Faux Marble on a Concrete Floor

7 Materials
$80
18 Hours
Medium

We've just gotten a new marble floor and it's made of paint! The effect is so realistic, the first time we walked on it we thought the tiles would pop off of the mastic because it hadn't had time to dry. A good faux finish can really fool your mind, even when you paint it yourself!
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What a difference paint can make. Check out the before and after of our concrete floor and how it came to life with faux marble.
Marble tiles made with paint and stain
Faux marble covers imperfections and stains and is also easy to maintain. We used products and techniques that soaked into the concrete and will not wear off with normal use.
This is one of our favorite rooms in the house now, and it once was full of paint cans and dust bunnies.
No more dull concrete. We could imagine this room as a wine cellar, a media room, a potting shed … such potential from just a bit of paint.
Here's a view of the floor after we removed some old carpet and prepared it with white vinegar. We let a coat of vinegar dry overnight. the next day, we washed the floor with fresh vinegar and wiped it off with baby wipes.
A vinegar wash is so important, otherwise your paint will puddle on top and not absorb. (Ask us how we know). Also, the vinegar wash will reveal textures that will work to your advantage in making realistic marble. Don't skip this step!
Here are four colors we used to paint faux marble: Behr Concrete Dye in Jungle Moss; Waverly Chalk Paint in Truffle; Kilz Complete Coat in Tropical Foliage; and Waverly Chalk Paint in Moss. You'll need very little to create a realistic effect. We used less than 8 ounces of each for 100 square feet. We mixed these with lots of water.
The fifth color is black. To make a paint stain, use 1 Tbs. each of black and green primer in a cup of water. We used this stain to tone down busy marble patterns. Because it is semi-transparent, you'll be able to see the textures below while creating visual harmony among your tiles.
First: Draw tiles onto the concrete with a pencil. A baby wipe will erase any mistakes. We used random rectangles. Fill each tile with two coats of the Behr concrete dye. A few of your tiles may look complete at this stage but if they look a bit unfinished, build the marble effect with watered-down green primer and chalk paints.
Use lots of water, small brushes, even baby wipes, to create streaks and textures on top of the stained tiles. Create grains going in different directions for each tile. Paint inside the lines of each tile. Our video will show you some of the brush techniques.
Use brown chalk paint to create faux grout. We used a 3/8th inch round tapered brush, sweeping it along the pencil lines. Now the faux tiles begin to look especially real!
You can continue to layer "paint stain" over your tiles for as long as it takes to get a realistic look. Some of our tiles got paint 20 thin layers! Others didn't need any paint at all –– two coats of stain were enough for 1/4 of the tiles. The other 3/4 took a bit more coaxing.
The floor dried very quickly and was sock-safe within four hours. The next day we used CoverSeal, our favorite professional grade sealer. We used a mini-flat roller and sealed one tile at a time, smoothing out any bubbles and making sure not to puddle the sealer.
Check out our other posts here at HomeTalk where we've created more faux finishes on concrete. We'd love for you to follow our HomeTalk page! We answer all questions. You can see an archive of our many projects on our website and get beautiful free printable, just click here. -- Stephie McCarthy
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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 6 questions
  • Kelly
    on Feb 5, 2020

    The concrete floor in my sunroom was already painted when I bought this house. What can I do to achieve the same results?

    • Stephie McCarthy
      on Feb 5, 2020

      A good idea would be to marbleize the floor in a color that will harmonize with the paint that is already on the floor. Or, the current color on the floor can become the grout lines. For instance, you can draw your pattern in chalk and marbleize the "tiles" except where the chalk lines are. Wash the chalk off later. I have a post on that here at HomeTalk. Behr concrete dye will most likely penetrate your paint, so you could use that to create the streaks, and then add just a touch of watered down primer like Kilz complete and chalk paints. Then put a very good sealer on top. If you let me know what color your floor is painted, I can suggest some matching colors for you. Be sure to pick out a spot that will be a good test/start spot. Put a small puddle of water on it to see how long it takes to absorb. If it's slow to absorb or non-absorbent, you're first step will be to open the pores of the old paint job. Probably sandpaper will work for that. -- Stephie

  • Penny-Marie
    on Feb 10, 2020

    Do you just use straight vinegar for the "coat of vinegar" or mix it with something?

    • Stephie McCarthy
      on Feb 10, 2020

      I used straight vinegar and let it soak overnight. The next day I used straight vinegar on a damp rag to wipe the floor, then let it air dry. -- Stephie

  • Chuck
    2 days ago

    Will this work for outdoor concrete patios? I currently have a patio that's about 15 X 20 feet, with old, somewhat faded red paint that needs a makeover of some kind. Was thinking of just repainting it, but would really prefer something different.

    • Jim Cox
      10 minutes ago

      Read my mind. I have a new concrete slab for a hot tub going in this spring, I'll 'marble' it first. Great look!

Join the conversation

3 of 16 comments
  • Susan
    on Feb 1, 2020

    This looks FANTASTIC!!!

  • Tammy Belknap
    on Feb 1, 2020

    I know you can use viniger for alot of diffrent things but I would have never thought that you can use it for comcrete. Love it

    • Christine
      2 days ago

      It's called "etching". There are other acids you can use, as well, but vinegar is the cheapest and least corrosive.

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