Decorative Painting Tips


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Marbling Granite Sponging Crackling

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Brush or Feather?    In our marbling project, a fine artist’s brush is easier to use than a turkey feather, but veins made with a feather look more natural.

Alkyd and Oil-Based Paints vs. Latex    Alkyd and oil-based paints are better for some projects because they dry slowly, allowing you time to remove some of the paint before it dries.


Metal Combs    Metal combs are available in several sizes. However, most metal combs don’t cover much area at a time.


Natural Sea Sponges    While manufactured sponges will work for most projects, natural sea sponges will give the paint a much more interesting pattern. If you’re using a sponge on a large area, find one that fits comfortably in your hand. Remember, dry sponges expand when they’re wet, so choose one that’s slightly smaller than your hand when it’s dry.


Stencils    Stencils with larger designs are easier to use than those with smaller designs. For example, in our stenciled tiles project, we used leaves and berries, as opposed to small petals or letters.


Other Colors of Marble    To create marble in other colors, you'll need an overall color, a base color that is either a darker or lighter version of the overall color, and a color that contrasts well for the veins.


Other Colors of Granite    To create other colors of granite, you'll need:

1.     A base color darker than, but in the same color family as, your darkest granite color.

2.     A light color, such as tan or gray, to be used as the final finished color.

3.     An accent color—usually green, white, pink, or peach.

4.     Depth colors of gray, black, and white.