How to Mix Marble Powder in Acrylic Paints

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Add interest to your painting with marble powder.
Add interest to your painting with marble powder. (Image: Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

Add a different element to your painting by incorporating marble powder or dust. Marble powder is a substance made from calcium carbonate that is widely used in painting. Adding this material to gesso or paint is an effective technique for making marble dust boards and modeling paste. In addition, it will give your acrylic paints an interesting texture and thickness they wouldn’t otherwise have.

Things You'll Need

  • Surgical mask
  • Rubber gloves
  • Small plastic bucket or cup
  • Artist palette
  • Acrylic paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Palette knife
  • Water
  • Whisk
  • Scrap canvas

Fit a surgical mask over your mouth and nose to prevent inhalation of the marble dust. Put on the rubber gloves to protect your hands from the dust and 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.

Add more dust to the mixture to make it thick and pasty. If the mixture is too thick, add more paint to thin it out. For a thinner mixture, whisk in a little water. Continue experimenting with the mixture until you are happy with the consistency.

Apply the paint and dust mixture to a scrap of canvas, board or paper with your paintbrush or palette knife. Test it with some strokes of the brush or knife to be sure it’s the correct thickness before you start your actual painting.

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