Do it Yourself: Granite-look Countertop Coating

A countertop can be painted to look much like this granite countertop.
A countertop can be painted to look much like this granite countertop. (Image: Jupiterimages/ Images)

Pretty much any countertop will do what a countertop should do -- provide a surface on which to place pots, pans, spoons and ingredients while you are cooking, a space to put your toaster, microwave and coffee pot and a spot to temporarily hold the dishes as you take them out of the dishwasher. But there's a big difference between a mundane laminate countertop and the look of a granite countertop. If you'd like to have granite, but it's too pricey, use paint to create faux granite.

Things You'll Need

  • Samples or pictures of granite
  • Rubber gloves
  • Trisodium phosphate (TSP)
  • Sponge
  • Towel
  • 100-grit sandpaper
  • Electric sander or sanding block
  • Blue painter's tape
  • Kilz or Bin
  • 2-inch paint brush
  • Small roller with non-foam roller cover
  • 200-grit sandpaper
  • OIl-based paint for base coat
  • Oil-based paints for creating granite effect
  • Sea sponges
  • Small paint brushes
  • Feathers
  • Rags
  • Oil-based polyurethane.
  • Small roller
  • High-quality 2-inch paint brush

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Remove everything from the counter and scrub it with a solution of trisodium phosphate (TSP) and water. Use a sponge and wear rubber gloves -- TSP is a heavy-duty cleaner. Dry the countertop with a towel.

Sand the counter with 100-grit sandpaper. Use an electric sander or a sanding block. Thoroughly clean the dust off the countertop. Start with a damp towel and a bucket of water. Keep going over the countertop and rinsing out the towel until all of the dust is gone.

Tape off everything you do not want to get paint on, such as the walls, cabinets, any built-in appliances. Use blue painter's tape.

Prime the countertop with a stain-blocking sealer. Use a 2-inch paint brush for corners and details and a small roller with a non-foam roller cover. Spread the paint evenly and avoid air bubbles. Let the primer dry overnight.

Sand the countertop again with 200-grit sandpaper and a sanding block. Get the surface as smooth as you can and then clean again with a damp towel and water. Dry the countertop thoroughly.


Roll on a layer of your base color. Use oil based paint, a roller and a brush. Again, you want the paint job to be as smooth as possible, and you won't be sanding this coat of paint.

Apply different colors of oil-based paint with sea sponges to imitate speckling, small paint brushes or feathers to indicate grain, and rags to lighten and blend your paints. Use your granite samples or pictures as references as you work. Work slowly and carefully to get the effects you want.

Allow the paint to dry thoroughly for at least 24 hours after it feels dry. Seal the surface with 4 to 5 coats of oil-based polyurethane, using a small roller and 2-inch high-quality paint brush. Go for a smooth surface with no bubbles -- work slowly! Build up the layers of sealer, allowing each layer to dry 24 hours before you apply the next. Do not put anything on the countertop until 48 hours after the last coat is applied.

Tips & Warnings

  • Do not use the sink while you are creating a faux granite countertop. Even a little splash of water can ruin the project.
  • Your countertop now looks like granite, but it isn't. Do not put hot pots down on it, use it as a cutting board or roll out pastry on it. Remember that it is a painted surface, and treat it accordingly.


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