How to Engrave Marble

By Jose Leiva
Engraving marble is not very difficult.

Engraving marble is not very different from engraving other materials, such as metals or wood. If you haven’t engraved any marble before, or anything at all, then you may want to start off practicing with the cheapest marble tile you can find at your local hardware store. If you’ve done some engraving, then you can start off with larger objects, such as slates or whatever you want. The trick to engraving marble is for you to be as patient as you can.

Paint the area of the marble you are going to be engraving with a thin layer of white, water-based paint. This will help make pencil marks for outlining your engraving much easier on you since otherwise, the pencil would just rub off the marble.

Draw the design that you want to engrave on the marble with a pencil. Your engraving can be anything from pictures to letters. Letters are a lot easier to engrave than pictures.

Trace the pencil markings from your design with a thin, pencil-like stone carving chisel. Do not hit the chisel with the hammer; instead, simply scratch at the marble with the chisel, applying pressure with your hand. You’ll know when you’ve scratched the marble because you’ll see small furrows of marble coming out in front of the chisel.

Wash off the paint from the marble with a wet wash cloth until all of the paint has been removed from the marble. All that should remain are the scratches you made with the chisel.

Place a flat stone carving chisel along the scratches, and tap lightly on it with a hammer. The chisel will scrape off the space between the scratches and leave behind an indentation; that is the engraving. Continue to do this through the entire design until you’ve engraved the whole thing.