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Rock'n Humboldt

Rock painting is a popular activity among young and old and this guide is just a start to inspire your interest and creativity.

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Drop-in workshops offered:

  • Tuesday, July 11 @ 12pm
  • Thursday, July 20 @ 11am
  • Wednesday, July 26 @12pm
  • Thursday, August 3 @ 12pm

Check the L4Humboldt Calendar for other fun upcoming workshops this summer!



Themed days

April 3 - Drop a Rainbow Day

July 3 - International Drop a Rock Day

November 13 - World Kindness Day

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Cal Poly Humboldt Library
Cheryl Conner
(707) 826-4953

Paint Rocks with L4Humboldt!

Welcome back to rock painting during L4Humboldt at the Cal Poly Humboldt Library!

Lobby display case with rocks

This event started as an L4Humboldt workshop in the Summer of 2018, and continued through Summer 2019. Students, staff, administrators, faculty, and community members of all ages came together to paint rocks with designs and/or words. In 2018, more than 100 rocks were painted, some went home with their creators but others were donated to become part of the welcome to Humboldt project.  At the end of the summer, as we approached 75+ rocks, the goal became to have 100 for spreading around campus when the students returned to classes. We made it with 106 rocks as seen in the photo above!  During the summer of 2019, we painted over 400!!! See the photos on the next page for all the fun!

Painting Rocks

Painting and hiding rocks is a fun and easy way to spread happiness, make connections, and you don't have to be artistic! Ranging from a complex scene to a simple message or graphic, your found rock can brighten someone's day. This summer we will once again share ideas and supplies needed to create fun painted rocks for you to keep or hide. If you can't join us, please use this guide to get started on your own. 

"One message at just the right moment can change someone’s entire day, outlook, life!" -- The Kindness Rocks Project

Websites with ideas

There are oodles of rock painting ideas online. Search Google images for rock painting and then you can narrow it down to easy, hearts, animals, abstract, even Star Wars and Harry Potter! Paint as detailed or as simple as you want, add words or just have a design of your own.

Video Tutorials

There are so many video tutorials on YouTube! Just search rock painting and have fun!  Here are some to get you started:


  • rocks & pebbles, scrubbed clean & dried
  • acrylic paints
  • paint brushes, eraser ends, pencils, q-tips
  • oil-based sharpies, paint pens (easier for words & fine details)
  • spray varnish (to protect from the elements)
  • blow dryer (to help paint dry)
  • paper plates for palettes (or paint from the bottle caps)
  • paper towels for clean-up
  • rinse water for brushes

Fun Rock Projects

Facebook Groups

Dos and Don'ts

These tips have been collected from various websites and Facebook groups and I hope you find them helpful.


  • sketch something out, if needed
  • use your words if you think you can't draw
  • if you buy shiny rocks, you may need to boil them to remove the coating that will keep paint from sticking


  • be afraid to turn the rock while painting
  • be afraid to make mistakes - you can always paint over
  • trample landscaping when hiding or seeking rocks
  • take rocks or leave painted rocks in National Parks