Conversation starter- any rock painters out there?

Submitted to Community Chat

Wondered....probably late to the party.....Are there any rock painters out there that kindly might have tips and tricks to offer?

I successfully painted rocks decades ago using Testors enamel thats was typically meant for models. Its a fabulous product but its oil based.

In the day of time and convenience I prefer to use acrylics now. Slightly confused on how to proceed with success.

  1. Does anyone have any new tricks or tips to share particularly about recommended sealers for outdoor display?
    What to use and how many coats? Seems like spray sealers are the only option?
  2. Do the rocks need to be resealed at regular intervals- if displayed outdoors?
  3. Can a stylus geometrical mandala painted rock be properly sealed for outdoor display with their heavier—slightly raised painted surface?
  4. Where does one find these nice smooth river rocks? My local big box hardware stores don’t seem to stock the larger most desirable sized rocks.
  5. Should oil based paint be used and acrylic avoided?

I’ve been making many mistakes but I do have one trick to share with my two acrylic painted rock training wheels learning curve.
I find that painting the rocks particularly when in multiples with using a re-purposed styrofoam egg carton nicely elevates the rock and is easily spun around to work on. A Lazy Susan might be beneficial as well.  
Thanks in advance for any useful information you might be able to offer.