Painting a Faux Granite Counter Top

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I wanted to share my personal experience and tips for any of you considering doing this. I researched this project thoroughly before I actually took the plunge, and in my opinion, this method produced the best results.

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For inspiration, search online for granite colors. Print out 3 or 4 that you like.

Supplies:

  • Rust-Oleum counter top paint (tinted any shade)
  • craft paint (Folk Art, Apple Barrel, or Americana), at least 5 colors
  • Envirotex Lite
  • a bowl with a soap and water mixture
  • scrub brush
  • rubbing alcohol
  • paper towels
  • painters tape
  • plastic drop sheet
  • brown masking paper
  • sponge rollers and paint brushes for applying counter top paint
  • mixing tray for counter top paint
  • sponge brushes for applying Envirotex
  • mixing container to mix Envirotex
  • paint stir sticks
  • various sea sponges
  • turkey feather dusters
  • old paint brushes (cut chunks out of them)
  • smaller art brushes or stencil brushes (for tight corners and smaller areas)
  • 240 grit sand paper
  • paper plates
  • fan
  • a table to set your paint on
  • razor blade
  • propane blow torch

Directions:

Remove everything off the counter. Turn off water and remove faucet and sink. You can tape around the sink, but I highly recommend taking it completely out. You will get much better results when you apply the Envirotex. Clean/scrub counter with soap and water. Dry well with paper towels. Wipe down counter with rubbing alcohol and paper towels. Let dry. Mask VERY WELL. Cover anything you don't want paint on. The Envirotex will NOT come off once it's dry. This includes cabinets and walls. Trust me - the more time you take with this step, the better! Wipe down counter again with rubbing alcohol and let dry.

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With the Rust-Oleum paint, sanding or priming is not required. The primer is built into the paint. When applying the Rust-Oleum paint, use the sponge rollers for big areas and paint brushes for corners and back splashes. Work fast, it sets up quick. Make sure you're in a ventilated area or turn the fan on if you're in a bathroom. This stuff is potent! Let dry (about an hour, maybe 2). If you prefer another coat, you can. I did. I felt better about 2 coats. Let dry.

To create the faux granite look you want, pour only the color of craft paint you're going to be using at the time onto a paper plate. They dry fast. You will have to keep adding paint to the plate. Use a new paper plate for each color. Start however you want. I did light to dark then back to light. You will have to play with the colors to get the look you want. I used the sea sponges mostly. I used the feather duster for the middle color and the chunked out brushes for whenever I needed a different looking texture. Use the smaller art brushes or stencil brushes for the corners and tight spaces. If you mess up on an area or don't like how it looks, don't panic. The craft paint is water base. Wet a paper towel and rub until it comes off. The Rust-Oleum paint will not come off. Nifty!

Once you have the look you want, let it set up for about 20-30 minutes. Come back and rub your hand over it. You will be able to tell it's dry. If it feels a little rough, it's because the craft paint tends to make "peaks" where you have used the sea sponges. I used a 240 grit sand paper and VERY lightly sanded over the counter top. Then I wiped it down with damp paper towels. Make sure all the grit from the sand paper is off. Let it dry.

If you're painting a large area, get someone to help you with the Envirotex. This varnish is not forgiving of mistakes. You will need to work quickly. You will need someone to mix and pour it while someone spreads. The directions that are included in the box tells you everything you need to know. Read them front to back. Twice. Pay attention to the edges and do what the box says. If your fan is still on at this point - turn it off. Close off the vent to whatever room you're in and close the door if you can. This helps with the drying time and keeps stuff from floating in the air and landing on top of the wet varnish. I had a few "cooties" in my final outcome. Cat/dog hair and/or dust. If you're a glutton for punishment, once it's dry, you can lightly sand the counter top and reapply the Envirotex again. I left the master bathroom how it dried, but I redid the middle bathroom and I wish I would have left it alone. It's all up to you.

Once everything is dry (24-72 hours, depending on the temperature in your house), you can start unmasking. The tape that has any dried Envirotex will have to be cut with a razor blade. You can remove the masking tape once its semi set up if you like. I didn't want to risk dragging or pulling the varnish. The razor blade actually wasn't that bad.

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I have included before, during, and after pictures. I also did the counter in the built in cabinets in my hallway. You can do virtually any surface you want!

By creativenailchick from Bakersfield, CA

September 21, 20100 found this helpful

Beautiful work!

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September 22, 20100 found this helpful

WOW, great job. Thanks for sharing.

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September 22, 20100 found this helpful

This is gorgeous!! Beautiful photos and beautiful job!

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September 22, 20100 found this helpful

Wow! I hope I have as much patience as you did when I attempt to tackle my kitchen counter and bathroom vanity. Thanks for the great instructions!

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September 22, 20100 found this helpful

This is amazingly beautiful. So realistic looking. You really are very, very creative.

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September 22, 20100 found this helpful

Very impressive, looks great! One question-you said the craft paint is water-based, but you didn't say anything about putting a finish over the top to seal it-and it's s shiny too. Did you put any sealer or finish on top?

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September 22, 20100 found this helpful

All I can say is wow!

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September 22, 20100 found this helpful

Thank you everyone! I just did the top of a desk for my mom in pinks and purples. Yes! Pinks and purples. It's amazing looking. I will submit a pic as soon as I get back over there to take one!

@ lyonpridej, Yes, you have to use a sealer/top coat. That's where the Envirotex Lite comes in.

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September 22, 20100 found this helpful

Absolutely fabulous! Looks just like granite. I love it!

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September 23, 20100 found this helpful

Bravo! well done. Beautiful and very well explained. Congratulations for the job and the pictures.

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September 23, 20100 found this helpful

Sorry about asking if you put a sealer on it. That's what happens when you stay up WAY TO LATE reading this newsletter! Your brain isn't as awake as you think you are! Anyway, I love it! I wish I could do that on my 30+ year old kitchen counter, but ther's no way it would look that good!

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September 23, 20100 found this helpful

What a nice job you did. I never saw anything like it in all my home improvement sites!

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September 23, 20100 found this helpful

Fabulous. You've given me inspiration, but I'm not sure I could achieve the same results.

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September 26, 20100 found this helpful

Dear Creativenailchick .

Just wanted to say you did a great job. The counters look wonderful. And the way you explained the process will be so helpful to others that want to attempt such a project. Nice job all around. GG Vi

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September 28, 20100 found this helpful

That was absolutely fabulous!! Your pictures along with the instructions were unbelievable!! I love love love your counters!

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June 25, 20130 found this helpful

What colors did you use for your bathroom countertop?

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December 20, 20130 found this helpful

Hello. Is anyone had use spray can acrylic sealer then polycrylic brush. If you have used the sealer that comes in the spray can please let me know. How it looks at the end if it did seal properly. Thank you

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July 14, 20140 found this helpful

Wonderful job - but you don't say how much all the supplies cost you versus a granite counter top. I'd like to know.

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August 11, 20140 found this helpful

I haven't done it yet but I am looking forward to doing my kitchen counter and island top, both 20 years old. I am curious about the Rustoleum paint because I called two local Lowe's stores and they didn't have any in white. Is there another place I can get it?

Your countertops are beyond beautiful! You are probably the best salesperson for this application; hope mine comes out as well as yours did.

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