Imitation Painted Marble Fireplace

Posted by on Oct 14, 2017 in Blog, Faux Finishes Blog, Hand Painted Furniture Blog, Paint Effects Blog

Imitation Painted Marble Fireplace – Blog by Lee Simone

 

The finished imitation marble paint effect

The finished imitation marble paint effect

 

For this ‘imitation marble’ painting project I traveled down to near Milton Keynes. The couple who commissioned me were doing extensive renovations to their home and wanted a specialist painter to faux marble two of their fireplaces and bring them back to their former Victorian glory. I absolutely love creating the illusion of marble with paint and these projects were no exception, in fact they were some of the most rewarding to date. 

 

The finished imitation marble paint effect

The finished imitation marble paint effect

 

This fireplace was located in the living room and was in very poor repair. It still had all of the original Victorian tiles however and hints of a previous faux marble finish.

 

The original condition of the fireplace

The original condition of the fireplace

 

The original condition of the fireplace

The original condition of the fireplace

 

The Process –

Obviously there was going to be a lot of prep work involved in this project and after masking off the floor with Packexe and the tiles with low tack edging tape I set about thoroughly cleaning everything with Krud Kutter cleaner/degreaser. It took many cloths and many buckets of water but finally all the soot and loose flakes were removed.

The next stage was the sanding, during which it became very clear that over the years this fireplace had had quite a life and undergone many a transformation. Slowly but surely I revealed layer upon layer of different effects and colours; from faux wood and faux marble finishes to blue, green, black and red paint. 

 

Thoroughly masked off, cleaned and sanded

Thoroughly masked off, cleaned and sanded

 

Though the main part of the surround was the original real slate the mantel piece had been replaced at some point with wood.

 

Old replacement wooden mantel piece

Old replacement wooden mantel piece

 

Once everything was thoroughly sanded and the surface really nice and smooth, I applied two coats of shellac primer, sanding between each coat. I then filled/repaired/caulked various areas before applying two coats of Empire, a thixotropic alkyd paint from Finish manufacturer Tikkurila.  This had to be applied very well, with no visible brush marks or imperfections. The glazes used for the marble effect are transparent so any imperfection would be highly noticeable and spoil the illusion – the final effect is very dependent on the smoothness of the base. 

 

The marble paint effect begins

The marble paint effect begins

 

Once the black base colour was established, I masked off the panels and started to create the imitation marble effect. This was achieved by tinting Polyvine Oil Glaze with tubed oil paints and then applying it using various tool, brushes, cloths and feathers. To give the faux marble extra depth I made this a two stage process, overlaying the first marble layer I’d done with additional detailing and veining.

 

The finished effect with bronze line detailing and highlights

The finished effect with bronze line detailing and highlights

 

Once the panels had been painted I carefully ‘framed’ each one with a bronze line, also bringing out some of the hood detailing with a hint of same colour. This was all planned and not only complimented the tile colour but also the small amounts of burnt umber (a ruddy brown), I had used to warm up the colour of the marble.

 

The finished effect with bronze line detailing and highlights

The finished effect with bronze line detailing and highlights

 

Close up of the central imitation marble panel

Close up of the central imitation marble panel

 

Ultra close up of the painted marble effect

Ultra close up of the painted marble effect

 

Ultra close up of the painted marble effect

Ultra close up of the painted marble effect

 

The transformation is complete

The transformation is complete

 

The project was hard and dirty work at times but well worth it. I was over the moon with the end result and so were the clients. They just stood and looked at it for ages, always a really good sign! In fact they said they knew it was going to be good but that I had surpassed all their expectations, result 🙂

If you would like to see pictures and read about their other fireplace I marble effect painted then please follow the link below –

Painted Marble Effect Fireplace

 

Please use the following link to see the full Faux Finish Gallery.

 

Lee works throughout Yorkshire and the UK and is within easy reach for projects in York, Wetherby, Ripon, Bradford, Leeds, Doncaster, Wakefield, Halifax and the surrounding areas.