Kitchen Counter Facelift
Faux Granite Countertops
November 16 - 18, 2015
looking at the counters above and to the
right you might think they look okay.
Until you look closely at them. Then you see the
Dents on edge of counter to the right of the
sink. These were done by the previous
owner, probably having to do with the
dishwasher that was in this spot when we
Counter extension into dining room
the counter edge to the right of the sink
were a few cut marks on the counter when we
Nothing compared to what I
did to it.
Since I hated the counter, I used it as a work
bench for my various projects.
Particularly during the winter, when the
garage was too cold. See the
photo to the right with all of the cuts I
made on it.
I always knew I was going to get rid of
it......until I got an estimate. Boy,
do new counter tops cost a lot!
Cut marks in counter
There were also the counter seams we dealt with.
The seam to the left of the sink would swell up if
water got on it. For the last three years I have
been careful to not let any water collect there.
To the left of the stove, the seam did not swell but
was just..... visible.
Seam that swells if water gets on it
Seam to the left of the stove
Three years ago, when I was
looking for counters and options to fix what I had,
I came across the option of painting the old
counters a faux granite finish. I was a little
skeptical at first. I thought, no way could a
paint job be tough enough to stand-up to the abuse a
kitchen counter receives...even without someone
using it as a work bench.
The brand I came across Nov 2012, was Giani Granite.
The reviews were good based on
some other dyi-ers who have posted videos and photos
on the internet. It looks like a few did
reviews after receiving the kit from Giani....hmm.
However, my review below was not paid for. I
paid for the kit.
After looking at the different counter top kits they
had and watching some of the videos, I decided on
the Bombay Black Kit
Everything they list in the kit
is there. However, I wanted a little blue on
my counter. So I ordered an additional can of
the mineral color Sapphire Blue.
When I purchased the kit Nov 2012 it was $69.95 on
their website. The extra can of the blue was
$7.77. The price for the kit has now jumped to
$79 as of 2015.
Three years later, I am now ready to take on this
The first thing that needs to be done with your
counter is the preparation. As with most
projects, the prep work will usually take the
According to the instructions all you need to do is
scrub down your counter with SOS pads, remove any
silicone caulk, and fill in any gouges with wood
filler and sand. Then mask everything off you don't
want paint on. In my case, I had some serious
work to do. So instead of the SOS pads, I used
sandpaper and wood filler to prepare my counter
tops. I had a lot of cut marks to try and sand
An entire day was spent sanding down the counters.
Then I masked everything off. Using plastic to
cover my cupboards below the counter.
seam left of the sink and gouges to the right,
After the counters have been
properly prepared and cleaned you are ready for the
first step of the kit, the primer. The primer
rolls on easily and when it dries, it looks and
feels like primer or like black chalkboard
Before the next step, you need to let the primer set
for 8 hours. Since I did this step at the end
of the day, no problem, I will do the next step
on counter tops
The next day I started applying
the colors or "minerals", as the company calls them.
You layer them on by dabbing your sponge on the
counter. If you follow the instructions they
give you, it is really hard to screw this up.
If you don't like something, you can just cover it
up with some primer or another color and re-dab.
You dab away until you like the look. Your counter.
color Pearl Mica dabbed on
Second color Black Onyz dabbed on
The photos above show the first two colors. A
note about the second color, Black Onyx. Yes,
you are dabbing black on a black surface.
However, the Black Onyx is a little darker than the
primer, so it helps to add some depth to the
The photo below shows the results after I added the
Sapphire Blue (which was NOT part of the Bombay
Black kit), the third kit color, Bronze, and then I
went back and added in some more of the Pearl Mica.
Like I said, it is a personal preference. You add
colors until you are happy with it.
after adding Sapphire Blue, Bronze, and then some
more Pearl Mica
colors now complete. Ready for clear coat.
A note about the blue. In
person, you can see it on the counter. With the
flash on my camera, it accentuated only the
blue. Without the flash, the photo is closer
to how the counter actually looks. So the two
photos above were taken without a flash.
The next step, is the application of two coats of the
Automotive Grade Polyurethane Topcoat which can be
applied after 4 hours. I will do it the
Before applying the topcoat, you need to feel the
surface for any rough spots. If you use a soft
microfiber cloth to gently wipe it, you feel it
snagging on the rough spots. Giani says to
sand it with 600 grit sandpaper. I did it with
800 grit because the Home Depot I stopped by the day
before did not have 600 at the time. I found
the sand paper also works well to fine tune your
paint job along with your finger nails. A spot
of paint? No problem. Just scratch it
lightly so it does not look like a spot. Sand
an area gently if there is a streak you want to get
rid of. Do not press to hard or you will
remove the paint!!!!!
You apply the first topcoat following their
instructions. Wait 4 hours to do the second.
Then you do the hardest part. Do not use your
new counters for 14 days until it cures. Since
most of my food preparation involves popping
something in the microwave, I can deal with this.
I can only imagine the hardship this causes in a
household full of children or a gourmet chef.
See photos below immediately after the second
topcoat was put on and the masking removed.
Do I like it?
Heck yeh!!!! I love it. I can now live
with this kitchen until I do a complete demo, if I
ever have the money.
the two coats of topcoat have been applied
Did it cover all of the flaws?
Most of them. Remember my counters
were in pretty rough shape. I did not
expect to have perfect looking counters with
just paint. The shine in fact,
actually highlighted some issues, I did not
even know were there. Like a ring that
appears to have been caused by a hot pan in
the past. Did not even see it before I
If you just walk into the kitchen, all you
see is awesome. If you start bending
over and looking at the finish from
different angles you can see some waves in
the surface and
some cuts I did not sand down enough.
The seams are still there, just
not seen right way. You turn your head a
certain way, they are there.
What about those huge gouges to the right of the
sink? Uh.....what gouges? See below.
are now all covered up.
The next thing I wanted to add
was a backsplash.
See how this went here...