Giani Granite: How to paint your counters

My kitchen was re-done about four years ago (three years before I moved in), and basically included all builder-grade fixtures.  I have tons of counter space, but the counters were a marbled, salmon-pink color.  And combined with the orange-oak cabinets, my kitchen was really very “blah”.

I’ve always loved the look of granite, but I knew that I would probably have to sell all of my arms and legs to cover putting in real granite counters– not to mention that for my house, and my neighborhood, that much granite would be a silly investment (that I wouldn’t be able to earn back).  So I looked around for solutions.  Anything had to be better than the ugly salmon color.

And then I found Giani Granite online.  I was sold.  I did my research, looked at all the facebook pictures happy users have uploaded to decide what color I wanted, and drove out to Walmart to buy my kit(s).  I chose the Bombay Black kit.

This was my inspiration:

Here’s what you need:

  • Giani Granite kit(s) – each kit covers 35 sq ft (I bought two kits because I needed to cover almost 40 sq ft) $140 ($70 for each kit)
  • Painters tape – FREE
  • Butcher paper – FREE
  • An artist’s paintbrush (just a small brush to paint in the corners) – FREE
  • Tin foil – FREE
  • Paper plates – FREE

COST: $140

What to do:

1. Clean your counters WELL.  Use a mild soap and scrubby sponge to get EVERYTHING off your counters.  Then, wash them again with just water at least three times to make sure all the soap and everything else is gone.  Also, if you have caulk anywhere touching your counters, remove it all.

2.  Spend some time taping around your counters and sink.  Use the butcher paper to protect your cabinets/backsplash.  Use AT LEAST THREE lines of painters tape above the counters/backsplash to make applying giani easier.  I only used two lines in most places and had to wipe paint off my tiles several times.  No fun.

3. Paint on your primer layer.  Use the foam brush included to get around the edges, but use the roller as much as you can–smoother finish.   One coat of primer should be fine.  Don’t worry too much about lines, they’ll be covered up with the paint.

4. Let your primer dry overnight.

5. Get out your sponge(s) and cut them up.  See a good way to cut them up from the Giani directions HERE (click “View, print, or download Giani Instructions).

6. Pour your paint onto the paper plates and use the black practice sheet to try them out.

**The paint colors are numbered for the order you should use them in.  My inspiration picture suggested that I use my paints in a different order: Bronze, White, Black.  So that’s what I did.  Different combinations get you different results.

7. Start painting your counters.  Work in three-foot sections at a time.  Paint all three colors and then move onto the next counter section.  Using the colors on top of each other before they can dry creates this really cool marbled look in the paint.

8. I let my counters dry first, but you could do this right away.  Use the painters brush to get into the hard-to-reach corners and edges.  I found that using the brush was the only way to get paint all the way up to my tile backsplash.

9. Let the counter dry (I waited overnight, but I think the directions say to wait four hours).

10. Paint on the shiny top coat.  This was my favorite step.  The shiny coat is what makes the counters look so similar to granite.  Watch THIS video before you start.  It’s gives a great explanation on how to paint the top coat on (it dries super fast!) without ending up with dull patches.  I used this method and didn’t have ANY dull, dry patches when I was done.

11. Paint on your second coat of shiny top coat and let it dry.

12. Once the final top coat is dry to the touch, you can remove the painters tape CAREFULLY.  Use an X-Acto knife (or razor blade) to score between the paint and the tape, otherwise you could peel up your newly-painted counters!

Done!

Giani says to let the counters dry for two, full days before you put anything on them or use them, and then to wait two weeks before you can use them like normal.

Here is my before & after!

What have you been working on lately?

I’m linking up with My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia ‘s link up party HERE.

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19 responses

    • Hi Belinda,
      Thanks! I love them. No peeling issues so far. Just be careful that when you pull up the tape you score it first. And don’t let any water get under the paint (near the tape line) before you have a chance to caulk/seal it. I’ve only had the counters done for about two weeks though. I’m giving the counters a full month to fully “cure” (although I am using them now), before I make my final decision. I’ve heard some good things about using an epoxy resin coating on the top to ensure durability. I’ll update this post if that’s the route I go.
      Thanks for stopping by!

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    • Hi Dana,

      Thanks for stopping by! I finished my counters in late January, so I’ve had them painted for a little over six months now. They are holding up really great so far! I was really careful with them as they were curing (first 1-2 months). I used them during that period, but I was careful not to leave pools of water sitting on them until they were fully cured (per manufacturer). I read a lot of reviews before I applied it too– and most people who had issues, had them with water. My recommendation is to make sure that you tape well (so you can apply the paint right up to the edges), score your tape well before removing it, and caulk properly. I don’t have any water issues at all, and I leave sitting water on my counters all the time.

      I have dropped a few sharp things on them as well– they make small (but not at all noticeable) dings. Overall, I’m really happy with how they turned out and how they’re holding up. If you have any other specific questions, feel free to ask. Thanks!

    • Hey Sandee,

      My counters still look great! I’ve had them done for about 18 months now and never really had an issue with them. Once they cured I left water on them without issue. I did get a little aggressive cleaning one time with the scrubby part of those yellow/green sponges & forgot that they’re not meant for that kind of scrubbing. I ended up rubbing some of the shiny sheen away, but didn’t make it to the paint. No one even notices it and it hasn’t been an issue. I definitely don’t put hot pans on the counter though– but I didn’t do that before. All in all, they look just like they did when I first finished them and I’m still really happy with how it turned out. Being really careful during the curing process is key to success I think. Thanks for stopping by! Let me know if you have any other questions.

  3. Did you end up using both kits? Or do you think one would have been enough in hindsight? I’m trying to figure out if I need to buy two.

    • Hey Caroline,

      I did end up opening and using part of the second kit, but I think I really only needed it for the black primer paint? I might have needed some of the accent paint from the second kit too, but I honestly can’t remember. I highly recommend that you buy two of the kits so you at least have them on hand to complete the project. If you don’t use the second one then you can always return it.

  4. This back spring, I used the same kit on my ‘aged’ white counters (they were a stained yellowy beige – very ugly). I love the counters now. They definitely look like granite (I’m a geologist so I do know what I’m talking about). However, the counters did not hold up to my canning this year. I kept my left over paints, so I was able to fix the counter and no one and find the patched areas. As I need a more durable counter, I would like to add a coat of epoxy. Know anyone who’s used epoxy over the giani paint kits? if so, what product did they use?

    • Thanks for your comment Daina! I never had any chipping issues (although I did end up touching up the edges of my counter with a black sharpie because of wear), I was always worried about the same thing. About 18 months after I did my counters with the Giani kits, I followed it up with an epoxy coating. I used Rust-Oleum Parks Super Glaze epoxy (available at Home Depot: http://www.homedepot.com/p/Rust-Oleum-Parks-1-qt-Gloss-Super-Glaze-Finish-and-Preservative-241352/202056337) and it worked really well. I bought A LOT of the 1 quart kits to make sure that I had enough. The process wasn’t that difficult, but if you’re planning to do this, make sure that you have help applying it. Also make sure you take the time to tape off/put down plastic over everything. I had 2 friends who helped me. One mixed the kits, one poured, and I did all of the smoothing. Plus, after the mixing person was done, they went around and used a torch to get all of the tiny bubbles out. Additionally, make sure that there is NO dust on anything. Every tiny dust particle will result in a “dimple” on the surface of the counter. You can’t really see the dimples unless you get up close, but still. I did a ton of research on the epoxy process, so if you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact me and I can try to answer them.

      • Hi there! We did our counters with the Giani kit almost 2 years ago. The main counter has a big area that is peeling so we are going the Parks Super Glaze route. What sort of prep did you do to the top before you poured it on? Did you have any areas where the Giani top coat was peeling? Thanks for your help!

      • Hi Shannon,

        I had really good luck with the Parks Super Glaze epoxy covering. I didn’t have any peeling areas though. I guess it depends on what kind of peeling problems you have had– are they really noticeable, or are they pretty small? What color is your paint (more white/tan or black like my counters)? I did have a few areas that I had mistakenly scrubbed with a scrubby sponge that had dulled the original clear coat from the Giani kit– and the epoxy completely covered/fixed those dull spots, but without being able to see the affected area on your counter, I’m not sure how it would look after. I’m pretty sure it will be less noticeable, but it will also be permanently there. If you’re interested, you can email me a picture of your counter and I can give you my advise (perhaps if the area is really badly damaged, it might be best to re-paint a few of those areas before epoxy.) Feel free to email me — megeletto (at) gmail.

        As for prep, this key is SUPER important. I cleaned the space and secured plastic up to keep the room separated from the rest of the house. I also covered the HVAC vents to keep dust out. I didn’t scratch up my counters before the epoxy, but I did do a thorough cleaning and vacuuming of the space. Any spec of dust left on the surface WILL show a dimple in the finished epoxy (I had several of these). I also put plastic on the floor and over the cabinets because you want the epoxy to run off the counters for a smooth finish and you don’t want epoxy on ANYTHING but the counters and plastic that you can throw away.

        I was really nervous that I was going to completely ruin my counters with the epoxy, but I did a lot of prep (review of tutorials that others had done, cleaning of space, plastic/paper taping to protect all of the other surfaces, etc.) and I had helpers to keep the process smooth; in the end, it worked out really nice and I was really happy with how it turned out. If you need to pour more than one box (I needed to pour about 6 qt boxes total), I really recommend that you enlist someone to help with the process– it made all the difference for me.

  5. Great job ! Just bought same color. You mention that your inspiration sample had a different order of colors to acheive that look. Where did u get that order of colors? I am looking for more black and white veiny look and can’t seem to find pictures with order or colors to follow. Any suggestions where to look ?

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