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How to paint gravel

Many gardeners and homeowners choose to paint the gravel for their paths or other garden areas. Painting the gravel adds uniformity and interest to a garden area. Acrylic paints are often used for painting rocks because they are durable, come in a wide variety of colours and are easy to apply.

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  1. Wash your gravel off as well as possible with the high-pressure setting of a hose. If it is very dirty gravel, put in a bucket with soapy water and let it soak a bit.

  2. Use a stiff-bristled brush to scrub the gravel, if necessary.

  3. Dry the gravel well. If you have a lot, lay it out on newspaper tarp and use a hair dryer to speed up drying.

  4. Select the colour of paint you want for your gravel. Many gardeners that use gravel prominently select earth tones to fit in with other areas of the garden. Acrylic paint is commonly used for painting rocks, but oil-based paint can also be used.

  5. Lay the gravel on dry newspaper.

  6. Spray the paint evenly over the gravel and allow to dry before turning it over and painting the other sides. Work in small batches to make turning easier. You may need several coats depending on how porous the rock is.

  7. Spray sealant over the painted rocks after they dry. The sealant will keep the rocks from fading in the rain and sun. Choose a sealant that is recommended for your selected paint. Sealants are available at your local paint, hardware or art-supply store.

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Things You'll Need

  • Bucket
  • Water
  • Dish soap
  • Bristle brush
  • Spray paint
  • Sealant

About the Author

Michelle Hogan

Michelle Hogan is a writer and the author of 13 books including the 2005 bestselling memoir, "Without a Net: Middle Class and Homeless (With Kids) in America." Hogan studied English at American University and has been writing professionally since 1998. Her work has appeared in "The New York Times," "Redbook," "Family Circle" and many other publications.

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