How To Paint Kitchen Countertops Like Carrara Marble (+ VIDEO)
I needed to redo this kitchen for yearssssssss but finally decided to pull the trigger. I first started with the backsplash tile, if you didn't see my backsplash tile painting post- click here. VIDEO of this project is at the end of the post. Whoever built this house loved the color pink so the backsplash tile had hints of pink, the countertop was a laminate pink, so we needed to get this gone. Years ago I read about Giani Countertop Kits and I'm pleased to say I finally used it and was surprised beyond belief. The kit gives you almost everything you need (minus a few things.) I used the White Diamond kit.
Here's a picture of what they give you in the kit.
Other than the kit, you'll need:
-Paper plates to put the paint on
-Sandpaper (100 grit and 660 grit) (I used 100 and 400 grit because I couldn't find 660) (I also didn't use the sander in the photo)
-Tack Cloth (to remove the excess after sanding while paint is on)
-3 extra White Limestone canisters (if you want to get this white of a look and have the same size kitchen as I do)
The kit covers 35 square feet of countertop and I was fine with just one kit but I did order 3 extra white limestone canisters to get more a white carrara marble look. The kit also gives you very detailed instructions so don't worry. Here is a breakdown of how I did it, which is a little different to their instructions for drying times and the amount of white limestone but that's because I didn't want such a granite look.
1. Wash your coutertops down with water and soap to remove any dirt.
2. Scrub them down with an SOS pad as much as you can. Wipe it off, and SOS it again. Wipe again with water to get all the soap off.
3. Wait until it dries and use the 100 grit sandpaper to scrub even more. Just enough to get a couple scrapes, doesn't have to all be sanded down. Then wipe all the excess with some water and rag and make sure its dry and clean.
4. Apply the tape around the places you want to protect.
5. Apply 1 coat of the black primer. If you need to touch-up - allow Primer to dry for an hour and then touch-up with a foam brush. To insure you get the primer everywhere, use a paintbrush to get in the corners or the places the roller can't get into. Then use the roller on top of that and everywhere else.
6. Wait 8 hours.
7. Cut the big sponge they give you into 2-3 little sponges and sponge on Pearl Meca
8. Wait 4 hours.
9. Sponge on White Limestone
10. Wait 6 hours.
11. Sponge on White Limestone for the 2nd time
12. Wait 6 hours.
13. Sponge on White Limestone for the 3rd time
14. Wait 6 hours.
15. Sponge on White Limestone for the 4th time.
16. Draw veins while this 4th coat is drying and sponge over them with white limestone so it fades a bit. (you can or don't have to but the veins is what makes it look like carrara if done right.) This will be essentially a 5th white limestone coat over the veins and the whole countertop.
17. Dry for 4 hours.
18. Sand down any rises in paint and sponge excess with the 660 sand paper (or 400 in my case) and then remove excess with the tack cloth.
19. Apply 1st coat of topcoat. If you missed a spot, don’t re-coat because it will create a texture. You’ll cover the spot with your next coat. You can roll back and forth a bit because the roller they give you isn't super great but if it dries, don't roll over it again until next coat.
20. Wait 4 hours
21. Apply a 2nd coat of topcoat.
22. YOU'RE DONE!!!!!... almost
23. Wait 1 hour and carefully remove tape.
24. Wait 12 hours and apply clear acrylic caulk around sink’s rim to seal out water and make it look nice.
When can you use your countertops again?
Wait 24 hours after the final topcoat layer before using your countertops and dishwasher. After 3 days, you may set light appliances back on your surface (such as a toaster, cutting board, knife holder), but it is recommended to wait the full cure time of 14 days before placing heavy appliances (such as a microwave) back on your counters. Full cure time for Giani is 14 days. While you can clean gently during this time they do not recommend cleaning aggressively until after the 14 day cure time. (Please note: they recommend only using soap and warm water to clean your counters, do not clean with harsh chemicals or household cleaners.)
I started this on a Thursday at 7 PM and I was completely finished by Sunday at 9AM with my 2nd coat of topcoat. I did leave some dryings for overnight though so it could have been done earlier.
PS. I waited 6 hours in between the White Limestones because I wanted them to be as dry as possible so the next coat would be stronger and whiter and not stick to the previous coat. I believe Giani says 4 hours drying times for this but again, if you want it this white, I recommend 6 hours.
If you're afraid that it looks too spongey at the end before your topcoat, just dab on a different side of the sponge and it should create a different texture. You can rub into the paint with the sponge and not dab it so much because that is what creates that look that you don't want. The topcoat also removes most of the spongey look if there is any. ALSO once the paint dries, it removes a lot of the sponge look.
This was such a cheaper way to remodel a kitchen and take it out of the 90's. So happy with Giani and overall wasn't too difficult- just follow the instructions! Let me know if you have any questions. <3
STEP BY STEP VIDEO (including how I painted my backsplash)
A COMPLETE BEFORE PHOTO (BEFORE BACKSPLASH AND COUNTERTOPS)
CABINETS ARE NEXT! :)
Cabinet post is here
Cabinet video is here