This “Modern Golden Girls” Kitchen Makeover Uses a Brilliant Faux Marble Countertop Trick (That Cost Only $300!)

published Mar 27, 2024
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Pendant lights above kitchen island.

Marble kitchen countertops are gorgeous, but they often come with a hefty price tag — and there are just about as many cons as pros of the material (like when the stone etches or cracks!). If you’re a big fan of marble but don’t want to splurge, you’re in luck. While some folks have used epoxy paint to create the look, homeowner Jessica Russell made a different DIY marble magic in her kitchen.

When Russell and her husband moved into their bungalow in Ontario, the kitchen was a basic room with a white island, ordinary light fixtures, no furniture, and beige walls. “Because the kitchen was a blank slate, our work was more about adding character than just a lateral switch in style,” Russell shares. The couple wanted to make the space feel brand-new without “sinking real reno money” into it. 

The original space wasn’t exactly what Russell envisioned for their home — she describes her style as “modern Golden Girls,” and added vintage Boca Rattan barstools (from her company, Sunday Stroll), put up leafy wallpaper in the breakfast nook, and painted the walls in Behr’s “Vine Leaf.” The next element to update was their stark white kitchen island. Instead of replacing it with new stone, they found an ingenious way to create the marble look they were going for with paint.

How to Create Faux Marble Countertops Using Paint

Here’s how Russell created faux marble without completely renovating the kitchen island:

  • Clean the island and paint the entire thing white. 
  • Pick your paint colors for the marble veins. (Russell chose shades of gray and gold to tie in the cabinet hardware and light fixtures.) 
  • Utilizing a brayer and rubber stamp (Russell’s are from Iron Orchid Designs), dip the stamp into the paint and place them on the island. Then, use the brayer to apply pressure to the stamp. “We started stamping and talked our way through the process, asking out loud, ‘I think it’s time to change the direction on this spot. What do you think?’” she shares.
  • Install custom-cut glass to protect the faux marble design. (Russell says that if you want a “cost-effective finishing touch,” look into a medium- to high-gloss polycrylic protective finish instead.)

The faux marble is one of Russell’s favorite elements about the new kitchen and allows her plenty of bragging rights, as it “required no professional help” and cost under $300. Another favorite addition? The lush wallpaper in the breakfast nook. “You can see it from the front door, so it kind of serves as an immediate notice that you’re not in an average home,” she shares. If you love the look of Russell’s kitchen, you’ll appreciate the color-drenched space in the rest of their bungalow. Visit the full home tour on Apartment Therapy to see more.