How to Make a Fake Marble Counter Top

Painting a counter top with a faux marble finish gives the surface a classy look at a cost-effective price. Marble is expensive and heavy, but you can save by learning the painting technique and applying it to the counter already in place. Take the time to practice painting the marble veining and mottling on a scrap surface to save yourself from potential problems when it comes to finishing the counter top.

Paint a counter top to give it a marble appearance.

Step 1

Place drop cloths around the counters and on the floor surrounding the counter to help contain paint spills. Wipe the counters clean with a water and dish soap solution and then dry the counter with a clean towel. Let the surface air-dry completely before proceeding.

Step 2

Rub a piece of sandpaper with a 150-grit texture over the surface of the counter. This roughs the surface to help the paint adhere and not peel. Wipe the counter top with a damp towel to remove sandpaper dust and let the surface dry for about two hours.

Step 3

Cover the surface with a primer paint, using a roller to evenly cover the counter top. Let the primer dry for four to six hours and then cover the surface with a second application. Let the primer dry for at least six hours.

Step 4

Cover the primer with a satin enamel in the desired base coat color and let the paint dry for four to six hours. Cover the surface with a second application of enamel and let it dry for at least 48 hours before applying the faux marble texture.

Step 5

Pour about 1/2 cup of the base color paint into a small mixing cup and tint it with a drop of gray paint to make it slightly darker. Apply a faux marble finish by dabbing areas of the counter with a natural sponge and a thin layer of the tinted paint to create mottled areas on the counter top. Let the paint dry for about two hours before proceeding with the marble veins.

Step 6

Paint marble veins onto the counter top using a darker color than the base coat, such as a dark gray or sienna color. Soften the veins by lightly brushing them with a paintbrush or feather.

Step 7

Paint the counter top with an umber tinted translucent glaze if you want to add luster to the surface. Dry the glaze for about 24 hours, or until it hardens completely.

Step 8

Apply a clear gloss varnish or acrylic sealer to protect the painting on the counter top. Wait one week before placing items on it to give the sealer time to cure and harden.

Things You Will Need

  • Drop cloths
  • Dish soap
  • Clean towel
  • 150-grit sandpaper
  • Paint roller
  • Paintbrushes
  • Primer
  • Satin enamel
  • Mixing dish
  • Natural sponge
  • Feather
  • Clear gloss varnish or sealer
  • Cardboard


  • Practice the faux marble painting technique on a piece of cardboard before attempting it on the counter top. Set a picture of a marble slab next to the painting area to use as a reference.
  • Repaint the counter top with the base color and repeat the faux marbling steps if you are not happy with how it turned out the first time. This can only be done if you have not applied a glaze or varnish to the counter top surface.

About the Author

Jennifer Loucks has been writing since 1998. She previously worked as a technical writer for a software development company, creating software documentation, help documents and training curriculum. She now writes hobby-based articles on cooking, gardening, sewing and running. Loucks also trains for full marathons, half-marathons and shorter distance running. She holds a Bachelor of Science in animal science and business from University of Wisconsin-River Falls.

Photo Credits

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