Scagliola Imitation Marble Mantel – Part 2

finished with painting

This is the second and final part of my scagliola inspired, Yellow Sienna marble mantel (part 1).

As we left off,  the background was being laid down with aggressive movement with a palette of colors.   The areas were then softened.


The background layer was achieved using slow-dry glaze and colorants.  Therefore, the glaze was tacky enough to create this negative technique using a wet brush to disperse the background glaze.   I started using the pointed 2-header and then graduated to the straight pointed 3-header.  Another quick texturing step.


Finally, using a flat brush, a transparent earth-orange glaze was added.  All areas were lightly softened.

add fragments

From my palette, the veining begins.  With the background in place, it is clear where to paint the breche (generally).

paint breche brown


The pointed 2-header.



All of the sides of the mantel must work with the overall direction as if they were cut from one big piece of marble.


This step is finished.


Using a single-headed brecher, the fragments are enhanced with a whitish earth yellow.


The round softener is a great tool for accurate softening.  Always have a clean rag to keep the brush clean.


The overglaze step consists of more dramatic flames and crystallization using brighter toned whites.


After the painting was finished, the surface was sanded lightly and dusted in preparation for the varnish.  In this case, the client wanted a satin sheen.

This project was very enjoyable and the client was happy.  As you saw from the first picture on this post, there’s a framed photo that the client planned on hanging.  We were pleased with the direction and intensity.





  1. Joseph Hernandez says

    Dear Pierre Finkelstein,

    I must say you do amazing work this mantel is out of this world, would never be able to tell it was painted. I am writing to you today to ask when you will be having more classes in the City? I have a little experience with decorative painting mostly glazes, stries, stenciling, and to an extent with murals. I am looking to take my artistic talents to the next level.

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