How to Paint a Faux Marble Ceiling!

One thing that I love to experiment with is faux finish painting. My most popular project by far, is my Faux Stained Glass technique using paint and glue. I’ve also created some cool looks with a Faux Textured Chair Rail and Faux Carved Wainscoting using textured wallpaper. This week, I tackled a whole new Faux project- How to paint a Faux Marble Ceiling!
Our new house was a vast landscape of white walls and I really wanted to start infusing some color. The master bedroom had a great trey ceiling. Trey ceilings fascinate me as there are so many things you can do with them.
Well, it just had to happen. I got out the paints and brushes and created a new look for the bedroom!
It all started with some pedestals. I had some artwork that needed pedestal displays in my dining room. So I purchased a couple plaster pedestals for about $10 each at the local craft store. They look great in white, but in order to show off my white statues, I thought green marble would work better.
After successfully recreating the look of marble, I decided to branch out and take on the ceiling!
For the ceiling, I used:
1 gallon can of dark forest green paint (latex)
Acrylic paint in wicker white
2 sponges
feather (optional)
I started by painting the walls a dark olive green, keeping the trim work white. Then I painted the trey part of the ceiling a deep dark forest green. I allowed it to dry and then went to the next step.
Taking the leftover paint, I mixed up two different lighter shades of green by adding different amounts of wicker white acrylic paint. You can find this type of paint at any craft supply store.
I made one batch of color in the medium green family and one in the lighter green family. Use a palette or even in this case a paint tray to put a bit of each color in separate areas. Add a bit of water to thin the consistency of the paint. You will work with both colors at the same time, using two different sponges.
Take your sponges and cut pieces out of them to create an uneven texture to the sponge. Cut holes in the center and make the edges uneven. You could use a sea sponge for this project, but I found that the uneven texture created this way gave it a better look.
Dampen the sponges, and squeeze them out so that you have pliable sponges to work with. Start with the medium green. Dab your sponge lightly into the green, pat it on a paper towel to get rid of excess paint and then dab onto the ceiling.
Lightly cover an area of about 1 ft. x 1 ft., turning the sponge with each application so that the pattern is not repeated over and over.
Then switch to the light green, dabbing that sponge and lightly placing that color over the other one. In some places, it will blend the two colors together, in others, they will stand out as separate colors. Be sure not to cover up all of the dark green.
Be sure to click the link at the bottom of this post for some handy tips on this technique!
To finish this project, I added an inexpensive ceiling fan medallion. I painted it white and then detailed some of the trim with metallic gold paint.
Total redo for this bedroom was a little under $50 and we have a distinctive new look. A major crick in my neck, but definitely a new look.
For more details, tips on this technique and over 200 more DIY and craft projects, be sure to click the link below!

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Susan Myers

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 of 5 questions
  • Cindy Dore
    Cindy Dore
    on Feb 23, 2016

    Isn't this sponging from the 90's??

    • Flossie
      on Aug 16, 2016

      Faux painting effects were really popular in the 90's and still are, look on Pintrest and see all of the fabulous upcycle projects. Creativity, what a gift.

  • Lin
    on Aug 27, 2016

    Do you think a faux turquoise would work?

    • C.B.
      on Apr 30, 2017

      you can faux any color...I've even done black marble. I use the feather [because you can twist it any direction or let it go it's own way by holding it very loosely] for apply gold or copper streaks to the base & blotted coats of paint. I did a set of bookcases & plant stand in black marble & stunned my Boss [who questioned whether I could do it...he put high gloss sealer over the top & it was stunning!
  • Nancy Wilson
    Nancy Wilson
    on Apr 30, 2017

    These look like tray ceilings that you have painted. Do you think you could paint this same thing on a flat ceiling using a similar technique?

Join the conversation

3 of 51 comments
  • Kitty
    on Feb 21, 2020

    Would it be possible to safely install a large slab of marble overhead? NO.

    I worked in new home design and we tried to always go for logical faux creations. Marble base boards, fireplace surrounds, table tops are sensible substitutes for the expensive real thing.

    i cringe at fake brick gables held up by wooden exteriors.

    The weight of the brick would slowly crush the wood.

    Always do faux where it could be a logical thing. Such as the luxury of

    marble door frames in the public rooms of a house . Some grand homes have faux windows with an outdoor scene.

    Plus there are fun wallpapers that appear to be draped fabric, etc .

    • Susan Myers
      Susan Myers
      on Feb 21, 2020

      Well, I liked the look, so I went with it. Everyone has their own likes and dislikes!

  • Teresa
    on Aug 15, 2020

    I'm just wondering if this would camouflage a popcorn ceiling without removing all of the popcorn. Maybe just knocking it down a bit.

    I love this and have used this technique on walls, but yeah there is that neck thing that I may no longer be up for.

    Beautiful ceiling!

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