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DIY Faux Marble Painting Instructions
When we were designing our powder room, everything revolved around the marble wall.
Sure, I would’ve loved to fly in a beautiful slab of marble from Italy, but no one has the time or budget for that! So instead of a real slab of marble, I was determined to create the look using just paint.
Spoiler alert: it worked!
Alright, let’s start DIYing!
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What You’ll Need
- Sea sponges
- Spray bottle with misting setting
- Baby wipes
- Paint for your base
- Paint for your veining
Instructions: How to Imitate Marble With Paint
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Since this tutorial is for a marble wall, I will refer to “the wall,” but rest assured, you can use this same technique on furniture, countertops, or tile as well.
Step 1: paint your base color
I would recommend Extra White SW 7006 for this. It’s a bright white that looks great with blues and grays. We ended up painting a total of 3 coats to make the wall look as glossy as possible. Wait for your paint to fully dry before moving onto the next step.
Step 2: Get inspiration
Print a picture (or sketch out a pattern) that shows what type of marbling you want to achieve. You might want a very spongy texture or heavy lines. Find a picture that speaks to you and print it out so you can look at your inspiration while painting.
step 3: Get Started
Dampen one of your sea sponges. Squeeze out the excess water. You want to get your sea sponge damp so that it is flexible, but you don’t want it to be dripping.
Begin your design in a top corner and work your way down and across, following the direction of your marble pattern.
Step 4: Paint
Use one of the following techniques to create your marble effect. Each wall will be different, but we used a combination of all three. We mostly worked with a brush for this wall and then added some dark colors using the feathers. We utilized the sponge technique in two areas of our wall.
Marble Wall Painting Techniques
Regardless of what technique you use, immediately spritz the wall once or twice with water after you add the gray paint. Be careful for drips! If you notice a drip, immediately wipe it off using a baby wipe. Once you spritz the wall, gently dab the paint with a clean, damp sea sponge. This will soften the lines and help blend it. Keep dabbing until you reach your desired look.
For each example, I will show what it looks like before spritzing water and dabbing with a clean sponge and after.
The first option is a brush. This is great for thicker, longer lines. Using a paint brush like the one pictures above, lightly paint a line for your marble. Don’t worry about keeping it straight or consistent. Add some bumps along the way and paint with more or less pressure to add more variation.
Lightly dip your sponge in paint, then dab off all of the excess on a paper towel. A tiny bit of paint goes a long way in this technique!
Use a feather like the one pictured above. This type of feather is stiff enough to produce thin lines. If you use a feather that is too soft, it will be difficult to transfer any paint to the wall. Lightly run your feather along the wall. I liked running a slightly darker color on top of a light line that I already painted with a brush. This will give the look of variation in a single vein.
Step 5:Keep painting
Keep painting using a variety of techniques until you have achieved your desired look. I recommend working in small sections at a time, approximately 12″ or less. This will ensure that your paint is still very wet and you can blend in lines with water.
If your sponge left undesired sponge marks, you can wipe the marks using baby wipes. Use baby wipes along the way to clean up any paint that you didn’t intend to be on the wall.
FAQ: Marble Painting Technique
What paint sheen did you use?
We used Sherwin Williams Emerald Semi-Gloss paint. This is the highest sheen in the Emerald (non-enamel) line. I would recommend using at least semi-gloss on this project. A higher sheen makes it easier to remove excess paint or even "erase" veining that you don't like by simply wiping it off while wet.
To learn more about paint sheen and other painting tips, check out our paints + stains guide.
Were your walls textured?
Our walls were not textured before starting this project. If your walls are textured, I would recommend skim coating your walls to make them smooth before starting.
Can you use this painted marble technique on a countertop?
Absolutely! This technique can be used anywhere. If you are painting countertops, I would recommend looking into a product that is made specifically for countertops, like this kit.
Can you use this painted marble technique on a floor?
Yes! This technique can be used anywhere that you would like to mimic the look of marble. If you are painting floors, I would recommend using Porch and Patio paint for added durability. You can read all about how we DIYed our painted floors and exactly how they are holding up.
How many paint colors do you need?
You need at least 2 paint colors. 1 for the base and 1 for the veining. We used a total of 3 colors for the veining and it added some nice variation, but you can use a single paint color and achieve variation in color by adding different amounts of water.
Have another question? Drop it in the comments below.
There you have it! Now you know how to create the look of marble using paint. And let me just add this. Take this as proof that paint has the power to create so much! See a wallpaper you like, but its $200/roll? Try painting it! Never underestimate the power of paint, it sure can do a lot!
As always, we would LOVE to see your photos! Whether you paint a wall, a tray, tiles, or anything else, we want to see it! Send us a picture via email or tag us on Instagram (@craftedbythehunts). We can’t wait to see what you create next!