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Marbling has two common meanings. Faux marbling is the art of painting walls or furniture to look like real marble. Paper marbling is the art of decorating paper or fabric in a fantasy swirly pattern.

Table of contents
1 Faux Marble
2 External Links
3 Paper Marbling

Faux Marble

3 repetitive marble patterns that the
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Marbling is a paint effect that uses painting techniques to imitate the appearance of marble. It is used in buildings where the cost or weight of genuine marble is prohibitive.

It is an old technique, faux stone painting was widly used in Pompeii. But it really took off in Europe during the renaissance with two schools of faux marbling developing. The Italian school was loose and artistic. The French school was formal and realistic. It typically took an apprentice ten years or more to fully master the art.

Modern professional marblers are very skilled and will use a variety of techniques to closely imitate real marbles, but many decorators are happy to merely suggest the appearance of marble rather than accurately imitate a particular stone. It is not as difficult to do as it looks. It is perfectly possible for an amateur to produce a beautiful effect with a little practice.

How to paint faux marble



Stages in producing faux marble. Please note that the colours are rather bolder than would be used in practice so that the pictures show up very clearly
Stage 1
Adding the glaze
Stage 2
Softening the colour
Stage 3
Adding soft veins
Stage 4
Adding final veining

Stage 1

The surface is cleaned then painted with the eggshell paint and left to dry overnight. The following day the surface is painted with a thin layer of linseed oil. This slows the drying time of the paint considerably and therefore keeps it workable. Then the black oil paint is mixed with a little of the white eggshell to produce a light grey tone, which is added here and there over the linseed oil base. Other shades of grey are used to fill in the gaps so there is a swirly pattern of colour.

Stage 2

A soft, dry paintbrush {two or three inches wide} is used to soften the colour. A rag is dabbed over the surface to break up the colour and remove excess paint, then the surface is softened again with the dry brush.

Stage 3

An artist's brush is used to add a light veining pattern in mid grey. The veins do not cross one another, they do not start or stop suddenly, and they do not fan out from a point. They do go in a diagonal direction, but they are never regular or even.

Colour can be removed from part of the surface, if required, by dipping the artist's brush in white spirit, and lifting the colour off with the brush. The whole surface is the thoroughly resoftened with a dry brush, or a crumpled cloth.

Stage 4

Fine veining is added with a feather. The feather is dipped in white spirits and roughly brushed backwards to separate the bits . Then it is dipped in thin charcoal grey paint and used as a brush to add the fine wiggly veins. Light coloured veins can be added either by dipping a feather into off white paint or by dipping the feather into white spirits. As it is drawn across the surface the white spirit dissolves the paint underneath and a light vein appears.

External Links

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Paper Marbling

A technique of painting paper based on the principle of oil-based printing inks floating on water. The ink is stirred, then a print is taken. Each print is unique and unrepeatable.

There are two main forms of paper marbling. Suminagashi is the Japanese form of paper marbling , Turkish Marbling is the Persian form.

Marbled paper is produced in large quantities in Venice.


Turkish Marbling