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Countertop Redo with Giani Granite Countertop Paint

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Does anyone else have kitchen countertops that they feel an unreasonable amount of dislike for? I used to feel guilty for the energy I spent resenting the obnoxious top running the length of my kitchen for ruining my life. As if the countertops somehow so badly affected the room that it was ruining the food. What’s the point of a kitchen if you can’t even cook in it, the food could never turn out right. *Sigh* Obviously,  mending my irrational thinking was out of the question so I sought out a temporary fix for the counters until I can get what I want.

Listen, if you don’t understand my struggle, then this post isn’t for you and read no further. However, for all my fellow doomsday kitchen owners out there, I think I’ve found a way to fix this problem, and it’s inexpensive too!

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When I bought my house the countertops had already been “redone” once. I THINK they were originally green laminate but had been painted over with brown “countertop” paint.

Like…… poop brown. See for yourself.

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This photo was taken the day we moved into the house.

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I wasn’t kidding. Poop brown. The previous homeowners left behind the leftover paint, it says it is countertop paint HOWEVER, anytime anything hot or cold was placed on the surface, the color would change. There were some areas that had been scratched and the green laminate beneath was exposed. It needed work, but I have a goal “dream kitchen” in mind and brand new countertops were not in the budget.

FYI My “dream kitchen” looks a little something like this:

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Taken from this blog

Which is the realistic scaled down version of my dream kitchen that looks something like this:

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Taken from Houzz.com

Obviously, the the glorious-ness demonstrated in the above kitchen will never be happening in my world, but a girl can dream. She can also improvise and modify and that’s exactly what I did.

I researched countertop paints and kits for about 2 months before I settled on the product I chose. I was terrified (I’m not sure why though, I honestly couldn’t make the tops any worse than they already were). Fortunately Giani Granite has a very informative website, FAQ section, and a bunch of youtube and instructional videos.

I watched the “how-to” video 3 times through before I started. I also watched videos on “veining” and how to make the paint look realistic, as actual granite is not uniform. For this I needed small paintbrushes and I used a crumpled grocery bag (these don’t come with the kit). The only other thing I had to buy was a paint tray.

I chose the White Diamond Kit. I ordered extra cans of the Topcoat, White Limestone (although I should have purchased 2 extra cans of this because I ran out before I was finished), and Pearl Mica.

The steps are actually relatively easy but there was a certain look I wanted to achieve and I doubted my ability. Turns out, I’m a touch more creative than I gave myself credit for.

First, I removed my sink. You don’t necessarily need to do this but I wanted it done right. This way I could paint all the edges and re-silicone the sink when I was done – no tedious painting around the edges. I then taped off the cabinets with a plastic sheet and taped off all wall edges. Then, I wiped the countertops clean, twice, and then cleaned them another time to make sure all of the cleaning chemicals had also been removed.

I then primed. This is the first actual step and SCARY. The primer is black. :-/

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After this dries, you get to the fun part. The great thing about this, I think, is that if you don’t like the way you did something, you just keep adding layers of color until it turns out the way you want.

They send a sponge that you have to cut up into 3 pieces (one for each color) to apply the paint. My kit came with white, a opalescent “pearl” that had a slight shimmer to it, and a tan (which I barely used because I wanted a “marble” look- I did do a few dabs and in hindsight I think it just makes the counter look dirty in those spots).

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I poured all of my paints onto plates. I used the sponges to dab, brushes to create veining, and a crumpled grocery bag to dab some of the black primer in spots for some speckles.

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Dabbing. It takes a while, be patient and do it right. The corners where my countertop met my backsplash were difficult because the paint would pool there and it would need dabbed to remove excess paint:

IMG_3959 (2)Some of the paint pooling in the edges. Take your time and go back to dab at the excess until its all evened out.

Have fun, create a unique top, with variations in color and veining:

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I let my countertop dry overnight and then lightly sanded it in the morning (to get rid of the “peaks” from dabbing so that it looked even, flat, and smooth). I had to go back over some spots where I had sanded too much. When that was finally dry, I was ready for the topcoat.

I watched the video that the website has on how to apply the topcoat probably 3 or 4 times. They also have PDF instructions. The topcoat has to be applied using a specific technique to avoid runs, streaking/lines, and uneveness in glossiness. I applied 2 coats, they recommend no more than 3.

The final product:

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I did this in late spring and so far, its held up well. I haven’t experienced any major issues. Some days I wonder if the top cop is yellowing the slightest bit but I am honestly unsure if it’s just my kitchen lighting at night because it’s bright and white in the daylight. It does look nice and I get compliments on it often.

What do you think? Questions or suggestions?

Thanks for stopping by!

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30 thoughts on “Countertop Redo with Giani Granite Countertop Paint

  1. It looks a billion times better! Back in the day I used craft paint and topped it with polyurethane. If I’d been smart I’d have designed a kit like you used and be a millionaire today, lol! Anyway enough about me, you did a great job!!

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  2. Hi! I was just about to order this kit as well, so glad I found this because how yours turned out is very similar to what I was going for. I wanted mostly gray and white as well, and was going to add a little bit of silver. I saw the kit comes with a gold. Is this the tan that you mentioned you didn’t really use?

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    1. I’m glad you were able to find my post, I had so much trouble finding examples when I was debating buying! The gold is actually tan- there’s no shimmer (you can see the color in the pic I posted of the paint on the paper plates). I did apply a few dabs but honestly now regret it because every time I am wiping the counter clean it just looks like dirty/stained spots. I’m thankful I didn’t go wild with it. If you want mostly gray and white order an extra can of the white – I went through 2 and wish I’d ordered a 3rd. The “pearl” is a really nice white/gray opalescent shimmery color (I also bought 2 cans of this) and I used extra of this when I ran out of white – it just doesn’t cover the black primer great because it’s sheer. I added a few dabs of the black primer when I finishing and creating some of the unique spots and when I went back and added white over top of it the paint started mixing a bit and gave me the gray colors you see – which I actually really liked. Will you blog or post before and after pics? I’d love to see them!

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      1. Thanks so much, this is so helpful! Yes, I was planning on ordering extra of the white and the shimmer. I did read that you can add other paint as long as it is water based acrylic, so I will probably get something that is silver or with some shimmer to add as well. I will post before and after pictures! Hopefully should have the kitchen all done within a month. Thanks again! Hope it turns out as great as yours did!

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  3. You did a great job! I am thinking of painting my countertops as well with Giani. I am happy to see the step by step photos and the results are excellent! I am also considering getting the white diamond kit as well. Thanks for writing up this post! Do you happen to know how many square feet you have of countertops?

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    1. Thank you! I cant exactly remember the square-footage but i think it was somewhere around ~45 sq. ft, I ordered 1 kit and extra cans of the primer, white limestone, and pearl. I wish I’d have purchased 2 extra cans of white (I ran out and the counter has more gray in it than I wanted-still love it tho). Hope that helps

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  4. Dug this up to see the brand name you used, we were debating getting new counters this spring, but Ben said he rather see me get a dishwasher first, so because my “DIY” kit I made on my counters isn’t holding up to the wear and tear of our crazy lifestyle I’m thinking of trying this and doing a better job, plus I want to go a different color! (I’m thinking a lighter beige-y shade.)

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    1. Emily,
      I’m sorry, for some reason my blog puts your comments in my spam folder and I don’t see them until I go through it (I assume it’s just because you are a non-wordpress blogger) so I’m just now seeing these! I can’t wait to see how it turns out for you 🙂

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  5. Looks beautiful. I am going to do mine in Silican Sand but want more of the veining and ‘cloudy’ look rather than what most are doing, just dabbing.

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    1. Hi Gisele! I did the counters over a year ago now, they are holding up great! No scuffs, dings, or chips. It really is impressive how great it looks! The topcoat is still very shiny. I do have one concern that my husband doesn’t agree with, I SOMETIMES wonder if the topcoat isn’t starting to yellow a bit. Now, my kitchen has 500 million windows and gets significant sunlight so I can never tell if it’s the sunlight OR if it’s all the sunlight that might be actually causing the topcoat to yellow. At this point I can’t tell if it’s my imagination because the majority of the time I think it looks pristine and perfectly bright (as you can see I painted mine mostly white). Hope that helps!

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  6. Hi there! Hopefully you’ll see this! Youre counters look great! Love them! I’m getting ready to use the same kit you used- You and I were inspired by the exact same dream kitchen picture. Anyway, I know you ordered extra cans of the 2 light colors in the kit, but I was wondering if there was enough primer in your one kit to cover all of your countertops. Do you remember how long it took you to dab the mineral colors on and what do you use to keep your counters sterile?

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    1. Hi Mia! I can’t remember – if I had to guess I think one can covered the counters (it doesn’t take much). It didn’t take too long to dab the mineral colors, an hour or two but I was very picky so I kept going back and adding/fixing spots. And, I’m not sure if the company suggests this or not but I do use 409 to clean the counter (seems to hold up just fine). I’m not ok with just washing it down with water.

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    1. Pretty well! No scratches or dings. It’s still very shiny. I do think the top coat has yellowed some – I only notice it at night when my track lights are on. I painted my counters so bright/light that any yellowing is bound to be obvious. Those who chose creamier colors many not notice this at all.

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