I apologize in advance for the long post. It turns out painting a Faux Carrara Marble on your countertops isn’t as easy as one would think. It takes some trial and error. This DIY project was totally one of those projects where you think, “how bad could it be?” Then 9 hours into the project, you start to question your sanity. BUT it was totally worth it! Check out this beauty!
As you all know, our house is straight out of the 70’s. Our kitchen countertops were yellow. We knew we wanted to get rid of it but also knew we will be completely remodeling the kitchen 5-10 years down the road. So in comes one of Kelsey’s brilliant ideas…”I’ll just paint them.” Here is a picture of what we were dealing with. Not pretty right?
This project started with a Giani countertop painting kit (white diamond). The kit comes with everything you need to transform your countertops: primer, paint, paint tools, and a finishing coat. I choose this kit a couple months back and ordered it online. We followed the directions that come with the kit to get started with the primer.
The primer needed to dry for 8 hours, so we put it on the night before I had planned to paint. When I got up in the morning, I continued to follow the directions applying the mineral paint with the sponges given. There are three different colors that get sponged on.
However, during the couple of months since I picked out the kit, I had been gradually changing my vision for what I wanted. I no longer wanted the granite look but wanted more of a marble look. But I wanted to make the kit work since we had already purchased it and used it. However, as I was painting the mineral colors on, it just confirmed what I knew in my heart I wanted: not granite, but Carrara marble. I found one tutorial for Faux Carrara Marble in particular that I really liked the look of. So I totally switched gears mid project. At this point my countertops are looking like this:
I stumbled upon this tutorial from Gorgeous Shiny Things who has amazing talent! She used a Faux Carrara Marble method to paint her kitchen countertops and was nice enough to create a video, which helped me tremendously. You can find her written tutorial here. Except I was about to hit my first hurdle. I could not find a softening brush anywhere in town. If you watch Danika’s tutorial, she shared that it’s the most important piece to creating the faux look. After wasting a couple hours trying to find one, I decided to just get started. I could have waited to order one online but the thought of “wasting” my personal day I took from work and only having half painted countertops did not appeal to me.
As you have probably noticed from the pictures, the primer that came with the Giani White Diamond kit was black. Which is great for the granite look, but not so great if you are attempting a faux marble look and wanting a white background. So I attempted to continue covering the black with the White Diamond paint colors. But, it just wasn’t working. The paints that come with the kit are different than “normal” paint. They are mineral paint, so the covering ability was different. After doing two extra coats, this is what the countertops looked like…
Starting With a Blank Slate + Another Bump in the Road
I finally gave up and just rolled directly over the paint with white paint I had lying around. It did give the countertop a little bit of a texture which I am not in love with since it doesn’t look as natural.
Once I got my white base, I attempted to use a chalk paint brush in lieu of a softening brush that I had, but quickly learned it was not going to work. It left brush lines in the paint and smudged the paint all over. After re-trying my technique on many occasions, I decided to go back to the drawing board.
The drawing board consisted of going to the hardware store to see what our options were for other countertops. Seriously! After 8 hours of work, I was nearing the point of giving up. However, seeing the price of “cheap” laminate countertops was enough to motivate me to give painting a try again. I looked at the paint brushes again for another option. I ended up purchasing a paint brush that is designed for staining decks. You can purchase it here or if you prefer Amazon, you try a brush like this.
Finally Back on Track – The Official Faux Carrara Marble Tutorial
Once I got this brush home and started again, the process went much smoother. Now that I had it all figured out, this is what I used for materials to create these Faux Carrara Marble countertops.
- White Paint
- 3 Different Shades of Gray Paint
- Softening brush
- Paint Extender (we used this)
- Sea Foam Sponge
- 1 inch paint brush and a small craft brush
- Pieces of Cardboard or a Feather
Here is picture of the paint colors I used.
Step 1: Create your blank slate by priming your countertops with white primer..
Step 2: Create a foundation of veining using a 1 inch paint brush. Get a general “pattern” for the veining with the brush, blot with the sponge, and then finally soften with the softening brush.
Step 3: Pull up some spots of the veins you like better using a small craft brush. Sponge around the vein to lighten out some of the surrounding gray left over from the “background map.” I tended to use the lightest gray to sponge around the mapping then from there blended the white in further way from the veining. You may have to complete this step a couple of times in order to achieve the look you want.
Step 4: Find certain areas that you want to highlight, and using either the feather or a piece of cardboard (I didn’t have a feather so I used cardboard and it worked great!) highlight sections of the veining. Then go back and lighten any areas with the sponge.
Step 5: Seal the countertops. We used the sealer that came with the Giani countertop kit. I have seen other bloggers who have used EnviroTex Lite High Gloss Finish. You can buy it here.
Here is the finished product!!
We love how the Faux Carrara Marble countertops turned out! Next up painting the cabinets and tiling backsplash. Can’t wait to see the kitchen completely finished. Stay tuned!