Painting Rocks on the Kitchen Floor

favorite rockArtists should never be left unattended. They might paint rocks on the kitchen floor.

It started when I couldn’t clean a glop of acrylic paint off my ugly white linoleum kitchen floor. “If the paint won’t come off,” I thought, “Why not paint the whole thing?” There are lots of reasons why not, actually, all of which were duly considered and summarily dismissed. The floor was so ugly, I had nothing to lose.

If you are crazy enough to paint rocks on your kitchen floor, I have written this to provide instructions.

First I cleaned the floor with regular spray cleaner. Then I mixed a light gray for the “grout” and painted it on a section. It dried darker than I thought so I readjusted until it was very light gray. That worked.

Then I free-handed a rock onto the grout. “Anybody could do this,” I thought, and I hope that’s true. I always think anybody can do what I do, but when I recruited my daughter Mary to help blend a mural and she said she couldn’t, I demonstrated how easy it was. “What’s that little flicky thing you did with your finger?” she asked. I was unaware that I had done a flicky thing. Still, I have faith in you!

If I were not an artist, I would use masking tape to lay out the rock shapes. At the end, you can peel off the tape and you’ll have nice, sharp rock edges. Remember that the rocks should be random shapes and sizes-refer to a photo of stone flooring for ideas.

I painted about four rocks at a go, because I wanted to blend the colors wet and that’s about how long it takes for acrylic paint to dry where I live in Deepswamp. If you live in the desert, maybe you would do two rocks at a time?

So, maybe one rock medium gray, next rock lighter gray, next rock a touch of red (cheap hobby acrylic in a squeeze bottle.) I added a little water to the paint when needed and didn’t bother to mix the grays uniformly-if little white or dark streaks appear, all the better. Then I went back into the wet rock with streaks of white and black and tapped it with the flat side of my cheap sponge brush to get rid of brush marks. It already starts to look like a rock.

Then I tapped a little white and then a little black onto the rocks with a bunched-up plastic grocery bag. Use random amounts of white and black, randomly placed on each rock. Then I tap-tapped the black and white flecks into the wet paint until it looked like a rock and went on to the next four. If a rock gave me trouble, I tapped uniform white specks all over and turned him into a boring sandstone, unlike my favorite rock, which looks like pink marble.

This took about twelve hours and cost under $30. I used any old white and black acrylic I had (some leftover house paint, some cheap hobby paint and a can of black latex enamel) For brushes I used those cheap sponge things and I wore several out. I finished up with a coat of polyurethane and will probably add another coat (or two?) We can put on socks and ice skate on the kitchen floor.

I think the biggest challenge would be to keep it random. Random shapes, colors, patterns of specks. Random!

If you need more information about this crazy project, email me at Now I’m thinking I’d like the bathroom to be a rainforest…

My art for sale and standup philosophy for free:

horrible kitchen floor

floorhalf done

Ugly white floor.


finished floor


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