My $580, 5-day kitchen remodel

For a couple of years, I have wanted to replace the lament counter tops we had installed when we built the house. I love the look of granite and had been interested in using the company my parents had used that lays granite counters over your existing counter tops. But last April, my husband started his own company so my dreams of remodeling my kitchen were put on hold.

Well that is until while talking with my parents, my mom suggested we paint our counter tops. She saw the idea on one of the many home improvement shows on TV. So I looked into it. There were numerous websites that told how you could do it yourself, but I don’t feel I have the greatest color coordination and instead decided to buy a kit. After researching and reading reviews, I went with Giani granite paint kits. Each kit covers 35 sq. ft. I calculated my counter tops were 76 sq. ft. not including the 4” back splash so I bought three kits of Sicilian Sand.

When I showed my in-laws my new paint kits, my father-in-law suggested we replace our sink. They had recently remodeled their kitchen and loved their new granite-composite sink. So I looked into it and since my father-in-law had agreed to help with the removal and installation, we went ahead and ordered a new sink and new faucets.

Here is the breakdown of what we spent:

$184 – 3 Giani granite paint kits (from Amazon – used a $20 gift card that basically covered the tax)

$50 – Supplies not included in kit (really fine sand paper, wood putty, sanding block, 2 tubes of caulk, painter’s tape, a fine paint brush and glitter)

$312 – Mont Blanc Kitchen sink & Delta faucet (from Home Depot)

$34 – additional supplies needed to install new sink

$580- total

Here are a few “before” photos. (I forgot to take them before I added the blue painter’s tape.)

P1020335 P1020336

Friday Night

I removed everything from the tops of the counters and from underneath the sink. My husband sanded down a few areas where some dried glue and epoxy had gotten on one of the counter tops. He also removed all the caulk from the top of the back splash. After that he used wood putty to fill in the two cracks/seams where the counter-top pieces came together.  (corner of top photo) After that, I put the painter’s tape on the walls and drawers. (Note: If you are doing this, put 2 rows of tape on the walls like the DVD suggests. I ended up adding a second row after I started painting on Sunday.)


My husband sanded down the wood putty, and I wiped down the counters using SOS pads (per the kits instructions) on the ones that wouldn’t be effected by the sink removal. After lunch, my father-in-law came over, and he and my husband removed the sink. During the removal, they cracked part of the counter top. Using some liquid cement, they glued the piece back on and then had to use wood putty to fill the cracks. Another area also had to be rebuilt with wood putty. While I took Lexie to a birthday party, they temporarily put in the new sink and hooked up the faucet and did as much prep work as they could to make the re-install easier.

P1020342After dinner (we used paper plates and heated up leftover in the microwave which was now on the dinette table), I cleaned the remaining counter tops with the SOS pads. Then I painted the counter tops with the black primer. It has to dry for eight hours, so we decide over night would be a good option.


Sunday morning after a quick bowl of cereal, I began to sponge on the paint to make the counter tops look like granite. They give you three colors in the kit. I had read reviews where others had bought a fourth color (and sometimes a fifth or sixth) either from the company or just down at the arts and craft store. I decided to stick with the three colors – Brown Feldspar, Inca Gold and
White Limestone – that come in the kit.

They give you a black paper to practice on so I had an idea of how I wanted it to look.

I have to say that I have a LOT of counter top space. It took hours to get this done. I pretty much had five steps – apply brown liberally with the sponge, then add the gold randomly (trying to cover more of the black area), then added a little more brown. After that I added the white as an accent – kind of like a veining look and then to help it blend in, I added just a little more gold over the white.

P1020356 I started at 8 am and by lunchtime had about 1/2 the kitchen done. By 2:30, I had it all done except the upper, narrower bar areas. But I had also run out of brown. So I went down to Wal-Mart to find something similar to use in their arts and craft section. I ended up having to add just a touch of the white to it, but the new color was pretty close to the original. P1020354After dinner, I finished the narrow areas and then applied the first coat of clear top coat. (I had to wait until 9:30 to do this on the narrow areas as the paint has to dry four hours before the top coat is applied.)


P1020353I lightly sanded the first top coat and then applied a second coat. After an hour, I removed all the painter’s tape. The counters couldn’t be used for the next 24-hours. (The photo to the right is of the counter in our dinette room.)


Not much needed to be done today but install the new sink and hook it up. Of course it never is as easy as they think it is but after a few hours of redoing the pipes because this sink is slightly deeper than my last one, my husband and father-in-law got it in. I think it looks wonderful and goes really well with the counter tops.


The new counter tops make the kitchen look totally different. When I began the idea of painting them and when I did the practice sheet, I originally wanted less black showing. It didn’t work out that way but I love the look. I think if you don’t plan to have the black showing that after you paint the primer, you should paint another lighter color as your background and not expect to cover it up with sponge painting. I also learned that with this much counter top, it is easy to get burned out trying to paint it all in one day. Oh, and when they say sponge “very lightly” on the backsplash – they mean it. (We have a few places where the paint “ran”.)

Overall, I like the new look and at only $580 to re-do my kitchen, I think it definitely was worth it.

One thought on “My $580, 5-day kitchen remodel

  1. Joan Lindgren says:

    Looks like granite. An inexpensive fix to some ugly laminate countertops.

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