Halloween Marbling Tutorial

Howdy there! A few of you asked for a marbling tutorial, so here it is. I’m using my Halloween colors. You can see my Halloween marbled nail art in the post below. Cremes work best for marbling rather than shimmer or glitter. Also, try to avoid quick-dry polishes until you get good at marbling because they will dry too fast and won’t marble correctly.

Please excuse my unbuffed scruffy nails, raggy cuticles and nail polish smudges.

You will need 4 things:

1. Base color (in this case I used Essie Capri). The base coat should be lighter than your marbled color. I used black for the marble. It’s generally easier to marble dark over light than vice versa.

2. Color for marbling with a thin brush- the thinner the better. I used a random nail art polish from the dollar store. But you need a thin pointy brush. If you don’t have polish with a thin brush, just buy a cheapo brush at the craft store for under a dollar. The brush should be pointy and thin.

3. Clear coat- not quick dry, just regular clear lacquer. Quick dry will make it really hard to marble correctly.

4. Something thin but rigid to create the marble effect: a toothpick, pin, thumbtack, etc. I used a jewelry-making thingadoodle. It’s like a pin back but not pointy at the end.

Step 1: Paint your nail with one or two coats of base color and let dry. In this case, I used Essie Capri.

Step 2: Apply a slightly thick coat of clear lacquer. Thicker than usual but not dripping off your nail. Do one nail at a time, otherwise they will dry too fast.

Step 3: Use your thin tiny brush to paint diagonal striped on your nail all the way across. Paint directly on the wet clear lacquer as quickly as possible. You can do vertical stripes too, but the diagonals are good for beginners. Think of a candy cane with diagonal stripes.

Step 4: Quickly, while the black stripes and clear lacquer are both wet, use your pin or toothpick to draw a line through the stripes in the opposite direction of the stripe. Easier to explain with photos, I think:

Clean the pin on a tissue after each swipe across your nails.

After these steps, your nail will look like this:

Step 5: You want to mix the colors together into a smooth marble. This step is all trial and error. When the nails are tacky but not too wet, gently brush on some clear lacquer with a sort of rolling motion. Don’t brush it on hard or it will all swirl together. Just gently place it on the nail.

You will be able to see a small gap in your nails where the pin was dragged, but it will be thin. That’s part of the design.

After the clear coat is dried, you can put on whatever topcoat you want. It may take a couple coats to get the nail smooth. Marbled nails don’t last forever but they are a lot of fun to wear. The key is a lot of practice to get the timing right.

The finished product:

The basecoat on the pinkie is Orly Glitz.

You can also do this on tips if you find it impossible to actually do it on your own nails. But it will take quite a few times to get the hang of it. Happy marbling!


About nevertoomuchglitter

Nail artist. Wanderer. I'm a color-holic, in fact, it was my love of color that brought me to the nail art world. Well, that, and the fact I was too cheap to pay crazy Japanese prices for nail polish while living in Tokyo, so I had to start mixing my own. That's how NTMG began.
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8 Responses to Halloween Marbling Tutorial

  1. shutendoji says:

    Great tutorial and beautiful nails! Thank you!

  2. nevertoomuchglitter says:

    I’m glad you liked it! Have fun.

  3. Thanks for the tutorial. I will have to try this out and let you know my results

  4. Pingback: Wearin’ O’ The Green (Marble) « Nevertoomuchglitter’s Weblog

  5. mostlyemolove says:

    I really liked some of these designs! At my school; my guitar class is doing black and white themed. I need some ideas, these were good, but I need something simple. Can you do any black and white simple styles.

    • nevertoomuchglitter says:

      Hi there- thanks for your comment. Exactly what kind of design are you looking for? A full nail one, or a French, or maybe some nail art with music notes?

  6. Quinn says:

    The way you do the marbling is really good, I tried but it turns out ugly, I think you are really creative and skillful!!

  7. Pingback: Esssscapee Snake Nails « Nevertoomuchglitter’s Weblog

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