We hadn’t planned on spending all last weekend redoing our kitchen countertops, but that’s what happens when you get a great idea and have a little time (sort of) to spare. The great idea came from my hair stylist, Jenn, who recently used Giani Granite stone paints for her countertops and is smitten with the results. Back up. You read that right: stone paints.
What does that mean to you? Two things: 1) it’s easy to do, so long as you can hold a paintbrush, and 2) it’s an incredibly inexpensive solution to crappy countertops. From 1972.
The idea is you can redo your countertops to make them look like marble or granite. We opted for marble but ended up with something completely different….
Giani provided us with two kits of their Bombay Black to review (they have four color kits to choose from). As soon as they arrived, we got started. Here are the before, during and after pics, with explanations in the captions:
Here’s the sink and counter as it looked when we moved in. This photo frightens me to this day.
Have supplies, will paint! (Take a good look at those vintage countertops because you won’t see them again — Amen!)
We already had done a lot of work in the kitchen but weren’t going to touch the countertops until our complete renovation a few years from now. But I’m not one to wait. I take to heart this Yiddish saying: Man makes plans, and God laughs.
Giani recommends using two rows of Frog tape above the backsplash, and that’s good advice, as you’ll see in the next photo.
Giani doesn’t recommend removing the sink to paint; just taping the heck out of it. I taped around the sink, but I didn’t tape the hardware; just covered it with some rags. Worked perfectly.
The primer went on nice and easy. Giani also recommends you wear gloves. That, too, is good advice. Let’s just say that for days afterward I could have been mistaken for Girl Who Scratched Her Way Out of a Coal Mine.
Here’s what we loved about this product:
- The entire process was pretty darn simple, from start to finish.
- Prep work involves cleaning your countertops — no sanding required.
- Giani gives you excellent directions and resources, including a DVD, which we really watched. We never found ourselves staring at our counters and scratching our heads.
- The kit comes with essentially everything you need except for a few basic household items such as SOS pads and a spray bottle.
- If you initially don’t like your design, you can wipe it away and redo it.
- The end result looks fantastic!
To get a good painting base, we mixed some of the black and white minerals with a little water and brushed it around.
Arkady is the artistic one when it comes to paint, and he handily created this bold design on the side counter. We both loved it, but, alas, it wasn’t to be.
I got busy on another section of countertop but couldn’t duplicate what Arkady had done. My section ended up looking like hammered metal, quite by accident, I assure you. We really loved the look, so he returned to his section and completely redid it to match mine. (Is there any wonder why I adore him so?)
The finished product prior to tearing off the Frog tape and paper.
We achieved the metallic look by pouring the minerals onto the counter using a teaspoon, spraying it with water and then dabbing here and there with the sponge they provide.
So, what are the downsides? There aren’t many, so far as we can see.
Because the product is paint-based, it needs time to cure. Giani says you can use your countertops one day after you complete the application, but we’re going to wait the two weeks that they say it takes for the product to cure. Some customers have had issues with peeling and such after a year or three, but I suspect that in most cases it’s because they weren’t careful with the curing or the maintenance. For example, Giani stresses that you not use vinegar or alcohol-based cleaners on your new counters.
This photo is prior to topcoat. After you finish the creative painting, the counters need to dry for at least four hours before you apply the topcoat. We applied three layers (the most that’s recommended), letting each one dry for at least four hours.
We created a few of these “blops” that I call badges. We layered drops of black, bronze and white minerals, making the drops smaller each time, sprayed it with some water and gave it a gentle puff of air to diffuse it.
Another badge. They’re not large, maybe the size of a half-dollar.
Another reason to love this product: You can use it over laminate, Corian, Formica, cultured marble, ceramic tile and wood.
Voila! The finished product. I’m smitten.
Again, for effect, here’s the original sink area.
…and here’s the after. Not perfect, but dang nice and definitely modernized. Well, except for that wretched sink that looks like it belongs in the back of an old VW camper van. Phase 2!
Giani Granite is available in some stores, but you can easily order it online. View plenty of before and after photos on Giani’s Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest pages, and on their photo gallery.
We are totally delighted with our results, and now I don’t regret for a minute taking a hot pan and slamming it down on our old countertops. The nasty burn mark it left behind is now long gone.
Let us know what you think!
PS: Be sure to like us on Facebook. We often post things there that we don’t post on the blog.