A few months ago, I found a step-by-step marbling tutorial on Pinterest that uses spray paint and water. It seemed too simple to work. But I liked the results Alisa Burke got, so I gave it a try.
I washed the dirt out of my green gardening bucket, then filled it with water. I sprayed the paints directly onto the water, using a mix of Liquitex artist-grade spray paints and the cheap hardware store kind.
The Liquitex paints created a muddy watercolor wash, while the hardware store paints yielded more attractive results. I think it's because the hardware store brands have latex in them, which creates an opaque webbing.
Because the paints dry so quickly on the water's surface, I found it best to layer colors through multiple prints rather than mixing them in the bucket.
Alisa Burke recommended using a stir stick to create swirls and designs, but this did not work for me. The paint adhered to the stick and created a gooey mess. I had much better results when I stirred the water beforehand, then sprayed the paint.
I like the marbling best when it's done on top of painted or colored paper. The paint is so opaque that it makes a nice contrast to whatever's in the background.
Of course, Liam had a good time arranging and rearranging the papers when I was done.