The Look of Granite in our Kitchen for Under $100: DIY Giani Faux Granite Review

November 7, 2011 1 By EngineerMommy

When we purchased our home, we knew that sooner or later we would want to update the countertops in the kitchen. What we inherited from the previous homeowners was a builder-grade white laminate countertop replete with nicks, scratches & burn marks. Real classy!

When we were doing renovations to the rest of the house (painting, tiling, etc.), somehow the countertops fell by the wayside. And the next thing we knew we were pregnant and all non-essential renovations became out of the question. Fast forward one year, and Sophia is a few months old, and we are still looking at those ugly kitchen countertops. Here is what we see…

So we decide to try faux granite via Giani Granite Paint for Countertops and ordered one kit of Sicilian Sand. The process of applying the granite paint was definitely time-consuming.

Before you begin painting, you must prep the old countertops by scrubbing and scouring them. Next you have to tape off all the edges around the countertops and lay some protective drop cloths in the area. You start by applying the black core primer and leting it dry. Then you have to apply the three accent colors in rapid succession via sponge and let them dry. You may have to sand down the counters at that point if you want a less dimensional final product. Then you apply the first layer of topcoat and let it dry. And finally, you apply the final layer of topcoat and let it dry. There there are restrictions regarding the use of the countertop for several days – no small appliances for three days and no standing water for thirty days. Furthermore, you can never use any abrasive scrubbers on the counters (since there is a layer of paint on them of course) and you shouldn’t use any harsh solvent cleaners either.

Overall it took about 4-5 days to do our kitchen counters, with a total of about 6 hours of actual work. Clearly, most of the time spent was just waiting for various paint layers to dry. Note that the odors of most of the paints used were not too bothersome, except the final one- the topcoat. Since it is an automotive-grade paint, it is fairly strong and proper ventilation must be used. Since we had a little one (~4 months old at the time) in the house, we waited until she was sound asleep in her bedroom (with forced air conditioning into her room) before we did any of the work. This meant that most of the work on this project was completed between 8pm and 10pm- it was an adventure!

We are quite pleased with the result. We have had numerous people mistake these counters for true solid slab granite. And we are two very proud DIY’ers! Here is the same kitchen with the new countertops:

And here is a close-up of the countertop:

The best part of the whole project was that we had enough leftover product to do our hallway bathroom as well. Here is the final product of the same countertop paint used in our bathroom.

We have already recommended Giani to a number of friends. Let me know in the comments below if you have used any paint on your countertops or if you would like to!

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