Marble is an elegant material that has been prized in the palaces of princes and kings for thousands of years. Its beauty comes from the complex multicolored nature of its surface, which features contrasting hues of vein and shifting cloud colors to create a mesmerizing spectacle.
It is unparalleled when coupled with the warmth of a roaring fire, acting as the mantel frame to the flickering glow of amber fingers. Despite the fact that this can often be an expensive proposition, you can actually achieve a simulated effect, using creativity, skill, and a little bit of paint.
The first thing you should do is find a sample of marble to use as a guide. This will help you to choose your paint colors. You can often get a sample of a piece of marble from a tile store, or from a hardware outlet that carries natural flooring materials. You can also in a pinch use a faux marble piece as your guide.
You will need the following tools to complete this project. This is a relatively complex technique so you may want to try it out on a spare piece of drywall before applying it to any fixtures in your home.
4 quarts of latex paint
1 gallon of glaze
1 quart of low luster polyurethane
4” paint brush
9” paint roller
Start by painting a base coat onto the mantel using your paint roller. This should be your lightest color. Allow it to thoroughly dry over night.
Next take each of your paint colors, and create a solution of one part paint to two parts glaze. This will make the process easier as the glaze will keep the paint from drying too fast. Using your four inch brush, begin to paint these colors in trailing layers down the side of the mantel.
As you paint, you want to choose a single diagonal direction and create hazy wavering layers of color along that invisible line. Make sure that some of the base coat shows through. The idea is to simulate nature so you want to create a relatively random look that is slightly directional. Do this with all of the colors except the darkest, which you should save for last.
Work in sections, creating hazy diagonal lines, and then blurring them using the stippling brush. Then take the softener brush and blend the colors even more until the entire surface looks hazy and shifting.
The next step is to take the sea sponge and wet it, and then wring it out so that it is damp but not dripping. Dip this in your darkest color paint, and apply it in soft dabs over approximately three quarters of the surface of the space, allowing the other colors to peak out from under it. Continue this until you are happy with the way that the marbling looks.
The final step is to take your feather and dip it in your lightest or most contrasting paint color, and then trail it along the wall to create veins. You should strive for broken, craggy lines, rather than straight linear shapes. Imagine a crack in a stone wall. If you make a mistake or are unhappy with your veining you can use the sea sponge dabbed in the darkest color to cover it up.
This should be allowed to dry over night. The next day apply one or two coats of the low luster polyurethane to the surface of the mantel in order to seal the colors in and make the paint job permanent.
This article provided courtesy of PebbleZ’s line of marble marble coasters, which are crafted from exotic multicolored mountain born materials. The article itself was written by Joey Pebble, a stone artist and designer of natural furnishings.
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