Learn to Make a Marble Look Table Top

marblelooktabletopKnowing how to paint a marble look can come in handy for table tops, floor cloths, columns – who knows what else?

We asked our friend Elizabeth Cohen to teach us some interesting painting techniques that can not only be used on furniture but can also be used on your walls.
The following intructions are for a Marble Look Table Top.

Make sure you check out Elizabeth’s other painting techniques Custom Stencil Table Top and Granite Tile Table Top.

Materials List:

  • fine sanding block
  • liquid de-glosser
  • cotton rag
  • 3–4 4” rollers
  • 3-4 small paint trays
  • newspapers
  • satin latex paint in light gray, white, light blue, black, metallic pewter
  • 1 quart latex glaze
  • veining brush
  • semi-gloss latex polyurethane
  • 4” low nap or mohair roller


This faux marble top table gives you a one of a kind piece that can be applied to any type of furniture.

1. To get started, you will have to fine sand and de-gloss your item to be painted.

2. Base paint your surface with light gray satin latex using a 4” roller. One coat will suffice. Let dry for 2-4 hours. Pour the paint into individual small trays that will accommodate a 4”roller.  To each tray add 3 parts glaze to 1 part paint. Mix well. You may have to buy the paint in quarts, or 3-4 bottles of each color of craft paint from your local craft store will work.

3. Take your 4” rollers and using 1 roller for each color, begin to randomly roll the paint onto the surface in no special pattern. The trick here is to be very random! This step needs to be completed as quickly as possible. (this is why you use the glaze – it gives the paint more “open time”)

4. As soon as your surface is covered with the white, blue, black and pewter, take a piece of newspaper and “smash” it into the painted surface. Your goal here is to create lines and wrinkles in the paint that give it a marbleized look.

5. If you feel you need to tweak it by adding more color, wait until the paint has dried, then roll on more color and smash again with the newspaper.

6. Let dry for 2 hours. Take your veining brush, (available at local craft stores) wet it with water, and dip it into your black paint. With a steady hand you will begin to follow the pattern you have created in the paint with your newspaper and emphasize veins like those found in real marble. By twisting and turning your brush you can vary the width of the line you are painting to give it a more realistic look.

7. When the black paint has dried, you will repeat this step with the white paint. The trick while veining is to keep the brush wet so it doesn’t drag along the surface. This will give you the continuous lines you are looking for. When you feel you have finished your creation, let it dry overnight.

8. Topcoat with 2 coats water based semi-gloss polyurethane using a 4” low nap roller.

Let dry for several hours, then ENJOY!

Again a special thanks to Elizabeth, she can be reached at the following e-mail address.

Elizabeth Cohen
President, Faux Elegance Specialty Painters
President, Friends of Solon Center for the Arts

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