Hand-Painted Faux Marble Tutorial
Like the rest of the Target home decor demographic, I’ve fallen in love with white marble this last year! After buying all the marble trays and soap pumps and the marble candle holders, I decided to try a number of methods to incorporate marble into my designs. I finally settled on paint for it’s longevity and potential to look most authentic. The tutorial below is a mixture of different tutorials I read as well as iterations I’ve made after a lot of practice painting approximately everything in sight this way. Consider yourself warned, this method is a lot of fun once you get the hang of it and you will want to marble ALL THE THINGS. All of them.
ITEMS YOU'LL NEED:
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- Three shades of gray craft paint or your choice of colors (I used Apple Barrel paint in Timeless Gray, Pewter Gray and Dark Granite)
- 1 Real or faux feather with pointed top edge
- 1 Painting sponge for blending
- 1 Paint brush (optional) for varied textures
- 1 Fine spray bottle with water (I use a Misto)
- Extra Fine/ Fine sanding block
- Clear spray coat (I use Rustoleum Matte Clear Enamel)
- Sand your piece of wood, tabel top or other item to a smooth finish.
- Paint with at least two coats of white paint or spray, making sure to use a fine sanding block in between coats and after the final coat to create a super smooth and even surface that will mimic marble.
- Mix your three shades of gray with water, in separate containers, approximately 1:1 to create a thin mixture of each shade.
- Dip one edge of your feather tip in the lightest shade of gray and drag ever so gently along your white surface in a diagonal line, varying the thickness of your line. It may help to look at photos of real Carrara marble for inspiration on how you want your end product to look and where you’d like to place your marble veining. Add veins of the lightest gray until you are satisfied with the placement.
- Dip your feather tip in the next darkest shade of gray, working in along the original veining pattern. Do the same with the darkest shade of gray to add dimension to your veining and make it look as authentic as possible. If the edges of your piece will show, paint the veining down onto the sides as well just as you’d see on a slab of real marble.
- Before your painted veining has dried completely, spray from about 12 inches away with a fine spray bottle full of water. I use my refillable misto bottle (meant for spraying cooking oils) but you can use any bottle with a fine spray. Once you’ve sprayed the veined surface, the water will begin to make certain areas of wet paint spread and marbleize further. As desired, add more water to certain areas and less to other areas to create an authentic marble look. Real marble has almost the appearance of being under a layer of water so this helps to create that look.
- Once the water has dried, take your sponge (I suggest a natural sponge with an irregular shape), wet it, and and dip in your lightest shade of gray. As shown, add dimension to the bright white areas of your marble using the sponge, leaving some areas a little darker and others blotting the paint almost entirely away. You can play around with lightly blotting veined areas as well and spraying with a fine mist of water again to create more texture. Feel free to use your darker shades of gray as well to add more dimension and blend.
- Next, dip your toothbrush in the lightest gray, blotting off extra paint, and rubbing your finger along the bristles, add a light spray of paint in different areas of your marble design. You can then leave those as-is or spray again with a fine mist of water in some areas to break up some of the droplets.
- Keep repeating the above steps as desired until you’ve reached your desired marble look. You can add darker shades to your veining for more clarity and definition or more light gray and fine mist to make it more subtle. Before working on your final piece I suggest multiple practice rounds in order to try out different techniques, more or less water, etc and experiment with the look you like best for your product.
- Once you are happy with your final design, let it dry completely. Sand lightly with your fine sanding block if needed for a smooth finish. Spray with a quick coat of clear spray to preserve the pattern before heading on to the next step.
- Mix 1 part white paint with 3-4 parts water and cover your marble with an even coat of very thin white wash using a foam brush. This will help make the overall look of the marble less defined and more milky. As it dries, sometimes I will blot certain spots lightly with a paper towel depending on where I’d like to see more “milkiness” and where I’d like less.
- Once it is completely dry, sand very lightly with your fine sanding block until smooth and spray with at least two coats of your clear coat until your desired sheen is reached (can use matte, satin or glossy finishes; I’ve used a matte finish here).
Then you’re done!
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If you use this method feel free to send me photos at email@example.com or tag me in your Instagram photos. I can’t wait to see all your faux painted marble projects!