Faux Marble Table Top

5 Materials
4 Days

A friend of mine creates custom tumblers and uses this interesting paint technique. So I told her I think it would look cool on furniture as well. So she lent me an end table that she had lying around to experiment on. Boy, am I happy with the results. It's so easy and I honestly am excited to keep practicing and trying this more and more.


This is what I was starting with. It's made of wood, not the most solid wood, but real wood nonetheless. I sanded what was remaining of the original finish off with 80 grit and worked my way up to 220.


I love using General Finishes Stain Blocker for white. This one took two coats to really hide all of the bleeding.

Roll or Spray your base color

I used Rustoleum Metallic Accents for this piece and it took 2 coats applied by jar directions to look even.

Finish base

The owner and I chose a dark stain for the base. I used Kona and sealed with a gloss, what we are going for is a very polished look.

This video file cannot be played.(Error Code: 102630)
Add the Soot

That's right, time to add the soot. The only way to really explain this next step is to show you. Light a normal candle stick and place a fork in the flame. You will notice that the smoke turns black. This is how I added the marble effect to the white paint on the table top.

This video file cannot be played.(Error Code: 102630)
Guide the Smoke

I flipped the table upside down and hung it between two sawhorses. While holding the lit candle about six inches away from the table top stick the fork in the flame and move the candle around base on where you want the soot to land.

Notice that the soot always lands somewhere! So start farther away and move slightly close as you get used to how deep the soot sticks to your paint.

Check your look

Tweak as you please! I went back a couple of times to cover up some problem spots and guide the smoke around the table edges.

Seal it!

Be sure to SPRAY a topcoat on the top. A brush will scratch the soot and fixing those errors is tricky!

Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
Hometalk may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page. More info

Top Hometalk Projects

30 Fun Ways To Keep Your Home Organized
3 Ideas To Use Terracotta Pots You Definitely Haven't Seen Before
31 Astounding Things You Didn't Know You Could Do With Contact Paper
31 Storage Hacks That Will Instantly Declutter Your Kitchen
15 Genius Ways to Organize Your Bedroom
32 Space-Saving Storage Ideas That'll Keep Your Home Organized
25 Fun Things You'll Want to DIY Before the Spring Arrives

Have a question about this project?

1 question
  • D
    on Dec 4, 2020

    Very cool, but the metallic paint doesn't appear to add anything. Do you have any close-ups of the top after painting but before smoking? Was it an even coat over the entire thing? I'm trying to picture how metallic makes it look more like marble than just a white surface would. Thank you!

    • Amanda
      on Dec 4, 2020

      Also, yes I painted a full even coat nothing fancy there. Just added the soot to a blank canvas. I'll definitely be playing around with it more!

Join the conversation

4 of 41 comments
  • Millie Lacey
    Millie Lacey
    on Dec 10, 2020

    Can you do this to veneer table top? Thank you!

    • Amanda
      on Dec 10, 2020

      Absolutely! Just make sure that you sand and clean it good... I would use a mineral based paint (chalk) because it will adhere better. Then add the smoke on top of whatever paint color you choose.

  • "D"
    on Dec 12, 2020

    I really like it...makes me wish I had a work shop! Thanks for sharing.

Your comment...