While all new quartz countertops would have been ideal, that extra cost just wasn’t in the budget for my recent kitchen remodel. Having completed a DIY faux marble countertops project in my master bathroom a couple years ago, I knew this was the way I wanted to go.
While this project is very easy, it does take some time and patience. You’ll want to carve out a full weekend to complete the process. But those finished results are well worth the effort and wait.
Continuing in my Kitchen Makeover Series, today I’m sharing how I made my boring countertops one of the greatest focal points in my kitchen.
Before we dive into this project, a quick look at the before pics are a must! The transformation is truly incredible!
As I’ve mentioned in this kitchen makeover series, I completely reconfigured the layout of our kitchen. I removed the peninsula that jutted out and closed off much of our kitchen.
With that removal, came the need to move the sink to be flush with the kitchen window. This whole process required a new slab of counter top to extend off of our existing countertops.
It wasn’t necessary to find a countertop that matched the same pattern as my existing countertops. Since I was planning on redoing the surface of my countertops, I was able to shop for the cheapest laminate countertop.
As you can see in the picture below, the new countertop has different colors than our original countertop. While the original has more tans and lighter colors, the new countertop is full of gray tones.
Not a pretty sight for sure, but we’re going to fix that. 🙂
Butting up a new countertop to the old countertop saved a lot of money. The other option would have been to get all new laminate countertops. I felt that would have been such a waste, since I was planning on re-covering them anyway.
The challenging part was covering up that unsightly seam between the two countertops. Once I figured out how I wanted to go about this, the procedure was actually quite simple. I used Bondo to fill in the gap between the two countertops.
Once the Bondo was dry, I worked my way through high grit sandpaper to low grit sandpaper. I continued this process until the transition between the countertops was a completely smooth surface and unnoticeable to the touch.
Now, with an ugly Bondo patch on top of mismatched countertops, my kitchen was looking like quite the hot mess.
So, let’s get to the good stuff. How I transformed this entire surface to have a marble look and appear as if I spent a fortune.
How to DIY Faux Marble Countertops
Materials Needed for DIY Faux Marble Countertops:
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- Giani Marble Countertop Paint Kit (Covers 35 square feet)
- Paint Tray
What All Comes in my DIY Faux Marble Countertops Kit?
- 31 oz. Marble White Primer
- 6 oz. Grey Veining Mineral
- 3 oz. White Highlight Mineral
- (3x) 9 oz. Epoxy Activator
- (3x) 18 oz. Epoxy Resin
- 6″ Giani Roller Arm & 1 Standard Roller Pad
- 2 Foam Roller Pads for Epoxy Application
- (2x) 2″ Small Paint Brush
- 4″ Giani Paint Sea Sponge
- 2″ Foam Sponge Brush
- Artist Brush
- Misting Bottle
- Practice Board
- (3x) Wooden Stir Sticks
- Nitrile Gloves
- 9’x12′ Plastic Dropcloth
- Step-By-Step Instructions
What Surfaces Can I Use This Kit On?
- Ceramic Tile
- Butcher Block
- Traditional Granite
Step One: First thing first–Prep the area
- Wash down the countertops thoroughly with hot soapy water. Use a Brillo pad to remove any stubborn grease.
- Fill in any gouges with wood filler and sand smooth
- Remove any loose latex or caulk, using an exact-o knife. Don’t replace the caulk until after the painting steps are completed.
- Apply two rows of painter’s tape around the border of your countertops to protect your walls. Be sure to add it to appliances (as shown below). And to your sink too.
- Clean counter top again and use a tack cloth to get rid of any lint, dust, etc.
- Set up a prep work area. Somewhere you can have all of your supplies ready. You’ll want to put down an old sheet underneath, so as not to get any paint or epoxy on anything valuable.
Step Two: Primer
Next step, using the foam brush, edge out the countertops with the White Base Primer. You’ll want to work in 3 foot sections, so that the areas blend smoothly together.
Once you’ve edged your 3 foot section, immediately roll it with the fabric cover roller (the foam roller covers will be used for the epoxy application).
Continue to work your way across the whole surface, working in small sections. After the first coat it will be streaky and you’ll probably notice lots of brush strokes. Don’t panic. This is to be expected.
Allow the primer to dry for about an hour and then repeat this step again with a second coat. Two coats should give you the coverage you need. But for darker countertops, a third coat may be necessary.
Step Three: Veining
Before diving into this step, I did some research online for how I wanted my veining to look. Googling carrara marble veining and checking out Giani’s website, gave me more confidence in this step of the process. Giani has a great step-by-step tutorial video on this full process too, if you get stuck.
One more thing before diving in….use the practice board Giani provides with the kit. It’s a good idea to practice drawing out your veining on this board.
Once you’ve completed these two things, you’re ready to start drawing your veining. Using Step 2 of the process (Grey Veining), I created what I feel are very authentic marble veins.
Giani’s video does an excellent job explaining this. I highly recommend watching it before beginning this step.
Something to keep in mind during this step is, you can’t mess it up. This step is very easy, but can be very intimidating.
It took me a few tries on my actual countertop before I liked the first vein I painted on. If you don’t like it, simply spray the vein you just drew with the water bottle and wipe it off.
You can do this again and again, until you get the hang of it and like what you are creating.
I didn’t want too many veins on my countertops, so I was sure to keep them at a minimum. I started out drawing my main veinings. These were more prominent, longer veinings.
I actually ended up lightening these veinings below, with my spray bottle and the small brush provided. Many of my veinings are very light, so as not to make my countertops too busy.
To lighten a veining, you simply spray the line and use the provided paintbrush to move the paint around. It is so easy to lighten or correct any veining that you don’t like.
The line is very dark in the picture below…
But as I dab this small line with my paintbrush (after spraying the line with some water), it starts to soften, as shown below…
Step Four: Epoxy Topcoat
This was the part that made me the most anxious. Before completing this step, you’ll want to cover your lower cabinets with the plastic sheeting provided. This will ensure that none of the epoxy drips down and ruins any of your cabinets.
Follow the directions provided to mix the epoxy correctly. Once mixed, slowly pour the mixture on a 6 foot section.
Pour one stream at the base of your backsplash, one in the center of your countertop, and one close to the edge.
You will use all of the mixture in the can for this 6-foot section.
Use the provided 2″ angled brush to spread the mixture up onto your backsplash. Cover this area thoroughly, running your brush back and forth a couple times.
Use the brush to brush out any epoxy pooling at the base of the backsplash.
Using the foam roller, lightly roll out the epoxy on the countertop, covering your 6-foot section.
Because the epoxy is self-leveling, you will want to hold your roller very gently, not applying too much pressure. This will avoid air bubbles from forming.
Once this 6-foot section is finished, mix a second set of epoxy (according to instructions provided) and continue onto the next section.
Blend the two sections together, so as not to have any distinct lines or seams. Continue this process until you have completed all of the countertops.
Step Five: Finish work for your DIY faux marble countertops
You’ll want to be sure to remove the painter’s tape 1 hour after applying all of the epoxy.
If you remove it too soon, you run the risk of removing some of the epoxy with it. But if you remove it too late, it could become stuck to the surface, making it next to impossible to remove.
One hour is the sweet spot, so be sure to set a timer to remove it by this time.
After 48 hours of cure time, you can safely apply clear acrylic caulk (NOT SILICONE), wherever needed.
When Can I use My Kitchen Countertops Again?
After 24 hours, you can run the dishwasher.
According to the instructions, provided by Giani countertop paint kits, you can lightly use your counters after 48 hours. However, I recommend waiting the preferred full-cured time of 7 days.
We used ours lightly after the 48 hours and ended up with a couple blemishes that are still there today. Thankfully, they’re not overly noticeable. But definitely something that jumps out at me all the time. 🙁
It’s worth your time to wait.
It’s crazy to me that these used to be two different color countertops with a sizeable gap between them…
You can no longer tell where the old counters stop and the new ones begin…
If you are looking for an inexpensive way to modernize your kitchen or bath countertops, this is the route to go. These DIY marble countertops will elevate the space and have you in awe over the beautiful surface you just created.
I hope you found this DIY faux marble countertops post to be helpful. As always, let me know if you have any questions. I love helping you turn these DIY posts into something tangible.
You never know what you’re capable of until you try! You’ve got this!
More Giani Countertop Paint Kits to Choose From
Gianni Granite Countertop Paint Kit: In three simple steps, you can transform your boring countertops into a traditional granite look.
Gianni Black Marble Countertop Paint Kit: Black countertops are all the rage. This kit contains all the tools you need to transform your old boring countertops. Get this modern look today, in this simple weekend project.
Gianni Carrara White Marble Countertop Paint Kit: The same one I used in this post.
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Let’s go beyond the design to build something beautiful together!
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