Painting Faux Granite Countertops

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Jan 01, 2011 | Linda Merrill
faux granite countertop texture
The right technique will yield realistic results.

Granite countertops have been all the rage for quite a while now, and it’s no wonder. They come in many beautiful colors and patterns, are durable and are all-natural. But they are also expensive!

If you'd like a quick kitchen remodel on a budget, painting faux granite countertops is a very doable DIY project, as long as you invest a certain amount of preparation and planning. One of the best parts of painting faux granite countertops is that you can do it directly onto your existing laminate counters.

Get the Look

The most important part of recreating the look of a natural stone surface with paint is to really understand what a granite surface looks like. Granite is not just two or three main colors stippled together. When faux painting granite countertops, the first thing to decide is what type of granite look you want to create. Once you’ve selected your desired granite, purchase a single tile or borrow a sample of the real thing so you can spend time analyzing the color and grain pattern.

Materials and Colors

Since most granite is made up of several colors, figure out what colors are in the stone you like using a paint chip palette. It will be helpful to determine the proportions of paint as well. For instance, figure out what color is the most prevalent, to use it as your base color. You'll likely need to buy smaller amounts of paint for the less prominent colors. Once you’ve purchased your paints, practice your technique on a sturdy piece of cardboard or other material for best results. Take notes as you go to help you remember what you did.

There are many products available to help create the look of granite, from natural sponges to stippling brushes. Experiment with these tools to determine which will produce the best recreation of your chosen granite when painting faux granite countertops. Once you've spent time experimenting with products, paint colors and techniques and have come to a process that gives you the closest match, you’re ready to start painting faux granite countertops of your own.

The Process

If you're painting over existing laminate, the first step is to completely clean and then sand the surface and clean it again. Use your usual type of cleaner. Start with your ground color and proceed as you did with your sample steps. Once you are done and the paint is completely dry, roll on two coats of translucent water-based polyurethane to seal your masterpiece, allowing coats to dry in between.

Painting faux granite countertops is a very satisfying project that you will be happy to show off to friends and family for years to come.

Updated September 6, 2018.

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