Can You Paint Granite Countertops

Date: April 20, 2021
Author: Jon Smith
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If your kitchen, bathroom, foyer, or fireplace has old, faded-looking granite surfaces, you may want to have a fresh new look. However, maybe you don’t have the budget to spend $30 to $100 per square foot on a new set of granite countertops? That could be a normal situation given you will be spending many thousands of dollars in the process.

So, what do you do? Give up and wait till you have the budget to purchase or replace your countertops, and in the meanwhile, tolerate the scuffed, faded, surface?

Not at all – we will show you how you can refresh your granite countertops with a minimum of fuss and a fraction of the cost.

Can You Paint Granite Countertops?

You can paint your countertops but we recommend that you use a kit made for painting countertops. There are many kits available but in this article, we will show you our favorite.

If you want to refresh your old granite countertops, coffee bars, bathroom surfaces, fireplace surrounds, foyer tables, or the like, be assured that good options remain to get the look back or changed with a 24-to-36-hour DIY project.

You need to know what you are doing. Get the proper material, sanders, tapes, primers, paints, sealers, sponges, and roller kits – and follow the instructions that will come with either the individual items or the DIY paint kits.

We have provided step-by-step, elaborate instructions on how to go about the job. Preparing the area, applying the right types of primers and paints and then a sealer or topcoat at the end are all critical steps.

Fear not, they are easy to follow as long as you do not skip or short cut steps.

Some Suggestions for Materials – Primers, Paints and Kits

Below are some of the better-known paints, primers and kits available in the marketplace to help you paint your granite countertop:

  • Giani White Diamond Countertop Paint Kit: This market standard kit is popular for all DIY enthusiasts. The containers inside are numbered, so you will not have any doubts as to the sequence in which the paints need to be used. The kit contains the following material - (i) IronCore primer; (ii) Greystone (2A) sponge-on paint; (iii) Quartzite (2B) paint; (iv) White Limestone (2C) paint and (v) Glitter Topcoat Paint. Tools are included.
  • KILZ Adhesion High-Bonding Interior/Exterior Latex Primer/Sealer: This latex primer will securely bond on slick surfaces which are not suitable for using oil or water-based primers. It is also advertised to be quick-drying, ready to recoat within an hour. As usual, caution should be used to ensure that the surface has dried out completely.
  • Granite Countertop Paint; Refinishing Kit: Another painting kit, similar to the Giani White Diamond, can be used to refresh kitchen and bathroom countertops. Paint rollers and trays etc. must be bought separately.
  • Beyond Paint BP41 Counter Top Paint: This product is a bit different than the ones before, in that it is advertised as being ready to apply without having to strip, sand, prime, or seal the surface. A normal level of caution should be applied, though, in terms of how damaged the granite surface is to start with and how long you expect the finish to last.

How To Paint Granite Countertops

Below are two videos on step-by-step process you can follow to paint granite countertops using the Giani White Diamond Countertop Paint Kit:

or

1. Prepare the Surface

To start off, if there are areas with caulking or latex lining (e.g., sinks) embedded within your countertop, remove all of it with a boxcutter or a screwdriver. Get rid of all the residue and gunk that comes out.

Next, scour the surface to clean it thoroughly. You could use a standard scouring tool such as a Brillo pad. You can use what’s provided within those kits. Once that’s done, rinse with plain water at least twice to ensure that no soapy cleaning compound residue remains on the surface.

After you get done with the painting, the caulking will need to be reapplied.

2. Smooth the Surface with Sandpaper, Tape around the Edges

The next step is to smoothen out the surface with sandpaper (600 grit sandpaper works well). At this stage, you want to make sure that the surface is rid of any unevenness (e.g., bumps from lumps of paint or scrapes) that will hinder the even application of fresh primer and paint.

Throughout the process, keep wiping off the surface with a damp towel (cloth or paper) – feeling the surface along the way to make sure you are getting all the uneven spots. Sanding will leave the surface ready to “grip” the fresh primer and paint to be applied.

The other step, before you start applying layers of primer and paint, is to tape off the edges just outside or above the lines of where the granite ends and the wall, sink or wood surfaces begin. You can use 3M Painter’s Tape for Delicate Surfaces or Frog’s Painter’s Tape for this purpose.

Make sure to remove all debris, not only from the surface you will be painting, but from the sink or any other fixtures within the surface, from the floor, and on any side table that you will be putting trays, rollers, sponges, and paints on. Otherwise, you run the risk of grit mixing in with the material and ruining your job.

3. Apply Primer

After everything is ready, use a brush and a roller to primer over the entire granite surface. The brush should be used close to the taped-off areas, while the roller can be used across broad surfaces, double or triple coating as necessary to ensure that everything is completely covered.

Primer options include some of the well-known ones mentioned above, such as the Giani IronCore Primer or the KILZ Adhesion High-Bonding Latex Primer.

Once done, the area will typically take at least 8 hours to dry out before you can move on to the next step.

4. Paint – Illustrated with the Steps for Applying Giani Acrylic Paints

Take a standard sponge and cut it into manageable pieces – you would like to have three or four usable pieces. Get a tray where you can pour the paint and dip the sponge being used.

You will need to choose the color and finish of your paint kit, depending on how you want the end product to look. Normally, the color scheme should be brighter in small rooms while you can go for a darker shade in well-lit kitchens and bathrooms.

Acrylic and latex are both good choices for painting over granite since they last longer and maintain their external shine over time. Acrylic latex paints are a great combination as well.

Here, we will discuss how to use the three paints (2A, 2B, and 2C) contained in the Giani White Diamond Countertop Paint Kit. This type of multi-layered painting is necessary when you are going for a marble or finished granite look.

Spread some of the Greystone 2A on a mixing tray. Dip the first piece of sponge in, Daub it on the tray to make sure it isn’t dripping. Apply it on the granite surface in small square areas. Greystone Mineral 2A is a specialty primer designed to hide any prior stains, discolorations, or scratches, mixed in with mineral colors that help create the granite look and feel.

Following the 2A application, move on to apply the Quartzite (2B), followed by the White Limestone (2C) paint. Quartzite helps to create the granite look, while White Limestone is a finishing paint. Use separate pieces of sponge for each application.

To brighten the countertop, you could add an extra layer of White Limestone – you will notice a discernible difference.

After the paints are applied, the surface should dry for at least 4 hours.

5. Apply a Sealer

After the paint has completely dried, you will want to apply a topcoat or masonry sealer over the entire surface, to hold the fresh colors on the surface for a long time. A good sealer will protect the surface from stains, dirt, grime, scratches, and/or scuff marks.

The Giani kit comes with a Roll-On Topcoat included. Before use, stir the contents of the can well – there are glitter particles that need to be evenly dispersed before you use the roller.

Depending on the type of sealer you use, the finished surface must be left to dry for a minimum of four, and perhaps as much as 24, hours before the surface is used.

6. Finishing Touches

After everything is ready, there will be some finishing touches. Peel off the tapes from the edges of the granite surfaces. If you have embedded fixtures, you will need to reapply all the caulking you had stripped off at the beginning of the process.

After everything is done, make sure that any wet areas (e.g. caulking) and the surface overall is completely dry prior to use – this cannot be overemphasized. If in doubt, wait a few more hours.

Final Thoughts

As the steps above show, painting and refinishing your granite countertops can be affordable – costing a tiny fraction of what it would take to purchase new stone tops. The paint kits and materials mentioned are easy to use, and the steps should be simple as well. Ultimately, a day-long DIY project can give you the satisfaction and enjoyment of fresh and shining granite surfaces for years to come. Enjoy! 

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About Jon - Website Owner

Jon Smith

Hi, my name is Jonathan Smith. I have been in the granite business for many years and have worked my way up from an installer helper to an installer and then a countertop business owner. 

I started my countertop company with very little and grew extremely fast because of my knowledge and helpfulness. I started this countertop resource for 1 main reason. That reason is that there are no countertop websites with all the correct information and none of them are from an industry expert like myself. 

I am still in the trade every single day installing countertops, educating people on the type of material they are using for their homes, and making people's dream kitchens a reality.

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