How to Finish Concrete Floors to Look Like Marble

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A fantastic do-it-yourself project that will bring timeless beauty to any home, painting concrete floors to look like marble avoids the hassle and major expense of installing real marble. With a little time and patience, you can transform dull, flat masonry floors in rooms and entryways as well as covered patios or even countertops. Here's how to use trick-of-the-eye faux marbling techniques to make it happen.


Things You'll Need

How to Finish Concrete Floors to Look Like Marble

Step 1: Choose a Marble Type

Do an image search to find a photo of the type of marble you'd like to reproduce or purchase a sample from a home-improvement center or tile store. If this is your first foray into faux finishing a concrete floor, choose a marble that is fairly simple to replicate with no more than four different colors.


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Step 2: Clean the Floors

Sweep and wash concrete floors with a mop or cellulose sponge using a degreaser (such as trisodium phosphate) to remove dirt, oil, stains, and any existing coatings or sealers. When handling a somewhat toxic product like TSP, be sure to wear clothing that covers your arms and legs, in addition to gloves, safety glasses, and a respiratory mask. Be sure there is adequate ventilation where you're working.


Step 3: Rinse and Let Floors Dry

Because TSP can leave a residue, rinse the floors with clean water and allow them to dry completely.

Step 4: Apply the Basecoat

Using a self-priming paint formulated specifically for concrete or masonry, apply the marble base color (or colors) with a large paintbrush. The number of colors you'll use is determined by the marble sample.


Step 5: Mix the Paint Glazes

In small plastic containers or glass jars, make latex glazes with a mixture of acrylic paint and glaze medium in the colors found in the marble sample.

Step 6: Apply Glazes Directionally

With a paintbrush or sponge, apply the accent hues randomly yet in the same general direction to achieve an authentic marbling effect. Blend edges well to eliminate hard lines.


Step 7: Layer On More Glaze

Create depth, texture, and movement by adding many layers of glaze, splattering small amounts of water randomly to mimic real marble's mottled look.

Step 8: Paint the Veins

Using a fine artist brush, draw a combination of thin and thicker veins in the same general direction as the layers you created. Be sure veins don't run in a distinct pattern and aren't repetitive; they should appear jagged, not wavy, and have both soft and hard edges.


Step 9: Feather Out Harsh Lines

While the veins are still wet, lightly sweep a flat, dry paintbrush back and forth across the lines to achieve a wispy effect.

Step 10: Apply a Glossy Layer (Optional)

To create even more of an allusion of depth, after veins are dry, roll or brush on a thin layer of water-based polyurethane (gloss) and let it dry. Repeat steps 7 and 8. Let it dry.


Step 11: Roll On a Protective Finish

With a paint roller, apply four protective topcoats of high-gloss polyurethane as a protective finish, allowing each layer to dry before applying the next one.

Step 12: Wait for Bone-Dry Results

It's super important that the painted concrete floors be bone dry before using them. Patience is a virtue since walking on the floors before they are set will cause damage to your beautifully painted floors.


Since marble rarely comes in slabs larger than 24 x 24 inches, drawing “scoring” lines onto the base coat before marbleizing the surface will add another element of realism to concrete-cum-faux-stone floors.


Avoid using an epoxy cement floor coating since these are extremely difficult to work with and are quite toxic.



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