Painting Techniques for Marbling

Few painting techniques can compare with faux marbling. When done properly, faux marbling looks stunning and can be hard to differentiate from the real thing. Another reason the technique is so popular is that real marble is extremely expensive and difficult to cut, not to mention being very heavy. Try a few of these techniques to achieve the look of real marble in your home or office.

Choosing Colors

Choose your latex paint colours. You'll need a lighter colour and a darker colour paint. If you're having trouble deciding on colours, choose colours that most resemble the type of marble look you want (see resources for ideas). You'll also need a smaller amount of latex white paint, a water-based clear glaze, and two paint brushes. Quantities of paint will depend on the size of your project.

Starting Out

Paint the two colours on the wall; one area should be painted with the lighter colour, and the area right next to this should be painted with the darker colour. The size of each area depends on the marbling you're trying to imitate. Keep a photo or printed image of the marble close by, for ready reference. Use two brushes, one only for the light colour, and the other only for the darker colour. Before the paint is dry, blend the edges of the two painted areas together with a clean paint brush.


Dip a dagger paint brush (see resources) into the darker paint, and create thin "veins" in random areas. Only use a tiny bit of paint, because you want it to resemble a crack, not a streak of paint. Create fewer veins, rather than a lot; this will be more realistic.

More Veining

Mix a small amount of white paint with clear glaze. Take a white feather, and dip the tip of it in the mixture. Make sure nothing is dripping off the tip. In random areas, very gently create thin, white streaks, which complete the varied colours of a real marble surface. When it's dry, finish it with a clear glaze or varnish.

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About the Author

Ingrid Hansen has been published in "Twin Cities Business" magazine, the "Murphy Reporter," "Twin Cities Parent" magazine and the "Southwest Journal" newspaper. She has also written more than 30 non-fiction books for the K-12 library and education market, and has been a subject matter expert and a course designer for online college curriculum. She teaches English Composition at a local college, and holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from Hamline University.