painted fake rock

This cover was cast to look like a rock on the top and painted to blend in with surrounding rocks. The flat base was masked with stones.

Rocks not only can decorate a landscape, but they can hide unwanted features or create focal points. Sometimes surfaces will benefit from being made to look like stone when they are not. There are a lot of reasons you might want to create landscape stone effects in your garden. Walls can be given textures, fake rocks can be built that need to be made realistic or cement surfaces can be patterned to look like real rock.

To paint a texture that looks realistic do a little research. Pick up stone samples of the color and texture of the rocks you want to recreate. These will be your guides.

Look for vinyl outdoor paints. Craft stores sell these paints and they are durable, fade minimally and are easily cleaned up with water. You can also use outdoor vinyl house paint, but  you will need a selection of different colors in small quantities.

Paint can be applied with a brush or spray. You can also create interesting textures by pressing paint onto the surface with a sponge or a wrinkled piece of fabric.

Look closely at the kinds of patterns that are natural in stone. You will see speckles, waves and lines where different minerals flowed, settled or were compressed together. Lines are easiest applied with a brush by hand. Tiny speckles of mixed granules or sand are reproduces best with spray paint.

Regularly step back as you paint your stone effects to make sure you art work blends well with the rest of your landscape.

When you finish applying your coat of paint you can finish with a quick spray of an ultraviolet protectant to give your paint job a longer life span, particularly if your stone effects will be exposed to hot sun.