Wet on Wet Marbling with Dots

As you may have noticed, I love marbling. Since I had my super-long nails on to show you my New Year’s nail art, I though I’d keep them on to show you some marbling.

Before, I showed some striped marbling, painting wet on wet stripes and dragging a toothpick through it. The marbling technique I will show you today is the same basic idea, but it involves painting dots on a wet background and drawing a figure-eight or random squiggle pattern.



Normally I don’t wear these super-long tips, but I thought it’d be good to show you the marbling.

Here’s how to do it:


I used China Glaze Whiteout as the base and Orly Pink Chocolate and Sally Hansen gold (label gone, got it at Just-A-Buck). Paint a thick coat of your base color and immediately dot your marbling colors on top while it’s still wet. You can vary the size of the dots, just make sure you cover all your nail and not just the center.


Next, grab your toothpick, pin or other sharp pointy object, put it in the center of a dot, and make a figure eight or sqiggle shape to mix the dot and the base color. Repeat for all the dots. I got this scary-looking metal pointy thing at the craft store. I think it’s for poking holes in scrapbook paper. Even scarier: I accidentally packed it in my carry-on luggage and they didn’t notice it! Surely a metal spikey thing is more hazardous than my nail clippers and good tweezers that the TSA has confiscated from me in the past. Beware of the TSA at JFK airport- last time I was there, they stole jewelry from my carry-on luggage after they took my bag into the back room for a “search.” Anyway.


If there are any “naked” spots on the nail, like the sides, just squiggle the pin through and swirl the colors. Be careful not to over-mix with vigorous squiggling, or your polish will turn one color. Pratice makes perfect. Have fun and be creative!

It works best when the base and marbling colors are highly contrasting. Metallics work nicely and so do cremes. Glitters tend not to spread as well, but can be used too. You can marble 4 or 5 colors but more than that will get muddy. You need a strong contrast between the colors. If the colors are not contrasting, you can get a muted effect, sort of like tie-dye or batik. Sometimes it just looks smudgy, but if the colors mix just right, it can look very cool. I recommend practicing with contrasting, opaque colors to get the technique, and then expand from there.

Also try: marbling just the tips for a marbling French, or a gradation. Have fun!



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.
This entry was posted in Nail polish, NTMG Original Nail Art, Tutorials and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Wet on Wet Marbling with Dots

  1. blueditty says:

    I love your marbled nail technique. But then I’m always pushing all things marbled…..It’s such a beautiful art form.

  2. nevertoomuchglitter says:

    Thanks for looking and I’m glad you liked it! I’m going to be doing some water-marbling too, but it’s tricky to get right, so I’m trying to perfect my technique.

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