Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Faux-ny Baloney Week, Day 3: Faux Marble

Okay, I hope you aren't getting tired of this week's theme.  If so, just remember: it's hump day.  Before you know it, you'll be saying "TGIF!" and this faux-ny baloney business will be behind us once and for all.  (I think I just like saying "faux-ny baloney.")

Anyway, I thought you'd be interested in this tip for extending the life of a table with a finish that's seen better days--like a wonderful, oval-topped antique beauty that my mother-in-law gave me many years ago.  Here's my tip, for what it's worth: paint is always an easy and inexpensive answer.

This lovely old table had been stored outside, under the deck, and years of weather had wreaked havoc on its finish.  If I'd been a blogger back then, I would have taken a "before" picture so you could see how much TLC the poor baby needed.  The varnish had worn completely off and the wood had begun to get sort of soft.  I wanted to restore it and use it in my living room as an end table, but I didn't think stain and varnish were going to do the trick--not with the condition it was in.  But paint, I've learned, is a great concealer of flaws.  So I painted the legs and bottom of the table with a shiny dark brown enamel paint, which almost gave the look of  varnished wood.  I would have loved to have a marble top made for this table; but knowing that would be much too expensive, I decided to give it a phony marble finish.
If I'd been a blogger back then, I also could have taken pictures showing the step-by-step process for creating a marble effect.  But if I remember correctly, I first painted the whole thing with a dark green shiny enamel paint.  Then I sponged on a lighter green color, along with some white and black.  And finally, I painted random thin white lines to simulate cracks.  If you don't look at this table too closely, you might be fooled for a nanosecond into thinking it actually has a marble top.  (When it comes to many of the decorative touches in my house, it's best if you don't look too closely.)  So take a quick look--
--now look away!

I just love trompe l'oeil--which in French means "fool the eye" but in English means "totally fake"--finishes.  They can sometimes help you turn trash into treasure, and they give your home a touch of whimsy.


  1. I was totally fooled with this one. It looks JUST LIKE marble! Awesome job.

  2. It looks pretty good in pictures...not quite as good in person. :)