Y’all…we did it! We painted our granite countertops to look like marble. I had been eyeing lots of blogs who had tried this out and it seemed promising. Everyone who I threw the idea out to either thought I was brilliant or completely insane. I researched, researched, researched and found a method that I trusted after following up with many people who had painted theirs with these products. I wouldn’t have pulled the trigger on this project if it weren’t for Carrie from Lovely Etc. She had a post titled, “How My Painted Countertops Look After 3 Years of Use” and it gave me the confidence I needed to take the leap!
To save other people the extensive research, I thought I’d share exactly what I did and what products we used to paint our granite countertops to look like marble. We ended up choosing the Giani Carrara White Marble Epoxy Countertop Kit that you can find here on Amazon. The entire kit is a total of $179. This includes every tool you’ll need, all of the paint and the epoxy top coat. Not having to choose my own for each of these steps was so awesome!
This kit comes with:
- 31 oz. Marble White Primer
- 6 oz. Grey Veining Mineral
- 3 oz. White Highlight Mineral
- 9 oz. Epoxy Activator (x3)
- 18 oz. Epoxy Resin (x3)
- 6″ Giani Roller Arm
- 3 Roller Pads
- 2″ Paint Brush
- 4″ Giani Paint Sponge
- 2″ Foam Brush
- Artist Brush to paint the veins
- Misting Bottle
- Practice Board
- Wooden Stir Sticks (x3)
- #600 Grit Sandpaper
- Epoxy Gloves
- 9’x12′ Plastic Dropcloth
- Step-By-Step Instructions
This particular kit comes with enough product to cover 35 square feet of countertop. Our kitchen was just over that, at 42 square feet. I ordered an extra can of white primer just in case, but I was able to do four coats with what came in the kit. So take that as you will, but what was included in the kit was enough for us without having to purchase any extra products.
The only extra things we purchased were:
- A Paint Tray
- A roll of blue painters tape (although I would use Frog Tape next time)
- Brillo Pads to clean the surface before painting
- Laquer Thinner – This step is only required if you are painting a granite surface
- Caulk (either white or acrylic based on your preference) to seal around the sink, stovetop and backsplash.
Things you need to have on hand are:
- Tweezers to pull out any lint or hairs that may fall in the epoxy
- Paper Towels
- A Paper plate for the white mineral paint
- Rubbing Alcohol to clean off any lacquer thinner
- A Box Cutter
Another reason why we decided to go with the Giani Countertop Kit was the extremely clear and easy to follow instructions. The instructions that come in the box are very helpful, as well as the complementary YouTube tutorial:
Step One: Prep Your Countertops
Depending on what type of countertops you are painting over, the instructions will recommend different ways to prep them. Some require sanding, some just a wash with a Brillo pad will rough them up enough. The granite required a lacquer thinner to make sure any seal that was on top was removed. After rubbing it down with lacquer thinner, we cleaned the countertops with rubbing alcohol to remove any remaining product.
Next, was time for the taping! This step is tedious, but it is extremely important that you go slow. There are a couple places around my sink that I should have been more careful with and did not tape as securely as needed. Most slip ups like this you can cover up with caulk and it won’t be noticeable. However, the better you tape, the less mess-ups to cover!
When taping around the bottom of the countertops, you will tape the plastic drop cloths to the top of your cabinets underneath. Be sure to cover every bit of your cabinets, and about a foot out from where they touch the floor. The epoxy top coat will drip down and will get stuck to your cabinets and floors if you are not careful!
Step Two: Paint the White Primer
The instructions say you may need two or three coats of the Marble White Primer to cover your countertops completely. Our gold granite had some dark black spots throughout, and it took four coats. As I mentioned earlier, the amount of white primer that came in the box was plenty to cover the full surface area four times. When in doubt, do another coat! It only gets better and better with each one.
Step Three: Paint the Marble Veins
Before painting your marble veins, the instructions suggest you make a map of your kitchen and sketch out where you would like your veins to go. They show you a few different methods of patterns to include to make it look more genuine. Mapping out where you will use these techniques helps from ending up with it looking too uniform.
I looked up “Painted Marble Countertops” on Pinterest and searched the hashtags #DIYpaintedmarble #paintedmarblecountertops #gianicountertoppaint and #paintedcountertops on Instagram to get some inspiration as well. You can Google real marble patterns to see which style you are going for before mapping out your veins.
After my veins were mapped out, I just went for it with the paintbrush. Then, I dabbed the white mineral on top with the sponge, exactly how the instructions said, and here’s how it turned out:
At this point, I was freaking out because it DID NOT look real at all in my opinion. It was super choppy and the white mineral looked splotchy on top. If you try this project, do not fret when it looks a little weird at this point. Once the epoxy top coat is poured, it completely transforms the look and the veins look much more subtle.
Step Four: Mix & Pour The Epoxy
Next is the part that gives it the “real marble countertop” effect, and that is the epoxy resin topcoat. I was thoroughly impressed with how it changed the entire look from just a clearly painted countertop to a hard, shiny surface.
The only problem with the epoxy application is that you have to move fast. After mixing the epoxy with the activator, you only have a certain amount of time to use the foam roller and paintbrush to level it out. The epoxy is self-leveling, so for the most part, you should be okay even if its not perfect. Here was ours right after application:
Step Five: Caulk & Enjoy!
The final step is taking all of the tape and tarps off and caulking around the backsplash and appliances. This step is so satisfying and really gives it that finishing touch! Here is our kitchen once all was said and done:
I know, I know, so much white! But hey, I love a white kitchen. Something about it is so fresh and clean to me and I think for a $200 total kitchen renovation, it looks pretty darn good. My kitchen inspiration is Amy Fritz’ farmhouse kitchen– all white and then adding color with wood accents, decor and plants! I am excited to add some decor and put our appliances back on the counters and get to using it!
So, would you paint your countertops again?
I know this is crazy, but YES! This project turned out WAY better than expected. We already get so many compliments. If you have a countertop you really don’t like and don’t have the money right this minute to do a complete renovation, this DIY kit may be perfect for you.
Will it hold up over time?
This was my biggest concern when researching painting your countertops. I have read other blogs who have done theirs multiple years ago who swear theirs are still looking good as new. Other bloggers have said that they have some scratches that they are able to buff out. Others say they have had things stain that they easily got out with Soft Scrub soap.
What gave me the push to actually paint my countertops to look like marble was Carrie from Lovely, Etc. who did a blog post titled, “How my Painted Countertops Look After 3 Years of Use“. This post gave me the confidence that it can take a beating from little kids and still look pretty darn good for being an extremely inexpensive solution.
But really, only time will tell and I will be sure to keep you updated!
Let me know in the comments below if you would do this to your kitchen! And I’ll be sure to answer any questions you may have if you are interested in taking this crazy step to love your kitchen, too!