How to Prepare & Paint a Stone Outside


Some home and property owners who have large stones on their property or around their homes choose to have the stones removed. This is often a rather laborious task, leading some to decide to paint the stones as outdoor decor and leave the stones where they lie. This can be a fun recreational project for the whole family, but unless the stones are properly prepared, the paint won't adhere, leaving the project a mess.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden trowel
  • Clippers
  • Liquid dish detergent
  • Small plastic bucket
  • Wire brush
  • Primer or clear coat
  • Spray paint (optional)
  • Acrylic paints
  • Brushes
  • Monitor local weather reports; you'll want to work on a day that's sunny, warm and free of rain. Clip away any tall grass or plant life in the immediate area of the stone or stones to be painted. This will keep the grass from potentially getting caught in the paint. Use a garden trowel to dig away any dirt if you want to reveal more of the stone.

  • Dig a small trench into the soil around the stone to create a buffer between the grass and the stone. This will add an element of landscaping to the stone(s) as well as prevent plant growth from encroaching on the stone.

  • Add a few drops of liquid dish detergent to a small bucket of warm water. Scrub the entirety of the stone with the soapy water and a wire brush to clean off dirt and debris to make for a better painting surface. Allow the stone to fully dry.

  • Spray the stone with primer or clear coating gloss. This will help fill in small porous areas and create a smoother sheen once you've painted the stone. Allow this coating to dry. If desired, spray a base coat of paint onto the stone using spray paint specifically formulated for stone and masonry (available at most home improvement and hardware stores). If not, move onto the next step.

  • Paint any designs you want onto the stone. Use different sizes of brushes, sponges or stencils to create your design. Allow all paint to dry before applying one or two more coats of clear coat to seal the design against the elements.

Related Searches


  • "Step-by-Step Landscaping"; Better Homes & Gardens; 2007
  • Photo Credit stone image by Svetlana Kashkina from
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