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How to Paint a Name on an Outside Rock

When inexperienced do-it-yourself enthusiasts try to paint on exterior rocks, flaking often results. Unlike porous wood surfaces, rocks don't absorb the adhesives within paint. If you'd like to paint an enduring sign on an exterior rock, prime the surface with a long-lasting, adhesive coating.

Things You Will Need

  • Water-based degreasing cleanser
  • Steel wool
  • Pressure washer
  • Cardboard
  • Stencil-spray adhesive
  • Stencil
  • Professional painter's tape
  • Acrylic spray primer
  • Acrylic spray enamel

When inexperienced do-it-yourself enthusiasts try to paint on exterior rocks, flaking often results.  Unlike porous wood surfaces, rocks don't absorb the adhesives within paint.

If you'd like to paint an enduring sign on an exterior rock, prime the surface with a long-lasting, adhesive coating.  To generate sharp, attractive lettering, utilize a stencil.

Since the painted name will be subject to harsh weather and UV rays, apply a specific type of paint that will remain resilient in adverse conditions. 

  1. Wash the portion of the exterior rock you plan to paint with a water-based cleanser. Scrub all dirt particles loose using steel wool.
  2. Thoroughly remove all traces of the cleanser by rinsing the rock, using an electric or gas-powered pressure washer.
  3. Set the stencil face down on a flat strip of cardboard. Coat the backside with stencil-spray adhesive.
  4. Quickly affix the stencil to the exterior stone before the adhesive begins to dry. Secure the edges to the rock, using a low-tack tape.
  5. Spray acrylic enamel to the exposed number holes on the stencil. Prevent runs by applying it in brief intermittent spurts instead of a long soaking stream. Maintain 8 inches between the exterior stone and acrylic spray can tip. Detach the stencil after 10 minutes and let the numbers dry for two hours.

Things You Will Need

  • Water-based degreasing cleanser
  • Steel wool
  • Pressure washer
  • Cardboard
  • Stencil-spray adhesive
  • Stencil
  • Professional painter's tape
  • Acrylic spray primer
  • Acrylic spray enamel

About the Author

Ryan Lawrence is a freelance writer based in Boulder, Colorado. He has been writing professionally since 1999. He has 10 years of experience as a professional painting contractor. Lawrence writes for High Class Blogs and Yodle. He has a bachelor's degree in journalism and public relations with a minor in history from the University of Oklahoma.