DIY Faux Granite Finish for Kitchen Countertops

If you’re tired of your old plastic laminate kitchen countertops but don’t want the expense of replacing them with stone, Giani Granite Paint for Countertops might be just the answer. The DIY friendly, faux granite painting kit can make almost any surface—from plastic laminate and solid surface countertops to mantels and tabletops—look like granite.

The low odor, water-based polymer resin is made from automotive grade polymers for added durability. The kit retails for under $40 and comes with almost everything you need to finish 16 feet of countertop.

Giani Granite Paint for Countertops:

  • For use on plastic laminate, solid surface, primed cultured marble, wood, primed drywall, primed acrylic or fiberglass shower stall walls, mantels, tabletops.
  • Can’t be used on shower stall floors, bathtubs, sinks, other surfaces that will be submerged in water.
  • Available in Sicilian Sand, Bombay Black, and Jet Black.

Kit includes:

  • black primer
  • minerals
  • clear topcoat
  • roller
  • foam brush
  • sponge
  • black practice poster paper
  • instructional DVD
  • printed instructions


  1. Clean countertop and backsplash with degreaser.
  2. Patch any gouges or nicks and sand smooth.
  3. Mask off walls, sink, and cabinets with painter’s tape.
  4. Apply black primer using a foam brush to trim and roller for main surface.
  5. Allow primer to dry for six hours.
  6. Apply minerals to the primed surface using the included sponge.
  7. Allow minerals to dry for two hours.
  8. Lightly sand off any rough spots with fine (320 grit) sandpaper.
  9. Apply clear topcoat with roller and brush.
  10. Allow topcoat dry for eight hours.
  11. Lightly sand off rough spots.
  12. Apply second coat of clear topcoat.
  13. Allow to cure for 48 hours before using.

More information, including ordering online, is available at Giani Granite Paint for Countertops.

Further Information


  1. This is such a good idea, but I live 30 miles from the nearest Home Depot and have yet to find a location (including Home Depot) near me that sells Thomas Liquid Granite. Can you tell me if there is a company that sells it on line?

    Thank you!

  2. There is the original company that has been around for years ( that sells the package online and teaches you how to do it. The results are great, I did it myself and am impressed with the overall result.

  3. I applied the Sicilian Sand on my master bath vanity. My vanity was white crushed marble before. I had to first use an oil-based primer before applying the base coat from the Giani Granite kit. The whole process is time consuming, but the end result is worth it. Expect to spend an entire weekend due to the drying time. The one thing I would caution is to be careful to not get the product on any unintended surfaces. It is extremely difficult to remove it, despite the fact that it is water-based.

  4. I recently purchased the Giani Paints and I will say that I was skeptical at first. I had 1978 harvest gold countertops and harvest gold appliances. The Piant and the Stainless Steel appliance paint is AMAZING!!!!!!!!! I did my entire kitchen for $159.99 for EVERYTHING! the final cost if I purchased all materials from a store: $ 12,000.00 !!!!! It’s an amazing product!!! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED~!

    Where to purchase: I bought directly from the website.

    I had magnetic surfaces so there was no priming needed in my case. For the countertops, I cleaned as recommended, and started painting! I had no prepartion needed.

    Pictures are available: please email: if interested. I used the Black Bombay. It has pearl formica, black, and bronze……..GEORGOUS

    Kevin Mullins
    Culloden, WV

    • Hi Kevin,
      Thanks for letting us know about your experience with Giani. I’m glad it worked out. Let us know how it holds up over time.

  5. Just thought I’d leave a few of my thoughts on this process. First of all, I believe the “ideal” application for this process is old formica countertops. As a person with sort of a utilitarian outlook, I would *never* use this product on Corian countertops as suggested-it would compromise the entire premise behind the Corian product. We decided to try this product on temporary housing in a mobile home we purchased to live in while we build our new house. The old formica countertops were just plain ugly, and this was a possible affordable solution to ripping the countertops out and starting over. I am not new to painting, but painting countertops is a new concept for me. I ordered the product straight from the manufacturer online, and it promptly arrived on my front doorstep. My first suggestion is to not only clean and degrease the countertops well as directed, but to do it twice in more commonly “used” areas, such as around the sink and stove. Because I didn’t do it twice, the primer did not “take” as well in those areas. I ended up sanding those areas and reapplying. Our backsplash is ceramic tile. They suggested a layer of primer on tile prior to priming. I would go one step further and suggest a light sanding after priming-it It is very easy to get wrapped up in trying to make the pattern look “random”, as granite would normally appear. Definitely wear gloves!! I also suggest having one small paintbrush and one tiny one for those little hard to reach area. Plan on allowing the process to dry overnight, and plan on going back for random touch-ups before the final clearcoat application. The instructions will tell you it’s OK to do that, and it does help add depth to the look.

  6. I accidentally hit “submit” early-oops. I meant to say the primer will stick better to the ceramic tile with a light sanding. Plan on spending an entire weekend on this project if you want it to look right. The instructions are pretty straightforward. One last suggestion is if you buy two kits, as I needed to do, designate one of the large sponge rollers for the primer and the other for the topcoat, instead of using the same roller for the two different appications.

  7. I just finished my first project with Giani. I was skeptical so I started small, my half bath vanity top. I’m not very creative with special effect painting, but the vanity top looks amazing! I’m so happy with it. I bought the Sicilian Sand kit and watched the video which came with the kit about 5 times (LOL) to make sure I had the directions down. My vanity top, which was a boring white formica is now a very beautiful brown/gold/cream granite looking finish. I am going to use the same Sicilian Sand colors to paint my full bath vanity top, but plan on practicing on the poster paper since I want the finish of that vanity top to have a lighter cream/gold look. Then I will tackle the kitchen! I hope this product turns out to be as durable as it is easy to use. It certainly looks great!

    • Hi Diane,
      Glad to hear your granite finish countertop project worked out great. Let us know how it holds up over time.

  8. Hi Danny,
    I have seen where people have tried this product. I would really like to try it but, I having a real problem finding it I check Home Depot and they don’t have it, what other store might have it.? I’m in Houston Tx.

    Thanks Cherry

    • Cherry,
      Giani countertop paint is available at select independent hardware and home improvement stores. To find stores in your area, click on the link to the Giani website in the article above then select the “Store Location” option. You can also order it online directly from Giani by clicking on the “Buy Giani Here” option on their website.

  9. I just finished a 5″ master bath vanity countertop using Sicilian Sand GIANI. I purchased my kit directly from the manufacturer online for around $59 including shipping and tax. My hideous original 40-year old counter was white Formica with multi-green snowflakes. I also had an ugly peasoup green ceramic tile backsplash about 10 inches tall. I scuff sanded and primed the ceramic tile as instructed, then followed the GIANI directions. The aesthetic result far exceeds my expectations! Stunning! And no expensive, messy tear-out! If you could see my before and after photos, your jaw would drop. If this product holds up as the manufacturer claims it should, I will be a lifetime fan.

  10. For someone wanting the granite or even marble look, it can be acheived for even cheaper than this product. I noticed several comments asking where they could get it as their local stores did not carry it. If that is the case, than you can run to Wal-Mart or any store that carries acrylic paint (the bottles in the art section). Each bottle costs a little over a DOLLAR and one of each color is all (and even more than) you need. Get a base color (white, black, cream, or tan), then choose additional co-ordinating colors (usually 3 to 4) to splotch in with a sponge (natural sponges work best and are also available for cheap in same section). If you wanted to go a step further and really get the natural effect, you can get an additional, more contrasting & starker color and grab a feather and grag it across your creation randomly. Finish with a glossy polyurethane over entire creation, atleast 2 coats. This look that is featured can be achieved for UNDER $10!!!! So if your looking to save some money (which you obviously are, considering that you’re looking at this video), then this is the least exspensive way to go with the same (if not better) outcome! 🙂

  11. This seems like a great concept. Can this be used on tile surfaces? I have a bathroom that a previous owner put a faux epoxy finish on the 4″x4″ tiles above the bathtub. It began to been and needs to be refinished.

    • Hi Greg,
      Giani Granite Paint can be used on primed tile. To find out more, click on the link to the Giani site at the bottom of the article and go to their FAQ section. Good luck with your project!

  12. I need to finish over a burned spot on a formica counter…candle got too hot. How should I prep the old formica spot (about 2″ diameter) before coating?

    • Hi Mark,
      I would sand the burned spot lightly, fill any low spots with auto body filler, then sand lightly again before finishing the plastic laminate. Good luck with your project!

  13. I have wooden kitchen countertops that are slighty “rough” feeling…..not smooth like the formica. What prep work should I do before applying the base color? If I use a palm sander and just sand it smooth, is that enough? Should I prime it with something first, and if so, what should I prime it with?
    I sure hope this holds up over time and use. Has anyone had it for awhile?

  14. Danny,

    I saw the video and I am excited about trying the product. Can I simply paint my kitchen countertop with the black primer and then do the top coat? My desired look is a black countertop with no design, but I want an extremely thick and shiny, epoxy looking finish so that it looks like some fancy polished stone. Can this product give me that look?

    • Hi Orlando,
      According to Giani, while you can use just the Giani black primer and clear top coat to achieve a solid color countertop finish, it can difficult to keep lap lines from showing when you roll it on. Adding the mineral design to the primer helps hide any laps from showing. You might want to try adding just a little of the mineral colors, to improve the look of the finish, and test it first. Good luck with your project!

  15. This product looks so promising, I can’t wait to try it out on our hideous old 70’s yellow floral laminate countertop in our master bath. I’m VERY new to home projects, and am wondering if I understand this correctly: I can start this without sanding down the laminate, and just paint the primer directly on it?

    • Hi Kim,
      You need to clean the plastic laminate thoroughly before painting. You don’t have to sand the laminate down, though I don’t think it would hurt to run over it with fine grit paper to take the gloss off before finishing.

  16. Hi everyone~
    I am QUITE excited about this product, as I have 80’s green laminate countertops that I’ve wanted to ‘toss’ for 4 1/2 years now but just lived with them, thinking it would be money-dumb to put in stone in our neighborhood.
    I am planning to do this project in a couple of weeks, but I’m needing some advice on two things.
    The first: anyone else have glitch issues on the giani website…it ‘bugs’ in and out of letting me do things and right now, isn’t even responding when I try to put something in my cart. Hmmm.
    Second: Anyone ‘mix and match’ the color options? We know we want dark, but I don’t want just completely black and the brown option is TOO brown. Actually in the process of getting rid of all the browns and going towards grays and blacks just due to being sick of the ‘brown-craze’…
    Thanks and happy counter-ing, everyone! 😉

  17. how has this product held up over time? Everyone seems to love it when applied,but what about a year or two later. Please let me know your experiences. Thanks, Carl

  18. I have finished all the applications on my island, I used the choclate brown,now looking at it I think its too black and need to add more taupe. Can you go back over it and then reseal again?

  19. Long term, this does not hold, it lasted a few months and then chipped off. Little wholes here and there first then whole big strips. We use our kitchen every day and we were very careful. For example setting a fork prongs downward a little too hard make 4 wholes through the finish.
    I actually would like to peel it all off now.

  20. The best way to get a faux granit on counter top is more complicate than the example in the video. First, is better apply a strong sealer and then leave to dry some hours. After that, sandwet the surface with a 160 – 220 sandwet paper, clean and apply black primer ( or any other color depending the kind of granit you want) To mix the mineral colors, better do it with glaze applyed with each color. There are undred of granite styles. The most regular are three colors: black, gray and with. For more realism in regular granit, use silver better than grey because the granit have mica, feldspar and quartz. Mica has a metallic sheen with silver hints.
    Some exotic granites can have multiple colors and fractures or veins. Before any attempt to paint faux granite, I recommend searching the internet pictures of granite colors or go to a shop and get a catalog in order to choose the right granite better we would stay and then do some testing before starting on counter top.
    For high durability and to prevent finish to lift, I recommend applying several coats of a stone floor sealer with intermediate sanding to achieve a smooth and durable surface, or several coats of exterior glossy varnish

  21. I forget it… for a faux granit, you can be more creative and invent your own custom granite colors that you like. The only thing is to use dark and light colors to highlight textures. You can create a beautiful blue granite, or yellow and green, or whatever the granit texture you want. No limits!!!!

  22. Dont forget apply a finish sealer. I try different sealer andd the best and more durable es an exterior stone sealer. When dry well is as hard and water resistant and shock like a stone. You can find that sealer in Home Depot, All American, etc.

  23. I made a tile countertop 15 years ago and am ready for a change. I would like to make a countertop out of particle board, router the edges seal it then apply the faux granite. I would also like to put an under-mount sink. What do you think of this idea? Should I use a more dense material?

  24. We just started the project, and I’m wondering, how long this make-over will last? We are hoping it will last for years, but really don’t know. Does anyone know the number of years that this product will last?

  25. I used the Giani product. It looks beautiful but does not hold up well at all. I, like another individual several entries prior to mine had the problem of the white holes everywhere. You have to treat the end result with kid gloves. The least little thing will tear it. I followed the directions to a “T” and allowed for proper drying time in between, etc. I got so tired of touching up with the kit paint and then waiting to dry, put top coat, etc. that eventually, I just started using a black felt tipped pen that was permanent to touch up the holes. Doesn’t look great but…If there is a good top coat, on the market that will not feel tacky and looks smooth, I would like to know about it. I felt reluctant about the top coat finish in the beginning and my original instincts were correct. I have used poly urethane on wood furniture, when refinishing and that is not a good option. Heat will make it both tacky and or cloudy and leave white rings. Is the stone clear coat that people are taking about toxic? Is it save to put food on it? Also, is it a lot of trouble to apply and how long to dry. It’s tough when everyone is using the kitchen to keep everything off of the counters for days.

  26. Just finished up doing a faux granite in my own powder room! Didn’t use the Giani kit though, just did it on my own. Researched the heck out of it before starting though. I think the hardest part was getting the gloss finish right. I used an automotive topcoat sealer and it looks AWESOME! I did follow the Giani tutorial on how to apply it. They’re right about just rolling on once and not going back or it will pick up the shine. Also did a faux coved ceiling treatment with just paint and now working on the paper flooring treatment I found online. I’ve been keeping a blog about my DIY progress with lots of step by step pictures at

  27. I applied the faux granite finish on my countertops and loved the results. The only problem I had is that after a few weeks I kept getting small scrapes. Weekly repairs were getting tiresome. I went down to my local paint store and got some oil based, clear gloss polyurethane and recoated the counter tops. The result have been great!

  28. I am curious how to do this with a wooden molding edge? Should I remove the edge and resurface and then put the edge back on or resurface over the molding or just leave the molding off all together. I have forest green laminate and we have never liked it. This might be the cost effective solution!

  29. I have used Giani Granite paint on my countertops and it looks great & easy to clean and now I am thinking of using it on my shower/bathroom wall ceramic tiles to cover up some hairline cracks and the off white grout. Does anybody can tell me if this is suitable for the shower area.Thanks

  30. Audra Says:
    October 18th, 2011 at 3:40 pm
    I am curious how to do this with a wooden molding edge? Should I remove the edge and resurface and then put the edge back on or resurface over the molding or just leave the molding off all together. I have forest green laminate and we have never liked it. This might be the cost effective solution!

    I have the same problem, and would love to hear the solution to this. Also, what is the best coating to put on to prevent the holes scratches as it seems to not hold out very well even with impeccable care.

  31. Hi, I have done my countertops and they look great but the black bled through the tape and I have it all my walls. I’m wondering what do I use to get it off now? Please help ASAP!

  32. Hi,I have ceramic tile counter top and would like to fill in the grout lines to get rid of the tile look before I apply the faux granite.What can I do ?

    • Hi Darlene,
      The comment section under each post on our website is reserved for comments that visitors would like to post. These can be general comments, feedback about the post, questions about the topic, or answers to questions posted by other visitors. While it’s not possible for Danny and the Today’s Homeowner staff to respond personally to the thousands of comments posted on our site, we do read every one and try to respond when we can. In this article alone, you will numerous replies from our staff, as well as responses posted by other visitors to the site. For answers to questions about Giani Countertop Paint, you would do best to ask the company that makes it by clicking on the Giani link in the article above. Good luck with your project!

  33. I plan on using on formica countertops – they are old and have a “trim” or strip of some kind of metal between the counter and backspash; how do i treat this before i begin?

  34. My bathroom vanity is a countertop/sink all in one. All the photos I see show the sink being left it’s original color but I want to paint the whole thing since the sink looks the worse of all of it. Is it possible to use this in the sink area, as well as the counter, where it will get wet?

  35. Mine project looked great – untill I put on the clear sealer. It looks really bad – bubbles.. I’m so disappointed I did all this work only to ruin it with the last step. Anyway to fix it? I rolled the sealer on with the foam brush – what did I do wrong?

  36. Oh wow Debby, that’s too bad! Could be that the sealer was shaken and bubbles were present when you applied it. I would think that a 2500 or 3000 grit wet sandpaper would be a good choice to sand down those bubbles, then reapply the sealer with a non-foam brush or high density foam roller going only in one direction. Don’t overbrush ’cause that will cause bubbles, so will foam brushes. I used a high density foam roller for my finish with an automotive clear topcoat and it worked great though.

  37. Debby – we had the same problem on one of counters. We sanded and reapplied 3 times, and it still looks bad. the only saving grace is that it only really shows when you look at from an angle. I hope you have better luck.

  38. Hi,
    this stuff is amazing, I couldn’t believe my eye’s when that dull yellowish formica turned beautiful, looking just like gannite.
    QQ: I’ve been reading that I can use a car wax or different waxes on Formica to make it shine better….what would you recommend, if tried to Counter top cleaner, but doesn’t seem to shine as I would like….any suggestions?

  39. I LOVE LOVE LOVE my new Giani counter tops in my kitchen. they went from awful navy laminate to a pretty whitish bluish beigy granite. My only complaint is this: like a few other posters, the topcoating came out real bad. I followed the instructions to a T. Only at an angle – as the light hits it in just the right way can you tell though, but still annoying after spending so much time making the painting of the counters perfect. What I found was this: I could tell where each roller brush stroke went. You could see the edges of the strokes. It was as if the topcoat was too thick. It didnt dry even, as it didnt smooth out or lay uniformly after drying. I put on 2 coats, laying each coat carefully, and letting each coat dry a full day. I used the included roller, as instructed. It looked as if I used a paint brush to apply the topcoat rather than the roller. I didnt go heavy handed nor lighthanded. It also had bubbles. It was rough textured- not glass like smooth like real granite. So…I ended up buying a can of Minwax oil-based glossy finish polyurethane, which was a dissapointment too as it yellowed my Giani paint job, (primarily a whitish finish) but still overall the entire project is MILES better than what I started with!

  40. I forgot to mention that THE VERY MOST important step in this process is your basecoat. If you dont create an absolute seamless, brushless, evenly coated base, that will eventually show thru the painting process and even thru the topcoats as mine did:[
    So while rolling or brushing (as in foam brush) on the basecoat, dont create any brush marks/uneven rough choppy lines or else it will dry that way and penetrate thru the other layers of paint. I feel like the basecoat was very thick. I noticed that my finished product came out very “pitted” as well I’m not sure why this happened cuz I started with a smooth as glass laminate counter.
    I would highly recommend before doing your actual project – take the time to practice the technique on a scrap board first – all the steps (basecoaat, 3 colors paint, topcoat) from start to finish, plus let dry also. This will let you see any flaws before its too late.
    Lastly, i am going to sand down the 2nd layer of poly, and apply a 3rd coat- now that its dry in an attempt to give my counter a more glossy sheen. Ill keep you posted.

  41. After reading all the commits I have decided to hire someone to install a granite look-a-like counter top. I have a small kitchen, about 8′ counter space.I’m good, do alot of my own painting & simple installing updates.It may cost more but I don’t want the agony I’ve read about especially those that followed it to a T. I know some good ole’ boys who do home improvements for a living chargeing 1/2 or less the price of “professional” installers.

  42. Hi,
    We redid our counters with Giani and applied all the right portions of everything. We have a lot of wear around waist height on the edges where we may rub against the counter when doing dishes, cooking, etc. Any way to cheaply fill these in without needing to get another kit?

  43. I am looking at doing the giani kits in my kitchen and bathroom, and I’m wondering if it might be wise to change a couple of things. The first thing I am considering is to use a primer/sealer on top of the counters before letting anything else touch it. The second is spraying the basecoat via paint sprayer to avoid roller marks. The third is that I am considering an automotive clear coat instead of the sealer coat that is provided. I am also thinking about spraying this so that it comes out glossy. Has anyone tried any of these things? If so, have they affected the end result in any noticeable way?

  44. I didn’t have enough top coat for two coats on one cabinet. Tried to get another can without buying a another kit. couldn;t find where to find it.

  45. I used this product 2 years ago and was very happy with the results. I did 2 additional coats of sealer (water based) that I purchased from my local hardware store. The counters have been used daily and cleaned several times a day with any problems. I went with the dark and love it but as I now need glasses more often, I am about to change it to the white which wasn’t available when I took this project on. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to change their kitchen area with investing in granite. I did use artist brushes for veins and it does look amazing. It’s not a project that a novice can’t handle, it just takes patience.

  46. Hi. I’m currently building my countertops out of CONCRETE. can I used this on it? And can I use normal fibre glassresin that you use on cars to do the top coat? Will it stay permanently? I hv heard that fibre glass is cancerous n seeing that your top coat is of that will it be poisonous as well as harmful in anyway to me or foods that’s prepared directly on countertop?

  47. I’ve seen on the internet that there are three colors for the Giani countertop paint kit. I would like to know how to get the one that is like the white diamond with spects in it. I have gray colored cabinets and would like to find that particular color. Thank you.

  48. The best recommendation to make the faux work long lasting , go to and they have a 2 part clear epoxy that’s rock hard , food safe and water proof , you just have to mix part a with part b and use it fast by applying it with a trowel or finisher knife works good , it’s a self leveling product and doesn’t line out as long as it’s applied at the correct thickness , it’s applied to some jobs I’ve done over a year ago and it’s still deep shining .

  49. I have used this product and LOVE IT! Its been over a year now and absolutely no touch ups, problems, wear and tear – seriously NOTHING! It has held up to heat from coffee pout, messy kids, and husband. Would give it 2 thumbs up!

  50. How durable is this? I have resin kitchen counter tops and want to redo them. My counter tops are well used, they are not just pretty to look at. I want to redo them to look like granite but am unsure how well this redo will hold up.Thank you in advance for your help!

  51. I hate this painted counter top. It is hard to clean around the stove top. I need to patch it up also and the people that sold us the house did not seal it correct. What am I suppose to do? Can it be removed and start again?

  52. I am doing my counter tops in the morning, but they are old and have an area that the glue underneath the formica, got hot and now there is a ridge. How do I correct that? I have tried using a hot iron on top of it to smooth it out, but with no luck. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    Thank you for your time

  53. Spot on wjth this write-up, I actually think this amazing
    site needs a great eal more attention. I’ll probably be
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