charges by the pound, so you can take in a bucket, pick out the perfect rocks, and they will weigh it and price it for you. Very easy process, and you get to pick out the exact rocks you like! I almost filled a 2 gallon bucket it and it was just over $10. 

Or order online! Here are some options to choose from. More to come as I find online options I would recommend. 

Lifetop 10 PCS Painting Rocks, DIY Rocks, Flat & Smooth Kindness Rocks, Medium

Size: The stones range in length from about 2.0 to 2.8 inches. Different size and shape stones.

 

Capcouriers Rocks for Painting – Smooth Painting Rocks – Perfect for Kindness Rocks – About 2 inches in Length

  • Triple Sorted: Capcouriers is the ONLY brand that triple sorts their painting rocks. This means you receive the perfect rocks for painting in every order.
  • Set Includes: 10 to 12 violet rocks for painting.
  • Rock Size: These rocks are about 2 inches in length.
  • The Trusted Brand: Capcouriers is the leading brand in the rock painting industry. We are proud to supply the highest quality products on the market, backed by excellent customer service.
 

Tools

Meuxan 10 Piece Dotting Tools Ball Styluses for Rock Painting, Pottery Clay Modeling Embossing Art

  • Set of 10 for creating fine details, painting, dotting, shaping and smoothing for different craft projects
  • Total 20 ball ends, 14 different diameters: 0.8/1/1.5/2/2.5/3/4/6/8/10/11/13/16/18mm
  • Ideal for painting dots on rocks, canvas, seashells or gourds, making dots or blending seams in clay, embossing pattern and more
  • Length between 4.7-5.3 inches, lightweight and easy to use
  • What You Get: Blue Rubber handle ball stylus x 4, Wooden handle dotting tool x 6

Books

Stone Painting for Kids: Designs to Spark Your Creativity

This follow-up to the bestselling The Art of Stone Painting offers a kid-friendly version of an engaging activity that helps promote creativity. Popular stone artist F. Sehnaz Bac, a seasoned archaeologist who markets her painted Sassi dell’Adriatico (Stones of the Adriatic) on Etsy, presents step-by-step instructions for simple projects, accompanied by full-color photographs. Her introduction explains how to find and choose stones, which kinds of materials and tools are safe for kids to use, how to set up a workspace, simple techniques, and other helpful tips.
A splendid variety of patterns begins with illustrations of basic shapes and designs for human figures and faces, animals, numbers and letters, and natural motifs — flowers, trees, and stars. Other activities include painting stones for games such as tic-tac-toe, chess, and dominoes. Kids will learn lettering techniques for writing names and words on pebbles and how to design holiday-themed decorations. They’ll also discover how to assemble multiple stones for picture-making and story-telling.

The Art of Stone Painting: 30 Designs to Spark Your Creativity

Thirty fantastic designs transform ordinary stones into colorful works of art with this easy-to-follow guide.
· Step-by-step instructions and full-color photographs will inspire your creativity
· Includes tips for choosing stones and the best craft supplies to spark your designs
· Themes include trees, flowers, animals, mandalas, geometric patterns, holiday motifs, and more
· Brighten your community with a “Kindness Rock” — check it out on Facebook
It’s fun for the whole family!