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A Complete Guide to Kindness Rocks: Everything You Need to Know About Rock Painting

Inspire Kindness Team

Health, Wellness, & Safety

A kindness rock, sometimes called a kindness stone, is simply a rock that someone has taken and decorated with an inspirational message.

Have you ever stumbled upon a colorful rock that has been painted in bright colors or has an uplifting message written on it? You may have just found a kindness rock! Rock painting is a trend that has picked up popularity in recent years. Whether you’re an artist who is looking for a new way to be creative or someone who wants to share a positive message with others, painting rocks might be for you. 

What are Kindness Rocks?

You might be asking yourself, what the heck is a kindness rock anyway? A kindness rock, sometimes called a kindness stone, is simply a rock that someone has taken and decorated with an inspirational message. They can be any size or shape, as big or small as you like! The point of these cute stones is to sprinkle positivity around your community. Once you paint a rock, the idea is to leave it somewhere for another person to find and enjoy. As we all know, sometimes a simple message of kindness can spark joy and brighten someone’s entire day. 

Who Started the Painted Rocks Trend? 

Looking through social media, it seems like there are so many people who are painting rocks now! But where did this all start? The woman behind this movement is Megan Murphy of Massachusetts. Megan used to take walks around her local beach, and she loved looking down at beautifully shaped stones, shells, and sea glass.

One day on one of her walks, she had a thought: why not create something intentional for someone else to find that could also brighten their day? With this thought, The Kindness Rocks Project began! Megan started painting rocks herself and leaving them at her local beach in Cape Cod. It made her happy to think that she could spread happiness in such a simple way. That simple idea has become a global movement. 

Now that you understand how and why this trend has become so popular, you may want to start painting yourself. It is an excellent activity for rainy day fun, team building, community engagement, and more. 

Before you get to painting, here are a few common questions that you may have.


What Materials Do You Need To Paint Rocks? 

Here’s the list of things you’ll need:

  • Smooth rocks
  • Acrylic paint
  • Sponge brushes
  • Acrylic paint pens
  • Sealer

Inspire Kindness and The Kindness Rocks have made gathering rocking painting materials easy! You can also check out for kit suggestions.


How Do You Make a Kindness Rock?

Learn how to paint rocks; it’s easy! 

1. Find your desired rock. Clean it with soap and water. 

2. Once the rock is dry, paint the top with a base coat of paint—pick any color you like. 

3. When the base coat is dry, add a fun design, or write a positive note like, “Be the Change” on each one. 

4. Allow the design to dry completely, and then seal the rock to protect your design.

5. Spread kindness by leaving the rock in a place for someone else to find. 

If you make a mistake, paint over the whole rock and begin again! That’s the beauty of working on such a small canvas. Remember, there is no right or wrong way to paint a rock. The point is to spread kindness and to have fun while doing it! 

Quick Tip: If you don’t have paint or don’t have the time to do a base coat, feel free to write a positive message directly on the rock itself! 

Where Do You Get The Rocks?

Well, you can get them just about anywhere! A hardware or craft store in your area most likely sells rocks of many shapes and sizes. Some local landscaping businesses may also offer them for sale, and this is especially good if you are looking for larger sizes. Avoid buying stones that have a waxy film as they will be harder to decorate. 

Or, just go outside and find some. From picking up pebbles on the beach to stones in your local park, any rock can make an excellent kindness rock. Choose the type of rock that you think will fit your designs best and don’t take all the rocks out of one area. We want to be kind to our environment, too. 

What Kinds of Paint Do You Use for Kindness Rocks?  

We recommend using acrylic paint for both the base coat and your design. For more intricate, hand-painted designs, we suggest that you use paint pens to draw on top of your base coat. With paint pens, you can be a bit more accurate when you are writing on or adding details. 

Quick Tip: Make sure the paint you get is multi-surface and works outdoors. 

How Do You Seal the Rocks? 

Your creations need to be sealed to preserve the paint and the beautiful designs you worked so hard on. Mod Podge or a spray-on sealer will work just fine—just make sure it’s a waterproof sealer. Our favorite sealant is Deco Art Multi-Purpose Seal. You can find this and other types of sealers at your local craft store, and also in our Inspire Kindness rock painting kit on

Where Do You Hide a Painted Rock?

Once you’ve painted, it’s time to hide the rocks for others to find! Now, use the term ‘hide’ loosely; you want someone to actually find the rock. Think of somewhere that gets a lot of foot traffic where someone may notice it. A local park, a bench in town, or outside of a community center are all excellent options.

You can also be more intentional about where you place the rock if you want to be sure that someone will find it. Leave one in the common area of your office building, place one by the bathroom sink at school, or on a teacher’s desk. They don’t even have to be hidden at all. You can keep them on your desk or dresser for inspiration. Give them as a gift, or hand a rock off to someone that you think could use words of encouragement. 

Be considerate when looking for places to put the rocks. Don’t leave them at a private residence or business where you don’t have permission. National parks are also a no-go as most have a “leave no trace” policy. The purpose of creation is to be kind, so let’s be respectful of our environment. 

What Do You Do When You Find a Kindness Rock?

You’ve found a kindness rock. Now what? Do you take it? First, read it! Take the message to heart, and know that you matter and your happiness matters. Someone else went out of their way to paint that rock for you to find. How cool that you’re the one who found it! 

Then, if you want to, share the love. The Kindness Rocks Project has gained popularity on social media, so share your photos for others to see. Check to see if there may be a local Rock Group in your area, and consider joining. The group can get together to paint and place them around town. Write the name of your group on the back of your rock so people can search for it when they find the rock.

Lastly, pay it forward! Once you’ve read and enjoyed the message, you can either hide the rock somewhere new for another person to find or if it meant a lot to you, keep it. All we ask is that if you keep the rock for yourself, that you paint another rock for someone else to find. Think of what the message meant to you. Make sure you help somebody else get that unique feeling too. 

What is a Kindness Rock Garden?

People have found that placing a group of kindness rocks together to form a garden can make a wonderful impact on a community. Pick a spot that has plenty of people coming and going. Think about parks, libraries, schools, and public grassy areas near stores and restaurants. Then, leave a group of rocks and a sign that explains the rock garden. The sign should tell people that they can take a rock, leave a rock, or simply read the kind messages, smile, and continue on with their day. These positive phrases are sure to make so many peoples’ days. Check out examples of rock gardens.

Rock Painting Sayings and Quotes List

Not sure what to write on your kindness rock? Here are some ideas to get you started!

You matter 

Have a nice day

Trust the process

Kindness rocks

Be kind

You are loved

Not all who wander are lost

Chase your dreams

Be the change

The world needs you

Here comes the sun

Kindness wins

You are not alone

Inspire Kindness

Be Happy

Don’t give up

Have hope

Intention over attention

Inspire others

Today is a gift

You’re beautiful

You can do it

Spring into action

Be a rainbow in someone else’s day

Love Yourself

Kindness matters

Easy Rock Painting Ideas

We recommend starting with more simple designs and try to work up to more advanced illustrations if you would like, but you can design the rock however you want! Designs do not have to be intricate. Paint simple things like smiley faces, hearts, flowers, and polka dots. Or just focus on your message and leave a little inspiration on the rock. 

Need design inspiration? Here’s some help: 

The Kindness Rocks Project Instagram

Inspire Kindness Rock Painting Pinterest Board

Now that you know everything you need to know about kindness rocks, you’re ready to get started! You have the power to make someone’s day with the kind messages you write. Start the trend of rock-painting in your community, and watch the ripple effect you create. Thank you for helping us inspire kindness. 

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Inspire Kindness Team

Inspire Kindness was created to amplify the power of kindness through the things we do, words we say, and the clothes we wear. We’re committed to keeping kindness top of mind with products that spread the message and inspiring stories that transform the way we approach everyday life. It takes all of us to create a better world, now and for generations to come, one act at a time. Learn more at