DIY Granite Countertops – Yes, Really!

I live in a development where all the houses have pretty much the same layout. They were all builder grade basic to start out, and that is one reason I’m always trying to personalize it and add some interest. One of my neighbors was itching to upgrade her kitchen and asked me to help her out with it. She had seen how I painted my niece’s kitchen counters and wanted to do something similar to hers. We talked about it and decided to go with the look of granite countertops as opposed the marble look I did at my niece’s. The granite is better suited to my neighbor’s kitchen and style.

Here is what her kitchen looked like before. She had just replaced the flooring and had someone scheduled to come over and paint the cabinets. My neighbor wasn’t ready at this point to spend the money on new counters, or new backsplash so we matched everything to the existing backsplash.

The Giani Granite countertop kit I used last time worked so well that I wanted to use that product again. We decided to go with the Sicilian Sand kit* to compliment her existing color scheme. Here is her kitchen before:

builder grade kitchen before

As you can see, it’s very similar to what my own kitchen looked like before I remodeled it, it’s just flipped. Her’s is to the right and mine is to the left.

Supplies Needed to Paint Countertops:

Giani Countertop Kit (We used Sicilian Sand)

Painters Tape

Utility Knife

Small Artist Brush

Light Sanding Sponge

Giani granite countertop kit
How to DIY Granite Countertops:

The first step is to clean the existing counters with a brillo pad. This does double duty. It cleans them as well as roughens them up a bit, no sanding required. Then rinse twice with water.

Next, I used painters tape all around the perimeter of where I’d be painting to protect the walls, cabinets, and appliances.

priming laminate counters, diy granite countertops

How To Paint Laminate Countertops

Once the area is protected you will prime the counters with the black primer included in the kit. It also comes with the roller to apply it. I used a brush around the edges and where the counters meet the backsplash. Once it’s primed, let it dry for 8 hrs. My friend and I were saying we even liked how it looked at this point.

DIY Granite countertops Primer

The kits come with 3 accent color paints and a sponge for sponging them on. Open all 3 cans, and pour a little of each into separate trays. Working in 2-foot sections, sponge color 1, then 2, then 3 without letting it dry in between, you want them to blend.

how to paint your counters to look like granite!!

There is no right or wrong way to do this part. You can add as much or as little color as you like. One thing I did notice, was that as I was progressing along and the sponges became more and more saturated it was leaving more paint on the counters. I had to go back and touch up some of the areas where I started to make it match.

how to paint your counters to look like granite - really!

When that is dry, roll on your sealer (also included in the kit). Wait four hours before using a second coat and sand the first coat very lightly first if needed.

diy granite

When everything has fully dried, score the painter’s tape with a utility knife before removing so you don’t pull any paint up with it. That did happen to me in one or two tiny spots. I used a small, flat artist’s brush to touch up those spots.

Paint That Looks Like Granite Countertops

How to DIY Granite Countertops, granite countertops kit.  Paint that looks like granite countertops !

Isn’t that amazing? This paint really gives the look of granite countertops!

Keep in mind that real granite countertops are natural stone so the pattern is never exact. This should help alleviate any fears you might have about trying this yourself.

kitchen countertops DIY Granite

Here is a full side by side before and after. Can you believe the difference here using only paint?

Kitchen makeover on a budget, before and after, DIY Granite counters

Using a kit to achieve granite countertops is such a great alternative if you can’t afford to update your existing counters right now. I highly recommend giving it a try. Especially if you have laminate counters, you really have nothing to lose! If you do try it, I also recommend reading the instructions on how to care for them. Even though the topcoat is solid, you don’t want to use abrasive cleaners on them so that they last as long as possible.

However, if you are getting ready to upgrade your counters, check out this post which contains everything you need to know before buying kitchen countertops.

How to DIY your own granite countertops!! Budget kitchen decorating

31 Comments

  1. They cane out so good! Love it!

    1. How does it handle heat and dishes being slid on them, are they esay to scratch?

      1. They are holding up well, the clear coat included in the kit is very durable!

      2. Michelle Passos says:

        I did this in my kitchen, with the gianai kit. They were beautiful!…. For about 6 months! Then they began chipping, stretching, peeling. I would never do it again & would not advise anyone who actually uses their kitchen to not do this! Or if you have kids who might draw on the counter, or drive a matchbox car over them. My counters are completely ruined & it’s only been a year and a half!

        1. Terri Probst says:

          Mine also chipped/peeled in high use areas. I would advise reapplying the clear coat every few months in heavy use areas. I know I will when I retouch them. Otherwise love this easy redo!

          1. JennA raymond says:

            I used PouR epoxy OVer the sealer they gave me. Its been over a year and a half, with no chipping, etc. i did this after Reading a few reviews of this happening and Knowing i am not easy on my countertops. Good luck! 🙂

  2. Marilynn Turner says:

    What a huge difference. It’s unbelievable that paint could make such a difference. It looks great.

  3. Marilynn Turner says:

    That looks amazing. Looks like a whole new kitchen, just using paint. Great job.

  4. I did this about 4 or 5 years ago and its coming off in lots of areas. Even with about 3 coats of polyurethane. Thinking of doing the concrete overlay

    1. Thanks for your feedback, Deb. I’m curious, did you use this exact product? Also, did you follow the care and cleaning directions? I know they recommend not using any chemicals or abrasive cleaners.

  5. Benita Blake says:

    Wondering how well it stands up to scratches etc, from putting heavy pots or cutting boards or just cleaning?

    1. The countertop kit comes with instructions on care and cleaning, as long as that is followed it holds up very well.

  6. I loved it, where can I buy the kit?

  7. Betty Templeton says:

    I have ceramic tile, Would this on the tile?

  8. Joyce Estes says:

    Love…Love this. You make it look so easy. I am going to do this in my kitchen. Many Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thank you, good luck with your kitchen (it is easy)!

  9. Faye Bayes says:

    I am trying to get up the nerve to try this. It seems cut and dried. Is there any way I can get a copy of your directions on how to do this. Thanks a lot.

    1. Hi Faye, I’m sorry I don’t have a printout of the instructions, but you could print the blog post! Also, the kit comes with detailed instructions!

  10. Pamala White says:

    I applied the Giani sicilian sand to my outdated laminated countertops. I now have a new kitchen. Love my new COUNTERTOPs.

  11. hELLO ROXANNE!

    First off, many thanks for the article. I have a problem and I need your help. I moved into a new house 3 week ago. Everything is fine with the exception of one thing. Countertops seem hardly sealed because they absorb water and I have to wait until water fully dries. I’m really tired of that. I think it’s a good idea to seal them. Currently I’m looking for a good granite sealer which is easy to apply. I’ve been reading some blogs, https://graniteprotect.com/ had the enormous amount of info, hope someone will find it helpful. According to this, Tuff Duck and StoneTech are the most effective options on the market. Can you suggest any good granite sealer?

  12. Laura reed says:

    I’m staRting my countertOp kit tomorrow. Will let you know how it turns out.

  13. I bought this kit and was so happy with the end product. It Looked fantast! Then about 2 years later it started weari off in Differ areas. No i did not use any abrasive cleansers and i did not sit hot pans on my counter top. I follOwed all the care instructions that were given. It now is a total nightmare now as we are painstakingly trying to remove all of the coats of paint and sealer. Such an unbeiievable mess. You should includE directions on how to remove your countertop kit when it starts coming off because inevitably it WILL COME OFF Given enough time it will come off. Then what?? Need help desperately!

    1. Nancy, I’m so surprised to hear that! I’ve used this kit twice (in two different kitchens) and neither has had a problem. My recommendation would be to reseal it with several coats as soon as you notice any wear beginning to happen. Also, I think when it comes to anything such as painting countertops you should do so with the intention that it is a temporary solution.

  14. Do NOT use this! I can not stress enough. I used it on my counter tops that was recommended by a friend and both of our counter tops peeled off. This is not a good product. It scratches right off over time and use. Mine look horrible and it has been done for 2 years. Getting new counters.

  15. Karen Myerd says:

    I redid all my counter tops in kitchen aNd bathrooms, but after lots of research i chose a different product to compl ete the project. Process is exactly the same. I covered a laminate and tile combination and could not be happier. I did this too save a little as i was completely reModeling a home. The counters get heavy use by me and my grandchildren and while my plan was to redo the kitchen completEly after a few years , i am going on 6 years now and counTers are still holding up well. I love them. I use Garage Armor’s
    Version of countertop refinishing.

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