DIY Faux Marble - Juniper Home

DIY Faux Marble

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I love it when readers share their home projects with me! Recently Yael emailed me a link to her post on faux marbling. I loved how she used resin as a top layer – I felt like that really made the countertop look like stone!

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We needed a new top for the vintage credenza for Ali’s house and this faux marble idea seemed like the perfect, super inexpensive solution!

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I removed the old, beat up top and had a piece of 3/4″ MDF cut to the same size and painted it with white zinsser primer.

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Then I collected my supplies based on Yael’s tutorial and this post from Gorgeous Shiny Things.
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sea sponge  //  artist’s brushes  //  mixing containers and paint stirrers  //  feathering brush  //
  feather  //  clear latex glaze  //  resin
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You’ll only need two paint colors for this project: black and white. You can mix in little bits of blue or brown to cool or warm up the gray if you want. Use the containers to mix up small batches of different shades of gray. You could just do this on a paper plate if you wanted and if you’re doing a small surface like mine.
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Next you’ll want to cut your sea sponge down to a small piece and sponge on really loose veins. It’s a good idea to reference a couple of photos of marble on google images to help you understanding what real marble looks like. Something I noticed is that veins branch off from each other and usually don’t ever cross paths or create an X. 
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You just sort of get into a rhythm of sponging on different colors and tones of the gray mixture and then feather the edges with your big soft brush.
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Then you use an artist’s brush to drag in solid veins. I learned the the veins should be less curvy and more jagged. It’s also best to pull and twist the brush toward you. Also, don’t forget to continue the vein down over the edge.
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After a while of playing with it, a marble-like pattern will (hopefully!) start to emerge. It’s a good idea to leave it and come back to it a few times, but don’t overwork the paint either. I probably should have stopped a little earlier, but I still like the end result.
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The real secret is using a coat of resin on top of the faux marble painting. 
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Like with any epoxy, you just mix the two bottles together and then spread quickly before the epoxy hardens.
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You can use a plastic spatula to spread the epoxy, but I just used a paint stirrer. I used an entire quart here.
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After a few hours, the resin will be dry to the touch and fully cured within two days. It’s a really cool product!

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I love how this one turned out. I think the resin really takes the look to the next level. 

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It’s not perfectly perfect (I think it gets better with some practice), but you just can’t beat the price of a little paint on a scrap piece of MDF! :)

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If you have a project you would like to share on LGN, please email me a link! I would love to see your work! And thanks again to Yael! xo

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40 thoughts on “DIY Faux Marble

  1. Oh my gosh, this looks AMAZING! I didn't understand what you meant at first– I thought the tutorial was going to be about affixing an actual slab of marble to beat up wood. I had no idea it was painted!

    I just had a thought, I bet some stores would give you a beveled edge if you ask? Or would that not work with this?

    So awesome!
    ~Gaia

  2. i absolutely love this project! this piece of furniture immediately caught my eye when i saw your first post and i can't believe the top is painted. what a great idea!

  3. Bless you Jenny! I swear, you're a miraculous mind reader. I painted my laminate bathroom cabinets with Rustoleum, like you did back in Brooklyn, (http://moodbasedlife.blogspot.com/2015/04/in-mood-to-paint-my-ugly-laminate.html) and I was wondering about doing a faux marble with epoxy countertop – but I didn't have the confidence to try it. Thank you so much for trying it for me and then writing up this lovely post! I already loved your work, but dang girl, I love you even more now!

  4. I think if you could use the right primer (you've written about which one works best, I just need to google your Pax closet post) this would be awesome to hack the Ikea Hemnes dresser. You could do this to the top before attaching it. Replace the knobs with brass pulls and BAM. I'm using the Ikea Hemnes as a dresser/changing table for my tiny human due this November and I've been sort of antsy to pull the trigger because who wouldn't rather find something vintage or more special than Ikea? But, I'm sort of strapped for time to really hunt and the dimensions are great, so making it special is more on the list now vs finding an alternative. And I think if I can practice to be the artist that you are, this could be just the thing. As always, you are inspiration central over here! xoxo

  5. I'm totally sitting here looking at my computer desk and thinking it needs this treatment. Jenny, you always post about the best projects–thank you for passing on great tips from your readers!

  6. Can you be my sister, please!? I am continually so impressed by everything you touch. One would never know – at a glance – that it isn't real marble.

  7. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? You have totally just blown my mind. Seriously, at the beginning of the post, I was saying to myself, "Does she know what 'faux' means?" This is the best tutorial ever, and that little credenza is darling. superXOX

  8. I love this! We just scored a sidewalk-find that we're re-purposing for our entryway, but I had always envisioned a marble top in that space. Since it was a freebie, maybe I'll try this technique – can't hurt!

  9. Um, this is AMAZING. That piece of furniture is so adorable but I would have been turned off by the top and the cost to do something like this with real marble. I've fallen in love with marble tops in the last couple years and this is just dynamite!!! Great tutorial.

  10. Hi there, it looks AMAZING. I READ YAELS ALSO, HERS LOOKS PRETTY AMAZING TOO. EHAT A GREAT PROJECT. THIS IS RIGHT UP THERE WITH THE ARDEX.

  11. Oooh awesome! How do you get resin on the edges of the plywood? Like how do you make it smooth and thick on a vertical edge? Thanks!

  12. I need a countertop for my laundry room and was thinking of something like this. Does the epoxy make a good hard, durable finish that would hold up?

  13. As usual your projects are perfection! I've been doing a lot of research into painting faux marble counter tops. I am a little worried about doing a good job. Do you think you could apply resin over marbled contact paper?

  14. Sarah – I wouldn't use this approach for kitchen counters! It feels better suited for furniture.

    Bree – the epoxy self-levels extremely well so the sides sort of smooth themselves out with just a little help with the spatula (or the paint stirrer).

    Sarah – I LOVE the contact paper idea!! Genius!!! Do it and email me pics! :) Please and thank you!

  15. I absolutely love all of your amazing projects, this one especially! My husband and I are in the process of redecorating our small home. Neither of us can work due to injuries or illnesses; so that should tell you about our budget. I wish that you could find something durable and food safe so I can redo those ugly white laminate counter tops. My cabinets are oak and I want to strip them, paint them in a cool blue to go with my patchwork curtains that I'm making. I think the faux marble would be georgous! You do such a wonderful job, you bring heart and soul back into people's homes with your work. If you find anything that's post worthy, I'd like to put some more heart into mine! Thanks!

  16. Hi – this looks great! How did you remove the bubbles from the resin before it dried? I’ve read of bubbles being an issue and a quick pass with a blow torch is the most commonly suggested way to get rid of the bubbles – but of course I have an extreme fear of fire and there’s no way I’d use a blow torch. How did you get rid of the bubbles?? Thank you for any input!!

    1. If you’re afraid of an actual blow torch (as I probably would be), my husband recently used my small creme brulee torch for bubble in a tabletop when he realized his blow torch was out of fuel. It took a bit longer, but he was able to get closer and work on the tiny bubbles more easily.

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