Painting and Decorating Made Easier!

In the first course, we explored a finish application known as “Rag Rolling.”

SECOND INSTALLMENT: Decorative “Malachite.”

“Malachite” is a unique finish. It produces a simulation of an emerald green translucent mineral composed of circular radiating veins. It resembles the rippling effect produced when you drop a pebble into water. You get the picture.

You can, of course, choose colors other than green. Red looks fantastic, as well. However, an authentic “Malachite” is done in a traditional green.

What is your project? An ideal choice is the top of a lamp table. It’s small and reasonably easy to complete in a short time. All right, let’s get started.

1. Our piece to be finished: A small table top. Main color: Emerald green.
2. Preparation is important.

A. Thoroughly sand the surface to a dulled smoothness.

B. Prime the table top with a latex or oil based primer. Using a spray can primer is very suitable.

C. Once the primer has dried sufficiently, sand the surface smooth, with #320 wet or dry sandpaper.


3. Next apply a basecoat in a pastel or light green tone. The basecoat can either be water or oil based. When dry, lightly sand with #320 or #400 sandpaper.


4. The layout of the pattern is as follows:

A. Use a rubber, metal or cardboard comb. TIP: Cardboard is preferred because you can cut your own pattern.

B. Along the straight edge of the object, make small grooves 2-3mm apart. Vary the distance between the grooves.

5. Next, apply the dark glaze evenly to the surface.


6. You can now create the “Malachite” pattern.

A. With grooved tool in hand, glide the edge of the tool through the glaze. This will reveal a fan-like pattern – “relief” – where the basecoat reflects through from the groves in your tool.

B. Turn the tool from left to right, or in reverse, to expose the simulated mineral pattern.

C. As the procedure is applied, overlap each fan shape at the corners.

D. In a roofing shingle formation overlap each row, one after another, where the points meet

The effect is “successfully completed” when the “Malachite” shapes vary in grain pattern.

TIP: If errors are made, you can remove the pattern simply by washing off the glaze or rewetting it with another application.


8. Once the design is dry, a top finishing coat can be applied for protection. A water based varnish or a standard polyurethane are your best choices.


The finished “Malachite” will be an instant focal point in any room. It will be a consistent reminder of your creative imagination.

You never know! It may serve to inspire your relatives and friends to develop an artistic expression of their own.


* WATCH FOR: Images of “Marbelite” finish.


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob.”


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