Post details: Marbling


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The following instructions will help you achieve a black marble finish. The technique shown here is most easily achieved on wood furniture and accessories. You can also create a marbled look on sections of a wall. For the best effect, refer to photographs of real marble when drawing veins, and practice drawing veins before you start.

You'll need:
- oil-base or alkyd paint in black, gray, white, and metallic gold; or, paints for other marble colors
- alkyd or oil glazing liquid
- mineral spirits
- paintbrushes
- heavy-duty plastic wrap
- a fine artist's brush or colorless turkey feathers
- disposable gloves
- containers for mixing paint
- paint mixing sticks
- dry bristle brush
- high-gloss polyurethane

Marbling1. Fill in any holes or indentations on the surface you want to paint. If you're working on a wooden surface, sand it so that it's perfectly smooth. Then wipe the surface clean and paint it gray; let dry.

2. Mix glazing liquid with black paint at a ratio of 5 parts paint to 1 part glazing liquid. Repeat with white paint. If the paint is thick, thin it with a small amount of mineral spirits so that it's the consistency of milk.

3. Paint your surface with the mix of glazing liquid and black paint. While the black glaze is still wet, press a wad of plastic wrap onto the glaze and lift it away, removing some of the color. Continue blotting the surface so that some of the gray shows through.

Marbling4. While the black glaze is still wet, dip the wispy end of a turkey feather into the white glaze. (You can also use a fine artist's brush.) Let any excess paint drip off. To create veins, lay the tip of the feather against the surface, then drag it in a diagonal line, flicking your wrist slightly to create thick and thin portions of the vein. Add a few additional white veins and a few gold veins, all going in the same diagonal pattern.

Marbling5. To give the marble depth, lightly brush across the wet veins with a dry bristled brush, blending the veins into the background. Add a few thinner veins. At least one of these veins should be placed partially on top of one of the first veins. Blend some of these veins in with the brush, barely touching the surface.

6. Let the paint dry completely. Then cover the surface with two or more coats of high-gloss polyurethane.

Better Homes and Gardens



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