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Rock Painting: How to seal and make your rocks look shiny

What should I use to seal painted rocks?

Do I need to seal my rocks after painting?

We get this question all the time, and our answer is always: ABSOLUTELY! You should seal your rocks after you finish painting.

We always recommend our community to seal their rocks painted with Life of Colour pens because we believe the hard work put into any artistic job needs to be protected from sun and rain.

If you are new to rock painting, then stop by our rock painting blog to read up more about this fantastic art form (and stock up on the best rock painting supplies online while you are at it).

Why seal rock paintings?

Sealing your painted rocks protects them from sun, rain and the passage of time - and and it also gives your rock paintings a nice finishing! There are a lot of different options available to shop online or on your local hardware store, let us guide you through them.

Sealing your painted rocks is not a necessity if you are just playing around, but if you want to keep these rocks for a long time, or hide them in nature for someone else to find, then we would recommend it.

Rock by Daphne Birett

What is the best sealer for painted rocks? What should I use to seal painted rocks?

There are many different brush-on and spray polyurethane sealants available, anywhere from your local hardware store, art store or even supermarkets.

The most important aspect about sealing rocks is to wait for your paint to dry for at least 24hs before applying any form of sealant.

Seal rocks after rock painting using clear spray

Rocks by Kerrie Nadine Finlay, finished with transparent gloss seal.

Seal rocks with aerosol spray sealers

There are many different spray polyurethane sealants available. You can choose either a glossy, glaze, matte or satin finish depending on what you prefer your rocks to look.

Check if the sealant is waterproof, especially if you want to leave your rocks outside, and you are good to go.

Micador, Dulax or Boyle are some of the brands available in the market, but any you can find on Bunnings will do.

How to seal rock painting

Photo by Jen Hall @paintyhandsart

Sealing rock painting with resin

Resin makes the rocks look extremely shiny, with a glass-like effect. Sealing your painted rocks with resin protects the paint from the elements and stops the colours from wearing off.

You can buy clear casting resin at Bunnings, Office Warehouse, Spotlight, ebay and lots of other places. This same material can be used for making jewellery and displays involving insects, coins and flowers. It dries crystal clear after 24hs.

“If your worrying about expense, a little goes a long way so it lasts for a long time” - says our craft-expert group member Bronwyn Giblin

Kathy Dore from New Zealand recommended on our group: "I love resin as I want my rocks to be super shiny. I didn't like the sprays as it wasn't glossy enough"

Sealing your rock with Mod Podge

We have seen many beautiful rocks sealed with Mod Podge, this popular craft supply includes vinyl acetate, making it somewhat water resistant, but not waterproof.

Rocks by Amy @just_another_amy_plans


For rocks that will be left outside, we recommend using Mod Podge Outdoors which is perfect for protecting crafts that will be outside and exposed to the elements.

Be wary though - some internet reviewers have claimed their painted creations looked weird after applying this coating, it takes longer to dry and even with the outdoor version - it might be subject to rain damage.

Shiny rock by Kala Chand

Sealing painted rocks with brush-on all purpose sealer

The same varnishes in spray formula are usually available as a brush-on alternative. You should search for a clear, non-yellowing finish that is waterproof and weatherproof (as you’d look for in a spray sealer).

You can also choose the type of finish, matte, glossy, satin, etc.

Use a soft brush and follow the directions of the product.

Can you seal painted rocks with PVA glue?

You certainly can use PVA glue to seal painted rocks - but you will need to apply many layers to coat the entire rock (waiting for the rock to completely dry before applying the next layer).
Read the label of your PVA glue to know if it's waterproof or not.
What should I use to seal painted rocks so they look shiny

Rock painting 101 most asked questions:

How to prime your rocks for rock painting

We get these questions all the time, “Why is priming rocks necessary?”, “Should I be priming my rocks?” and our answer is in short: YES. But we want to give you all the information so you can pick the right primer for your rock painting project.

Priming your rocks before you start painting is important for two reasons: the surface will be smoother and less porous, but still porous enough to absorb paint permanently (as opposed to a polished rock, ceramic or glass for example).

This will help you in the painting process, less coats of paint and less damage to your paint pen nibs and/or brushes.

How to prime your rocks for rock painting

What's the best paint for rock painting?

If you even wondered "what paint to use on rocks?" look no further, acrylic paint pens are the best of both worlds when it comes to rock painting, improving the colour palette, mixing options, opacity and durability compared to Sharpies for rock painting and dollar store acrylic paint pens while keeping the fantastic silky matte texture from acrylic paints.

Not everyone has the agility to paint small spaces with a paintbrush, but we all know how to use a pen! These pens are filled with acrylic paint so they will look exactly the same as if you applied paint with a brush, but will be a lot easier for most people. They are also mess free and portable, so you can take all your rock painting tools with you outdoors.

Now the fun part! We believe the easiest and best way to paint rocks is with Life of Colour acrylic paint pens! Getting acrylic paint pens in Australia and New Zealand is very easy now, we deliver to your door all the rock painting supplies you need to get started.

Beginners guide to rock painting - stone painting Australia and New Zealand

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