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Friday, September 06, 2013

Paint Your Countertop: Giani Granite Countertop Paint

The next phase of my diy kitchen makeover project is a countertop update. If you missed the first step, you can catch up by reading through Fugly Kitchen: Phase 1. The glossy black/brown cabinets make my heart very happy!

Do you see what I see? All I see is the pink countertop. It heckles me from every sticky, peanut butter fingerprint.  I am a bit of a "sneaky diy'er" as I much prefer to tackle a project when Glen is not home. As luck would have it, Glen (an airline pilot who from this point on would like to be referred to as "Batman"?!? ) was headed out for another 4 day, red eye pairing. Coast is clear!! I dropped him off at the airport and immediately went to Walmart to pick up a box of Giani Granite Countertop Paint, for $79.99. I hadn't been planning this at all. Nope. I chose Sicilian Sand to contrast nicely with the dark cabinets but this product comes in six colour combinations:

  • Sicilian Sand 
  • Chocolate Brown
  • Bombay Black
  • Emerald Green
  • Sapphire Blue
  • Roma Red

Painting prep, how I despise you. Silicone caulk needs to be completely removed including all residue before painting. That is easier said than done when said caulk is 18 years old. Using an exacto knife, slice along the wall edge and the counter edge and peel the caulk in one long strip. Yeah. Unless you have 18 year old caulk, then gouge up your dry wall and dig out as much caulk crumble as you can with any combination of sharp objects that will get the job done. Patch and smooth any marks in the wall with your favourite drywall compound.

Once the silicone is removed, wipe the surface with rubbing alcohol to remove any residue. The only Giani-approved method for cleaning the countertops is a really good scrub with SOS pads and rinsing three times with clean water. Make sure everything is completely clean and dry before taping off the edges and the sink. I taped the wall two rows of tape high, to give myself some space for sponging the backsplash but I didn't protect my cabinets. Because that's just how I roll.

Prep - check. Cleaning - check. Kids in bed - check, check, check.

The primer for this kit is flat black and requires 8 hours of dry time. Primer is your friend. It really does need the 8 hours. I did this step before bed, so that I sit back with a glass of wine and be ready to paint the next morning. After priming there is no turning back, and I was positive my husband was going to murder me. Who paints their countertops? What have I done?

Jet black, but already better than pink!

The actual painting process involves sponging on the three mineral colours in order from darkest to lightest (brown feldspar, inca gold, and white). I used a separate piece of sponge for each color but didn't allow them to dry in between so that the colors could mix and flow together. My sister came over for moral support but I don't know if I would have ever started without her, it was so intimidating. The sponging process took us almost 4 hours, did I mention we had 7 kids under 10 kicking around? Awesome.

After the sponging, I waited about an hour and then added "veins",  thin lines painted on with an artist brush that resemble cracks or veins in natural stone. 4 hours of dry time and then the clear top coat is applied. I did 3 clear coats with 4 hours or more of dry time between each.

The entire process was completed in almost 36 hours. The countertop has to be kept clear and dry for 24 hours after the last top coat, but at that point small appliances can be put back and counters can be used normally but gently. The surface requires 30 days to fully harden and cure and then it is as durable as any laminate counter.

I was too busy painting to remember to take pictures of the process so all you get is the before/after.

Before/After Giani Granite Countertop Paint -Sicilian Sand

Can you believe its the same counter? Here is a closeup of the actual finish.

Sicilian Sand - close up

I abso-freaking-lutely love my new kitchen. Now if only I could paint on wide plank hardwood floors....

***Edited to add some extra photos of the cabinets and counters. Thank you for being interested! ***

The naturally distressed edges I am waiting for before finishing with a clear coat

Can you guess what my next two projects in this room will be? 


  1. How do we sign up to see a whole kitchen photo? It looks amazing from the photo above!! :)

    1. Thanks, Kate! I added a few more photos of the kitchen at the end of this post. If there is anything you would like to see more of or that I missed, let me know!

  2. I am so impressed great job looks beautiful

  3. Wow, Julie! Who knew my hero was so close by! Your kitchen looks fantastic!

    1. HAH...I read that in the mama job description I think. "Hero", its two lines below "generalized custodial duties". Thanks, Nicole. I'm pretty happy with the process so far.

  4. Okay, I'll take a guess. Floors and window treatments!

    1. i mis-typed the question - it should've read "what are Denise's next two projects in MY kitchen going to be?" ;-)

  5. Love it! I am actually doing my cabinets Spanish oak......we originally wanted java but I can't get it I bought this to see if it could be dark enough.... we are testing it out on a table top far I love it. Can't wait to get started....let everyone know if you attempt to do your flooring:)