Saturday, September 21, 2013

Curb Appeal on the Cheap: DIY Welcome Rock

I love the look of those fancy engraved rocks that say "welcome".  However, if I am going to be dropping a bunch of  money on a rock, it had better be shiny and fit on my finger (and be conflict-free, of course!).  So, I decided to make my own "welcome rock". 

Ready to create your own?

Here's what you need:
1. Exterior gloss paint in the color of your choice (I used Glidden Bittersweet Chocolate)
2. A big rock
3. Paintbrush

Yep, that's really all that it takes!  I was lucky to have large landscape rocks randomly lying in my backyard flowerbed. If you don't happen to have random rocks lying around, check out the "free" section on Craigslist.  They are usually fairly abundant on there, especially in the spring when people are taking on lawn and garden projects.

To paint the rock:
1. Decide on a design -- You can paint any design you want on the rock.  I decided on a design with the swirling branches extending from the word "welcome".  Just make sure that your design will fit well with the shape of your rock.

2. Wash the rock very well in order to remove any dirt and debris from it. 

3. Outline the design with a sharpie.  It doesn't have to be perfect, and with all the indentations and grooves on a rock, it really won't be perfect.... which will add to the natural feel of the rock.  So don't stress if you make a mistake. 

4. Fill in the outlined design with the exterior gloss paint.  I only did one heavy coat on my rock but you may need to do two if you are using a lighter paint color.   (I waivered on whether or not to use a spray sealant on the rock to help it hold up to the weather.  I decided against it, and the rock has been out in the weather for over six months now and still looks as great as the day I made it.)

It's really that easy!  The whole project took about an hour to complete and I have received so many compliments on it.  I smile every time I pass by the rock.  This rock was much cheaper than an engraved one and I love knowing that I created it!