If you've spent as much time as we have wandering up and down the paint aisles at your local Home Depot, you might have noticed (and been equally intrigued by) Giani Countertop Paint Kits—all-in-one decorative painting kits that promise to help you "get the kitchen you’ve dreamed of without the mess, time or cost of replacement" by transforming your beat-up old counters into faux granite, marble, slate and more. We decided to try a few for ourselves to see if the end results really looked as professional as the picture on the box.
First up: the Giani Slate Countertop Paint Kit, which "emulates the heavy speckling found in granite from the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains." (So it's actually meant to look like slate-colored granite, not slate.)
Included in the kit is a base coat, three accent paints, an acrylic topcoat, a roller with two covers, a sponge, a foam brush, and a practice board. The other tools you'll want to buy are a paint tray, painter's tape, disposable gloves, and a dropcloth to protect the area around you from paint spills.
Now for a brief step-by-step! (The much more detailed instructions, which you'll want to read closely before starting the project, can be found online.)
1. Prepare your surface with a thorough cleaning and light sanding. Use painter's tape to protect the wall and cabinets around the edges of your countertop.
2. Roll on the IronCore Primer-Base Coat. Let dry for eight hours.
3. Touch up with another primer coat if needed; let dry for two or so hours.
4. Now for the fun part: sponging on the "minerals." Cut the provided sponge in quarters. Pour a good-sized dollop of each color—Charcoal, Inca Gold and White Limestone—onto paper plates (or another disposable surface). Working in two-by-two-foot sections, use the sponge to dab on a light layer of each paint, from darkest to lightest. Let dry for four hours.
5. Roll on the High-Gloss Topcoat. Wait at least 24 hours before using your countertops or dishwasher; Giani recommends waiting a full 14 days before placing any heavy appliances on the counter.
And voila—the finished product!
Our final verdict? The kit was surprisingly easy to use, although we definitely recommend testing on a disposable surface first. And while no one's going to be fooled into thinking it's actual granite (or slate), it doesn't look half bad for an amateur-applied decorative paint finish.
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