Faux Carrara Marble Painting Technique

How to step-by-step picture tutorial showing a simple faux Carrara marble painting technique used to paint a faux Carrara marble finish on a table, desk or counter top using acrylic craft paints. The finish has the look of marble and is very easy to do. Once sealed, the painted surface is very durable and will last for years.

Furniture-Makeover-Before-and-After Faux Carrera or Carrara Marble

After stripping the wood cabinet that sat on top of this unmatched sideboard in my previous kitchen, I wanted to update the sideboard to help make the 2 pieces look better paired.


I decided to go with a white Carrara marble counter top for the sideboard. But I didn’t add real marble, only the look of a marble countertop by doing a little creative DIY.

In this post I will show you how to do an easy marble paint technique to create the look of Carrara marble complete with marble veins.

How to Paint Faux Carrara Marble Using Acrylic Paint

By following these instructions showing how to marble with acrylic paint, you can have any flat surface looking like very realistic Carrara marble in no time.

Try it on the top of your nightstand or where you would like to see a marble surface. It does not have to be on a countertop.


supplies needed:

  • White primer – KILZ brand, if painting over a previously finished surface, Gripping primer if painting over a painted surface.
  • Eggshell or satin finish white paint – True White or Pure White
  • 3 colors of grey craft paint – light, medium, and dark:
    • Apple Barrel Light Grey or Dolphin Grey
    • Martha Stewart Crafts Wet Cement
    • Apple Barrel Dark Grey.
    • Martha Stewart Beetle Black
  • I also mixed the white and black to produce a few more shades of grey to make the veins look even more varied in color.
  • Smooth foam roller, and roller tray
  • Feather, Sea sponge, Soft paint brush, paper towels
  • Toothbrush
  • Small mixing bowls
  • Water in spray/misting bottle
  • Medium and Fine grit sandpaper
  • Tack cloth or damp rag
  • Topcoats to choose: Paste wax or a waterbased polyurethane
  • If using paste wax as a sealer – soft lint-free rags to buff
Optional:  A piece of actual marble to help visualize  the veining. Scrap piece of wood to practice veining before moving on your actual piece of furniture.

Prep Surface

Important – DO NO SKIP THIS STEP:  To make the marble paint technique look realistic, make sure the old finish or surface is as smooth as possible.

  • Fill in any imperfections, dents or holes with wood filler or Spackle.
  • Sand smooth, then paint.
  • Sand in between each coat with fine or wet sand paper to level each coat of paint.
  • Clean sanding grit before applying the next coat.

1.  Sand surface smooth with medium -100 grit sandpaper. Remove dust and grit with a tack cloth or damp rag. 

2. Apply one coat of primer over surface, let dry.


3. Roll on one coat of white eggshell or satin paint. Let dry.  Apply 2 – 3 coats, making sure each coat is dry thoroughly before applying the next.

Once you like the smoothness of the white paint you can proceed to the veining.

How to Create Veins When Painting Faux Carrara Marble Using Craft Paint

Carrara marble tiles on top of a faux marble painted surface.

To help make veining easier, buy a marble tile at the home improvement store. It will help you better visualize what marble veins really look like.

  • Veins in marble usually run on a diagonal and they look like they are under water – slightly blurry.  I used my tiles as my guides.

1. The veining is created using a feather.  I bought my feathers at the craft store, but you may find one out in nature to use.

2. Mix each color of paint with water: 3 parts paint to 1 part water. 

  • Dip the tip of the feather into the lighter grey paint and then draw a diagonal line with the tip of the feather moving it on its side and back and forth as you draw the line.

You don’t want it to be a solid line, the more variation you can give each vein in color and width – the more realistic it will look.


3. After you make a few marble veins – hold a spray or misting bottle of water about 12” away from the surface and lightly spray water on top of the veining. 

This will blur each line, spray a bit more on a few areas to achieve larger sections of blurred grey.

If necessary, blot excess water with a bunched up damp cloth or damp sea sponge to fix mistakes or to spread out an area of veining.

If you want to spread the paint a bit to soften a vein, go over it with a large soft bristle paint brush. Gently dab it up and down over any area that needs softening.

Note: Do not spray too much water or you could raise the white coat of paint – just a light misting is all that is needed.


4. After the water has dried, use the darker color of grey paint to accent the veins you have already made.  Use at least 3 different greys and mix some black or white paint into one of the paint mixes to produce another shade of grey.

Helpful Tip:

For a realistic look: Vary the grey shades and width of each vein that you are accenting.  Mist with water and let dry.


Remember to continue the veining down and around the sides of the piece you are working on so the top looks like a slab of marble. When you have all the veins and accent veins completed, let dry.


5.  If you look at real marble or your marble tiles carefully, you will see it has some splotchy spots in areas. To achieve this, dip a toothbrush into white craft paint. Move your thumb over the loaded brush to create some paint splotches over some of the veins and white areas.

To emphasize the effect even more, use the toothbrush as a paint brush, by bouncing the bristles right on the surface to create splotches.  Let dry for a few hours.


6. Run very fine sandpaper over the top to ensure that the veins and splotches are not raised in any area. Remove sanding grit with a tack cloth.

Various Ways to Paint Veining


Thick and thin veining.


More mottled veining.


The more varied the veins the more realistic it will look.

Whitewash The Surface Before Sealing


1.  Mix your base white color of paint with water. Doing this softens all the veins.

  • 1 part paint to 3 parts water. Mix well and then roll one coat on top. Let dry.

How to Seal Faux Marble Painting


1. I used paste wax to protect and add the shine needed to make the faux paint technique look real.  You can also use a waterbased non-yellowing polyurethane like Polycrylic or an epoxy. I would not recommend an epoxy though it will yellow the paint over time.

I like how buffed wax looks and used the Fiddes & Sons brand, but any brand of clear soft wax will work.


2. I applied 3 coats of wax.  Let each coat dry to a haze and then buff it with a lint-free old t-shirt. Repeat the process 3 times to achieve a nice shine that resembles the shine on a real marble surface.


The only thing that would make it look more realistic is if it felt real  – marble is cold to the touch.  Painted wood is not.

How to Maintain a Faux Painted Carrara Marble Surface

To maintain the surface of faux marble paint:

  • Make sure to wipe up any water that may get on the surface.
  • Once or twice a year, clean the surface with hot water and dish detergent on a rung out rag and wipe with a dry cloth. Allow surface to fully dry, then apply a thin coat of clear wax over the surface and buff to a sheen.

Doing these two things has kept my faux painted Carrara marble sideboard top looking like new.

Marble Paint Will Last a Long Time

repurposed sideboard into a sink vanity for a powder room
Sideboard 8 years after painting faux marble on top.

Update: When I moved to a new home, the sideboard that was once paired with a hutch in my kitchen got a new role. It became a bathroom sink vanity.

The marble paint on the bathroom countertop is what I painted 8 years ago using my faux marble painting technique. The faux marble finish still looks great.

Read all about it in this post: How to Repurpose a Sideboard to a Sink Vanity.

How to Paint Laminate Kitchen Counters to Look Like Carrara Marble Using a Countertop Painting Kit

I have also painted brown Formica kitchen countertops to look like Carrara marble, but for this I tweaked a granite countertop painting kit to make it into marble paint.

You can see how I did it in this post: 

How to Create a Marble Effect With Spray Paint?

Besides marbling with acrylic paint there are other paint products you can use to create a marble effect on any surface. The easiest is to marble with spray paint.

When using marble spray paint, the surface prep work is the same as when using brush-on paint. Once that is done, then you would need to mask the area you want marbled, shake the can and spray following each marble spray paint brand’s label instructions to create realistic looking marble.

Marble Effect Spray Paint:

In a matter of minutes you can transform anything to look like marble.

Now that you know how to do marble painting in different ways. Are you ready to try your hand at faux Carrara marble painting?

How to use craft paint to create faux Carrara Marble

More Faux Painting Techniques to Try:

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  1. Willmarie says:

    I was thinking the wax will be like a top coat. But Is it safe to place food on the countertop? You know kids 😆🤦

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Willmarie –

      To answer your question about using wax to seal a painted counter – When you use clear paste wax like Annie Sloan or Fiddes and Sons and buff it well with a soft cloth it becomes one very hard durable sealer. The more thin coats of it and the more you buff, the more durable and the finish becomes. It does require lots of buffing. Once it is cured it like poly.

      When using either wax or a poly on a kitchen counter, you can’t place hot things on the counter as it will change the finish. Like a hot bowl of soup taken from the microwave. Things like this need to be placed on a hot pad. Same for when cutting a sandwich or piece of fruit. It has to be done on cutting board, not on the counter.

      I have very little counter space and do food prep on a stainless steel kitchen island.

      I hope this helps you figure out how to proceed.

  2. Hi! Would this technique work over existing bathroom, laminate countertop, but instead seal it with epoxy resin?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Kendra – Yes you can use the Carrara marble painting technique over laminate in a bathroom. Since I wrote the post, I have moved into a different home and the piece that I painted, is now a bathroom vanity. You can see it here: https://bit.ly/2SCQogz

      I used soft paste wax to seal it, no epoxy needed. It is going on 8 years old and still looks perfect.

      To prep the laminate you will need to sand it first with 100 grit sandpaper. Clean it well with dish detergent and hot water. Then rinse it very well so no soap residue is in the surface. Let dry. Next roll on a good gripping primer – like Valspar Stain Blocking Gripping Primer. 2 light coats, let dry. Then proceed with the marble technique. The prepping + priming technique and products I used to paint my kitchen cabinets is how you should prep your laminate. You can see that post here: https://bit.ly/2SCQogz

      If you use epoxy resin, it will yellow over time and ruin the white look. Make sure you use non-yellowing epoxy.

  3. In your honest opinion, which painting process do you prefer, using the kit or the craft paints? I’m wanting to use this technique to cover my kitchen countertops. I’m leaning towards using epoxy as the sealer. Thank you!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Katona – The kit I used was nice as everything you needed was supplied. If I did it again I would probably use the kit, but it is not necessary if you want to source the craft paint and finish like I did with the craft paint on the kitchen sideboard/desk. For the finish – the poly has held up just fine, but there is a slight texture to it from the roller. I have only used epoxy on a small project and it did yellow. If you can get the non-yellowing epoxy then I would go with that to get a smooth finish. On the sideboard desk I painted without a kit, I used soft wax and buffed it. I love this finish. It has held up perfectly even now as I made the piece into a sink vanity and it gets water on it all the time. Not a problem.

      Let me know if you have any other questions.

  4. In your honest opinion, which painting process do you prefer, using the kit or the craft paints? I’m wanting to use this technique to cover my kitchen countertops. I’m leaning towards using epoxy as the sealer. Thank you!

  5. Joanne Fanelli says:

    Do you think it would be possible to tint the white paint (in the Gianni kit) to a light cream color? I want to paint over dark (almost black) granite counter tops but do a look of cream colored marble with some grays veined through.

    Thank you!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Joanne – Yes I think you can tint the color of the white paint. Do you want to use tint or paint to do this. If tint, add a little bit, mix to see the color and then add more as needed, mixing it very well. If using paint, I would use a high quality water-based paint in a satin finish or eggshell. Add only a little at a time to get the color you want.

      1. Joanne Fanelli says:

        Can’t thank you enough!! Super helpful and quick response!!! Thanks again!

  6. Amy Holand says:

    HI! I LOVE your countertops!!!! Can I ask if they have yellowed at all? How have they held up?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Amy –

      The countertops have not yellowed one bit. There are a few small marks on the counter just from use, but nothing that I need to fix. Did you read the post where I had to fix the counter when we got a new cooktop. If you are thinking of painting your counters you can see how to fix a spot if needed. You can find the post here: https://bit.ly/2VY7Ait

  7. do you think it’d work on ceramic/glass tiles on shower walls or the same tiles used in bathroom flooring?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Lindsay –

      The paint technique would not work on walls in showers, but if it is a wall outside the shower that is tiled, then yes you could do the painting on the tiles. You would need to rough up the tiles with sandpaper first, use a bonding primer and then paint.

      For the flooring, I would use Porch and Floor paint in white to create the look of marble. Use craft paint to make the veins, but Porch and Floor paint to cover the tiles flooring. Once veining is done, then seal with a water-based poly like Polycrylic in the sheen you want – Satin or semi-gloss.

  8. Jeni Millikin says:

    Can you do this on a glass table top?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Jeni – Yes you can paint the glass. First, wash the glass thoroughly in warm, soapy water to remove dirt, dust, and grease film. Next, rinse the glass in warm water and let dry completely. Dampen a paper towel with rubbing alcohol to clean off any remaining soap film. Let dry completely. Then prime. You will need to apply one or two light coats of gripping or bonding primer to the glass first and let it dry. Then start the marble technique. I would use Glidden Gripper or Valspar Bonding primer. Just make sure the primer is a bonding or gripping primer.

  9. Hi there,

    Any suggestions for the topcoat- was over the topcoat that comes with the kit? I noticed on this post you used wax and on your counters you used the topcoat. I have the Gianni kit and am trying to figure out the best option for my kitchen counters. I’ve seen a lot of people use epoxy too but am worried about the yellowing over time. Thanks for your help and all the great info you’ve shared!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Valerie – I didn’t use wax over the topcoat on my kitchen counter. I used in on another counter that I painted to resemble Carrara marble. It has held up wonderfully, and when it gets worn, it is very easy to add more wax and buff to have it blend right in. It can take time to cure though to a hard finish.

      I would not use epoxy. It would look good for awhile, but will yellow and become discolored over a short amount of time. If using a dark color, this may not matter, but if using a white base, it would not be good.

      I used the topcoat that came with the kit on my kitchen counters. It has held up very well for the amount of use the counters gets. I did just did a post on how I had to fix an area that got damaged when a new cooktop was installed. I found a way to make the fix – paint and topcoat(Minwax Polycrylic in a semi-gloss) blend in. I am very happy with the results. You can see the post I just wrote here: https://inmyownstyle.com/how-to-fix-dings-and-damage-on-painted-kitchen-counters.html

  10. You did a marvelous job !
    yours is the best I’ve seen I love it and you did a lot of steps that other people haven’t done..
    I really appreciate you taking such time and expertise to share your processes thank you so much

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thanks Renee – With so many blogs and tutorials out there for painting marble, I appreciate your comment and taking the time to tell me that you thought mine was the best. :-)

  11. Hi! Planning on doing this in my own kitchen; thanks for the steps! Question: which white paint (brand and color) did you use after priming and before veining? There are so many shades of white out there!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi elf21 –

      I used Glidden latex paint in White. It is not a custom color. When you get color mixed at the store there are Base Colors that are used to mix custom colors. Like Base 1, Base 2, etc. There is always White. No mixing needed. This is White is what I used.

  12. Hi can you use this technique on cultured marble in a bathroom?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Danielle – If the marble was roughed up with sandpaper it may be OK to paint… but I think you would need to use an epoxy primer to get the paint to stick. The temp of marble varies – hot to cold depending on the room temp. If this temp fluctuates, the paint may not adhere over time. If you want to paint over actual marble, then I would look into an epoxy painting kit or sand the surface well, use a a few light coats of gripping/bonding primer, letting each coat dry before applying the next, and then paint the marble look. As long as the area didn’t get wet all the time, it may work for your needs.

  13. Can this be done over tile shower walls?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi John – If you sealed it with Marine grade varnish, maybe. But this may yellow the color. With regular water-based polyurethane that doesn’t yellow, no. It would wear away eventually since it would get wet on a daily basis. The technique works great on furniture and counter tops that may only get wet occasionally. The desktop I did it on, is now a vanity in a bathroom. It gets wet, but not like a shower would. It has held up great in this application.

      1. cathy hays says:

        I meant to add Diane you have inspired me to finally tackle my bathroom counter top. I’m going to paint it Carrera and finally do away with my builder grade beige! If all goes well there my kitchen is next! Your piece came out beautifully.

        1. Diane Henkler says:

          Hi Cathy – So happy to hear that something I did has inspired you to paint your bathroom counter top. Mine is going on a five years now and looks just as good today as it did the day I painted it. When I first painted it, it was a desk in my kitchen. We moved and the sidebar became a bathroom vanity. It has held up incredibly well. Go for it!

    2. cathy hays says:

      I painted the tile on my bathroom floor and used a Polycrylic to seal it. its not a shower wall but it does get wet and it has held up very well for over two years now. Just make certain your paint is DRY before you seal it. I waited 48 hours just to be sure. Hope this helps!

      1. Hi! What paint did you use on the floor? I painted over ceramic tile with porch outdoor paint and it would never cure. Had to scrape it all off :(

        1. Diane Henkler says:

          Hi Nicole – What painted floor are you asking about? I have painted a few. Your comment was left on the faux Carrara marble painting technique – so I am not sure. Let me know.

  14. Kelly Hedlund says:

    This is very cool!

  15. Can you do this on a bathroom counter top? And how would you seal it so water does not mess up the paint?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Amy –

      I painted faux marble on a sideboard that we turned into bathroom vanity. You can see it here: https://inmyownstyle.com/2016/07/hpw-to-repurpose-a-sideboard-into-a-sink-vanity.html

      I didn’t use the Gianni kit for it. You can read about that here and see how to wax the surface: https://inmyownstyle.com/2013/06/faux-carrara-marble-painting-technique.html

      The lip of the sink is raised on the bath vanity above the surface so not much water gets on the painted surface. I sealed it with soft wax Johnson’s Paste Wax or Fiddes and Sons in clear. Once I applied a thin coat of wax I buffed to a shine, then repeated the process a few times to build up protection. It has held up fine, but the room does not get as much use as say a main bathroom that gets constant use. If it is only going to be used by one or two family members, I would say go for it. the most important part is to make sure to apply the primer and paint in very thin coats. This helps it to adhere well.

  16. Gemma Thompson Chadwick says:

    Omg this is absolutely AMAZING. I LOVE IT. I’m going to try it. Fabulous

  17. Awesome – it really looks like marbel (I know its supposed to) but WOW! Well done, Im looking to follow your example on my plain light wood dining table.

    Thanks for the tips

  18. KellyMichal says:

    You’re a genius! I thought the pic was real marble, till I scrolled down . I want to try it, my husband doesn’t trust me, don’t blame him , but you make it look so easy. Looks amazing.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Kelly – Thanks. It is not hard to do. What most people fear is the veining. If you get a sample tile with veining to copy it will help you get the hang of how the veins should look, like they are floating. Did you see how I painted my kitchen counters to look like Carrara Marble? I did it recently using a kit. You can read about it in this post: https://inmyownstyle.com/2017/01/painting-kitchen-countertops.html

  19. HI Diane,I have an gas electric fireplace made of white tiles and would like to know if I can use this technique on it. thank you

  20. So beautiful! You did an amazing job on this and your bathroom redo. Thank you for your inspiring post. After reading this I’m on the hunt for something to marble too :-)

  21. Donna Henard says:

    can not re-find your video on faux carrara marble. so good. can you please help me locate.
    working on a fireplace mantle. thank you di

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Donna –

      I wish I had made a video of the steps on how to paint faux carrara marble.:-) I only have the step-by-step photo post where you left the comment.

  22. Jessica Roxianne says:

    Is this something I could do on laminate if I sand it down and at the end put epoxy or some sort of sealer over it?

    It looks awesome, I cannot wait to try it on something :)

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Jessica –

      Yes you can create the marble finish over laminate. You would first need to sand the surface to rough it up and then use a “bonding primer” over it. You can buy it at the home improvement store. I like Glidden Gripper or Behr Multi-Surface primer, but any brand name “bonding primer” will do the job. Roll it on using a foam paint roller with rounded edges. 2 light coats should be enough, let it dry and then roll on your paint. Let it dry well and then do the marble paint effect.

      1. Jessica Roxianne says:

        Great thank you so much!

      2. If I did this on kitchen laminate, how would I treat the top to hold up to kitchen wear and tear?

        1. Diane Henkler says:

          Hi Chris –

          You can seal it with water-based Polyurethane like Minwax Polycrylic. You need to use water based sealers as anything oil based will yellow the finish. Last year I used a Giani kit to paint my laminate kitchen counters to look like Carrara Marble. It turned out better than I could ever imagine and has held up wonderfully.

          You can read that post here: https://inmyownstyle.com/2017/01/painting-kitchen-countertops.html

  23. Carol Muir says:

    I would like to paint my tumbled marble on my kitchen backsplash and was wondering if anyone has tried it

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Carol – I have not tried painting tumbled marble, but I think you could. Is it on a backsplash or will it get very wet? Painting tumbled marble that is not sealed will be pretty easy since the paint will adhere well. I would sand it first and use a primer since any paint you add will soak into the porous marble. You may need a few coats to get even coverage since some spots may take up the paint in different ways.

      1. Carol Muir says:

        It doesn’t get wet at all I do think it was sealed though. I thought I could put Annie Sloan clear wax on it to protect it. What do you think about the grout? Should I just paint it the same colour?

  24. Thanks a lot, welldone

  25. Amazing, Diane! I would have thought that really was marble! Incredible. x

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Danielle – Thanks so much. :-) Many years ago I used to do marbling for homeowners and even in a few walls and columns in bank lobbies. I might do my kitchen island next. :-) Happy Easter!

      1. sergio rodigez says:

        hi Dianne it look fabulous can you recommend some one to elp me o it

        1. Diane Henkler says:

          Hi Sergio – I would do a search in your area for artists or art schools and find an student or local artist that would paint the faux marble for you.

  26. Brandy @ The Prudent Homemaker says:

    I have a marble kitchen floor. The SECOND something acidic touches it, it etches. So if you spill vinegar–every single drop STAYS on the floor, forever, unless you have it refinished. I really wanted a marble counter 8 years ago, but now I truly understand how easily damaged they are. Your painting looks perfect! I love it!

  27. thank you for responding with your advice on sanding and getting a foam roller. it worked perfectly to smooth my surface!

    i did the marbeling and it looked really good and then i decided to do 3 coats of polyurethane on top of my finished table to protect it since it’s a coffee table and i have kids. but then it turned my white table YELLOW. so, now i am starting from scratch, repainting and redoing the marbeling with my feathers. :(

    do you think the paste wax will protect my surface from kids. i initially decided not to do that since my kids are at the age where they play on the coffee table with their barbies and cars and i felt like i needed some extra protection.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Aubrey – It is OK to use poly to cover the painted marble, but you have to use water-based poly. It will not yellow. Minwax Polycrylic is a good one. It comes in a few different sheens -satin and semi-gloss.

  28. I decided to tackle this project on the top of an old round coffee table I found at goodwill. Last night I primed two coats and painted two coats of white on top, but am disappointed about the “orange peel” type texture that my roller has left on the top of my coffee table. Your top looks so smooth. Do I just need to get a smoother roller {the one i bought says smooth} or a different kind of paint {i got latex}. help!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Aubrey – It is not the paint, but the roller that produces orange peel texture. Applying the paint too heavy with even a high quality roller could also create it. I use a small foam roller with rounded edges. This will not produce orange peel at all.

      I would go over the surface with a 100 grit sandpaper on a sanding block to smooth it out. You don’t need to take it back to the original finish. In fact if you just remove the bumps and then roll over another very light coat of paint over the new smooth surface – you will create more depth to the finish so it will look more real.

  29. George Bryson says:

    This is a wonderful tutorial and I wanted to follow it slavishly but I am finding it difficult to find Apple Barrel craft paint in the UK. Do you have the exact reference numbers for the Apple Barrel paints you used so I can order them directly from Apple Barrel.

    Many thanks


    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi George – You do not need to use Apple Barrel paints. Any light and dark grey paint will work. I used Apple Barrel Dolphin Grey #20624, Martha Stewart Crafts Wet Cement, and Apple Barrel Dark Grey #20366. I also used white and black to produce a few more shades of grey to make the veins look varied in color.

      1. George Bryson says:

        Hi Diane

        Thank you so much for your prompt reply – that has been most helpful.



      2. George Bryson says:

        Hi Diane

        Can I just trouble you with one ‘final’ question. Firstly, I found craft paint similar to Apple Barrel and that worked perfectly. In fact the whole thing went swimmingly well until step 9. I wasn’t exactly sure what you are referring to when you say mix your base white colour of paint with water. Are you referring to the primer, silk or Apple Barrel white. I’m probably being very obtuse but will be grateful for your advice.

        Kind regards


        1. Diane Henkler says:

          Hi George – Any of the white paint is fine. What you want to do is create a transparent watery veil of white over the whole surface to add what will look like depth to the surface. It should be very watery, just a tiny bit of paint.

  30. This is sooooo frickin’ easy!!!!!!!!!!! I’m going to do all the shelves and ledges in the house, lol. Thanx for the know how.

  31. christine says:

    I love how your piece came out, beautiful. I, like yourself, always have a project going. I love making something that’s not so great into something wonderful. My house is full of furnishings that are refinished. It’s more fun than buying something new, to me. I have always wanted to try faux marbling. I recently picked up a desk that was tagged free at a church garage sale. Some people saw a desk, my son and I saw A BATHROOM VANITY!!!! I am now going to refinish it and try my hand at faux marbling the top. Your tutorial will help me. I will probably epoxy it instead of waxing, only because it will be exposed to water, obviously, but I do love the look of a waxed piece! I’ll let you know how it comes out……might be awhile, because I’m in the middle of a couple of other projects, but soon!!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Christine – I would love to see it, especially with the epoxy. When you get it completed, please send me a photo.

      1. christine says:

        Hi Diane, I finished the bathroom vanity. I am emailing you a couple of pictures (don’t know how to attach them here). Eventually, I will probably change the sink, because I used my existing sink and faucet, and it is almond. It would look much nicer in white. I did the epoxy, like I had mentioned, instead of waxing because it will be exposed to a lot of water. That was the hardest part. You are supposed to sand the surface before applying epoxy, but I couldn’t, because if I did, I would have sanded off the marble technique. So, I put the first coat of epoxy, which looked terrible, then sanded that and reapplied the epoxy. That looked better, but it wasn’t until the 3rd coat that I achieved the smooth polished look that I was after. Thanks for your tutorial. It was a big help, and everyone thinks the vanity looks great!

  32. Melissa L. says:

    Lady, you have CRAZY skills! Seriously. Such a unique and beautiful piece. Found this on Pinterest. Love it.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thanks Melissa – It looks harder than it really is. Having a real piece of marble to use as a guide helps, too.

  33. I was very impressed with your marbling project,it looks great.I had wanted to do a piece like this but a little nervous how it might turn out.Your projects are wonderful and makes me more confident on trying new things.You have one more fan.lol I hit your site before going anywhere else just to see what your doing next.I want to thankyou for all your tips how to and photo before and after.Wonderful.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thanks Loa – Look at the project this way – It is only paint, if you don’t like how it comes out, you can just paint right over it. :-) I would experiment with the technique on a scrap piece of wood to gain confidence.

  34. Donna Dierkes says:

    Thank you for this great tutorial, I have been looking for weeks for help with what supplies to get to give this a try. Hope it looks like yours when done.

    Very nice job.

  35. It really does look real! Beautiful.

  36. Fantastic job, and the best tutorial I have seen. You rocked it!

  37. Karen - The Graphics Fairy says:

    How gorgeous Diane!! It really does look like real marble! Hope you’re doing well!!

  38. Beth Coburn says:

    I’ve been getting your updates, and you always inspire me to do something in my home. Several weeks ago it was cleaning my fridge. This past weekend I got out the old paint can and started painting around the kitchen floorboards. My kids were saying, “What’s gotten into you, Mom?” From now on I’ll have to tell them, Diane made me do it! Or maybe I’ll start calling it the Henkler Effect! tee hee! Thanks for all you do!! {hugs}

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Beth – :) I am happy to know that I have inspired you in such a positive way. XO Reminds me of a granite countertop installer I once worked with. He cut a clients counter tops wrong. He figured he would have to go back and re-cut a new slab of granite, but I asked why he couldn’t just add a piece and I showed him my idea. He and my client were quite happy with the fix. I ran into him years later and he reminded me of the job. He told me that he did the trick a few more times on other jobs and that he called the fix “the Henkler” :)

  39. Wow! This looks amazing! What an inexpensive way to achieve an expensive look! Love it!

  40. Thoroughly enjoyed this. I am about to make over a large desk and this is a wonderful idea on how to add some character without the expense. Thank you.

  41. You did such an amazing job at creating the marble look, it looks like the real thing! Great work!

  42. Kathy Long says:

    Your Marble look came out beautiful! I have tried this before and it ended up a hot mess… Great Job!

  43. I don’t believe you, I think that’s really marble! :D You did an amazing job!!
    I really like the raw wood. I’ve a bit of (unpainted) wood in my home but I always like bloggers’ painted projects.

  44. Absolutely lovely, Diane! And amazing. I have a hard time believing I could do as good a job my first time out. I have saved this tutorial because I hope to finish a table top like this some day. Changing the knobs out to glass is the perfect finish. I love the entire unit. I’m sure you get a big grin every time you look at it!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thanks Sharon – I have created faux marble on furniture before, back in the 90’s – mostly green marble. This is my first time doing the Carrara, but the steps are basically the same – except you use different colors.

  45. Magali@TheLittleWhiteHouse says:

    You did an amazing job. Wow, you could work in Versailles castle to do all the faux marble they need!

  46. Absolutely beautiful!! Love the glass knobs too! You are one talented lady!!

  47. I’ve seen this done before and am always amazed how real it looks. You did a great job for your first attempt….not surprised! What a smart idea to use a real piece of marble as an example. Copying a design is much easier if you see it and don’t have to “visualize” it. Thanks!

  48. Really beautiful look and I love the idea!

  49. Deb Hrabik says:

    Love that look! Beautiful work,

  50. Sheryll & Critters. says:

    You have got to be flippin kiddin me!!! I can’t believe it is paint. But why am I surprised, you do the most amazing things. Me, I would make a mess trying to to that. But wow, I sure want to try.

    I am wondering if you put a finish on the stripped upper cabinet? I mean waxed or poly or such? I missed something about that part. I love them both so much…. they look like a million bucks for sure.

  51. Diane – you always do AMAZING work! Awesome job. Again!!

  52. Diane,
    It looks Fabulous!!! Nice job!!

  53. Debbie / Daqa says:

    Wow! It looks great! Also the top cabinet with a new layer of varnish, it just all looks so new. I’m sure to mess up marbling this way (the knowing when to stop is the problem – it’s when I’m actually finished and just want to add a few more stripes here and there. Then it happens. I spill the paint, lean against a wet painted surface, drop a big drop of black paint on it, let the brush fall from my hands so it lands in the wet paint, etc. I’ll wait a few years for enough room and older kids before I even think of trying this, haha!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Debbie – I say just do it, no time is ever right. I mess up plenty, but always tell myself “there is always a way to fix it” and I fix it somehow. I didn’t add a new layer of varnish on the cabinet, I just stripped it. I am keeping it raw. Maybe add a coat of paste wax from time to time, but just let it be. I love the look of the Restoration Hardware pieces in natural and unfinished wood, but not the price tag. :)

      1. Debbie / Daqa says:

        Ah yes I see! Although I do also like the varnish on the cabinet, I also like the removed version. The before state looks more..”harsh” – hard colours and edges. The new version looks softer. Also, the old version looks quite in splendid new state, which is why i was confused. I like old furniture too, not only raw state, but furniture with a story. Ikea furniture has no story. It has no history. Old furniture has a history.
        (My house is full of Ikea furniture, and the one old cabinet I have, I have mixed feelings about. It would be an immense project to repaint it (actually, to sand it), but right now it’s kind of dark.
        Do you sell advice on how to alter a cabinet to fit a certain (wannahave) style? (Or is it cupboard? I don’t know the difference). Or complete advice on a whole interior, about how things can match more? We still have lots of unfinished bits in the house, so that would come first. Actually, I’m going to enlarge the (physical) mailbox right now, so A4 sized mail can come in without being folded. Off I am, sawing a bigger hole in my front door…

  54. Rachael@LovelyCraftyHome says:

    This is stunning, Diane!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thanks Rachael Wish I could have the real stuff, but until I do – this will suffice :)

  55. Christy Keyton says:

    You are truly amazing! That looks so real! I have white Carrara marble countertops in my kitchen. We had to completely redo our kitchen several years ago when we had a pipe burst in the bath above and flood the kitchen. Marble countertops were my dream – I kept looking at everything else in the stone yard, because I had heard so many negatives about marble. Finally, the sales lady said to me, “I don’t think you will be happy with anything else!” She was right. I absolutely LOVE them!

  56. Wow Diane…fabulous job! You are a talented artist.

  57. Beautiful work Diane. With faux-marble, knowing when “enough-is-enough” is tricky. You have nailed it to perfection!
    Thanks, as always, for the tutorial and for sharing your expertise with us.

  58. Wow, this looks great. Not sure I have the patience for this, but I certainly will file away for future reference.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thanks Beth – The actual process of veining goes fast. It is just that you have to wait for each step to dry before doing the next one that adds to the time to complete factor.

  59. Wow! That looks great!

  60. Wow – that is very realistic and so neat. Thanks for the how to.

  61. Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions says:

    That is amazing, Diane! It definitely looks like real marble in the pictures. Great job. I did a marbelizing technique on the walls in our guest bath at the old house using Christopher Lowell’s paint technique for that {remember him?}. Guests always thought it was wallpaper and even when I said it wasn’t they had to touch it.

  62. Thank you SO much for this tutorial, Diane! I love, love, love carrara marble – just not the price! This is awesome! Pinned! Jenna @ Rain on a Tin Roof