Marble Faux Painting

Marble faux painting is one of best techniques for small accents. You can turn a plain column into the focal point of a room. You can give the top of a desk or coffee table the WOW! factor with this technique.

There are not a lot of tools needed, but there are specific tools that will make your work much easier.

Here's a list of supplies:

• 2 1/2 inch or 3 inch brush

• Feather (preferably white)

• Dagger style artist brush

• Two colors for your choice of marble (water based)

• One quart of white paint (water based)

• Glaze (water based)

The 2 1/2 or 3 inch brush is according to what you're comfortable with. Any smaller will make it difficult to work quickly between your two colors.

One good tip for the feather you choose is that it is best if it is white or at least non-dyed. The reason is that the feathers that have been dyed tend to bleed that color on the wall when you're using them. I have made this mistake before and had to rinse it forever to get the dye to stop coming off.

feather faux painting

The two colors you choose will be according to what type marble you want to copy. If it's green, you'll choose the green along with a darker shade of the same green. If it's tan you'll again choose tan along with a darker shade of the same tan. For the most part, that's the pattern you'll want to follow.

Of course if you choose white, which is very popular and beautiful, you'll want to get white and a light gray.

For small areas or one wall accents, one quart of each color is usually plenty. One quart of the glaze is usually plenty for small areas also. It's nice too that all of it can be water based paint and save you from dealing with oil.

First you'll use your 2 1/2 or 3 inch brush to paint on your two main colors. If you're doing this on a larger area such as an entire wall, then you could use a paint roller to paint the wall solid with your lighter color. That just makes it easier to coat the wall with your brush and two colors.

Here's a picture to give you a good idea of how to paint on the two colors.

marble faux color

You can see in this picture the two colors are just painted on in random shapes. Using the same brush you can then blend the two colors together. This paints them into each other, while they're still wet, and softens all the edges.

faux marble blend

This technique copies the variation in color that you would want in marble faux painting.

Once this dries completely, you can start the technique with the dagger brush. Other small brushes can be used, but the dagger brush is the perfect tool for making this step easy.

faux painting dagger brush

This part is referred to as "veining". It's the thin, darker lines you see in marble faux painting that almost look like hairline cracks. You'll use your darker color for this and you'll thin it with glaze according to the instructions on the can. (Usually four parts glaze to one part paint.)

Feel nervous about using this small artist brush?

Don't worry! There's good news! It's easy! This is a very jagged, crooked line that even forks off in places. That means your line is supposed to be imperfect. When your lines are imperfect then you've done the perfect job!

faux painting dagger veining

One good tip is to only put a little paint on your brush. Once you dip your brush, then wipe a little off on the sides of your bucket. That way it will be easier to keep the veining at just a thin line.

Another tip is: less is more. What does that mean? Well the less veining you do, the more realistic it will look. Over doing the details always makes it look over worked. And you run the risk of making a repetitive pattern.

faux marble veining

Next you can start the technique with your feather. First you'll want to mix your white paint in some glaze, according to the instructions on the can.

Now with your white glaze, you will dip one side of your feather in it and drag the white glaze across the surface in random places.

If you're unsure where to paint with the feather, this picture may help.

faux marble feather veining

The feather painting, like the dagger brush painting, is always easier with just a little paint on the feather. That way, with your marble faux painting, your white is very light and milky just like the real thing.

A lot of times I will look at a real sample or a picture of the real thing. It really helps me to decide where to paint these lines and not be too repetitive.

Finally, I always paint a final, solid coat of a semi gloss clear varnish. This not only protects it but gives it that polished look for a realistic marble faux painting. For some clear coat suggestions click on our clear coat page.

So, in just a few steps, you can accomplish this beautiful marble faux painting technique.

marble faux paint

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