Paint a Concrete Floor With Faux Marble Tiles

8 Materials
$50
7 Days
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Marbleizing is fun to learn. Once mastered, it's a great way to give a high look to plain concrete. Look at our green marble tile porch that started out as a drab slab of 60 year old concrete.

With practice you can create the look of real marble using just a few colors. Be sure to practice on wood or canvas before doing this on your floors!

Once it's been cleaned well, concrete does a great job of absorbing diluted paints and stains. We cleaned our concrete with muriatic acid and made a post about the safety tips here.

For this green marble (with a hint of blue) we used these products: 

• Exterior Green Primer, Tropical Foliage, by Kilz (Walmart)

• Flat Black Primer, by Behr (HomeDepot)

• Concrete Stain, Emerald Pool, by Behr (HomeDepot)

• Chalk Paint in Plaster, by Waverly (Walmart)

We chose these products for their superior bonding qualities. Since you'll be diluting the paint, you won't need very much. We used about 1 quart of emerald pool, and 1 quart of tropical green for about 300 square feet. We used about 2 ounces each of the black and white.

Fancy paint brushes will not do for this project! We recommend tough nylon chip brushes which we've listed in the materials section. Though they may lose bristles now and then, they stand up to hours and days of scrubbing concrete. Also, by putting a small amount of our colors into plastic shoe boxes, the paint stayed liquid for 6 weeks when sealed with the lid between painting sessions.

We divided the floor into 5 sections. Each section took about 5 hours to marbleize. We've left some of the edges unpainted for faux brick trim which we'll show you in a future post. Sitting on a stool took pressure off of our legs allowing us to work long hours.

To create the look of grout lines, we left them unpainted and let the concrete show through. We worked out the block design one section at a time, using sidewalk chalk and a straight edge. It's a random design as if it were made from reclaimed marble tile by a very skilled mason. No measuring was done at all. If the design is too regular or perfect, it will not look as real.

It's fun to draw on concrete with chalk and if you want to change the design, erase it with a baby wipe and redraw it. Make sure to stand back and look at your design from all angles before committing to it and adding paint.

After 30 or more hours of marbleizing, we came up with this system of washing with green water, then feathering lines with green, black, and white paint. Stay away from the grout lines if your concrete is super absorbent. If you goof, remember, you can always touch up your grout later with gray chalk paint (that's what we're going to do!)

Here's our secret for a fabulous finish. After the marble pattern dries for a few hours, go over it with concrete stain. Behr makes these in wonderful colors and they are not very expensive. We used "Emerald Pool" sometimes adding a hint of chalk white to create a blue haze. Layering is the secret to an amazing look … but don't make a thick paint job on your concrete! Work with watery colors that will soak into the concrete and use lots of sealer on top!

Here's what the concrete porch looked like before painting.

Here's what it looks like with the marbleizing. Soon we'll show you how we're doing the faux brick using similar techniques! You can see more photos of this project at our website here. -- Stephie

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Stephie McCarthy

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

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Have a question about this project?

3 of 7 questions
  • Marcy
    on Oct 2, 2019

    What color for the Chalk Paint in Plaster, by Waverly?

  • Sandra
    on Jan 13, 2020

    Awsome, you’re very talented , How will it hold up to traffic?

    • Stephie McCarthy
      on Jan 13, 2020

      So far so good. I etched the floor first, then used stain and primer that's meant to stick to floors, then I finished with a professional grade sealer. So it's rock solid so far, even on the edge that gets rained on. -- Stephie.

  • Susan Evans
    on Jan 15, 2020

    First of all, I can’t wait until warmer weather to do this! However, my house is a bluish/grey. What colors would you suggest?

    • Stephie McCarthy
      on Jan 15, 2020

      I love the idea of flagstones with blue tones! I would test out Behr's "Blue Boulder" semi-transparent flat stain from HomeDepot. I would make the streaks with black and white chalk paint. Then I would experiment with 8 oz bottles of Kilz Complete from Walmart OnLine "Stylish Blue" or maybe the darker "Prussian Blue" to make the brush water stain. I always start marbling on unobtrusive areas that won't show too much, until I get comfortable with the paints. I do the most noticeable areas last. Don't forget, you'll need to etch the concrete first with something like white vinegar to be sure of good penetration. -- Stephie.

Join the conversation

4 of 56 comments
  • Ella
    on Nov 8, 2019

    A great upgrade to a concrete floor, thanks for the share.

    • Stephie McCarthy
      on Nov 8, 2019

      Thank you so much, Ella. The next part with the faux brick painting is coming up soon. It turned out very well too! -- Stephie

  • Lawand Jenkins
    on Jan 5, 2020

    Thanks for sharing this project I will be sharing it with a couple of people. Looking forward to seeing more of your projects.

    • Stephie McCarthy
      on Jan 5, 2020

      Thank you, Lawand. I'm starting a new floor project this week. This time it's indoors and with different shades of green … moss tone. -- Stephie

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