{Tutorial} Creating a Marbled Look with Paint

Today I’m going to s with you a tutorial on how to create a marbled, aged look with paint. In my opinion this look works well with grey, pink, blue or even dark brown for a “faux leather” kind of look. 

{Tutorial} Marbled Paint Effect by Vintage Storehouse & Co. #PaintedFurniture #Tutorial #Pink

I haven’t put up the before and after post of this set quite yet, so this is a little bit of a sneak peak on how I restored this 1920’s Rushville Furniture Co Dresser Set that I found a few weeks ago. The marbled look ads a lot of character to the set over just a solid plain color. On top of that we also added Roasted Chestnut Antiquing Powder to add to the age and character of the set.

I used three colors to get this look, all by Sherwin Williams. The darkest color I used is called Jovial, the medium is called Koral Kicks and the lightest is called Touching White. (My husband is convinced that Touching White is actually White, but it does have a really light pink tint to it!). The main color is Koral Kicks, but I love all three colors. They are the perfect pinks to me. They have a warm undertone, but are not to peachy looking.

{Tutorial} Marbled Paint Effect by Vintage Storehouse & Co. #PaintedFurniture #Tutorial #Pink

Being able to use 3 different colors that are all really close to each other to create an effect like this is a big reason we love using Chalky Paint Powder as opposed to pre-mixed Chalk Paint. You have no restrictions when it comes to colors, and you don’t have to mess around with mixing your own colors and trying to remember the recipes. Plus, if 4 years down the road you decide you want to paint another piece to match – you don’t need to guess on the color!

I got one quart of the mid color (Koral Kicks) and then just purchased sample pots of the other two colors from Sherwin Williams. For a dresser this size, plus the nightstand, I really didn’t need to get the quart – I didn’t end up using more than the sample size anyways – but at the time I wasn’t sure how much paint I was going to need – so now I have extras!

{Tutorial} Marbled Paint Effect by Vintage Storehouse & Co. #PaintedFurniture #Tutorial #Pink

In addition to the three colors of paint you’ll need some Spouncers. I got these from Walmart, but they are also available through amazon with the affiliate link above. They honestly work perfect, and you definitely need all three sizes for a project like this. (I actually was lazy and didn’t want to wash them out – so I went through like 4 packs of these!) 🙂


Step 1: Paint your base coat using your main color. For me this was Koral Kicks. I wanted the overall feel of the dresser to be this color. You could also use the darker color as your main color, but I wouldn’t recommend using the lightest.

{Tutorial} Marbled Paint Effect by Vintage Storehouse & Co. #PaintedFurniture #Tutorial #Pink

Just paint the piece as your normally would. I added VS Chalky Paint Powder so I could skip the sanding priming and get right down to the fun part! I used just a cheap $1 Chip Brush to paint with, because I planned on smoothing out the finish with a roller anyways, and this way I could just throw away the brush afterwards.

{Tutorial} Marbled Paint Effect by Vintage Storehouse & Co. #PaintedFurniture

I use a foam roller to smooth out the finish. The roller still leaves a slight spongy texture to the paint, but it still looks amazing and you would never notice unless you are a complete perfectionist like me. (If you are, check out this post we did a while back on how to eliminate brush strokes (and texture). The spongy texture works well for this effect though, since you will be using the Spouncers anyways to create the faux marbled look.

As a side note – on pieces with lots of curves and intricate carvings, I always flip the piece upside down and paint those difficult areas first! Trust me on this – it makes it ten times easier to work on those legs and will be worth it in the long run!

{Tutorial} Marbled Paint Effect by Vintage Storehouse & Co. #PaintedFurniture #Tutorial #Pink

Step 2: Using your Spouncers designate one for each color your working with. I started out with the large and medium sized Spouncers and worked on the drawers. I only used the small ones for tiny cracks and crevices. Dip just the bottom of the Spouncer into your main color of paint and cover a small area. You want to work with the paint while it’s wet, so don’t put too much on the dresser quite yet.

{Tutorial} Marbled Paint Effect by Vintage Storehouse & Co. #PaintedFurniture #Tutorial #Pink

Step 3: Get your second favorite color of the three. I used the lightest color – Touching White, because I only wanted a small amount of Jovial on the piece. Dipping just the end of the spouncer into the paint, dab the paint over the color you just painted.

{Tutorial} Marbled Paint Effect by Vintage Storehouse & Co. #PaintedFurniture #Tutorial #Pink

You want to do this in a little bit of a random way, making sure to blend it out as you work. You do this by just pushing the paint around in one area for a while. While your dabbing, your brush will pick up some of the still wet paint from your other color and it will sort of fade together with the other color.

{Tutorial} Marbled Paint Effect by Vintage Storehouse & Co. #PaintedFurniture #Tutorial #Pink

I dabbed until I couldn’t tell the dabs were a circle anymore. I just kept working with it. Then I added in the last color in the same way, but only in select areas where I wanted it to look a little bit more worn.

{Tutorial} Marbled Paint Effect by Vintage Storehouse & Co. #PaintedFurniture #Tutorial #Pink

You can definitely see in the finis the areas of Touching White from the Koral Kicks. There is also a small amount of Jovial up int he left hand corner of the drawer in this pic, but I tried to make the whole thing look well blended so it didn’t just look spotted!

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  • Heidi Burleigh

    I have a question, in reading your directions you used your main color, Koral Kicks, and painted the entire piece. Then where you talk about using the Spouncers you again used Koral Kicks, as you said using your main color. So did you use the Jovial at all? I’m just a little confused, so sorry……am I missing something? I really love this color and want to try doing it so any help would be appreciated. Thank you!

    • Kelsey Elaine

      Hi Heidi,

      So I painted the whole thing in Koral Kicks to give the piece a solid base. That way I didn’t have to go through the work of creating the marbled effect in multiple coats (that would be a nightmare). Then I used all three colors to create the marbled look with the spongers. If you try to just use Jovial and Touching white and just leave the space where you want the Koral Kicks to show through, it creates a strange texture and doesn’t blend well. So you want to put more Koral Kicks on while your spouncing (I don’t thing that’s a word 🙂 ). I didn’t use very much of the Jovial. I thought I would use a lot more. I mostly used it on edges and corners, which gave it a kind of aged look, but the majority of the piece is Touching white and Koral Kicks.

      I hope that clears it up! Let me know if you still have questions!

  • http://www.vintagestorehouse.com Ruth Angotti

    When I the opportunity to look at the different crafts in Pinterest I was so amazed at all the talent. There is so much I’d love to learn but unfortunately I don’t have enough hours in the day to do something that I would enjoy. Being able to receive these wonderful ideas I can at least save them and when time is on my side I can try them out. What talent it really amazes me.

  • Heidi Burleigh

    Thank you so much Kelsey! That makes sense to me….now to get the courage to try it. I have all my supplies so no excuse to put it off. You did an amazingly beautiful job and I just adore the colors.