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Micro makeovers: How to create marbled glassware

Inspired by the luxe-looking Art Deco-style lamps in Episode 3 of Changing Rooms? Here’s how to create a marbled piece yourself – while spending next to nothing. What do you need? An old glass vase or jar, some leftover paint and a dash of imagination.

Marbling glass is a technique that’s almost as old as the hills (the Egyptians were doing it in the 6th century BCE, apparently) and it’s easy to see why. As well as giving you the chance to get creative with colour combinations, it also means you end up with a unique decorative piece that fits perfectly in your home.

As well as being bang on trend, marbling is also a great way to upcycle an old glass jar or vase (something it’s easy to pick up cheaply in a junk shop or at an antique market) and to make use of any leftover paint you have lying around. Take inspiration from Laurence Llewelyn Bowen’s design and get marbling. It’s quick, easy and incredibly effective.

Watch the video to see Steph Howles, our brilliant Dulux Select Decorator, take you through the process or follow the simple step-by-step guide below. 

You’ll need

Step-by-step method

1.    Choose your colours and thin down each with water until they’re the consistency of smooth, thick cream.

2.    Pour a thin layer of paint into the vase or jar so it covers the base. Let it settle. 

3.    Layer up the other colours (you don’t need equal quantities of each) without pouring in too much paint. What you are aiming for is enough to cover the inside of the vase but not so much that, when the vase or jar is coated, the excess makes any design run off. 

4.    Tilt the vase at an angle and start to rotate slowly so the colours creep up the sides, swirling together to create the marble effect. 

5.    Keep going until the paint reaches the top, then tip out any excess paint into a tray.

6.    Wipe any spills from the outside and edges with a damp cloth.

7.    Use a hairdryer to dry gently (waft warm air into the mouth of the vase; try not to blast) or leave overnight. The effect will continue to develop and change until fully dry.

Expert tip 1: Try not to let the paint hit the sides of the glass as you pour it in.

Expert tip 2: Experiment with the consistency and quantity of paint before you thin all the colours.

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