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Painted Marble Finish

In Italy, the word marble is synonymous with Carrara, after the great marble quarrying region in the north of the country. Through centuries marble has enhanced interiors world wide. Creating the impression of real marble in your home can quickly elevate the presence of any furniture or object. It adds interest and charm and transforms everyday objects into heirlooms. I’ve chosen this painted white marble because of its rustic simplicity. Yet it illustrates the foundation for creating a variety of marble types, your imagination being your only limitation.

Rustic Style Classic Elegance
Rustic Plaster

Stucco Rustico is a traditional interior and exterior textured plaster that epitomizes the rustic old world charm commonly associated with Tuscan environments. I love this treatment for its ease of application and the natural, organic glazed appearance that results when using mineral based plasters and glazes. Whether a rough application or a smooth finish, this treatment holds true to the test of time and, in fact, feels as if time itself stopped to wash the walls personally.

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Color Palette

On a paper palette, put some white paint (your base color), Raw Umber, Van Dyke Brown and Yellow Ochre Artist acrylic. These will be your marble 'veining' colors.

You will also need a selcetion of fine artist brushes and a larger 3" brush used for softening the 'veining' lines you create.

Color palette Earth Tones


Step 1: Prepare base

Begin by sanding the surface with 220 grit sandpaper to insure a smooth surface. A white base color is ideal for this type of painted marble, allowing the veining process to create the interest and character of the faux marble. On smaller surfaces, like the top of this side board, I like to use a mini roller, which generally provides a smoother application than a brushed finish.


venetian plaster

Step 2: Develop first phase

Develop the first phase by loading the ½ inch Royal flat brush with a diluted mixture of Raw Umber and Van Dyke Brown, creating a blackish tone. Decide the direction I want the marble to flow in, usually at a slight angle from right to left, or vise versa. Starting at the top of the surface bring the paint across the working area while twisting the brush head slightly. This will create a thick and thin irregular line. 'Rolling' the brush with your fingers as you paint creates swirls and odd character lines that help boost the natural marble-like impression.


venetian plaster

Step 3: Develop veining pattern

As you lay the ground pattern begin to cross and connect the veining pattern. Work in squiggly motions, leaving large open areas of the base coat showing through.

The veining process can be fun and exciting. Add as many layers as you want


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venetian plaster

Step 4: Add secondary tone.

Create a wash of Yellow Ochre and use it as a secondary tone, painted in wider swatches to create interest and add character to the otherwise white marble. As you brush color over the surface, paint larger areas in some places, while allowing the colors from underneath to show through.


venetian plaster

Step 5: Soften Pattern

While the secondary wash is still wet, slightly soften the pattern, blending the colors with a dry, 3-inch brush. Be sure to use a light touch and brush in the direction of the marble being created.

Subduing the marble surface creates an aged feeling while 'pushing' the colors back to a more muted tonality.


venetian plaster

Step 6: Whitewash Surface

Use a water dampened rag to wet the marble surface. This helps the whitewash glaze to remain fluid and extends drying time. Mix some of the base color with water to create a whitewash that is the consistency of cream. Brush the white glaze liberally over the marbled surface.


venetian plaster

Step 7: Soften color with rag.

Rub over the glazed surface to soften color. Blot or dab the surface to create a slight variation of texture.


venetian plaster

Step 8: Touch up veining.

Add some additional veining using a No. 3 round brush and a mixture of Raw Umber and Antique White. Highlight a few existing veins within the marbled surface, and occasionally deviate to create a new, errant vein.


Step 9: Apply a clear coat protective varnish

Using a large varnish brush, apply one to two coats clear coat sealer. Hydrocote is a great product for this application and will provide a long lasting protective finish. Hydrocote Polyshield is available in gloss and satin. It is non-flammable, non-toxic and environmentally safe.

Hydrocote Topcoat. Polyshield Clear topcoat is a water based non-yellowing polyurethane sealer. This sealer is water clear with exceptional clarity. It dries quickly to a hard durable finish. It is resistant to water and marring when fully cured. Polyshield is UV stable which keeps it from yellowing over time.

Buy Hydrocote Now!


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