How to Permanently Write on Rocks

How to Permanently Write on Rocks

When it comes to painting on rocks, there are several things to keep in mind that will increase your chances of success. By the end of this post, you’ll be feeling more assured about how to use Sharpies for rock painting.

How to Write On Rocks

The first thing to consider when painting rocks is the type of rock that you’re using. It’s best to find rocks that have a smooth surface because you’ll find them easier to draw on. The ink from your permanent marker will also stay on a smooth surface more easily. 

  • After you’ve found a rock with a smooth surface, you can get creative and draw your design or write on it. 
  • Leaving the rock with just the ink will last for a little while. However, the ink will eventually fade away. 
  • Therefore, you should add a sealant to your rocks. A sealant is what prevents the ink from smudging over time. 
  • A varnish spray sealer can work well for Sharpie ink on painted rocks. Although, the addition of Mod Podge has proven to provide better longevity. 
  • Once your ink has completely dried on the rock, spray it with a sealant and let that completely dry. 
  • You can then add your first layer of Mod Podge. Ensure that it’s a smooth and even layer. 
  • Leave it to dry completely before adding another thin coat of Mod Podge to keep your ink sealed on the rock surface. 

Also read: How to Remove Permanent Marker From Stone


After reading through our post on how to paint rocks, we hope that you’re feeling more confident about giving it a shot yourself. Decorating rocks can make for a super fun project for kids to be involved in. Rock paintings can also be a fun way to enjoy painting on a unique surface for outdoor use.

Permanent markers, such as Sharpie markers, can be an easy way to start drawing and getting creative. However, using the combination of Mod Podge and a varnish spray is what will ensure that your art stays on the rock for longer.

Remember that the type of rock you use is also important for rock painting. Be sure to find flat rocks that have smooth surfaces. The smoother the surface, the easier it is to seal Sharpie drawings on them.


Are paint pens better than Sharpie markers for rock art?

When your painting on rocks, paint markers tend to be the preferred choice by artists. This is because they’re more adaptive and can be used permanently on a wider range of surfaces. In addition to this, paint pens tend to stand out better when rock painting on dark surfaces due to the vibrant colors available.

Having said that, using regular markers, such as Sharpies, is a great alternative that can still work well to create painted rocks.

Can you use acrylic paint for rock painting?

Yes, as long as you use the right acrylic rock painters. Be sure to use an acrylic paint pen that’s suitable for outdoor use.

Do gel pens for rocks work well?

The ink flow from gel pens isn’t a permanent option for drawing on rocks. Therefore, it’s best to use permanent markers, paint pens, or acrylic paint.

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Written By Adam Rushton

Adam has made a name for himself in the illustration industry and is a passionate blogger and writer on the subject of art, illustration and graphic design.

His artwork has been featured in countless publications and used for very well-known media projects. As a professional illustrator for over 20 years, Adams media outlets, a wealth of knowledge, and experience enable him to consult and advise artists and illustrators in this country (from York and Manchester to Southampton and London) and all over the world.