Monday, August 19, 2013

I painted my countertops!

Yes - you read that right. I painted my counter tops and they look AWESOME! I had been eyeing the Giani Countertop paint for awhile and fell in love with the idea of their product and the amazing transformations they show on their site.  So I contacted them and they were SUPER AMAZING enough to send me a kit of my choice to test out and review for you all.
After a lot of thought - we chose the Sicilian Sands colorway. (that was our mistake - but more on that later)

We had to wait to try it out because our kitchen sink is VERY close to the back of the counter - so we had to take the sink out to make sure it would look as good as possible - this is by no means necessary and most people probably won't have this problem but it's an old kitchen and the sink was VERY poorly designed - so we figured to be safe we should take it out and do under where the sink would sit and then replace it and I am SO glad we did!

You can see in the picture below that there is a TEENY TINY SKINNY Little bit of counter behind the opening for the sink.  

So - I got the kit - read all the directions - watched the video (DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP AS IT'S SUPER HELPFUL and explains EXACTLY how you have to apply this stuff for the desired results)
I went to the store and bought the extra supplies needed to complete the project. (FROG tape, caulk, sandpaper, Brillo pads) 
My only complaint about this product is that I wish they would charge more but include all the extra things you need so that if you wanted to start the project as soon as you received it in the mail - you could - without having to go to the hardware store. If you have a hardware store nearby - it's no big deal - but it can be a bit of a downer if you don't know ahead of time that you need more stuff and then get upset that you have to go out to get more things to get ready.

I prepped the surface exactly as they said - with Brillo and cleaning it with water and a cloth. 
Then I started taping - and here is where I made my first mistake. We have these god awful silver edge thingies on our counters that don't all come off - and I didn't tape well enough to ensure that the paint didn't get on them at all - so around the edge it looks a little messy if you look close - but that was my fault and the fault of the person who chose the hideous silver edge thingies in the first place. 

The other issue we have is that our backsplash is ALSO formica and goes all the way up to the cabinets - so for now - they are still boring beige - until we find thin tiles to put over it as I'm afraid to take it all off for now. 

If we didn't have those design flaws I think the process would have been SEEMLESS - makes me wish I had a BIG island to test it on because it REALLY was super simple to do from A- D.

Here is a small section before and after all taped off and primed. Now in all the pics I've seen online the primer looks SUPER shiny back - so I don't know if I got an off batch or something - but it ended up looking flat black/greyish. I was tempted to put a second coat - but it didn't say to so I didn't do it just in case.

Here is a section that I had to  put some wood filler in to cover some small chips. (the brownish spots)

O.k. so I primed and it was already looking better with the black. I was very intimidated but once I started priming it was no big deal and I finished it all in like a half hour. I let that dry ALL DAY LONG and then got ready for step 2 which was the Minerals after the kids went to bed.

My husband and I worked together to sponge the minerals on and tried to be as consistent as possible. This part can be a bit scary as you are literally just sponge painting - so it would be nice if there was a part of the video that gave some visuals on how to achieve the different variations of color because we are not as crafty as we'd like to be and I think we kinda screwed up the sponging. In my head we should have covered all the blacky grey primer - which is what we tried to do at first - I also was afraid to add too much white cause I didn't really see how it fit in with the other 2 colors. (My artistic inability really came through here)

I will say that while you are sponging you need to take a step back every once in awhile because it looks different up close than from a few steps back. It looked better every time I stepped away a little bit. 

Now here is where WE made the mistake. Our counters were not a hideous seafoam green or pepto pink - they were just boring beige - and we ended up picking Sicilain Sands which is a beige granite look.
See the mistake? We didn't choose a color that was drastic enough to really have a WOW factor with the before and afters. Especially since our gross backsplash is still totally visible and you can see that the colors match up pretty well - I just feel like we jipped ourselves on a TOTAL WOW makeover and instead just updated the counters and made them look better.

Now, don't get me wrong - they look AMAZINGLY shiny and the colors look nice. I think we could have left a little more black like in all the videos they show and it would have looked a bit more drastic.

The edges are messy but that's my fault for not taping well and they are very specific that you take your time prepping and I suggest you do because you WON'T regret taping too much but you WILL regret not taping enough.

The counters came out amazing. The top coat was scary and I have a few streak marks but that's cause I am not the best painter in the world so my backroll needs some practice. We let the product dry overnight just to be sure and then installed the sink this morning.

The sink looks amazing with the counters (it's beige) and I can't get over how shiny they look. 
The product did everything it said it would. I found it to be easier than anticipated and just felt my artistic inability got in the way of making them even better. I'm sure if I had to do it again - I would be a much better artiste. ;)

I am nervous about them peeling - so we will try to be very careful to make sure we don't let water pool for extended periods of time but they look and feel amazing.

 With stuff back on them - see how shiny they are
 Here you can see the ugly backsplash against the counters - I bet when we fix that the counters will pop even more - we are thinking glass tile or something like that! Look at how shiny!

Close up of the edge.

Overall I think this is a no brainer for anyone who doesn't have the money to upgrade their counters and don't really NEED to. We didn't have to - our counters were fine - just boring and now they are NOT boring.  The test will be if it lasts as I've seen a FEW (not many) reviews that said it started to chip or peel but I get the sense those people didn't take care of the counters well. As we were doing the counters my husband asked when we were going to end up painting the cabinets (he knows me so well)
I am sure I will buy one of the Giani kits for painting cabinets but right now I am all DIY'd out and the idea of painting SO MANY CABINETS is just too daunting to me. Give me a month or so and I'm sure I will be telling you all about how we went out and got the kit and completed the kitchen transformation:)

I will try to find some better pictures of the before/after and post them later. 

Overall I would say - GO GET THIS AND TRY IT -  it's fun - but only if you are a little crafty as the painting takes some planning and precision. 
But I would definitely suggest that you go for a drastic change so that you feel like you're walking into a totally different kitchen. If  I had to pick again, I'd either go black/white or chocolate brown.
They have so many choices - it's hard to go wrong.


  1. They look awesome indeed! But I would really love to know how your countertop is now. You're right about the test being whether it is durable in the long run or not. I tried using Sicilian Sand once and after a few months it was already peeling. I'm not sure whether it was because we made some mistakes in applying it or just because my children are messy eaters and would always leave a puddle of water on the countertop.

    Arthur Bryant @

  2. Wow, that’s cool! Your project created a new atmosphere for your kitchen. But apparently, your number one enemy for this is the peeling. Regardless of how much you try to keep it clean, the paint could still chip off.