This Post May Contain Affiliate Links. Please Read Our Disclosure Policy.
Thursday, August 6, 2015


Hi friends, here we are for another session of DIY Summer School!  It's hard to believe the summer is coming to a close and we'll only have one more assignment after today's project.

Beth from designPOST Interiors gave us today's theme of "Tool Store", which to me means Home Depot or Lowe's, both of which have so much more than tools!  I've delayed sharing this project with you all summer, so today I thought it would be the perfect thing to share since all of my supplies were from the hardware store.

So remember the piece that I found curbside in my neighborhood?

The body was in pretty good shape, but the marble top was broken.  I had plans for a simple makeover, just cleaning up the base a little bit and getting a new top made for it.

I got it all fixed up and have shown it to you in a few photos this summer, but haven't mentioned it has a little secret!

The drawers and base were easy enough to fix up with a quick cleaning, light sanding, and a light coat of stain rubbed on to freshen it up.

However, as I checked around town to get a piece of marble cut for the top... wowzers!  To get the size that I needed and just a simple edge, it was going to cost upwards of $250.  Yes, the piece was free, but I didn't really want to throw down that much money to replace the top.  We've been saving up for other things (like our patio project) and that was a big chunk of money for something that wasn't really a necessity right now.  

I even purchased an inexpensive coffee table off of Craigslist with a marble top that would have been big enough to cut down, but found out that the marble isn't really the expensive part, fabricating it was.  Cutting it down to size would have been just about as pricey as starting with a new piece.  Womp womp.

As I started considering other options, I thought about covering a  piece of wood with marble contact paper that I've read raves about.  However, it's pretty pricey too and the width it comes in wouldn't have allowed me to cover the board without piecing it together.  

Then, I thought if the contact paper wouldn't work, why couldn't I just paint the board? Sure enough, after a quick search on Pinterest I came across several tutorials.  

I started with a 3/4" thick piece of smooth MDF from Home Depot, cut to size for the top of the chest.  I didn't want it to look like I just added a painted board to the top, so I asked my Dad to help me (by help I mean he did it) use the router to cut a decorative edge (hey, I did fit a tool in to go with today's theme after all!), similar to what a real piece or marble would have.  

We also rounded the front corners to enhance the appearance even more.

I'm not going to do an in-depth tutorial on the painting (I didn't even take photos while working), but these links were very helpful in figuring out the design and process.  I kind-of combined different elements from all three tutorials in my process.

Basically, I primed the wood and then painted it white, then found 3-4 various shades of gray paint that I already had samples of.  Acrylic craft paint would even be fine for this project.  

Using photos of real marble as a reference, I started painting "veins", then going back and shading them in.  This video was super helpful in getting a feel for the technique.  I think the shading and feathering out the veins process is the most important.  If the veins are left too definite, they look harsh and not as realistic.  There needs to be a softness to them.

There are several different ways to coat the top after painting.  I have worked with Envirotex Lite before, but as I read up on it a little it might have the tendency to yellow after time, and it would have been another $30 or so for the amount I needed to cover the top.  Nobody wants yellow marble!

I finally decided to protect it with Polycrylic in the Gloss finish (it's water based and won't yellow over time), applying several coats with a foam roller.  It dried beautifully and left a nice shiny sheen, making the "marble" look even more convincing.

So, with less than $20 for the wood and leftover paint I already had, I was able to fake the look pretty well, don't you think?

I'll take that $230+ savings any day!

Want to see what our other DIY Summer School friends came up with today?

Avery Street Design

We have one more session coming on August 20, get your "Found in Nature" project ready!

If you missed any previous Summer School projects, check them out here:

Ikea Hack:  Patriotic Banner
Thrifted:  Jewelry Embellished Vase
Wild Card:  Candy Bar Pie
Craft Store:  Cane Wrapped Vase

Now, we want you to link up your favorite project that is "Tool Store" related, or share on Instagram using #DIYSummerSchool to tag your photo!  Your link will automatically be posted on all 8 blogs.

*This post contains affiliate links

 photo jennifersignaturetwo_zps56f3de87.png

Would you like to comment?

Thanks so much for leaving a comment, they make my day! If you have a specific question, please make sure to check back here as I will respond in the thread, or leave your e-mail so that I can respond personally. Or, email me directly to address in "Contact" section at top.