Countertop Redo with Giani Granite Countertop Paint

10565271_10107070189490474_121795438500625498_n (2)

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!

counterbeforeafter6(3)

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.

kitchenbefore1 (2)

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

kitchenbefore3 (2) kitchenbefore4 (2)

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:

1bc7210d69c1e6e10a4addbfaee94aa3

Taken from this blog

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

1362f562b6f9bfa7614ac68398a7a9eb

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. :-/

IMG_3902 (2) IMG_3908 (2)

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).

IMG_3969 (2)

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.

906249_10106322901207184_6615510601312388537_o (2) 1980286_10106322901601394_3271759738197113214_o (2)

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:

IMG_3955 (2) IMG_3958 (2) IMG_3968 (2) IMG_3978 (2)

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:

10014794_10106322903203184_4977168588955297840_o (2) IMG_4037 (2) IMG_4019 (2) 1913255_10106322903652284_2646926387384069334_o (2)

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!

Signature1

10565271_10107070189490474_121795438500625498_n (2)