How to Paint Marble – Rubi Blog USA (2023)

At the end of last year, theNational Association of Realtorsnoted that the all-marble look is still in. However, you can do more with marble than just installing it from floor to ceiling. For example, did you know that you can paint marble to create a different look and feel? Whether it’s floors, countertops, columns, or other surfaces throughout the home, painting over existing marble adds an eye-catching finish with minimal hassle. However, it’s not as simple as buying interior paint, slathering it onto the marble, and calling it a day. There’s a process to go through, just like there is when you paint over a tile installation.

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Follow along as we provide you with all the tips and tricks that DIYers and experienced installers need to know to paint any marble surface successfully. Read on if you want to learn how to give your rooms new life with unique and personalized finishes.

Can You Paint Marble?

In short, yes. Painting marble is an excellent way to refresh the styling of your home without going through the work and expense of replacing it. You’ll need to ensure you have the right paint, paint strippers, and sealants before you begin, as marble isn’t theeasiestmaterial to paint.

However, if you do it correctly, your newly painted marble will look stunning! You’ll be able to customize it so that it perfectly matches the existing design elements in your room.

While it might require a little bit of elbow grease, the bottom line is that whether you want to give your living room a modern vibe or restore some lost luster from aging marble decor, painting marbled surfaces can offer aesthetically pleasing and unique results.

Best Paint for Marble

As mentioned above, you need the right paint to paint marble effectively. It’simportant to choose a specialized kind of paint meant for painting stone and marble, rather than regular house paint, as that could end up damaging or even discoloring the marble after painting.

While your choice depends on the overall look you’re hoping to achieve, here are four great options for marble paint that will look greatandlast long.


Chalk paint has become a popular choice for painting marble countertops. It’s easy to apply and gives a beautiful matte finish to the marble surface. Plus,chalk paintrequires less prep work than other paints before transforming the marble. This makes any DIY project slightly easier and quicker to prepare.

As chalk paint is specifically designed for porous surfaces, its low-odor and non-toxic characteristics make it ideal for use anywhere in your home. So if you’re looking for an easy yet sophisticated way to update marble countertops, chalk paint is the way to go.

Acrylic-Based Paint

Not everybody loves the matte look chalk paint provides when painting the marble. That’s fine, as you’ve got plenty of other options. For example, acrylic paint is great for painting marble as it’s an affordable water-based product suitable for those with allergies or asthma.

Unfortunately, the acrylic in acrylic paint doesn’tlast quite as long when applied to marble, soyou should keep anything you paint out ofdirect sunlight. This means it might not be suitable for countertops in well-lit kitchens or fireplace mantles that receive direct sun during the day. Still, acrylic paint is a cost-effective way to dress up yourmarble surfaces.

Water-Based Paint

Not only is water an organic liquid that won’t cause any damage to the marble, but it also dries more quickly than oil-based paint.

Moreover, most water-based paints have organic binding agents like alkyd resin, acrylic polymer emulsion, and natural latexes to keep them strong and durable. This means you don’t have to worry about scuffs or scratches in high-traffic marble areas like hallways or entrances, with many people coming in and out daily.

Plus, water-based paint is easy to apply, maintain, and clean.

Oil-Based Paint

Finally, oil-based paint is a great choice for painting marble due to its excellent coverage and thicker texture, making it less likely to drip. Plus, oil-based paint forms a thinner but harder coating which is more resistant to cracking than other paints.

However, you must take special precautions when working with oil-based paint as they’re highly flammable. They canbe dangerous when coming in contact with certain materials like gasoline or mineral spirits. Hence, you should typically only use oil-based paint if you have some expertise in painting and knowledge of safety protocols.

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What Are the Best Marble Colors?

So, you’re ready to paint the marble tiles you’ve just installed (or areplanning on installing). Before you head to the store to purchase one of the marble paint options mentioned above, consider the space’s overall design. Not every room looks good with every type of marble color.

When it comes to marble, many people think of the classic marble look — veined white on an off-white backdrop. However, you’ve got plenty of other options for marble colors, too.

Shades of gray and cream are always popular choices if you want a traditional marble look. But if you’re looking for a more modern look, experiment with brighter shades such as blue, green, or yellow. For an even bolder statement, pair marble colors with complementary hues like navy blues and hunter-greens.

Remember that marble is a timeless and sophisticated material, so choose hues that complement your walls and furniture. When in doubt, it’s usually best tochoose marble tileswith the veining you’re looking for and then choose a color that most closely matches the color you’ll be choosing for your paint.

Remember that, in most cases, you’re going to cover up the veining. However, if you use lighter-colored paint (especially if it’s chalk paint), you might be able to see the veining still underneath.

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Marble Painting Tips

Now that you’ve selected your marble tiles and paint, it’s time to get creative. Again, painting marble isn’t like painting the walls of your home or wood furniture. It requires a few additional preparation steps beforehand. Follow the painting tips below for the best results.

Clean the Surface

Preparing your marble surface before painting is essential; the cleanliness of the surface can be the difference between a vibrant and successful outcome or a lackluster one. Degreasing cleaner is an option to clean the surface, and if not available, you can use regular soap and some serious scrubbing combined with rinsing as an alternative.

What’s the point here? A clean, dry finish isessentialfor a successful paint job on any marble, so take your time when cleaning and rinsing, allowing plenty of time to ensure it dries out. If not done correctly, the paint quality will suffer due to residual grease, whichadds time and hassle to the project.

Smooth Imperfections

Next, don’t forget to sneak in some sandpaper. This will smooth out imperfections and degloss the surface, allowing the paint to adhere better. A palm sander is ideal for this. We suggest using200-grit sandpaper as it will give you perfect consistency without taking too much of the surface off.

When sanding, use circular motions in a clockwise direction to ensure you cover the whole surface evenly and don’t leave any missed patches behind. Once complete, wipe away the dust and debris created with a damp cloth, and you’re good to startapplying primers.

Applying a Bonding Primer

There are two types of primers you’ll want to apply here. The first is a bonding primer.Itadds adhesion and ensures that the paint sticks correctly and covers all areas of the marble surface. Without bonding primer, even several layers of paint will still peel off the marble’s surface prematurely because of its lack of stickiness.

Apply a Clear Epoxy Primer

Wait for the bonding primer to dry. After a couple of hours, apply a layer of clear epoxy primer. Itfills any weave and smoothes the surface to achieve an even finish. Not only that, a clear epoxy primer enhances the texture of the paint job (if that’s your goal) and remains clear after curing.

Paint the Marble

Finally, you’re ready to paint the marble!We suggest selecting from one of the four paint types mentioned above. Then, usea polyester roller cover and a fresh, clean roller to apply a layer of paint to the primed marble tile.

Take your time and ensure every bit is covered for that perfect look. With proper preparation and care throughout this process, you can achieve beautifully painted marble.

How many layers do you need? It depends on the look you’re going for and the color and type of paint used. Typically, one layer will be enough. However, you might need a few additional layers if you’re using lighter paint. After you’ve achieved the look you were going for, don’t forget to add a top coat.

Design with Rubi

At Rubi, we understand the complexity of every renovation, from tiling to maintenance. We’re proud to be Europe’s leading manufacturer of tools and equipment for construction and believe that our resources can make a big difference in your next home project.

Our libraryof resources containsguides and helpful articlesto help you master even the most complex tasks, such as how to paint marble or lay tile effectively. Are you ready to learn more?Click hereto view all of our tips and tricks.

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How do you make the marble effect with paint? ›

To create the marble effect, you'll need at least two different shades of satin paint. The easiest way to find the perfect match is to buy the main colour you want as a base, and a tin of white paint. Then all you have to do it mix a little of the two colours together to create your highlight shade.

What paint can you use on marble? ›

Chalk paint is a popular choice for people who wish to paint marble countertops. It gives them a matte finish and takes less prep work than other paints. Epoxy paints add durability to your counters with a glossy finish that can make your marble look brand new.

Can you paint marble with acrylic paint? ›

Yes! Almost any object that you can lightly dip into your container can be marbled with acrylic paint. The main issue with marbling on canvas would be find a canvas that will fit into your disposable container. But otherwise, canvas marbling would be a great creative idea!

What is the best paint for painting marble? ›

The Best Paint for Marble

Most sources agree, the best paint for painting marble is chalk paint. Chalk paint requires little to no prep work, and has strong adhesion.

What not to use on marble? ›

Don't use harsh cleaners.

Take a pass on products containing lemon, vinegar, or other acids that will dull or etch marble surfaces. Stay away from scouring powders or abrasive creams and rust removers containing trace levels of hydrofluoric acid (HF); these will damage marble.

Can you paint marble with regular paint? ›

Yes, marble can be painted, but it is not that simple. Marble can be hard to paint because of its texture. You need to paint over marble using appropriate primer and paint. You may use various colors of paint to achieve a marble-like impression on any surface.

Why is my marbling paint not spreading? ›

If the size is too thick, the marbling colors will not spread as much and will be dragged along on the comb instead of cut cleanly in half. Add more water to thin down the size. Thicker size is better for stone or marbled patterns, while thinner size works better for combed pat- terns.

What is the best acrylic paint for marbling? ›

Liquitex Medium Viscosity Concentrated Artist Colors: They are recommended for marbling, as they are fluid and easily mix with water. All colors can be intermixed.

Does acrylic paint wash off marble? ›

The easiest paint stains to remove are acrylics or modern, latex-based colors as they will not penetrate the marble.

Can you water marble with acrylic? ›

Water marbling artists will also use acrylic paint and a brush to mimic the suminagashi style "bullseye" pattern in their own prints.

How do you add marble powder to acrylic paint? ›

Add the amount of acrylic paint you intend to use into the small bucket or cup. Add a small amount of marble dust to start with. Mix these materials well with your paintbrush or palette knife. Alternatively, you may find it easier to mix the paint and dust on a palette if you are working with a very small amount.

How do you make epoxy paint look like marble? ›

Add Pigment to Epoxy

Once Epoxy is thoroughly mixed, pour small amounts of epoxy into small mixing cups. Next, add your choice of colored pigment. We chose Black, Silver and Grey to get a natural marble look. Add a small amount of pigment to each cup and mix thoroughly.

What kind of paint do you use on faux marble? ›

How to step-by-step picture tutorial showing a simple faux Carrara marble painting technique used to paint a faux Carrara marble finish on a table, desk or counter top using acrylic craft paints. The finish has the look of marble and is very easy to do.

What primer for marble? ›

Prime the marble with an oil-based primer.

Be sure to select an oil-based primer, or the paint won't stick to the surface of the marble. Use a paint brush or roller to thinly coat the entire surface of the area you want to paint. Use long, even strokes in the same direction to prime the marble.

What kind of paint is easy marble? ›

Easy Marble is a solvent-based paint used with water to create quick and elegant marbled patterns on either flat surfaces or dimensional objects. Just drip, swirl, dip and done! It adheres to paper, glass, plastic, metal, wax, wood, papier-mâché, polyester, polypropylene, smooth foam and many other surfaces. 15 ml jar.

Which colors are used on marble? ›

White, golden, brown, beige, grey, black, and green are some classic colours that would brighten up the flooring of your living room. A marble wall in the colour red, grey, black, white, or blue can look exquisite and add drama to the space.

What happens when you put vinegar on marble? ›

Can you clean marble with vinegar? Don't use vinegar or lemon juice to clean your marble. “Acids are the enemy of any stone but especially marble, which is a softer stone and more porous,” DosSantos says. “Acids react with the calcium carbonate and eat away at the stone.

Is Dawn soap safe on marble? ›

Is Dawn Dish Soap Safe for Marble? A small amount of mild dish soap, like Dawn, mixed with water is a safe way to clean marble. Just make sure you don't use dish soap that is abrasive or contains acidic ingredients like lemon juice.

What does toothpaste do to marble? ›

Staining and Etching Not all toothpastes will damage marble. Those that are pH neutral can be deemed safe enough. All other toothpastes running higher or lower than 7 on the pH scale may cause staining or even etching, the latter being an issue that may require professional stone restoration.

Can I spray paint over marble? ›

Real marble can be an expensive purchase, but spray painting a marble finish costs pennies and can be completed in less than a minute. The blending of your chosen paint colors will effortlessly create the veins and swirls that are characteristic of a natural marble design.

Is there any marble paint? ›

Marabu Marbling Paints are organic solvent-based that are touch - dry after approx. 15 minutes. Simply drip the paint into the water, swirl and dip any object to provide with a beautiful marbled pattern.

How long does marble paint take to dry? ›

Shake Well before using. The paints' “open” time is about a minute, so work fast. Touch-dry after 15 minutes; fully cured in 24 hours. Easy Marble is not food-safe or washable.

What liquid is used for marbling? ›

Paper marbling is one of our favorite art activities and one that we've done many different ways over the years, but this technique is especially easy and fun. Using acrylic paint and liquid starch creates beautiful and unique designs on your paper.

What paint is best for water marbling? ›

Tempera or acrylic paint - start with 1-2 colors. Toothpick or a butter knife. Paper, the thicker the better.

Why does my marbling paint sink? ›

The marbling paints sink to the bottom of the tray:

Marbling colors are too thick. Add water to thin the colors, skim the marbling base, then test. You may need to add Synthrapol to the paints to improve its ability to spread and float.

What is the powder used in marbling? ›

Lambda grade carrageenan in powdered form, used to make marbling water ('size'). Extracted from Carragheen seaweed; non-toxic and food-safe. Blend 20g with 3 litres of water to make enough to fill an A3 marbling bath.

Can you paint to look like marble? ›

To achieve a convincing marble print look, you'll want to use white, light gray, and dark gray paint. On your plates or in your bowls, mix black and white paints to get all three shades. Make sure each one is separate so you won't have accidental mixing throughout the project.

What is Marbelizing spray paint? ›

Product Description. Permanent, marble-like finish for paper crafts. Adds wisps of textured color. Spray lightly for a marble-like finish or heavily for a funky string-like appearance.

What do I need for paint marbling? ›

You'll need:
  1. A container.
  2. Warm water.
  3. Glue, like Elmer's Glue.
  4. Tempera or acrylic paint - start with 1-2 colors.
  5. Toothpick or a butter knife.
  6. Paper, the thicker the better.
Apr 17, 2020

What do you need for marbling art? ›

It depends on what type of marbling you'll be doing, but to start, you'll need sturdy paper, dye of some kind (either liquid watercolors, acrylic paints, or food coloring) and the material you'll be marbling it with (shaving cream, oil, liquid starch, etc.), as well as shallow dishes or pans.


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