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Countertop Paint Reviews. Marble and Granite

Refurbish Your Existing Countertops With Rust Oleum Countertop Transformations,  Giani Granite Paint Or Rustoleum Countertop Paint At A Fraction Of The Cost!

Countertop Paint Reviews
If your kitchen or bathroom countertops are in need of a new and more modern look, lots of smart homeowners are refurbishing them instead of spending thousands of dollars on completely new countertops. With the emergence of granite and stone as the preferred material for finer homes everywhere, it's an elegant and beautiful look for those who can afford it. Marbles or granites.

But granite and stone are not cheap... and replacement costs for an average sized kitchen can quickly escalate into tens of thousands of dollars. Not only do you have the cost of demolition for removing the old countertops but the material itself - usually purchased as a slab of granite, marble or stone is extremely expensive all by itself. Once you throw in the costs for design, labor and finish work you end up with a total cost that may not be right for your situation.

This is not an uncommon scenario by any means. Some projects don't warrant the high cost of natural stone and some folks simply cannot afford it. If this describes your situation, you can still get that beautiful granite look using a countertop paint kit like Rust Oleum Countertop Transformations or Giani Granite Paint at a fraction of the cost. Depending on the kit you buy, the do-it-yourselfer can restore a typical kitchen's countertop for between $70.00 and $250.00. The problem is that most people don't know the differences in the various countertop paints and refurbishing kits being sold today.

With prices varying by $120.00 or more it can be confusing trying to decide which one is best for you. As a contractor for over 30 years, we refurbished dozens of countertops using both techniques. Although the final product may look the same in the advertisements and company brochures there are big differences between the two methods that are most commonly used. The purpose of this website is to explain the differences between Rust Oleum Countertop Transformations, Giani Granite Paint, and a standard countertop paint to help you make an informed decision before purchasing anything.

 Rustoleum Countertop Paint
Rustoleum's Countertop Coatings provides a painted finish to laminate counter surfaces without the need of a special primer for proper adhesion. Glossy enamels are not always the easiest to work with.

The odor can be strong in a confined space and glossy enamels, don't usually touch-up very well. However, if you apply it properly the final finish is quite nice and the product does what it was designed to do... which is to provide a hard finish that will stick to laminate and formica countertops.

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 Giani Granite Paint Kit
The Giani Granite Paint Kit is another easy to follow system designed to give your old countertops a fresh and granite or natural stone appearance. Using a different application technique, the folks at Giani use a "faux" like method to achieve the look of natural stone.

With a little practice (the kit comes with a practice board) even the most inexperienced can restore their kitchen or bath countertops in a day or two. Similar to wood-graining, the kit comes with detailed instructions, mineral paints for layering, and texture sponges to complete the job.

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 Rust Oleum Countertop Transformations
Granite countertops are sure to impress your friends and family, but they are also expensive with costs running into the thousands of dollars for an average kitchen. The Rustoleum Countertop Transformations Kit is an easy to follow multi-level application that actually looks like natural stone at a fraction of the cost.

Perfect for anyone looking to update their countertop surfaces without spending more then a few hundred dollars the application process is demonstrated clearly in a step-by-step video guide that I think will surprise you. Very forgiving in terms of touching up or correcting flaws, the Rust Oleum Countertop Transformation system is actually easier for the do-it-yourself handyman to do then applying paint.

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Video demo of a real user applying the Rustoleum Countertop Transformations Kit for the first time. Video courtesy of Steve from wichitafixit.com


If You're Looking To Restore Your Laminate Countertops You Have 3 Options To Choose From...

Prime and paint using a standard paint coating like Rustoleum Countertop Paint
Create a faux finish with Giani Granite Paint using sponges, layers of mineral paint, and other texture tools to mimic granite or natural stone
Apply a layered granite look using the Rust Oleum Countertop Transformations System

Although it is possible to buy all the materials separately for any of these techniques, it really makes little sense from a practical or financial standpoint. Besides, you would need to be experienced in faux and marbelizing applications to know what to buy if you chose item 2 or 3 above. Priming and painting your countertops is fairly straightforward as you'll see after reading my explanation below. But for faux or the layered granite look we always used the kits when possible because of the convenience and lower cost... even as professionals.


Option 1: Prime And Paint
The easiest and least expensive of the three approaches would be to simply paint the countertop giving it a solid, opaque color. This approach gives you a standard painted look. It's fast and economical, making it a preferred choice when a stone or granite look isn't wanted. The project will normally require a primer and two finish coats with preparation dependent on the surface being coated.

A fast drying thin-milled primer is important along with a hard and durable coating made specifically for countertop use. Be sure to use an oil base or tinted polyurethane due to its hardness and self-leveling characteristics. Total material costs including tools and miscellaneous supplies will run between $60.00 and $75.00 for approximatley 100 sq ft of countertop. You can find detailed instructions and specifications for the correct way to prime and paint your countertops by going here - or by clicking the article link in the tips section to your right.

Option 2: Creating A Natural Stone Faux Finish
A faux finish is essentially a "fake" finish created using different colors of paint and texturing tools like sponges, stiff brushes, or even crinkled newspaper at times. The process begins with a base coat that usually serves as your foundation color with layered colors applied over it. These layers are usually put on with a sponge or some other textured application tool to give you the desired look. Once these separate "layers" are complete a glaze or clear coat is applied for durability and added depth to the finished product.

Professionals who specialize in faux finishes may be inclined to buy each color and clear coat individually because they know what they're doing and they know what they need. However, with the Giani Granite Paint Kit everything is already put together for you - taking away all the guesswork and custom mixing required if you were to buy everything separately. These kits are very cost effective too, with prices on Amazon usually in the $60.00 to $90.00 range for 35 sq ft of counter space.

Although the steps involved require a little more time and effort, the final look is head and shoulders above a traditional paint job. With several colors and stone finishes to choose from you will actually have a beautiful granite or stone looking countertop with a rich, three dimensional look to it once you're done. The process begins with a base coat, followed by several "mineral" paints applied with a sponge applicator, followed by a polyurethane clear coat to complete the job.

If you've never done this type of faux or textured painting don't worry.... it's actually much easier then you might think and it's a lot of fun to do as well. The Giani Granite Paint system makes it very easy with step-by-step instructions along with several "how-to" videos to guide you through the process. After you check out their video I think you'll agree that this is something any do-it-yourselfer can easily tackle with beautiful results. For my detailed instructions and specifications for this project you can read my article here.

Option 3: The Layered Granite/Stone System

The final approach for restoring and refinishing laminate countertops is with the Rust Oleum Countertop Transformations Kit. If you really want to impress with granite or stone looking countertops this technique will give you a durable, realistic and stunning look at a fraction of the cost for real granite. The process is completely different then the faux finish technique used by the Giani product line I described earlier. However, the cost for this kit usually runs between $200.00 and $250.00 - making it the most expensive from a material cost standpoint then the other two options.

The layered granite/stone system by Rust Oleum Countertop Transformations will give you the most realistic look by far, so let me explain how the process works and why it's so different from the option above. This system begins with the brush and roller application of a thick adhesive primer. This coating is designed to provide good adhesion to the existing surface while also providing a sticky, cement like surface for the decorative chips that are applied next. The decorative chips are broadcast liberally onto the wet adhesive primer using a hand crank rotary dispenser included in the kit.

This is actually the fun part because all you want to do is sprinkle the color chips until the primer is completely covered. These chips are ground pieces of vinyl and are the secret to ultimately giving us a realistic stone look. After the chips have dried and are cemented to the prime coat the surface has to be sanded with a special diamond cutting sanding tool and then cleaned from the surface using a vacuum or wisk broom and dust pan.

The final step is to apply a clear coat of silicone epoxy to the entire surface. This clear coat goes on like a varnish or polyurethane and creates a deep resin like finish. The epoxy is also a two-part catalyzed coating which makes it much harder and impervious to scratches and stains as compared to the standard one part sealer used in the Giani kit. When you look at the adhesive base coat, combined with the added depth given by the application of the decorative color chips, combined with the harder more expensive two-part sealer it becomes easy to see why this system costs a $100 to $150 more then the faux or textured countertop paint method used in option 2. For more detailed instructions on how to refinish using the Rustoleum Countertop Transformation Kit click here.

Putting It All Together

Deciding which technique is best for you should really boil down to what you want versus what you want to spend. The standard countertop paint approach is obviously the least expensive and requires less time to complete. If all you are trying to do is a quick, inexpensive change to your existing countertops then I would recommend the Rustoleum countertop paint line because everything has been formulated for this type of use. The primer is thin and fast drying (which is what you want) and the top coats dry to a very hard finish and are "self-leveling" - meaning that as the paint dries less brush strokes wre visible giving it a professionally applied look.

If you want a granite or natural stone look and the cost for the Rust Oleum Countertop Transformations Kit is not in your budget then the Giani granite paint - Countertop Paint Kit is a great way to go. The people at Giani have put together a very high quality product that will hold up for many years. The sponge applied layers of mineral paints looks surprisingly real when the job is complete. The technique to apply these colors is easy to learn and can be a lot of fun. As an inexpensive alternative this product line is by far the best seller on Amazon with hundreds of positive reviews and several colors to choose from.

The Rust Oleum Transformation Kit is really in a separate category from the other countertop paint products and methods to choose from. Unique and innovative with their exclusive vinyl decorative chip system it's the closest you can get to a granite or stone look at a comparatively small cost. Surprisingly, restoring your countertops with this kit actually requires less artistic or painting skills of all three options discussed. Because the chips are broadcast heavily, sanded smooth and saturated with the clear epoxy coating the process is more forgiving and easier for an inexperienced applicator to achieve professional results. Good-Luck!


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Marble and Granite countertop expert

 Hi. My name is Jim Thompson and I'm a retired contractor with over 30 years in the painting, remodeling and home improvement industry. On this site you'll find my recommendations and reviews for the best countertop paint and refinishing kits along with tuorials and helpful tips. Thanks for stopping by! 

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