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What can you do when you buy a house what has a really ugly old counter top? You can remove it and put in a new one. You know what else you can do? Paint it! Follow along with one of our house projects. Here’s how to paint a counter top. We made our counter top look like Granite.
But first let’s see just WHY we felt so strongly about changing out the kitchen counter. It won’t take long for you to understand our reasoning.
Yup, seriously. Welcome to the ’70’s!
This kitchen was in our small place in California. It was built in the early 1970’s – you think the counter top is crazy, check out the wallpaper in those bottom cabinets! Double Crazy!
I wasn’t living in a place with a lime green counter top. No way, sorry. I woke up to this screaming at me for a few weeks. Listen, I am not a morning person – I like my first cup of coffee in silence. So, this was not going to work. Way too jarring, at any time during the day to be honest.
We looked into replacing the counter top. There was only one problem…
The counter is curved, here’s a closeup. That ruled out heading to the home improvement store and getting a stock counter, right? We would have to order a custom counter top and that would be pretty expensive. We had to find another way.
How to Paint A Counter Top to Look Like Granite
And that’s when I read about this Giani Countertop Paint Kit! We had to go searching high and low for it, but later I found that you can buy it from Amazon.
This wasn’t a hard project, but it does take several days. You have to do a lot of prep work (which makes sense, right?) Graham removed the stovetop and the sink. He removed the caulk at the top of the backsplash. Then we scrubbed the counter down with TSP and SOS pads. We used Painter’s Tape to mask all the edges.
There were some deep scratches or nicks in the counter, so we had to patch them with wood patch. We let it dry and then sanded it down nice and smooth.
Ready for Primer
OK, ready for painting. The first coat was just black primer for the background. Absolutely everything you need (aside from prep work) is included in the Giani Kit. Graham rolled it on in 3 foot sections, so that there would always be a wet edge. You only need to put one one coat of primer! It covered that old lime green counter top really well.
Take a really good look at the entire counter when you have finished painting the primer. You need to make sure the old countertop doesn’t show underneath at all.
Let it dry for 8 hours. We took a lot of time with this kitchen project – we really wanted to be sure to give the paint lots of time to dry.
Now here comes the fun part. I admit I was a bit nervous to get started on this part – the sponging! But really it was easy to do it and once you get in the groove, just keep on going until you are done.
Ready for Sponging
I used a paper plate to hold small amounts of paint and cut the included sponge into several smaller pieces. Working in small sections, I sponged one colour of paint at a time. There are 3 colours included in the kit and you can work with them at the same time or sponge them on one at a time.
I practiced a bit on the paper plate before starting on the actual counter. The only tricky part is to keep it even as you go along. As in if you’re going to dab that much over here, you also need to dab that much over there. Know what I mean? That’s how you get it looking like granite.
(A close up of our finished counter – ignore that bright spot, that is just a reflection)
Don’t push with the sponge, just lightly dab the paint on. Once you are done and satisfied with the way it looks, let it dry for 4 hours. (We left it alone overnight.)
At this point, it was time to pull out the sander and sand the counter top. It has to be sanded smooth because the sponging leaves raised bumps all over the counter. Graham used 600 grit sandpaper. After he finished, I wiped down the surface and we got ready for the final step.
Ready for the Top Coat
Included in the kit is the top coat. Using the roller included in the kit, we applied the topcoat, again making sure to keep a wet edge. After letting it dry for 4 hours, we put one final topcoat on. There is no need to sand the counter again before the second topcoat.
Then we removed the Painters Tape and walked away. We left the counter alone for a few days, but Giani says you can use the counters in 24 hours. I’m a Nervous Nellie when it comes to this kind of thing, so we waited several days before putting the coffee maker and toaster back on the counter.
What do you think? One of the great things about using this product is that every counter top will look different. Yours will look different than mine, because two different people are doing the sponging.
Giani has several different kits with a variety of colours. We wanted ours to have the dark background but you can choose the kit with a light background if that is what you would like. And here is the finished kitchen….
The Finished Kitchen
We were really happy with the way it turned out. And the best part was that it cost under $100. Believe it!
We managed to completely change the look of the kitchen for under $100. And it really does look like granite. We were so glad to get this project done; it didn’t take long and it completely transformed the kitchen. And I even like the curved counter top now!
So if you have a house that needs a little updating when it comes to the counter top, think about trying this instead of going to the expense of installing new counter tops. If you are going to paint a counter top, I really recommend this Giani Kit. We even had enough left from the kit that we could do the bathroom vanity! Bonus!
Interested in our other home renovation projects?
How to Fix Up That Ugly Stairwell – You HAVE to see this “before” picture; that stairwell was scary and super ugly!
Building Closets in the Loft – we needed more closet space and so we turn the loft off of our master bedroom into a spacious closet area.
How to Paint Over Ugly 1970’s Wood Paneling – we had to. We just had to. We brightened up the entire house with this very simple project!