Painting Material Suggestions

“These are some of the products we like to use to create rocks, but you can go to town using what-ever you have” – Roselyn Fauth

Resene Paints: Bright vivid colours that are waterbased. And there are even sparkly paints! Check your supermarket dockets for “buy one get 1 free”. Resene also have a month when they do “feed the Need” exchange a food Tin for a Test pot – this means you could get 8 test pots and exchange for 8 test pots (8 is the max to each house hold for a mini 200g can of human food). (In 2017 the month was February.)

Permanent Markers: Sharpies and Vivids…Warehouse Stationery(or your local $2 shop!) CHEAP $2 shop Sharpie pens work fine, I also have a Gold and Silver set from Warehouse Stationery. These are very Handy! (see vanish tips) You can of course get glitter, stickers, googley eyes, PVA, ModPop, etc from here and glue. Please use Varnish to protect from the elements and ensure they do not fall off and create litter in our parks. 
TIPS: Apply a layer of white paint onto your rock. The rocks tend to bleed, and the colours will stand out better.
NOTE: Felt tip pens may fade.

ModPog: The Mod Podge Gloss is a waterbased sealer, glue and finish that dries quickly and great for building up multiple coats. This is perfect for all types of exciting craft projects. Especially if you want to collage on your rock. However if it gets wet it will go sticky, so please coat it with a varnish before you release your rock into the wild.

Varnish: I vanish all my rocks, even though Resene state that their test pot paints are good outdoors. It just gives them a little more protection from being knocked around etc... and a better over-all finish (personal opinion! not a reflection on any of the beautiful creations we have found!) So this is what I use…)

Clear Marine Grade Polyurethane
(It’s the messiest, but has the best results by far!)

Wattyl Estapol Exterior Clear Varnish Gloss - From Mitre 10

  • Contains an effective ultra violet absorber
  • Withstands weathering for considerably longer than conventional varnishes
  • High gloss long life clear finish
  • Seals without hiding the timber grain

Where To Use: Outside doors, windows, timber railings, exposed beams, marine boat work.
Coverage: 10 – 14m²/L depending on porosity and texture of substrate.
Sizes Available: 500ml, 1L.
See more at:

I vanish the edges holding the middle of the top and bottom, then I vanish the top by putting the rock down on the newsprint. Once dry I flip and varnish the back/bottom. Then once dry again I redo the top and edges to ensure they are sealed tight. I have found that it is less likely to effect the pen/sharpie lines than the Spray vanish does (except for the gold which it REMOVES – so put a layer of PVA over this let it dry hard then varnish. You just need to be VERY sure it is sealed as any creak will let water in and lift the glue and the varnish.)

CLEANUP For Polyurathane Varnish… Pour some turpentine into a small glass jar, and soak your brush in it for several minutes. Swirl the brush around and wipe it against the side of the bucket until it's clean. Then wipe it dry on a rag.

  1. Remove as much paint as you can from your paint brush by brushing it along an old rag or paper towel. You want as little paint as possible still on your brush for a faster cleaning in the solvent.
  2. Pour a little solvent into your vessel. I prefer to use an old glass jar. Place your paint brush into your solvent.
  3. Begin by swirling and moving your brush back and forth in the solvent. Continue until all of the paint has been removed.
  4. Once your paint brush has been cleaned, rinse any remaining solvent off by running your paint brush under water.
  5. Remove any remaining solvent or water on a paper towel or old rag.
  6. Reshape your paint brush bristles and store until you're ready to paint again. Let your brush dry.

A spray polyurethane or Lacquer clear

(Quick and easy to use/clean up)
CA Aerosol Paint - Acrylic, Clear, 400g – Available from Supercheap Auto, Repro, Warehouse

  • 400g
  • Multi-purpose acrylic paint
  • High gloss air dry finish
  • Suitable for use on metal, fibreglass & plastic surfaces
  • Fast drying
  • Produces a hard & durable finish

This is great, but beware, if you have used a permanent marker like a sharpie or vivid, you are better to spray lots of light coats, than one big dollop as it will make your permanent marker lines run. This is also excellent for sealing modpog. 

I have also had people suggest clear nail polish too.