Oh hello, you pretty little thing! I took ordinary (and well loved/used) to extraordinary, with this Faux Marble epoxy technique on my famous green water bottle!
I’ve created a handful of items using this faux marble finish, from kitchen island cart, bathroom back-splash, serving trays to bookmarks. I knew all along that I wanted to cover up my green metal water bottle with the same look, nothing is safe around here!
Here is what I started with. Powder coated, green metal water bottle from a big box store.
This had been dropped countless times. Fallen out of my car, off tables, and one time off the bar height counter at a Dr’s office while I was checking out…you would have thought a marching band bass drummer was behind me bc it hit the floor and everyone behind the desk jumped! Their “carpet” must be placed right on top of cement is my guess…that was fun.
To fill in the dents, I used bondo. It’s a product I have come to love for woodworking as well (it fills in the edges of plywood like a champ, and holes here and there too). It can be a little tricky to work with if you mix too much activator into the putty, so be ready to work as soon as it’s mixed!
I didn’t worry too much about keeping it exactly in the dents, any overflow I knew would sand out. You actually want it to be a little overfilled for that reason. As long as the dent is filled in with no holes/gaps, it will sand down very nicely to the flat surface.
I used a table top belt sander for the bulk of the sanding. After I was happy with how smooth the bondo patches were, I took a sanding block and scuffed up the rest of the bottle. I don’t think that was necessary but adding a little extra work to a project is a normal thing, right?
Now I was ready to begin the fun part. Well…almost. Since the bottle was a pretty bright green, it had to be painted over prior to epoxy going on. I have a plethora of paint on hand (thanks to my day job) so I grabbed a white and a light gray paint and gave it 2 coats of a non formal mix of the two. Imagine the green replaced by white…my 12 yr old photographer didn’t capture a picture that wasn’t blurry 🙂
Ok, NOW the fun stuff. Epoxy! I have become quite fond of using Total Boat brand epoxy, and for this project I specifically used their Makerpoxy. It was easy to work with and left me with a nice even finish. Let me back up- I should mention that I partnered with Total Boat a while back and helped them create a Faux Marble kit, with instructions and products I have used to create many marble looks on wood projects pictured above). Here is a link to that product if you want to check it out, you’ll get another look at the technique too!
So, Markerpoxy. I have used this for things like bookmarks and I thought it would be a good fit for the water bottle. After I mixed up an opaque white epoxy base, I began to spread it onto the bottle while it was slowly rotating on this little machine. I would pour a little, and smear it with one finger as the bottle was rotating against the direction I was working. I repeated this technique until the entire bottle was coated with a nice layer of the white epoxy.
I had to move quick for the rest of the project, and again, my photographer was a little distracted and seemed to know just the moment before I needed her, to walk away. Basically, at this point, you drizzle on some gray epoxy in a manor to replicate veining, keeping a common direction of flow (no criss- crossing actions trust me on that. I’ll spare you my very first attempt at marble technique!)
Using a stir stick, I just drizzled on the gray epoxy. Then, quickly “chopped” the veins into the white by dabbing my finger tips into them and making them kind of melt into the white, but still leaving a sort of cloudy streak of the gray. This is kind of the base for the marble look. You want white and gray moving through the piece, and then top it off with a little more solid dark gray/black areas on top of most the muted gray areas. I also added some gold into it for fun! I was really moving quick at this point, using a heat gun to spread out the darker spots to soften the edges a bit, and adding some clear epoxy on top of all of it adds some depth and helps break up the color adding nice clusters of cells (they look like little white bubbles outlined in whatever color you poured it into)
Next step is to walk away and let the tumbler machine rotate the water bottle until it’s cured. You do it this way to have an even finish, and no drippy hard bumps. I would say my project turned out 98% perfect, and for the following reasons that 2% was docked. At some point, either the vibration of the machine on my desk moved it into a slightly different spot, or 1 of 3 kids tried to get nosy (do I blame them too much?) and pushed it against a my resin mixing cup that was nearby, resulting in said cup to get stuck to the bottom of the tacky water bottle and stop the rotating action of the motor (well, it was still rotating, but the pool noodle slipped down and wasn’t allowing for the bottle to rotate…because it was stuck to the cup) Therefore, the bottom of my water bottle had a funny little ridge on it but thankfully 1) it sanded out 2) I use a silicone boot to help with noise buffer setting it down a million times a day on granite counter top so that blemish is hidden. There’s not really anything I would do differently to another water bottle if I decide to replicate this look in the future. My oldest has already put bondo on his water bottle and he’s deciding on it’s makeover, I’ll add it to this post once that’s done!
I’m calling it my fancy marble water bottle. I mean, it is fancy now, don’t you think?!