Best Paints For Marble: Pros and Cons Of The Various Types

Best Paints For Marble

When it comes to painting a marble surface, there are many factors you need to consider. It’s not just about choosing the right paint color! The type of paint you use can make a huge difference in how your surfaces look and feel. This article will explore the best types of paint for marble and the pros and cons of the types of paints for marble.

So what is the best paint to use on marble? If you’re looking for marble paint that is inexpensive but offers protection in high-traffic areas of marble, then acrylic-based paint would be your best option. However, if you want a more natural look a water-based paint would be best. But if you’re looking for durability and something that’s going to stand the test of time an oil-based paint is your best bet for your marble surfaces.

To learn more about the best paint for marble, keep reading this article. First and foremost, to really understand which paint is best for marble, let’s go over the most common types of paints for marble and their characteristics.

Types Of Paints For Marbles

Paint for marbles can be categorized as either oil-based or water-based. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of these two types of paints for marble: Oil-based paints and Water-based paints. These categories of paints are easy to distinguish by their ingredients.

1. Oil-Based Paints For Marbles

Oil-based paints have been around since prehistory! For centuries their most common use was in painting portraits by hand – today’s painters often prefer them over other types of paints when working with marble because it provides excellent coverage without cracking due to shrinking.

Oil-based paints are made from oils, resins, and solvents that produce a durable film on the surface they’re applied to. Otherwise, you could also say Oil-based paints are made primarily of oil, benzene, and heavy petroleum distillates.

This type of paint can be hazardous if not used correctly because it is flammable, leading to explosions or toxic fumes when in contact with other materials such as gasoline, kerosene, turpentine, or mineral spirits.

Pros Of Using Oil-Based Paints On Marble

  1. Oil-based paint is a thicker type of paint that does not drip as easily when applied to surfaces like marble or other types of stone.
  2. The viscosity of oil-based paints makes it an excellent choice for painting on such surfaces in the bathroom where dripping water can cause stains and mold growth.
  3. Oil-based paints are also very durable, which means it will last longer than other types of paint before requiring repainting.
  4. Oil-based paints also have a lovely shine to them that makes your surfaces feel like silk when you touch them!
  5. Oil-based colors may not fade quickly.

Cons Of Using Oil-Based Paints On Marble

  1. The downside with this type of paint is that it tends to be more expensive than water-based paints because you need to buy solvents too in order to make them work properly.
  2. It also takes longer to dry due to its thickness and contains volatile organic compounds (VOC) so if used indoors it can produce airborne pollutants that cause allergic symptoms in some people, such as headaches and dizziness.
  3. If you choose to use it outdoors then the fumes from these VOCs can also cause respiratory problems like wheezing or asthma attacks.
  4. The paint needs a few days to dry before any form of light touches it so if you don’t want dust or dirt to accumulate on your marble, you’ll need to cover it up.
  5. If you’re painting a large space, the paint can take hours (or days) before it’s finally dry and ready for use.
  6. This type of paint requires careful cleanup. If you’re using an oil-based product, make sure you carefully clean up any spills and don’t let the paint dry on your surfaces.

2. Water-Based Paints

Water is an organic liquid that will not cause any damage to marble, This makes water-based paints perfect for high-traffic marble areas like hallways or entrances with lots of people coming in and out of them every day.

This type of surface also allows you to easily make repairs without having to worry about ruining your finish.

Water-based paints contain water as their only liquid ingredient but also include organic binding agents like alkyd resin, acrylic polymer emulsion, and natural latexes. These types of paints for marble dry much more quickly than oil-based ones do.

However, they need time to cure before being exposed to harsh elements of the weather. What’s even more important is that their durability isn’t as high and they may not last long on marble due to its porosity.

Pros Of Using Water-Based Paints On Marble

  1. This type of paint dries very quickly, which means you can get back to life without the worry of having a wet mess in your house for days or weeks.
  2. It’s also easy enough to clean up because it won’t stick as much and will peel off more easily than an oil-based one might.
  3. They’re affordable since water is cheaper than other liquids like linseed oil or alkyd resin.
  4. Water-based paints are non-toxic if inhaled during painting, so they’re safe for people with asthma or allergies who need respiratory protection.

Cons Of Using Oil-Based Paints On Marble

  1. Acrylic paints can be a little more expensive than oil-based paint because they’re newer on the market.
  2. Water-based paints don’t have as long of a lifespan as other types do.
  3. Also, water-based paints don’t provide UV protection against sunlight which means that they will start drying if left unprotected from the sun then.

Best Paints For Marble – Details

1. Acrylic Paint

Acrylic paint is water-based paint and that can be used to paint marble. The pros of using this type of paint on marble are that is it cheaper than other paints like linseed oil or alkyd resin.

This is because it’s a water-based product and since the acrylic in these types of products is synthetic, they’re safer to use around people with allergies or asthma as well.

Using acrylic paint on marble comes with some downsides to its use. One of the main downsides is their lifespan. Acrylic paints when used on marbles does not last quite as long – so you want to keep them out from direct sunlight (UV). If left unprotected for any length of time will shorten its lifespan greatly.

Acrylic paint is one of the best choices for marble because they are water-based and quick drying. Acrylic paints don’t need to be cleaned up with mineral spirits as oil-based paints do.

They’ll also stand up better against wear and tear than latex house paint would, but they can take a while to dry and cure completely on porous surfaces like marble, granite, or limestone.

2. Oil Paint

Oil paint is a great paint to use on your marble as it is durable paint that will protect the surface from scratches and withstand water. There is a downside to oil paints that is it needs to be cleaned up with mineral spirits. But the upside to this downside is mineral spirits are very common around the house.

But another downside that may not necessarily have an upside to it is its drying time. Oil paints have an extended drying time of up to about 48 hours!

Oil paints need more care when working them into detailed areas like friezes or carvings than acrylics would but they are better suited for marble because they give off fewer fumes in dry conditions.

Oil paints are the perfect paint for your marble if you want a high-gloss finish as well that won’t wear away over time due to their glossy nature.

They can take about 24 hours to fully cure after drying so don’t do anything else after painting until the paint is fully cured.

If you’re painting a marble countertop and want it to be stain-resistant and easy to clean off with soap and water, it’s best not to use latex paints or acrylics. These types of materials will create build-up over time which can lead to stone etching.

Instead, opt for oil-based paints. They are easier on surfaces because they don’t penetrate as deeply into the material (which means less residue left behind).

Oil-based paints also provide a nice matte finish that doesn’t show scratches easily. So no one has to worry about ruining their counters every time they cook!

3. Latex Paints

Latex paints is the fastest-drying type of paint you can buy. Its major downside is that latex paints don’t provide a protective barrier as oil-based ones do.

Another downside is that latex paints don’t fully cure for several days, so anything else you touch with your hands after painting will leave behind a sticky residue.

Hands should be washed off immediately after touching the painted surface to avoid smearing or leaving fingerprints and dust on the wet paint.

Latex paints are inexpensive (especially when compared to oil-based paints), and they dry quickly (around three hours). They also provide good coverage over other materials like wallpaper and plastics because it doesn’t penetrate as deeply into the material.

That means there’s little chance that any unwanted material will show through later when it starts wearing away at the edges from high use!

While this may not be the absolute best paint for marble there’s one trick that can make latex paint great for use on marble and that is to recoat or seat the marble surface with an oil sealant or varnish after painting with latex paint.

One other thing to note about paints and marble surfaces, in general, is that don’t use latex on marble or any porous surface unless it has been specially treated with an acrylic sealant!

Helpful Tips For Painting Marble

  • Always start your project off correctly by choosing the best products including paints or sealants that specialize in protection against high traffic areas. My go-to is acrylic paint as they simply work great all the time when it comes to painting my marble!
  • Always use an oil sealant or varnish on marble before painting with latex paint.
  • In painting marble surfaces, you should always start with a primer that is specifically for use on these types of materials.
  • Primers are great as they prevent excess moisture absorption so that your marble floor lasts longer too.
  • Primers help create a strong base that will allow the paint to adhere better and last much longer than otherwise.
  • Instead of primers, you can also use concrete or stone “prep” solution which will chemically etch into the surface and cover up any stains like coffee rings or dirt smudges.
  • Before you start painting, make sure the surface is clean and dry.
  • Use a roller or brush to apply paint when possible because it’s better at getting into hard-to-reach crevices than spray paints are.
  • Try not to use latex paint unless your marble has been treated with an acrylic sealant!
  • Acrylic will provide protection against high traffic areas, but not much else.
  • Oil-based paints provide the best protection, but they are more expensive.
  • Sealant can be applied after painting to protect against traffic and moisture.
  • Recoat or reseal your marble surface with an oil sealant or varnish after painting with latex paint just so it doesn’t get damaged from the paint peeling away in a few months!
  • I always recommend using at least a semi-glossy sealer after painting because this will give you some added protection from stains as well.
  • No matter the paint, you will often get what you pay for when it comes to these types of products. This means that if the paint you get is cheap, then chances are they won’t really do the job either.
  • Some people also find success in using an oil sealant as well before applying any kind of latex paint – this can make it easier for the finish coatings to bond since they have something to grip onto better.


Hi! I’m Kobby, one of the co-owners of and the newest house owner in town. I’m a huge fan of most things natural. Over here on this site, I'm happy to share all the exciting hacks, tricks, and tips I have learned and continue to learn each day about taking care of natural stones.

Recent Posts