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.
Faux Marble Table Top
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.
I love using General Finishes Stain Blocker for white. This one took two coats to really hide all of the bleeding.
I used Rustoleum Metallic Accents for this piece and it took 2 coats applied by jar directions to look even.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Be sure to SPRAY a topcoat on the top. A brush will scratch the soot and fixing those errors is tricky!