Sunday, May 30, 2010

Marbling - step by step

Disclaimer - I'm not an artist and just taught myself how to do this, so I'm still a long way from getting this technique to look "pretty".

After receiving two requests for more info on how to do this. I decided to show the process I followed in pictures. Here is the end result...

1. Gather supplies: My desired colors (I used all Sally Hansen - Denim Creme, Pacific Blue, and White Tip), a brush with thin bristles, a bit of acetone to clean my brush when needed, and a napkin for the same purpose.

2.Paint your first coat of the desired color (on all nails).

3. Paint a second coat (on one nail at a time).

4. Quickly, while polish is still wet, add a line or shape in your second color. Apply this step and the next like you put on topcoat when trying to prevent smearing of colors - gently roll a drop on without actually touching your polish brush to the nail.

5. Add your next color over the second, or to the side, or intersecting - depending on what you want.

6. Use the brush to gently feather out the wet polish from the middle. Clean brush as needed.

7. This step is optional. I did this because I realized I added more white than I wanted to. Using the brush, zigzag or swirl down the middle of your pattern to mix the colors a little more.
8. Now move on to the next nail and repeat steps 3 (adding second coat) through 6 or 7 on the rest of your nails. Finish off with a quick dry topcoat (you'll need it bc this can get pretty thick), applying it thickly and gently to avoid streaking.

This is such a versatile way to add color to your mani:
- You may or may not need the first coat of color - depending on how light you are with the brush while feathering.
- You can use just two colors if you prefer (i.e. use the base color again instead of the white in the middle).
- You can do just tips, blobs/dots of color instead of lines - anything! Feather from the inside out, outside in, or in swirls.
- Use a shimmer as one of your colors to add some bling.
- Work on patterns that could resemble flowers or water marble patterns, or FRACTALS!

Have fun!
I hope this helps those who wanted the info. (I do have to say, having some nail tips handy helped as I wouldn't have had the patience to try this out on my nails. Being able to play with tips means my mani is not affected and I don't have to worry about taking the polish off when I'm done playing.)


  1. thank you for the step-by step, I think I'm going to try it out sometime

  2. Thanks, This is something like I did on my swirly swirly post but just with more colors and patterns :)

  3. This is a marbling technique I can get with. The water is so hit and miss for me. Thanks for reposting for us blog newbies. :)


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