Sunday, October 23, 2011

Painting the Kitchen Countertops: Giani Graphite Paint REVIEW

Last winter we gave our 1980's kitchen a face lift. This is the before:

We started by painting the cabinets white. This was fairly easy. We primed 2x and then painted 3x with Behr Pure White. My husband took care of the sanding. We did take the faces off the cabinets.

Our countertops were your basic laminate. We priced all our different options and granite was going to be roughly $3000 installs and honestly we couldn't find any color option we were in love with. This is a lot of money to send without falling in love. We did find quartz we could live with, but the price was even more expensive.

Giani sells a paint kit for $70 on their website (and now at Wal-Mart) that you can paint your old kitchen countertops. It includes almost everything you need. There are different colors you can create. The first time around I chose the black. We lived with this for several months and then realized we should have went lighter. I then purchased a sand color.

I did it last time we were off and although it was nice, I am trying it again this week with a different stamping technique and a few added acrylic paint colors I picked up at Michaels.

The first step is cleaning the countertops very well. Then tape off the countertop.

Then you paint the special black paint that is included in the kit. My countertop took two coats. The paint goes on quickly with the included roller. You just need a tray. It also includes a foam brush to get in those areas that are hard to roll. Once you paint the first coat, wait one hour and you can do a second coat. Here is what it looks like after the black primer:

Then wait overnight for the primer to dry.

The second day you stamp on the three included mineral paints. There are three mineral paints included with the kits. With the sand, there is brown, gold and white. There is a sponge included. You dip the sponge in the first mineral paint (they are labeled which one goes first, second and third) and then sponge it on the countertop. You do this with the next paint and then the third. You do not wait until the paint dries but you dip the sponge into the paint one right after the next. This mixes the paint on the countertop to get a better look. Here is what this looks like:

Once the sponging is finished, you wait overnight until the paint dries.

The third day you put on a clear top coat. It is very strong and will protect the countertops for many years to come. I once dropped a bowl on the countertop and nothing happened to the countertop. And then the clear top coat needs to dry.

If you started the black primer on a Friday night, you could do this in one weekend.

This photo shows the entire countertop, before the topcoat and touching up the areas where the tape didn't do a great job.

Here is what the kit looks like:

I highly recommend this kit. Their website shows what kinds of stamping you can do to create different looks. You can add any acrylic paint into the stamping to add different looks. Martha Stewart now makes glitter acrylic paint so you could even add sparkle to your countertop. For $70, you get an entirely new look.


As of October 9, 2012 (about a year later), the countertops still look brand new. The top coat has really stood the test of time. I am still loving the results!

UPDATE (10/16/13):

Two years later, our kitchen countertops look just as good! The topcoat has really held up. I would HIGHLY recommend painting your countertops if you don't have the money to put in granite!
The $70 for this kit is a great deal.

We did have a new floor put in this year and our kitchen has never looked better.

Here are a few photos I took this morning (two years after I originally applied the kit). Remember, this is paint over an ugly laminate counter top. I'm still impressed. Ha.


  1. Any improvement in this old house of mine is huge. I love the color of the formica countertops. Taking a cue from that long scratch on the original ones, I’m extremely careful not to do anything to damage them, but they are pretty durable.

  2. Good thing you painted the cabinets white. It will complement the blue wall nicely. And your counter top turned from monotonous to lively, with the help of the texture. I just might use that painting kit instead of buying a new counter top.

  3. It is worth the try Robbie! I've used the kit twice (the first time we used the black kit and it was too dark for me). Two years later, we are still thrilled with the results. They look new!

  4. The content of your blog is just what I needed; I like your blog. I was very pleased to find this site. I wanted to thank you for this great read.

  5. I love how your counters turned out!

  6. Thanks Lisa! They have really held up over the years.

  7. visit Newstar official site and get more kitchen quartz countertops info and best price inquiry


Thanks for commenting!