How to Create a Faux Marble Finish with Paint

French Painted Enfilade With Faux Marble Top- Foxglove Antiques

The uniquely textured look of marble can add a regal and sophisticated touch to any interior space. Trouble is, marble can also grab a chunk of change out of your wallet. Wouldn’t it be great if there were a way to achieve this look in your home without having to spend all that money?

There is – if you don’t mind a little paint and hard work. It’s possible to create a faux marble finish on wood and many other surfaces by mixing and manipulating paint colors and patterns.


Start by identifying the surface or piece of furniture that you want to transform. Then gather up paint supplies like newspaper or a drop cloth and taking them into a room that is well-ventilated and not too hot or cold.

If the piece has hardware like handles, knobs, or nails, remove them and fill holes with a water-based filler. If there are glass or mirrored surfaces, tape them over.

Begin by wetting the surface with a spray bottle full of water and let it dry for half an hour. Then take some 180-grit sandpaper to roughen the surface so that the paint will better adhere to it. Afterwards, wipe away the dust with a static-free cloth.


You must now decide whether you want to apply a base coat or begin creating the marble appearance on the current color of the surface or piece. If you need a base coat, apply two coats with a paint pad or foam brush and let it dry for a couple hours.

You are now ready to “create” marble using paint! Put a dab of three different colors onto a plate and slide a sea sponge through each of them. Then take the sponge and dab it lightly along the surface to produce a “marble-like” pattern. For a lighter look, wipe off excess paint as you go.

After letting the sponged paint dry, you’re ready to tackle the marble “veins.” Using either a very thin paintbrush or a feather, dip it into another paint color and drag it along the surface diagonally using a twisting, turning motion; vary how the feather moves, and the shapes of the veins change. After letting them dry for five minutes, the veins should resemble tree branches or lightning bolts.

If you want to soften the marble appearance, feel free to sponge on some lighter shades of paint. Then let it all dry for another two hours.

Seal it in

Now you’re ready to “seal” in the marble look. Take some high-gloss polyurethane or polyacrylic satin and apply a topcoat in line with the wood grain, then let it dry for two hours. Then, using 320-grit sandpaper, lightly buff the surface before sweeping off the dust and applying a finish coat. You may want to repeat this process once after the second coat dries.

Using paint to portray a marble finish isn't as difficult as you might think. And once you're finished, you've got an attractive conversation-starting piece that everyone can enjoy!

Chris Martin is a freelance writer about topics ranging from auto insurance to consumer finance.

Faux Marble by Pierre Lefumat- $28 Amazon

This is a monument to 60 years dedicated to decorative painting. The first part of the book is a step-by-step guide for painting the most widely imitated marble varieties including white breccia, yellow sienna, sea green, and more. The second part of the book is a gallery of Lefumat's photorealistic faux marble. Each page represents a closer and closer detailed view. Experts and beginners alike will draw inspiration from this magnificent book

Step by step instruction for recreating Lefumat's masterworks in Faux Marble. Over 140 pages of rich close-up color photographs of Lefumat's painted panels. Hundreds of pages of faux marble for reference and inspiration.

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