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New Sealer Makes Fake Rock Paint Last Over a Decade at Major Theme Parks.

Updated on April 18, 2014

No More spending thousands on fake rock paint jobs that just don't last.

Had Enough?...No Longer Want To Deal With repainting your water feature every year or two?

Fake rock waterfalls can look real if you learn my best trade secrets that have taken over 35 years to perfect.

Photo credit Faux

Our sealer penetrates up to four inches, turns into a gel and the gel hardens creating a waterproof shield inside the cement - Sealer Stops Hydro Static Water P

If you want your artificial rock re-paint job to last more than ten years, here is exactly what must be done first: you can solve the main reason artificial rock re-paint jobs fail by undoing everything other painters have done. The sand blasting process removes all the old paint and stain.

The main reason artificial rock re-paint jobs fail is water migration and hydrostatic pressure. Water gets inside the synthetic rock and activates the calcium in the cement; the calcium then expands, causing hairline cracks for the calcium to escape, and blows off the paint or stain.

So what is the solution? Harder cement that is waterproof. I have a sealer that penetrates up to four inches, turns into a gel, and hardens, creating a waterproof shield inside the cement. This is a big deal because it stops water migration, and stands up to hydrostatic water pressure.

Photo credit Faux

So the Reader's Digest version is; our sealer cures the reasons Fake rock paint jobs fail. - Photo credit Faux

Fake rock painting at it's BEST. - Photo credit Faux

Were you happy with your last waterfall repaint?


Let's talk about the waterfall paradise you built for your family and friends to enjoy. Were you happy with the faux stain or paint job the day it was done, or did it always lack the realism you envisioned a rock waterfall should have?

I have painted thousands of high-end water features from helping on million dollar projects at Disneyland to $150.000.00 backyard dream projects and the #1 thing I hear is, the first painter did a poor job and it did not last.

I feel strongly that a poor synthetic rock paint job is messing with people's dreams at a very high level; after all they have spent huge money on their vision of a tropical back yard vacation spot only to be extremely disappointed with the final result.


Pinterest pools that inspire My Clients.

This is a must see. Click the ARROW

How it should be. Photo credit Faux

How it should be. Photo credit Faux
How it should be. Photo credit Faux

How to Part 1...

Artist's point of view

The good news is there are a few color tweaks you can consider to improve the look and feel of your waterfall feature. Pick up a real rock, now look at it closely see how many colors are in the rock the overall color may be gray but the rock will have a little green, rust, black, white, and some tan, as the sun changes position in the sky, the highlighted colors in any real rock will change all day long.

Realistic looking synthetic rock waterfall colors can be magic if done well, you should feel like you're on vacation just looking out your back door with your morning cup of coffee. (Yes the dream is alive)

Here are some of my best Tips & Tricks to produce outstanding waterfall repaint results.

A- Know what your customer ultimately wants the water feature to look like ---

(this sometimes requires a Vulcan mind melt)

B- What part of the house do your clients view the feature--- Kitchen, living room, Back door,

This is the ( X marks the spot) main focal point you want to draw the eye to. You see this is the spot your client nurtures the pride of ownership. Give them a reason to say wow!!!

C- How to make a focal Point--- For example your client agrees on a nice earthy tan color for their water feature, pour some of the stain in another container add enough black tint to give you a 30% darker tan and paint a few of the highest rocks making sure to balance the color.

Next pour more stain into another container, pour enough black tints for a 10% color change then randomly paint some rocks about halfway down.

Last--- spray all the rock with the earthy tan just misting the rocks you painted darker to blend them. This will do several things 1- the darker rocks will draw attention creating a natural focal point but the color changes from dark to light expand the entire waterfall creating a neat optical illusion.

Photo credit Faux

Granite - The Mountain Goat House

Here is another great So- Cal Home just look at those hand carved doors This was another interesting job for me because all the synthetic rock was constructed and painted by Knott's Berry farm artisans the house Won best So-Cal rock pool. Well the paint got a little old and my clients wanted it refreshed I managed to keep the same look and feel the truth is It was like touching up a Picasso I really took my time and my client was thrilled when I was done, judge for yourself.

Photo credit Faux

How To Part 2

The Reason For The Picture Is...

Take a good look and ask yourself why this entry way looks so real. First notice the random color yet the overall color is gray granite. Next notice the granite looks aged.

Now I’m going to explain how this is really done.

1- The synthetic rock is all shot with random colors of tan. (From Dark to light tan)

2- How do you turn tan rock gray? Speckle all the rock with black and white speckles this turns all the rock to a gray tone.

3- How do you dirty up the rock? Get a semi transparent tan concrete stain cut it 50% with water and mist the rock, don’t get carried away.

3 B- Another way to age rock is called skimming dip tour paint brush and then wipe it off I use cardboard and a towel then just skim over the surface.

In the picture above I used a little white and rust to make the rock POP.

4- The last step is to cut the rock; you want to air brush all the cracks. This step really makes a huge difference because it makes the rock pop out almost a 3-d look. In the picture above I used a dirty gray (gray and brown mix)

In conclusion the reason I wrote this lens is so people across the country who are thinking about repainting your waterfall can now tell your synthetic rock painter what you really want and if their eyes glaze over IT’s the wrong painter for your project! For the rest that live in Southern California you can contact me at I will add a link at the bottom.

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    • opatoday profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      @Carol Houle: Just Like Disneyland all rock is fake and made to look real

    • Carol Houle profile image

      Carol Houle 

      6 years ago from Montreal

      I had never heard of this before. The pool looks real on the photo, but how about in person? Or is the pool real and the rock isn't?

    • Heidi Vincent profile image

      Heidi Vincent 

      6 years ago from GRENADA

      Fantastic, opatoday! I didn't realize those werepaint jobs :)

    • jmchaconne profile image


      6 years ago

      A fantastic lens, especially since I am in the process of constructing a water feature. You are on my reading list. Thanks for the visit, I appreciate it.

    • KathyZ1 profile image


      6 years ago

      Thanks for your reading and liking my lens on how to write and publish an ebook. I really enjoy reading your lenses.

    • HappyTom LM profile image

      Tom Christen 

      6 years ago from Switzerland/Ecuador

      WOW, that are some ideas:)

    • John Dyhouse profile image

      John Dyhouse 

      6 years ago from UK

      Mmm this is giving me ideas, nice lens

    • flinnie lm profile image

      Gloria Freeman 

      6 years ago from Alabama USA

      Hi this lens is an eye opener. I learned a lot about fake rock waterfalls.

    • Grifts profile image

      Devin Gustus 

      6 years ago

      These look amazing! Great Job.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Wonder if anyone does this around Here? Some great pictures and a real good description of the working of water and rock. Cement is nothing more then man made rock and is very porous unless sealed. Capcha=snugpop

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 

      6 years ago from Canada

      I always thought it was real rock used in these. I would never have dreamed that people used fake rock for their water paradises.

    • Stephanie36 profile image


      6 years ago from Canada

      I would love to have a water feature like this :)

    • DrLibby profile image


      6 years ago

      wow I had no idea

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Really beautiful lens with lots of interesting content and amazing photos. Very well done:=)

    • steadytracker lm profile image

      steadytracker lm 

      6 years ago

      A great lens. I am jealous; I wish I had a really cool pool like that in my back yard.

    • RuthieDenise profile image


      6 years ago

      What beautiful to beautify your pool and backyard.

    • PastorSam LM profile image

      PastorSam LM 

      6 years ago

      Nice - Saw your post in the forums and had to give you the 200th Like - very nice lens!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Art. Period. Art.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Scott, you are an artisan...I'm in awe of your artistry in making rock look more like rock than real rock looks like rock....and now perfection doesn't have to be touched up with your sealer...impressive and shared with others with a FB like. Golly, I just couldn't help but think what fun you must have! :)

    • WriterJanis2 profile image


      6 years ago

      Back to pin this.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I really like the design. Am so tempted and knowing now that you can choose the best paint, this makes maintenance easier.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      This is a really cool original lens. Loved reading it!

    • stylishimo1 profile image


      6 years ago

      Wow! I never knew you could do so many cool things with synthetic rocks ( I live in the UK and we don't seem to use them much here) I unfortunately do not have a garden right now, but when I do I will 100% be making something out of fake painted rocks! Awesome!

      Also I am an artist so I can't imagine anything more fun. In-fact I won't stop at fake rocks, I'm sure I could get some fake columns etc too, and arches. A cave! Very inspired now, sorry for rambling.

    • Fridayonmymind LM profile image

      Fridayonmymind LM 

      6 years ago

      The title of this lens really caught my eye. Interesting info and you are very clever.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      My husband is a professional painter, he's also an amazing artist...we are sitting here looking at this page, and reading how you achieved the result of the Mountain Goat House...we are in awe at your work.

      Marc, says he wants to come and work with you...he would be able to use both his 'talents' in one place...he says 'YOU GET IT' Quality of workmanship, artistry and suitability.

      I think that means you're really freakin awesome at what you do...

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      What a cool job to have! You definitely do amazing work, it's beautiful:)

    • nebby profile image


      6 years ago from USA

      Your work is absolutely stunning! So lifelike. Waterfalls are so relaxing and I could just imagine the enjoyment of having one in your own backyard.

    • takkhisa profile image


      6 years ago

      Your job is unusual but challenging :)

    • Magda2012 profile image


      6 years ago

      the fake rock waterfall looks fantastic. Great art!

    • wrapitup4me profile image


      6 years ago

      I'm about to set up my garden in the new place I bought and this is giving me some ideas. I never knew that one used synthetic rock in their waterfalls. My place is too small for anything like what you have here, but I will definitely think about how to design a small feature that I will be proud of. Thanks for this.

    • KathyMcGraw2 profile image

      Kathy McGraw 

      6 years ago from California

      Very cool. Too bad I don't have a rock waterfall I would call you :)

    • Wbisbill LM profile image

      Barbara Isbill 

      6 years ago from New Market Tn 37820

      Lots of good info here!

    • CleftyToo profile image


      6 years ago

      great pics!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      You do amazing work. Congratulations.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      what a wonderful thing :)

    • BruceBuss profile image


      6 years ago

      I never knew anything like this existed. Pretty cool.

    • opatoday profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      @chezchazz: there is a sealer for the house and it's called foxfire p1007

    • chezchazz profile image


      6 years ago from New York

      Now if only there was a sealer like that for house paint...

    • DANCING COWGIRL profile image

      Dancing Cowgirl Design 

      6 years ago from Texas

      So cool. I just wish I had a pool to try out the sealer. hahahah Best Wishes

    • greenspirit profile image

      poppy mercer 

      6 years ago from London

      This is a completely new concept to me! I don't think we have it in the UK at all. I owned a landscape company for some years and never came across it. Your work looks very realisitic.

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 

      7 years ago from USA

      Really neat stuff! Appreciate your information on fake rock painting.

    • shellys-space profile image

      Shelly Sellers 

      7 years ago from Midwest U.S.A.

      Very cool! I don't have a waterfall, but my Uncle tried to do some fake rock painting on a walkway. It ended up looking pretty good for his first try!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Pretty amazing stuff -- I could use some fake rock art in my backyard since I took out 3 large water oaks!

    • WoodlandIndianEDU profile image


      7 years ago

      A fantastic job you have - I love seeing some behind-the-scenes work of the kind of amusement park "stone props" I see on rides and themed-areas. It makes the environment. Thank you for visiting my lenses : )

    • kimark421 profile image


      7 years ago

      This is really cool! I enjoyed your lens.

    • KateHonebrink profile image


      7 years ago

      Very cool article! My husband and I have been involved in the painting industry for over 29 years, but have never heard of anyone doing what you do. Looks and sounds so very interesting! Great job!!

    • Gayle Dowell profile image

      Gayle Dowell 

      7 years ago from Kansas

      Interesting job. Wish I had a waterfall feature. Looks fabulous.

    • Jo-Jackson profile image


      7 years ago

      What an unusual job. I really enjoyed reading this.

    • pretyfunky profile image


      7 years ago

      beautiful lens

    • darciefrench lm profile image

      darciefrench lm 

      7 years ago

      Fantastic tutorial for repainting rock gardens and waterfalls - I really enjoyed the pictures too

    • one SquidAddict profile image

      one SquidAddict 

      7 years ago

      What an amazing occupation! Your work looks wonderful - Blessings!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Hi, opatoday! Great lens. What a cool job you have. It must be so satisfying to complete these jobs. Truly works of art.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Beautiful work and welcome to Squidoo!

    • cjbmeb14 lm profile image

      cjbmeb14 lm 

      7 years ago

      Really good lens with great information.

    • cdevries profile image


      7 years ago

      I really appreciate you visiting my lenses. (And leaving such kind messages!) Great to find a fellow enthusiast for creating scenery and world-building. Your rock painting is gorgeous! I'm hoping my readers will visit your pages and see how well it can be done!

    • Faye Rutledge profile image

      Faye Rutledge 

      7 years ago from Concord VA

      Welcome to Squidoo! Thanks so much for all of your visits and likes to my lenses. Wow, you do amazing work painting rock waterfalls!

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 

      7 years ago from United States


    • opatoday profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      Thank you

    • calconcrete profile image


      7 years ago

      Great lens. We do epoxy garage floors and cement overlays and use many of the same techniques. You are a true artisan.


      California Concrete Restoration

      Laguna Hills, CA

    • cdevries profile image


      7 years ago

      Wow! I paint fake rock now and then for theater sets and yours is gorgeous. A LOT of detail and thought here. Thank you for your tips! I'm going to link to this page instantly.

    • Bellezza-Decor profile image


      7 years ago from Canada

      You do good rock work!

    • Lynda Makara profile image

      Lynda Makara 

      7 years ago from California

      Wow! You are a master! Blessings.

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 

      7 years ago

      You have a fascinating career - and you are great at it.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I never realised that faux waterfalls needed re-painting. You live and learn.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Great lens- I enjoyed reading it very much.

    • hotbrain profile image


      7 years ago from Tacoma, WA

      This is very interesting! It sounds like you have a job you really enjoy... and those waterfalls sure are beautiful!

    • hotbrain profile image


      7 years ago from Tacoma, WA

      This is very interesting! It sounds like you have a job you really enjoy... and those waterfalls sure are beautiful!

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 

      7 years ago from Arkansas USA

      How very, very cool! Thanks for bringing your unique occupation to Squidoo!


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