Cost Effective Home Updates : Countertops

In January of this year, my husband and I bought a killer deal of a house in Raintree Subdivision in Jacksonville NC.  The downside to this killer deal was that the previous (and to my knowledge only) owner hadn't updated it since the day it was built in 1990.  We bought the home because we had the vision to see what it could be, and were willing to put in a little sweat equity.

In our quest to cost effectively improve our home, I came across Giani Italian Granite Paint for Countertops.  The concept was really intriguing, and a majority of the reviews that I had seen were positive, so I decided to try it for myself.  I figured that, no matter what, it couldn't look any worse than the butcher block laminate counter tops that graced my kitchen cabinets for decades!

This was our kitchen before:

Step 1 - Prep Work:  The first thing that you should do is watch the DVD provided by Giani in your kit (watching it more than once doesn't hurt).   After watching the DVD, our first step was to clean the counter tops and apply wood putty to any gouges or seems to ensure a smooth working surface.  Wood putty can be purchased from just about any local home improvement store, and once applied, needs to dry for about 8 hours, then just needs to be sanded smooth.  While waiting for the wood putty to dry, we removed the caulk from the back of the counter tops and taped around the sink and wall.  A problem that we encountered with that particular task was that, when the house was built, wallpaper was applied directly to the drywall, and then the caulk was applied directly to the wallpaper.  So, when we went to remove the caulk, huge strips of wallpaper came up with it!  Though an inconvenience, we weren't too upset, since we knew that the wallpaper was ugly, and had to go anyway!  We did this step Saturday morning.  

Step 2 - Primer:  By Saturday evening, we were ready to apply the primer onto the counter top.  The primer rolls on very smoothly, and was extremely easy to apply.  Right off the bat, we already thought the black primer looked better than what it was covering up!

Step 3 - Painting:  After giving the primer 8 hours to dry, we were ready to sponge on the mineral paint provided in the kit.  We started doing this on Sunday and, with my husband and I both working on it, it took about an hour to complete the entire counter.  Our application styles were a little different, so we started at opposing ends and then met in the middle around the sink.  Doing this left a minimal amount of space where the two different techniques were right next to each other, making it harder to notice that there were small differences.  And once think that I love is that any noticable inconsistencies can be explained away by the naturally 'inconsistent' look of granite.  If it was too perfect and consistent, I think it would look fake!

Step 4 - Topcoat:  Before applying the topcoat, I recommend rewatching that portion of the Giani DVD, and watching the Top Coating Tips Video on the Giani website.  We applied our first layer of topcoat Sunday evening, and even though it only requires 4 hours of dry time, applied our second coat Monday evening (due to our work schedules).  After allowing for the directed drying times in the instructions, we put our kitchen back together.

And here is the finished product!:

Not bad for a $69.95 paint kit, huh?  The results are really fantastic, and the hardest thing about the whole process is going without your kitchen for a couple of days.  For people looking to sell their homes with dated counter tops... the minor inconvenience is WELL worth it!  I would recommend this to my clients any day of the week!

For more information on Giani Granite Paint for Countertops, just visit their website.  The same company also offers a liquid stainless steel kit, which I will be trying out and blogging about in the near future.  See that ugly beige exhaust fan... yeah, that's the next to go!

Alexis Pierson ~ The Starter Home Specialist ~ Serving the Jacksonville NC area - Licensed in the state of North Carolina, affiliated with EXIT Independence Realty. Your Starter Home Specialist for Jacksonville NC,Richlands NCHubert NC, and Onslow County. My knowledge and dedication will help your real estate transaction to go smoothly, so that you can enjoy the experience and look back on it with a smile! To discuss your next home purchase or home sale call me at (910) 467-4322!