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Faux Stone Engraving

I just love stone! And the artist in me is always seeing ‘new canvasses’ to paint on! During some recent gardening I was looking at a pile of flagstone… What to do?! This Simple Faux Stone Engraving technique combines a bit of imagination (technology) and paint to imitate stone chiseling. It looks amazingly real but is very easy to do. Step by step instructions with pictures:


Step 1:

Find yourself a stone of shape and size you like. The flatter smooth stones are better, but it’s not that crucial. Use some digital software to pick a font and size. Even Microsoft Word can work as long as you enlarge enough. Do try to keep it simple and traditional, but that’s just the typographer in me talking. Most home printers handle a letter size paper, but if you need larger you can print in pieces and tape them together. If you measure first it’s easier to plan. Size and place as you like, and tape into place with masking tape.


Step 2:

You will now need to TRANSFER the image to the surface. I have much experience of this from my illustration world. You can use a sheet of old-fashioned carbon paper, or sewing transfer paper, or a sheet of paper that you rubbed with pencil. Place that sheet under your printed letters and easily trace the outlines with a pen to force the drawing onto the stone. I use a ballpoint pen.

Have a peek to see if it is coming through, since it is taped down you can continue until you have all the outlines. I used the red fabric transfer paper so I could see the lines well.


Step 3:

Time to paint! I used some basic black acrylic paint. I had marvelled how some rocks my kids painted eons ago held the paint, so I knew it has staying power. There is also great outdoor paint like this. It doesn’t take that much artistic skill to fill in all the shapes with a fine brush. It is forgiving since it is stone.


Step 4:

Now you become an artist! To make it look engraved you will need to add the ‘faux’ shadows and highlights. Imagine light hitting the indented letters from the top. The upper part of all the letter forms needs a bit of a lighter gray to show light. It is very systematic.


Step 5:

You can now add the midtone gray to the middle so that it looks as if there is a shadow under the top of each part of the letter. Simple isn’t it? Stand back and you will be amazed. If preferred you could just leave it solid black as well.


Since the stone is rough, the paint sticks and stays well, but you could add a layer of clear acrylic to protect even more. Maybe you want to add a logo etc, just apply the same principle.


Step 6:

Smile and pat yourself on the back after you placed it in the garden. Perhaps add a light and have a great house number! Awesome! Let me know how your’s turned out.



I'm an artist & I make things... all kinds of things.

This Post Has 17 Comments
    1. That is nice of you to comment! I strive to teach many that there is much satisfaction that comes from making your own things. Much better than just being a consumer. I believe everyone has talents…

  1. I just want to say I’m new to blogging and definitely savored your web site. Almost certainly I’m likely to bookmark your blog post . You certainly have exceptional stories. Thanks a bunch for revealing your website page.

  2. Hola! I’ve been reading your web site for a long time now and finally got the courage to go ahead and give you a shout out from New Caney Texas! Just wanted to say keep up the good job!

  3. Just came across you post today. I’m so excited to try this but it’s cold in Wisconsin. Just the lift I needed to get me from cabin fever to hurry up spring. Hug’s 🙂

    1. If you can get a rock inside, let it thoroughly dry, you could have it ready by spring! Or practice painting on something like a wood board… I know, we are deep in snow, and I’m dreaming of concrete projects!

    1. I’m happy to hear that! Through my entire career I have loved to design! This site lets me do that AND I decide what I want to make… The biggest obstacle for most people is overcoming that fear of making a mistake and realizing they CAN actually make it… (my other job is teaching adults)

  4. Hope it’s okay that I don’t have a website or anything, just want to say, I love everything I see on your site! And this, the ” etched” rock, I might actually be able to do it- it is really awesome! Thank you so much!

  5. I love the look of the engraved stone house number but it is so expensive. I have been trying to figure out how I could get it without the cost. Thank you so much. Now all I have to do is find the stone to do this on.

    1. I am glad to help. I have always loved rocks and stones and sometimes even drag a few back fro the cottage or trip to the woods. If not, pieces of flagstone quite well as they are quite flat and can be set into the ground or propped up.

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