Faux Silver Marble Paint Technique for a Dresser Top


A marbling technique makes a dresser look more elegant than it may on its own. While this faux painting technique is often used to create finishes designed to emulate real marble, such as white or pink marble, it can also be used to create a "fantasy" finish such as silver marble. A key to achieving a successful finish is proper priming beforehand; while latex primer suits a wood dresser, primer meant for plastic is ideal for a plastic or laminate dresser top and will adhere better.

Things You'll Need

  • Newspaper
  • Fine-grit sanding block
  • Tack cloth
  • Painter's tape
  • Latex or plastic/laminate primer
  • Latex paint in silver
  • Stir stick
  • Paint tray
  • Paintbrush
  • Latex or acrylic paint in additional marble colors such as black and white
  • Latex glaze
  • Small containers
  • Sea sponge
  • Stiff artist's brush
  • Thin artist's brush or feather
  • Cover the ground of your work area with newspaper and set the dresser on top. If the dresser is too heavy to lift completely, arrange the paper around it, lifting the dresser corners to slide edges of the paper underneath.

  • Sand the top of the dresser with a fine-grit sanding block to remove any glossy coating or to scuff the surface up a bit; this allows it to accept primer more readily. Wipe dust away with a tack cloth.

  • Tape off areas of the dresser that are not to be painted by creating a lip of tape around the perimeter of the dresser top; this will catch paint drips and prevent the sides of the dresser from being affected. Position tape sticky side up under the edge of a tabletop with a lip to create this tape protrusion. If there is no lip or edge of the dresser top, cover the entire dresser, other than the top, with newspaper, taping it just under the top for protection.

  • Apply a coat of latex primer to the top of the dresser using a paintbrush. Allow primer to dry completely.

  • Open and stir the silver paint, pouring some into a paint tray. Paint the dresser top and allow it to dry completely, applying a second coat if the primer is still visible beneath the first.

  • Pour a small amount of a second paint color into a container, mixing it with an equal amount of latex glaze. Do the same with the third paint color in a separate container.

  • Dab a sea sponge into the first paint and glaze mixture and blot it randomly over the dresser top. Feather the glaze in with a stiff artist's brush, which smooths the glaze a bit and makes it look more natural.

  • Dip a thin artist's brush or feather into the second glaze mixture and paint veins over the dresser top. Use a thicker brush dipped in the first glaze color for thicker squiggly bands of color as well. Working while the glazes are still wet blends the shades together slightly, which creates a more natural look.

Tips & Warnings

  • Mix bits of tiny clear glitter from a scrapbooking store or craft store into one of the glaze mixtures for a metallic sparkle effect.
  • Unusual colors such as purple, indigo or dark green can be paired with the silver for creative effects. Experiment on a scrap of paper to create a custom look.
  • Add a few thick bands of the original silver color mixed with glaze for a variation on the look. True marble often contains many colors that seem to come and go over the surface.
  • Apply a coat of polyurethane over the dresser, if desired, or use a glass dresser topper for additional protection of your work.

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