I’m so excited to share this post with you! My DIY marble coffee table turned out even better than I expected and I’ve been itching to show off how easy it is to make your own.
You see the before above.
Dirty, scratched, chipped, MDF – just about everything you don’t want in a coffee table.
But I liked the shape and the price tag of $1 was easy to live with success or fail, so I grabbed it and went to work.
First up was the sanding. Even though this table is going to get a faux marble paint job, I did need to remove some dirt and grime and to even out the surface. I sanded it down with 60 grit for the deep scratches and then smooth-sanded it with 150 grit for a nice even finish.
I thought it was neat how the sanded top looks almost like the moon.
The base had to be sanded as well.
It’s looking better already right?
I sprayed the entire table with two coats of Zinsser® Bulls Eye 1-2-3® Water-Base Primer, lightly sanding smooth between coats. This primer adheres to wood, plastic, metal and is great at stain blocking – which will keep the black remnants on the surface from bleeding through.
NOW you can see the potential of this table!
I painted the table top in a white latex paint that I had leftover from another project, although in hindsight, the primer would have probably been a sufficient base by itself. Oh well, you do want your base coat to match the white in your marble, so it wasn’t a total waste.
I found a great YouTube tutorial here that takes you step-by-step through the marbling process, but you will need your base coat of paint (white), an alternate colour for the marble veins, a sea sponge, a dry paintbrush and a foam brush.
Start by holding the tip of your foam paintbrush between two fingers. It’s going to feel loose and wobbly – but that’s what you want. Dip the end in your marble vein colour (in this case grey) and then push the brush across the table rolling it and dragging it here and there.
With most marble samples I looked at, the veining seemed to flow (roughly) in one direction, so that’s what I attempted to replicate here.
Once you have a small section veined, dip your sea sponge into your white paint and dab over it here and there. After, use your dry paintbrush to lightly brush back and forth over the white and grey to soften the lines. The video will better show the technique.
If areas are too dark, sponge a bit more white and brush again. If you’ve gone too light, don’t worry – this is the background stage so it’s only intended to give depth to your DIY marble.
Repeat these steps over and over until you have your entire table covered. As you come to the end of your marbling, use a feather, a fine-tip paintbrush or some torn cardboard to create thinner veins in your marble.
You can’t go wrong here, so play. All layers can be covered over and started again, so don’t worry too much.
Miss Madison came out and helped me continue the DIY marble on the sides of the table and, if I’m being completely honest, she was better at it than I was.
Don’t worry about the texture of your table’s surface either – this is what mine looked like before the epoxy:
Not smooth at all – bumps, ridges, points, altering directions – it’s all okay.
Once your DIY marble table is completely dry, you’ll want to set it on a completely level surface. I was working in my garage which has a slight slope, so I checked for level and propped up the table where necessary. You’ll also want to cover your floor with a protective sheet of plastic or newspaper – once the epoxy sets, it’s set for good – and I guarantee you’ll have drips hit the floor.
Now it’s time to get out the Varathane® Bar & Table finish.
ABOUT BAR & TABLE FINISH
Varathane® Bar & Table Finish is an ultra-thick, crystal clear, high-gloss, pour-on epoxy finish and preservative.
- Ideal for table and bar tops, crafts and refinishing furniture
- Durable and waterproof
- Can be used on almost any interior surface
- The equivalent of 60 coats of varnish
The Varathane® Bar & Table Finish comes in a kit and is very easy to use – but it does require very precise measurements. Don’t just mix the two bottles together in their entirety – measure out equal portions and follow the mixing directions exactly or risk a sticky, gooey finish that doesn’t cure as it’s supposed to.
Having a helper with you will make this easier – one applies while the other stirs up the next batch of epoxy. A few margarine/yogurt containers for measuring, mixing and stirring are your best bet.
Pour the Varathane® Bar & Table Finish over the table top and spread with a piece of cardboard.
Add more epoxy as your partner has it ready, and continue to smooth over the entire surface of your DIY marble table top.
You will find small bubbles in your finish – it’s inevitable – but they are easily removed by just breathing on them. The carbon dioxide from your breath pops them easily.
I wanted to make sure my finish was completely smooth, so after I ran some around the edges of the table, I held my random orbit sander underneath the table and let it vibrate until the entire surface was as smooth as glass:
The Varathane® will take 24 hours to dry to the touch, but 72 before it is cured – so don’t use your DIY marble table until you are positive it has completely hardened.
The base of my table received three coats of Rustoleum’s Metallic Gold specialty paint. In all of the online comparisons I’d seen, it was the most gold-like and has a gorgeous shine.
Rust-Oleum® Specialty Metallic Paint provides a rich, shiny finish for decorating and accent pieces. Apply to wood, metal, plaster, masonry or unglazed ceramic. Made with real metal leafing flakes.
- Won’t rub off or tarnish
- Bright, reflective finish
- Fast-dry lacquer formula
- Indoor use only
- Bright Reflective Finish
- 10 times thicker than ordinary coatings—fills cracks, locks down splinters, hides imperfections
I’m so thrilled with how this DIY marble table turned out!
The Varathane® finish makes all the difference – the shine is what makes this look so real.