Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Review: Giani Granite–Countertop Makeover

I have issues with my kitchen.

The problem is…there’s nothing really wrong with it….

it’s just not me.

The alder cabinets have weathered to an unbecoming yellow.  The counter tops are in perfectly fine shape, except they’re gray….and I am neither a yellow NOR a gray person!

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This is what my kitchen really looks like.  No…actually, it’s cleaner than usual.

So I’ve been dreaming of replacing my counter tops and painting the cabinets, and I thought maybe 2012 might be the year. (If we didn’t have to spend our tax return on things like hot water heaters and water softeners, that is—that’s what happened in 2011!)

But Christmas came a little early this year!

Giani Granite offered me the chance to review one of their counter top refinishing kits, and I jumped at the chance!  I figured, if I loved it—I wouldn’t have to shell out the money for new.  If I hated it…I wouldn’t really be any further behind!

Decisions, decisions…Giani Granite offers SIX different color choices, but depending on how you apply the paint, you can get many different looks.  I chose Sicilian Sand, to go along with my dream of a lighter, brighter kitchen (and yes, now that I’ve painted the counter tops I REALLY want to tackle the cabinets).

The process is not particularly difficult, although there IS a difficult step (I’ll get to that later)..actually two.

First, clean your counter tops very well.  I used an SOS pad and rinsed twice.  And yes, I used the SOS pad even on the wood edges of my counters, since I was planning to paint them too.

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Next, I taped above the backsplash and on top of my dishwasher.   I also taped around my sink.

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You have to remove all silicone caulk, as paint will not stick to it.  Lucky for me, I only had caulk on this little section (it covered the seam between the countertop and backsplash), because it’s a bugger to remove!  This little cabinet was an “after-thought” added to my kitchen, and the color on the top never did match the rest—another good reason to paint!

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Next, you roll on a primer/base coat of black.  As far as I can tell, ALL the color choices use this same black primer.  It’s water based, but not latex.  It sticks really well, especially where you drip it on the floor—but then you have another use for those SOS pads you just bought…

Anyway, the base coat has to dry for 8 hours at 70 degrees.  I did this after I got my little kids to bed, and just left the heat turned up for the night.

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See?  I covered up the ugly wood edges!  That made me so happy.

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The fun part came the next morning!  Using an included sea-sponge, I applied the three accent colors over the base coat.  You do this in sections, using all three colors at once.  This gives the layered, blended look I wanted.

Here’s what it looked like after one color (middle section):

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Now two:

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And finally three:

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I didn’t stop there.  I went back over the sections with more dark or more light color, working in “flows” of color to get a more natural look.  In addition, I also did a little color mixing so I actually had five shades to work with and not just three!  I really liked the extra depth of color this gave me.

You can kinda-sorta see a lighter “flow” in the bottom left corner.  I think that’s my favorite part of the whole counter!

Giani Granite countertops counter tops

After the color-work has dried for four hours, then you apply an automotive polyurethane.  That’s the tricky part!  This stuff is very thin, and it dries really fast.  It has a great shine, but if you accidentally roll over a spot that has started to dry, or if you miss a spot---you’re going to know it, because it will leave a dull spot, or you may see a roller line.

Although I watched the DVD that came with the kit and read the instructions carefully, I had a very difficult time getting a smooth finish on my large peninsula.  Too late I found that there were  more helpful videos available on-line.  By that point, I literally had 7 coats of poly on the peninsula!  It’s still not perfect—

but I. am. done.

It’s good enough!  I don’t think anyone but me will notice the imperfections.

You can see that I didn’t do a great job of pressing down my tape.  Learn from my mistakes!

Giani Granite

I had to go back with a small brush and touch up where the paint bled.

On the main sections of my counters, there is a metal strip the hides the seam with the backsplash.  I don’t know if it’s “recommended” or not…but I just painted right over it!

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The second hard part of the process is that it takes 14 days for the polyurethane to fully cure.  That’s a long, long time for a family of eight to go without their counter tops!

We “make do” with folding tables here…

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…and here…

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…and yes, it’s putting a crimp in my holiday baking and candy-making!  However, we are still trying to sell our house, and I figured the ONLY time I could take two weeks “off” from having it ready for a showing was in the two weeks before Christmas!  NO ONE is going to be house hunting right now…right??  (So far, it’s working!)

Now, I fully recognize that it’s difficult to see the difference in the “look” from photographs…but trust me, it’s there.  Instead of grays I have warm shades of brown, and I *don’t* have that wood trim anymore! 

So while I still can’t fully use them, I briefly added a few accessories so you can see what they look like…

paint kitchen countertops counter topsPainting kitchen countertops countertopsGiani Granite counter tops countertopsPainting kitchen counter tops countertops

And now I want to paint my cupboards more than ever!  I’m thinking a light almond color would be really nice in here.

Giani Granite

So what do you think?  Is this something you would ever consider trying?  A Giani Granite refinishing kit costs around $80.  Compared to $3500+ for real granite, I think I made out pretty well!

You can also visit My Repurposed Life for a review of the Bombay Black Giani Granite kit.

If you would be interested in trying Giani Granite in your home, be sure to visit HERE for a GIVEAWAY!  Giani has generously agreed to provide one of their kits to a Red Hen Home reader—your choice of their 6 colors!

Disclosure: Giani Granite supplied me with a kit to review free of charge, but all opinions are mine.  I received no compensation to write this review.


Linking up here:

Domestically Speaking’s Power of Paint Someday Crafts’ Whatever Goes Wednesday
Hookin’ Up with House of Hepworths No Minimalist Here’s Open House Thursday
Friday Remodelaholic 2805
My Simple Home Life’s Simple Creations Friday Miss Mustard Seed’s Furniture Feature Friday
Funky Junk’s Saturday Night Special The DIY Show Off
Beyond the Picket Fence I Heart Naptime
Shabby Nest’s Frugal Friday {Primp}
  My Repurposed Life


Cassie Bustamante said...

that looks amazing! i will definitely be back as i have a couple bathroom vanities that could use gianni to the rescue

gail@My Repurposed Life said...

Korrie--it's beautiful! :) I knew you'd be so creative, but mixing to make 5 shades?? you're such an over-achiever! hahahah
super job girl!
ps I've put little felt pieces on the bottom of anything that might be slid on my counter. Just in CASE.

Proper Prim said...

Wow, what a difference. It looks gorgeous. I love that you mixed the extra colours together too...great idea. You did a fantastic job on them.

I will certainly be back tomorrow... this is on my To Do List for sure now.

Kathy said...

Wow! this looks great! Did you use it over granite or formica?

Perfect Imperfections by Jeanne said...

Great job Korrie! What patience you must have. I can't believe you tackled this right before Christmas! I'll be back tomorrow for the give away. I could use a little redo in both bathrooms. Thanks for sharing.

Unknown said...

That looks great ! I'm just trying to figure out how to make a tile counter top look that great. I really , really hate the grout lines .

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

It really does look beautiful! I know you will enjoy it! Happy holidays to you and your family! ♥♥♥

Chris at Red Gate Farm said...

It looks fabulous! What a great way to update counters that are in good shape but not that pretty :)


Kimberly T. said...

Wow, that looks really good!! I'm so impressed! And hey, we have VERY similar kitchens. The only difference is your what I'm assuming is a walk-in pantry (totally jealous!)where mine opens into our family room there. I even have my bosch in the exact same place, although I didn't know they had cute red ones. :)

Laurie Gatlin said...

wow - if this goes over ceramic tile, it might help me tolerate my kitchen until we can afford to remodel! I'd love to try this--


Valley Primitives Gift Shoppe said...

Your counters look amazing, what a difference! I've seen those kits and wondered if they really work. I think I am too chicken to try it.

Merry Christmas!

Sandi @ The Primitive Skate said...

What a transformation! It does look Beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

Wendy @HerBallistic Garden said...

Wow! That's majorly impressive! I'm blown away...great job! xo
Merry Christmas! Hope the dinner's not at your house!

carmen0777 said...

I love the difference it made on your counter tops! Your whole kitchen has a new vibe to it now! If I were you, I don't think I would paint my cupboards. Many people like that oak look, however, I like you like the off white look. I think that may lead you to thinking that you need stainless (and then why move?) LOL Unless you were thinking a darker whitish.... Anyway, my sister has been wanting to do this to her counter tops for a long time - I just sent her your link, and maybe between the two of us we will get brave enough to try! BTW - I liked each one of the steps (I thought that was the end result) :) And, thanks for the heads up on the applying the poly. You really are talented! I love your blog!!!
Carmen Skyles

Deidre~ said...

Oh My GOSH!! I have been wanting to paint my old BROWN 70s worn counter tops!You couldnt have shown this at a more perfect time:)I will most definately be back to try and win that kit as it would be a GOD send for our family,thanks again and super job!!!Deidre~

Rachel said...

That turned out amazing!!!! i had no idea products like this existed. How cool!!! I totally get the yellowing of the cabinets. My maple cabinets were so pretty when we moved in but yeah. Yellow!!!

Loribeth said...

They look so nice! Well, now you definitely need to jump in and paint the cabinet, Korrie! You'll feel like you have a whole new kitchen!

Unknown said...

I'm so tempted! I've been considering painting my counters for years. We have the same situation here: wood edges, nothing really wrong with them (other than the fact that they're 35 years old) and very bland color.

I started painting the square tiles of my back splash years ago. It took forever because I was trying to paint each tile to look like a different type of stone. I stopped because I think it's too dark.

If I could paint the counters first, I could make a better decision if I want the backsplash to flow with it or pop against the cabinets. Decisions, decisions.

Please keep us informed as how they hold up:)

ℳartina @ Northern Nesting said...

Korrie your counter tops look amazing!! Great job!

Jackie said...

Wow! My favorite part is how you covered the wood edges of the counter. Now it looks like a really nice decorative edge. You did a great job. I spotted this on Domestically Speaking.

Gypsy Heart said...

Wow, you never hesitate to take on the big jobs do you? :-) This is an amazing difference ~ looks gorgeous! You are really strong to do this with a family of 8 right before Christmas. Oh well, time is of the essence when you're trying to sell.

I congratulate you my friend! Great job. I know how you feel about the cabinets. I am so glad to have mine painted but it has been a process, to say the least.

Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas!!


The Painted Parlor said...

If anyone is going to undertake this, it would be you!! You're amazing! It turned out so nice! What a difference. I agree, a light off white color would look awesome!!

SImple and Serene Living said...

You are right. That kitchen was so not you. I love the new look and can't wait to see it after you paint the cupboards.

Debbiedoos said...

Looks so awesome. I have this kit too and am waiting til the first of the year to tackle it in our guest bathroom. It really made a huge difference, and truly looks like granite. Good job!

Unknown said...

Wow, came out real nice.

Jamie @ DIY Home Sweet Home said...

Yay!! I have the same product to review but I've been putting it on hold because I couldn't find anything that said how much counter top it would cover. We really want to do the kitchen but didn't want to get half way through and realize we didn't have enough. We have less counter space than you so I'm guessing we'll have plenty. Maybe even enough to do the bathroom. So excited. thanks for sharing.

Just About Home said...

Wow! It looks fantastic. I have been planning to also use Giani on my kitchen counter tops, now I can't wait to see how mine turn out. Great job!

Suzanne@Meridian Road said...

Your countertops look fantastic!They really do look like granite. I hope you get to use them soon!
Merry Christmas!

Karyn said...

So very pretty. I think it helps that you are uber talented in the painting department. Great job.

Lynda said...

I'm a follower as well!

eleven-o-one said...

You've done so many creative things in your house! I had no idea you were selling. Well, the kitchen looks great! You did an amazing job.

Tami said...

I have you in my bookmarks for months and now I am a follower just new to all this blog stuff and I love them

bj said...

Oh, yes, I am totally impressed and think you did an awesome job. Do you think an olden man and woman could do it? We so need new counter tops but so can't afford it. This, we might could afford. If I thought I could do as good a job as you, that is.
xo bj

Honey at 2805 said...

Thanks for the introduction to in interesting product!

Thank you for sharing at Potpourri Friday! Have a very Merry Christmas and wonderful Holiday Season!

Sue said...

Great review! I really like the way it turned out and your awesome instructions on technique. I am considering using this on an RV remod I am doing! Thanks for the great review.

Anonymous said...

Korrie: Your countertops look amazing! I love the way they turned out. I am dying to try this!! I'm looking for a darker color...I hate my beveled formica countertops :(

Anonymous said...

Your counters look great! I would so love to do this! Thanks for sharing! I'm now a follower!

Anonymous said...

What a great product. I would like to use the black on my bathroom countertops! They are 40 years old and look it. gelswood@aol.com

Casandra said...

Saw your post at Funky Junk Interior linky party. Awesome job! Thanks for explaining the whole process and sharing good and bad. You really helped us out. Thanks for the post!

Remodelaholic said...

This looks fabulous! I would love to feature this project on my blog. Let me know if you are interested and I will get all the details to you! Thanks for linking up to our party!

KimMalk said...

Wow, Korrie, that looks amazing! What a job. It was so smart to paint right over that wooden edge.

granite maryland said...

Information on kitchen countertop options is something I was looking for and I found a good site that covers the topic well. Be sure to check this website out before changing up your kitchen countertops.

Sheree said...

Oh, gosh, thank you so much for posting this review and the pictures. I, too, have the ugly wood trim around my kitchen counters and was wondering if I had to do something special with it. NO! Just paint over it! And thanks for the "between" shots. I needed to see that there would be an ugly stage and it wouldn't necessarily be my fault. I'm off to order paint! BTW, your counters look fab!

ArtH said...

what happens if a hot saucepan is put on it? I can't find any info on the durability of it vs formica, say, which you CAN put reasonably hot things on.

greatdame said...

Has your counter transformation lived up to your expectations as far as wear and tear are concerned?

Lisa Jones said...

Goodness, that looks better than average!! I'm so inspired! Also, hey, we have VERY comparative kitchens. The main distinction is your what I'm expecting is a stroll in storeroom (absolutely jealous!)where mine opens into our family room there. I even have my bosch in precisely the same, in spite of the fact that I didn't know they had adorable red ones Granite Countertops Lynnwood