Are your kitchen countertops looking a bit dull? Do you want to spruce them up, but don’t have the funds for an upgrade?
You may have wondered whether it’s possible to paint them. Maybe you’re even looking into mimicking that beautiful granite finish for a more luxurious feel.
Though nothing beats the natural beauty and durability of real granite, it is possible to achieve that high-end look by painting your current countertop surface.
In this article, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of painting your countertop, as well as the mistakes many people make when doing so. Let’s get started.
How to Paint Your Countertops
If you want to make your regular countertops look like natural granite, you can purchase a granite painting kit from various retailers.
Even though these kits have been specially designed to make your countertops look authentic, they can do the exact opposite if not used correctly.
For the best results, follow these simple steps:
Step 1: Clean and prepare the surface
Use a scouring pad to remove any greasy buildup on your countertop, and rinse thoroughly with clean water.
If your countertop is made of wood or laminate, you should also repair any damage before you continue. Use wood filler to fix up any holes or cracks and smooth out the surface with sandpaper.
It’s critical that you ensure that the entire surface is clean and free of any dirt and dust before you proceed to the next step. If any contaminants remain, the paint may not adhere to the surface as intended.
Furthermore, you should tape down any areas you don’t wish to paint to avoid splatter – such as the walls behind the counter.
Step 2: Coat the surface with primer
Once you’ve repaired any cracks and holes and ensured that the surface is completely clean, you can apply the primer you’ll find in your kit.
The best way to do this is with a paint roller. Make sure that you apply an even coat across the entire surface. This will form the base color that will be seen through the top layers that are added later.
Once you’ve covered the whole surface area of the countertop, leave the primer to dry for eight hours. Make sure that no dust or any other particles fall onto the counter during this time, as they will get stuck in the wet primer and keep the top layers from adhering properly.
Step 3: Apply the main color paint with a sponge
Once your base coat has completely dried, you’re ready to apply the main color. To achieve the natural grain look of granite, the best practice here is to use a sponge.
Before you take on the countertop, it’s advisable to practice on a piece of construction paper. Dab the sponge in the paint and blot random patterns on the paper until you get the hang of it.
Once you’re confident enough, you can move on to the countertop and create your color waves across the surface. Be sure to use the dab-and-blot method throughout and steer clear of dragging the sponge to create stripes or streaks.
Once you’ve blotted the entire surface, leave it to dry for about four hours before moving on to the next step.
Step 4: Lightly sand the surface and apply topcoat
After your main coat has dried, use a fine grit sandpaper to lightly sand the entire surface. This will create a rough texture to ensure that your topcoat can better adhere to the previous layers.
Wipe away any dust formed by the sanding and apply your topcoat evenly with a clean paint roller.
Once you’ve covered the entire surface, leave it to dry one last time for at least four hours.
Step 5: Be gentle over the next two weeks
Your newly painted countertop will take about two weeks before it has completely cured so you will need to keep it dry during this time.
We also recommend waiting a couple of days before placing any heavy pots or other cooking devices (microwave, crock pot, etc.) on the surface.
Common Mistakes to Avoid
For optimal results, steer clear of these mistakes that many people make when painting their countertops:
- Don’t use a paintbrush – this will only result in unappealing brush strokes.
- Don’t use the wrong paint – only use paint specially designed for this purpose. Otherwise, you may not get the desired end result and the paint may peel off after a while.
- Don’t be hasty – rushing any part of the process, especially drying times, will backfire.
- Don’t skip the topcoat – if you don’t seal your work with a topcoat, your paint will start to chip shortly after.
- Don’t forget to recaulk the edges around your countertop – a final coat of caulking will prevent water from getting trapped between the wall and the counter and round things off nicely.
Pros and Cons of Painting Your Countertops
Though painting your countertops is a low-cost alternative to replacing them with the real deal, there are some disadvantages. Below is a comparative table that lists the pros and cons of painting your countertops:
|Painting your countertops is cheaper than replacing them.||Your countertops may look beautiful, but they won’t have all the benefits of real granite (strength, durability, etc.)|
|You can use the money you saved to update something else in the kitchen.||Not all countertop surfaces can be painted.|
|Painting can provide a quick solution.||Paint won’t last as long as the real deal.|
|You have a wide variety of colors to choose from.||It’s very time-consuming and takes a lot of effort to successfully mimic the beautiful grains of natural granite.|
Weigh your options carefully when deciding whether to prop up your counters with a paint job or invest in the real deal. It’s hard to compete with natural granite because it’s one of the strongest materials on earth. It also has a great tolerance for high temperatures, so you won’t need to worry about scorching your granite countertops with hot pots and pans.
A lot of people assume that granite is out of their reach, but real granite may not be as expensive as you think. At Granite Liquidators, we take out the middleman, selling direct from the quarry to the customer. This allows us to offer some of the most competitive prices in the industry. Contact us for more details.