How to Make Faux Marble Tumbled Tile

What You'll Need
Caulking gun
Ceramic tile
Household cleaners
Foam brushes
Fake feather
Urethane finish, water-based
Semi-gloss oil paint, 2 colors
Paint thinner

Installing tumbled tile in your home is expensive. You can decrease this cost considerably by making faux marble tumbled tile. You are essentially creating the marble tumbled tile look on standard, less expensive tiles. The following how-to will explain how to make faux marble tumbled tile, and the best part is that the technique can be applied to tiles that are already installed.

Step 1 – Clean the Tiles

To create faux marble tumbled tile, you need to make sure the ceramic tiles are clean and free of oils or dirt. Clean them thoroughly with a clean rag and normal household cleaners. If the tiles are installed, then look for damage and repair them with caulk. The caulk will need to dry before you can create the finish.

Step 2 – Texture the Tiles

In order to get a faux marble look of tumbled tile, you need make a texture on them. These tiles are often too smooth and are glazed. This will ruin any chance of creating a believable faux marble finish. Use the sandpaper to sand the tops of each tile until you can feel the glaze removed and the surface imperfect. Vacuum the dust that you create from the sanding and then wipe them down with a damp rag. If you fail to wipe down the ceramic tile, you will wind up with dust in the faux marble tumbled tile finish.

Step 3 – Base Coat

Choose the paint that you want for your main color of marble and then thin it out slightly with paint thinner. Stir the paint until combined. Creating a faux marble tumbled tile finish is best done in several thin coats instead of a single heavy coat. Use the foam brush and apply the first base coat to the tile. Let this dry for 2 hours and then apply another coat if needed and repeat until you are satisfied with the base coat.

Step 4 – Marble Tumbled Tile Details

The proper finish of the faux marble tumbled tile is dependent on the details. Allow the base coat to dry for 2 hours and then begin adding in the veins of the marble. Use the second paint choice. Dip the tip of the feather in the paint and then, with a swiveling motion, create lines. Vary the thickness of the lines. Create bends and curves. Mix the base coat with a little clear gloss finish. Let the veins dry for 5 minutes and then gently blot the base coat on top of the veins using a sponge. You want the veins to soften but not blur. Allow the paint to dry for 5 minutes and then use the same technique over the entire tile.

Step 5 – Finishing

Wait 2 hours and then apply a coat of the urethane finish over the tiles. Use even strokes. Once dry, dust the area and buff it with a rag and then apply a second coat.