My husband and I just bought our first home. What a fun time and yet, oh, what an exhausting time. Our lives have centered around DIY home improvement projects for the past month and a half. And please note, neither myself nor my husband are craftsman by trade and, quite frankly, we have little natural ability to work with.
The first project I wanted to share with you was one I was skeptical about at first. When we bought our house our kitchen was white. Literally, everything in our kitchen except for the floor and cabinet hardware was white. Here’s what it looked like – just know that this picture was taken after we removed the cabinet doors:
Knowing we weren’t huge fans of ALL white, we bought the house with the intention of making improvements at little cost in preparation for a total redo much further down the road. So, I began roaming the internet in an effort to find an affordable way to add some contrast to our white white kitchen. I found what some of you may have already heard about, Giani Granite Countertop Kits. This kit lets you paint a faux granite right onto your existing counter tops for about $70 a kit. What a deal…but is it too good to be true? I was skeptical. Some of the example pictures I found online were very obvious that the owners had used a sponge. That is exactly what I did not want…an obviously sponged counter top. But, after watching the videos Giani provides and seeing a friend do her own counter tops, I gathered enough courage to tackle this project on my own counter tops.
Now, Giani’s website provides tons of helpful info, technique tips and even videos you can watch. There are also a few blogs out there which show you similar techniques to the Giani videos. So, I won’t beat a dead horse by telling you the same things yet again. In light of the numerous help options you have, I will only give my and my mom’s (my mom flew in to visit me and tackled most of this project on her own while I was at work. Thanks Mom!) top lessons learned:
First, use Frog painter’s tape. It is by far the best tape we used. You will be surprised at how easily the bottom coat seeps under the painter’s tape.
Secondly, really do only one foot wide sections at a time. The paint dries pretty quickly and its hard to blend once dry. Mom learned that one the hard way.
Thirdly, layer, layer, layer. The more layers, the less spongy look you get.
Before you even begin, be sure to research the style of granite you want to try to resemble. I researched all the different granite types before settling on a more “veiny”, darker style.
To get the same look, I purchased the Bombay Black kit, rolled on the black base coat on, and then my Mom sponged a very light layer of white onto the black base coat which gave the counters a gray/slightly silver tone. My mom then sponged in some heavier black and white to add texture, varying it from place to place. To get shadow effects, she sparingly added thicker areas of black and white in odd “U” shapes, using the black to sponge in various “U” shapes and then sponging in a thinner, lighter line of white on the inside or outside of the black “U” (see picture below). For color variance, she added a few, small bronze sponged “U”s. Lastly, to get the veiny look I loved, she used a thin paint brush to add veins to the granite using the black and white (see picture above).
I must say, I am VERY pleased with the results. And new (looking) counter tops for our entire kitchen for just under $100, can’t beat it!
Cost was just under $100 to do all the counter tops which includes the kit, Frog painter’s tape, caulking and gun.
It’s been almost a month now and, so far, it has held up very nicely. I have banged on it a bit, unintentionally, and it has no scratches, nicks, or scrapes as of yet. Looks very promising and I expect it to last us until we do that kitchen overhaul in 10 or so years.
Next project to tackle in this room, an affordable and trendy backsplash. I have a few very interesting ideas in mind. Can’t wait to tackle the project and show you the money saving results!
08/04/2014 UPDATE: We do have some knicks along the edges of the countertops where I rub against them daily. I was able to simply apply some of the leftover paint to touch it up and it looks new again. We also had an issue with standing water on the counter tops. The water causes the top protectant coat to bubble up. But once the water is removed and the sealant dries, the bubbles go away and you can’t see any evidence of the water. All in all the coutertops are still looking great almost 2 years later! I am still very happy with our decision to paint instead of replace until we can do a total kitchen gut in the future
07/24/12015 UPDATE: still pleased with the results but I did aunt to mention I can tell the difference between the areas I really sand and cleaned well and the areas I skimped a bit and also areas I thoroughly added the top coat and areas I didn’t. Knicks are generally all on the areas I didn’t sand and clean well or skimped on the top coat (I was running low and wanted to be done quite frankly). That being said, still an awesome look for only $100. It has held up so much better than I had imagined paint could. Here’s is a pic of some of the knocked up areas so you can get a better feel. I am NOT easy on my countertops so some of this could just be me and my accident prone nature :).