Painting your counter tops is a great way to cheaply and quickly fix up your existing counter tops. I’ve used the Giani white diamond counter top kit for 3 different projects.
The first was our first home in Tuscaloosa that is now being rented out. The countertops were red with a plaid backsplash…can you say ewwww?! This is a very small home and we couldn’t justify getting new countertops, no matter how cheap they were. So I found the Giani countertop kit on Amazon. After completing this project, I realized you really don’t need the kit but it is nice to purchase everything as once. When doing this project again it was hard to find a nice sponge like the one in this kit. I did eventually see one at Joann’s but home depot or Lowes didn’t carry this sort of thing.
I started out by watching a few Youtube videos of the process to get a good idea of what I was doing. I also read a few blog posts about variations and design in the paint. And lastly, I looked at google images of granite and marble to figure out what I wanted to mimic ours off of.
So here it is, these are the steps I took to paint our faux granite or marble countertops.
I'm going to show you pictures of the motor home table since its nice and small so it's easy to see but I'm post a gallery of the kitchen countertops we did in the our rental house at the end.
1. Clean Surface
Make sure you have a clean surface. I sprayed some degreaser and then wiped down with water a few times to make sure there wasn’t any residue that would interact with the paint. Make sure surface is completely dry before beginning.
Tape off anything you don’t want to get paint on- walls, appliances, sink, cabinets etc. Some people even put plastic on their cabinets or floors. I didn’t see the need for this but if you’re worried you’re going to make a mess you can take this precaution.
**This is a picture of the bathroom since I didn't need to tape anything for the table.
3. Paint Black Base
If you’re using a countertop kit you will start with a black coat first. If you don’t have a kit, any black paint will do, just make sure it’s a flat sheen; the less glossy, the better. You can roll it on or use a paint brush, it doesn’t matter how it looks, you will never see the black. The reason for this step is to give it an even base, so that your white really pops and it also gives you depth like real granite or marble would have.
4. Sponge on Silver
I think the directions tell you to wait 9 hours but I’m the most impatient person on earth so naturally I only waited a few hours to start the next step (which was fine). If you get the kit, cut the sponge into four equal parts (or two if you’re going for a lighter look) so that you can mix colors easily. Use a paper plate or perhaps parchment to pour a little of your paint on so you can easy sponge it onto your counter.
The kit comes with 3 different colors, pearl mica, limestone and inca gold. I didn’t use the inca gold at all. The Pearl Mica (silver) was sponged on first in a sporadic pattern, not covering all of the black surface. The silver is going to add even more depth to your finished countertop. I love the way this gives it that flakey layered look and I would’ve added even more if I had known this.
This was the 2nd time using this kit so I had to buy a new sponge. I ended up using a piece of the roller that I bought, I did not use the yellow sponge pictured here
5. Sponge on White
Wait until the silver has dried and sponge on the white. This coat is going to be very thick. You basically want to sponge every square inch. You’re going to feel like “Why did I put the black or the silver on you can barely see it?” But that’s the point. You don’t want to see much of the black or silver, you just want it to peek through the white.
I missed the black paint with a tiny bit of white and a little bit of water to make it easier to apply. Just a couple drops of water will do. I used a fanned brush to create my veins but you can use anything you have around the house, a feather, a cheapo kids paint brush, anything small enough to create yours veins. I didn’t water it down the first time around and it was really difficult to get a vein, it just looked like a bunch of splatters.
This is the step where creativity and possibly some artsy inclination will help. I took a look at my granite or marble inspo and used this as the template for my veins. So I used my fan brush to lightly sweep the black, white, water mixture across the countertop. Pushing a pulling the brush lightly is how you’re going to get the uneven sporadic looking veins. Just remember it doesn’t have to be perfect, you can cover anything up with more white paint if you don’t like the way it looks.
Some people even get a spray bottle and spray the black veins. I tried this and it didn’t dry right so I can’t give you any tips on that.
7. Sponge white on top of veins
You can wait until the veins are completely dry, or if you’re anything like me, you can start sponging on the white while the veins are still wet. I actually prefer to do it this way so that you can soften the veins and really mix the white with the black and get those light greys.
8. Create brighter White Areas
The way I thought about it was- you want area of bright white and then light grey around your veins. So I would sponge on a lot of white in areas and then use a separate sponge to apply a little bit of white to the veins and it would start to mix and create this light grey color.
You can do as many layers of white and grey that you want, just keep applying paint until your satisfied.
Ok, you actually have to wait for this step, sorry to all those impatient people out there. I would wait at least 9 hours before applying your epoxy. A foam roller worked best for me but you can also use a brush. Just remember that the epoxy can be a bit temperamental. Once you’ve finished a section, don’t try to touch it up because it’s just going to look worse. It gets gummy after it sits for a few minutes so once you’ve epoxied one section you have to wait until it is completely dry to put on another coat. Once you’re done your first coat, wait for it to dry, lightly sand, wipe down with damp paper towel and then apply your 2nd coat. Giana recommends 2 coats and no more than 3. I would stick to this. It’s not going to give you this beautiful finish but it will make it durable. If you want a really thick, shiny finish I would recommend a pour on epoxy like envirotex. That stuff is a mess and whole other project in itself though. I’ll make a post about pour on epoxy if you find it necessary.