Project details - Marbleizing, Painted Marble Effect Columns

Marbleizing – Painted Marble Effect Columns

To quote Wikipedia ‘Marbleizing’ or ‘faux marbling’ is the preparation and finishing of a surface to imitate the appearance of polished marble. It is typically used in buildings where the cost or weight of genuine marble would be prohibitive. Faux marbling is a special case of faux painting used to create the distinctive and varied patterns of marble – the most imitated stone by far.

I use that description as it perfectly describes the purpose of this marbling project. I was contacted by the client who was building an indoor swimming pool in his home near Portsmouth. He wanted marble columns to be a key feature of the design but having looked into the cost and weight of getting real marble columns, he started looking at alternatives. 

After finding my details online and seeing the quality of my marble paint effects, he contacted me to see if I would be interested in travelling down to Portsmouth to undertake the work. After receiving some photos, I sent my estimate by return and was booked in to undertake the work later in the year. I am often happy to travel when there’s faux marble painting to be done! As I write this I am in Northumberland for another faux marble and faux wood project. 

The columns had been created using a wire mesh which had then be plastered over and painted. It’s important to get the right base coat when creating faux finishes, so I had emailed all the info about the best products and materials to use, so the columns could be prepared before I arrived.

Arriving on-site, it wasn’t going to be the easiest environment to work in, with a narrow walkway and a back breaking drop into an empty pool if I stepped back without thinking. I like a challenge though, and after cleaning everything down and masking everything off, I set about mixing up my glazes. The colour palette I used was based around varying shades of yellow ochre, grey and brown, with the overall effect complimenting the real stone of the home’s exterior. Unless you were stood right next to a column, you were viewing them from quite a distance due to the swimming pool, so concentrated on creating the illusion of the marble effect through patterns, not just though veining, which wouldn’t be seen from afar. I did do some veining, even using gold paint, which shimmered when caught by the sunlight and echoed the metallic fleck in the pool’s tiles.

All in all, the work took around 10 days to complete, included applying the protective varnish. The clients were over the moon with the results and couldn’t wait to complete the rest of the building works and take that first dip in their lovely new pool.

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


Lee works as a faux finish painter and throughout Yorkshire and the UK is within easy reach for faux painting projects in Harrogate, Leeds, York, Wetherby, Ripon, Otley, Ilkley, Wakefield, Halifax, Pontefract, Doncaster and all the surrounding areas.