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 9 questions
  • Judy Post
    on Mar 6, 2020

    Could this work on a bathroom floor?

    • Stephie McCarthy
      on Mar 6, 2020

      I'm going to do something similar on my bathroom floors which are tiled with a stone-type ceramic. They'll work well with the dye and sealer. If your floor is vinyl or hard ceramic, dye and paint won't work. What is your floor made of?

  • Pat fox
    on Apr 22, 2020

    I have some crackers in my outside patio, not too bad that I need to fix first. My question is, Van the concrete just at be dyed with paint? I'm not a person who can do fancy stuff. I just want it to look nicer than plain concrete. BTW what is best to use to fill cracks?

    • Stephie McCarthy
      on Apr 22, 2020

      For cracks around my property I'm going to use Quikrete Vinyl Concrete Patcher that comes in the 10 lb buckets already mixed. It gets great reviews for lasting a long time in all weather. If you need a lot of patch material, you can get it in bags and mix it yourself. If I were you, I would use the BEHR Concrete Dye afterwards because it soaks in really well and won't peel off later. You could also use a water-based sealer on top too, as an option. All you would have to do is give the concrete and patches a rinse with vinegar water to get it ready to be dyed. Don't get the vinegar on any plants, though, because they hate it. A $10/qt. can of the BEHR dye will go a long way. You can water it down too, to make it go further. It comes in lots of colors, so you could make red, green, blue, or brown. What I did outside was draw bricks and tiles on with chalk, and then I dyed the concrete using mostly the BEHR dye and a bit of chalk paint for details. But you can just use the dye, as I explain in the video. Here's a post on how I did that: https://www.hometalk.com/44207931/how-to-paint-bricks-on-concrete


  • Linda
    on Jun 14, 2020

    I had previously painted my concrete floor with a solid color, but never sealed it. Can I repaint the floor like yours and seal it? The paint has wore off in traffic areas.

    • Stephie McCarthy
      on Jun 14, 2020

      Yes, you can work on top of old paint. I would come up with a color scheme that would blend in the paint that's still there. I would find a matching chalk paint to put on the high traffic areas. I have some color charts on my website that might help (on the buy supplies page). You can also google color charts. When the floor is one color again, I would use stain and some watered down chalk paints to marbleize on top. The stain will give it a nice transparent depth. Look at natural marble samples and make a plan that includes the old color, basically. -- Stephie

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