The tomb-full marble floor of St John's Co-Cathedral in Malta is breathtaking.

How can I create something similar to a marble floor or floor fresco, and protect it in a large room that will be continually walked through?

I intend for the floor to have a giant figurative painting, something akin to the Procession of the Magi in the Medici Chapel.

To do the whole floor in marble would cost a phenomenal amount. Instead, what options are there? Are there any examples of other people having done this?

The floor will be walked upon daily by many people, so raw paint would not only fade, it would smudge and ruin (especially when people are coming in from the rain). Would paint and a glass layer on top to protect it work and be an option? Because glass breaks I'm hoping there's another way.

I want to know all options that I have. If imitating marble is an option, that's great, but I want to know all feasible options. I can't see examples of where other floor murals exist that will be walked upon, so I don't know what options I have, and - to make this project a reality - I must present a range of options to the patron, in terms of feasibility and cost (including maintenance).

NOTE: I'm looking for a condensed overview of different methods, each of which I can look into hereafter individually.

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    Hi Johan, what exactly is your question? The floor in the co-cathedral is not a fresco - do you want to imitate a marble floor in fresco? Can you edit your question to focus it on the one thing you want to know (like 'How can I imitate a marble floor?')? Welcome to A&C :)
    – Joachim
    Commented Nov 13, 2019 at 19:26
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    Johan, in that case your question is way too broad: you want to know how to create a fresco, on a floor that is being used, in addition to other practical solutions to that same effect. The question on how to create a fresco alone would take an extensive answer. Can you at least split your questions up? As it stands now, the first question already received the answer "creating the beautiful floor" - if that's all it takes, your question is not 'how to create a fresco', but only 'how to protect an artistic floor' (or something to that extent).
    – Joachim
    Commented Nov 14, 2019 at 11:01
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    You will find interesting this page
    – Danielillo
    Commented Nov 15, 2019 at 10:57
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    This doesn't solve your problem directly, but floor paints won't smudge once dry, even if scrubbed with soap and water. This is true for most oil-based and even some water-based paints. They may scuff, however, a dry process of abrasion that removes material rather than mixing it. Floor paints aren't designed as art materials, or available in a wide enough range of colours.
    – Chris H
    Commented Nov 16, 2019 at 15:22
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    @ChrisH - with a little more info you could post your comment as an answer. Pretty sure you could get a wide range of floor colors btw.
    – rebusB
    Commented Nov 18, 2019 at 16:49

1 Answer 1


As I understand it, you want to have a beautiful floor which can be walked on, without degrading its beauty.

You have 2 issues:

  1. Creating the beautiful floor.

    You can paint it, use marbles, or anything else you desire. 2D or 3D. Let your imagination go wild.

  2. Protecting the newly made floor.

    Apply a thick layer of an epoxy resin. I am not experienced with this, but I saw many videos on the Internet of people doing this. If the epoxy gets degraded, you again have options:

    1. Polish the epoxy, if it is still thick enough.

    2. Apply a new layer of epoxy. Ideally, you polish the old surface first for the best results, so do not wait too long before doing it.

You might be successful using a large, high quality poster for the floor, and cover it with the epoxy.

Preparing the base floor for coverage is the subject of another question, as well as details on how to use the different materials.

  • Thanks! Will the epoxy resin not degrade over time and yellow? Removing it would remove the underlying paint I think.
    – Johan88
    Commented Nov 14, 2019 at 5:55
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    Completely removing it will definitely carry a high risk of damaging the protected areas. Instead of epoxies, you might use some lacquer (of which thre is a huge variety). Again, I am not an expert, you will need to find the details searching the web, or consulting an expert / dealer. Lacquers might be removable with solvents, and if the floor is immune to solvents, then the removal will not damage it. I am not aware of solvents for epoxy.
    – virolino
    Commented Nov 14, 2019 at 6:00
  • that's amazing. Thanks. Lacquer, also, would be more shiny then polished epoxies I expect
    – Johan88
    Commented Nov 14, 2019 at 6:34
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    Maybe. And maybe you can apply lacquer over epoxy, if their properties allow this. However, as I saw on videos on the net, epoxy can be polished to be very shiny too. But I do not know its resistance to scratches. Maybe a top layer resistant to scratches needs to be applied, over whatever base is used.
    – virolino
    Commented Nov 14, 2019 at 6:45

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