Updating Granite Countertops Using Paint –
Have you ever wondered if you could update your granite counters without having to replace them? I did, and was able to give them new life when I updated them to look like faux marble counters.
Before you say it’s ridiculous to paint granite, please know that it was not my first choice (which would have been to replace them with counters that matched the kitchen that is in the room right next to this space). However, this was a DIY update gave us the look we were looking for, at the time that we needed it done.
When we bought our last house, it had a ton of granite countertops, but all of them had lots of brown and cream. They didn’t “go” with all the new colors we put in the house – grays and crisp whites and bright colors. They especially didn’t go with our brand new kitchen, located just next to the bar area…
It would have cost us a fortune to replace them, and we didn’t have several thousand dollars to swap them all out. We did replace quite a few of them in the bathrooms, but the two that were next to our brand new kitchen didn’t make the priority list, and unfortunately clashed with the new pretty quartzite not fifteen feet away. So I decided to paint them to look like faux marble counters. Yes, I know there are many who believe that I shouldn’t paint them, as mother nature took a bazillion years to make them. But it was either paint them, or take them out and put them in the trash in order to replace them. This was a great temporary fix while we waited to replace them.
This is the bar/wine/coffee area the day we settled on the house, before we did anything to it.
Gotta love the 1990’s cabinets and granite combination. And let’s not ignore that pretty etched mirror. Ugh. Not my style at all.
After we replaced all the floors in the house, the first thing I did in this space was paint the cabinets black using Amy Howard chalk paint in black, and replaced the dated hardware.
All of the counters I’m talking about are all in the great room area, which includes our new kitchen with quartzite counters that look very much like marble.
There are tons of tutorials out there to duplicate the effect of faux marble, and I tried a few different ways. One of the videos I watched was for a product called Giani’s Countertop Paint , and it gave me a good idea of how to start the process. Being that I am impatient and didn’t want to wait for it to ship to me, and they don’t carry that product at my local Home Depot or Lowe’s, I used what was already on hand. I did buy a glossy surface primer, but everything else I already owned.
List of supplies
- Kilz Glossy surface primer
- white chalky paint or flat paint
- gray chalky paint
- metallic paint in gray
- Metallic paint in silver
- Metallic paint in creamy white
- paint brushes, paint roller
- Benjamin Moore sealer/topcoat
The How To
I began by wiping everything down, making sure I started with a clean surface. Then I primed the counter tops. I used Kilz Adhesion primer for glossy surfaces. I had it tinted with some black to make it gray.
The right thing to do is to wait at least 24 hours for the primer to dry. And I did do that – after the first counter had to be started over since I went too fast. Wait. Just do it.
The coverage from the Kilz adhesion primer is awesome – it took one coat to completely cover the granite completely. I wish all paint was like that….
When it dried, I tried to scratch it off with my finger nail, and it didn’t budge!
We also went over the small part of the counter that was melamine with the Kilz adhesion primer, and it worked great. It even filled in those scratches, so you couldn’t see them anymore when I finished with this process.
Then I put the first coat of white over the primer. It was pretty streaky and splotchy, with the dark gray still showing through, but that’s okay. Let it dry for a few hours. It doesn’t matter that the coverage wasn’t smooth or covered 100%. In fact, it’s better because it adds depth to the end result.
Then, go back with a big round brush or sponge, and give it another coat by blotting the white on top of the first coat. I wasn’t looking for perfect cover, I wanted a little bit of depth and interest. Let it dry completely.
I took some of the silver and gray paint, dipped a feather in it, and ran it over the top randomly, creating veins. It doesn’t have to be perfect, because you will go over it a few times with more gray, white and other shades of white. Let it dry.
After it dried, I went back with some watered down white paint and blotted it over top of the gray veining.
I took a little bit of the pearl white paint, and put in a few veins of pearl to make it look opalescent and a little sprakly, like real marble sometimes is.
And when i was finally happy with how the “marble” looked, I let it dry completely for a day or two. Then I put a couple of coats of sealer on top and let them dry for a few days before I put anything on top of them.
They looked so good – and held up great to every day use for over a year.
In the above picture, you can see how the pearl paint added a little bit of shine and depth to the finished counter. When people came over, they were always surprised to find out they were painted!
Unfortunately, we moved not long after I painted them, and before I could take proper “after” pictures with less glare, no mess and no painters tape left behind. But you get the gist, right? For the year or so that we lived with them, we had no issues with them holding up. I had our toaster coffee pot in that area, and made coffee on them every morning. It held up to constant wiping down, water, plates, kids making toast, etc…
So, yes, you can paint over granite countertops and make them a thing of beauty.
Want to see how I painted floor tile? Check out this post: Painting Floor Tile
Thanks so much for stopping by!