MDF Altar – Made To Look Like Marble

Hand Painted Marble: MDF altar-made to look like Marble, using tradional methods and a lot of know how, plus a lot of practice. Here is my step by step guide on how to acheive this look.

Here we have a carrara marble church altar made of MDF, at the catholic church in Claughton on Brock.

Hand Painted Marble
All finished and in its rightful place

This was how I used specialist decorative painting techniques to turn the MDF to stone.

Base coats for carrara marble

First we prime the MDF, then paint with 3 coats white oil eggshell paint to a glass finish.

Once this is dry we then gently sand down to remove any bits and to give it a slight key.

How to paint veining for carrara marble

For adding the veins we employ a sable brush and a badger softening brush. These are expensive tools but worth every penny.

Check or tick roller, flogger, and 2 sizes of badger softener

We use artist oils mixed with oil scumble glaze and thinned down with white spirit to aid slip ability.

Tint the transparent oil scumble with artist’s oil paint

The colours we used are Payne’s grey, yellow ochre and, last but not least, Lamp Black.

Fidget your brush with the Payne’s grey to add the veins, softening as you go, making sure you get directional flow, but keep softening as you go.

Once this is complete you can add patches of yellow ochre then stipple out to fade, giving an appearance it is deeper than you think.

mdf altar

tooth brush, and sponges to stipple and manipulate scumble

Now strengthen up your grey veins with some black and again soften.

The final finish to protect the marbled paint effect

Allow paintwork to dry and then apply 2 or 3 coats of clear oil varnish.

As for the columns they were plastic drain pipe – it just shows what can be done with paint.


More examples of a painted marble finish

There is no end to what you can acheive in the world of decorative effects. Wether your wanting to create a realistic look or faux, it can be acheived with paint. Ive been specialising in paint effects since I set up in 1993, and have applied to furniture, and even kitchens.

Hand Painted Marble - Lapis Luzuli
Lapis Luzuli
Specialist kitchen and furniture painters JS Decor are the first port of call for hand painted kitchens and furniture in Lancashire and Cheshire.We hand-painting kitchens since1993, trading as JS Decor; I also write regular tips for the Lancashire Magazine.

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