Painting Kitchen Countertops To Look Like Carrara Marble

Painting kitchen countertops to look like Carrara marble can be done successfully. The painted results can last for years. This post will give you the knowledge and the confidence on how to paint kitchen countertops step-by-step.

A white kitchen where the brown counters were painted to look like Carrara marble.

To paint my brown Formica kitchen counters I used a Giani Countertop Paint kit.

Different Countertop Painting Methods to Choose

  1. White Diamond Granite Kit – When I painted my counters back in 2016, Giani only sold one white countertop painting kit. It was called the White Diamond Granite Kit. I tweaked this countertop painting kit to look like Carrara marble which is the method I share in this post.

2. Carrara Marble Kit – Giani now makes a Carrara Marble Painting Kit. The big difference in the two kits, is the sealer. The older White Granite kit came with water-based polyurethane. The new Carrara Marble kit comes with an epoxy sealer.

The Giani countertop painting kits are great if you have never painted a piece of furniture or a counter. Everything you need is in the kit and the directions are easy to follow.

How to Paint Kitchen Counters Without a Kit

If the Gianni countertop painting kits are out of your budget and you want to paint any surface in your home to look like Carrara Marble you can also paint countertops without a kit.

The products that come in the Carrara Marble kit are basic paints and supplies that you can buy at any paint or home improvement store:

  • White primer/paint, two shades of flat grey acrylic paint, 2 small tipped brushes, a 2-inch soft bristle paint brush, a microfiber paint roller and Minwax Polycrylic – it is water-based and will not yellow over time.

Before using the marble painting kit from Giani, I painted faux Carrara Marble using craft paint and paste wax to create a realistic marble look on the top of a dresser turned into a bathroom vanity that gets wet. It has lasted over 8 years so far. You can see that countertop painting method in this post – How to Paint Carrara Marble Using Craft Paints

Things To Consider Before Painting Countertops

No matter what countertop painting method you decide to use, the key to making a lasting Carrara marble look and finish is cleaning and prepping the surface properly. The other is sealing the counter surface with water-based poly like Minwax Polycrylic in a semi-gloss sheen.

I used the polyurethane in the kit on my kitchen counters that is the same as Polycrylic.  This works well. I am very happy with it, but the roller does leave some stippling texture if you look closely.

When you seal with paste wax, as I did my bathroom vanity, the surface is smooth and shiny just like real marble. The other benefit of paste wax is that when it wears, you can simply rub and buff more paste wax over the surface and it will look like new.

When the polyurethane wears, which it will do around the sink, you will need to refinish the area again by sanding, repainting the counter and adding a new coat of poly trying to blend it in with the rest of the counter.

I would read both this post, my other Carrara marble counter painting post and watch both videos at the end of this post. Doing all these will be worth your time as they will give you confidence and answer any questions you may have about the best way to proceed.

In the video I made I show the technique I used to paint my kitchen counters using the White Diamond Granite Kit back in 2016 so it would look like Carrara Marble.I am leaving the video up since it may help those who want to know more about how to prep the surface and add the veining.

How to Paint Kitchen Countertops To Look Like Carrara Marble

Giani Countertoiamondp Paint kit in white d

Before starting, make sure to read this entire post so you know all the tips and tricks and what not to do.

supplies needed:  affiliate links used

Everything you need to paint comes in the Giani Countertop Paint Kit. I used the White Diamond kit, but they now make a Carrara Marble Paint Kit.

Countertop paint that looks like white marble

2 cans of the White Limestone paint that will give the counter the white marble look come in the kit. I ordered 2 more cans since I wanted my counters to look like very white Carrara marble.

Each kit covers 35 sq. feet. If your kitchen counter is small, one kit will be plenty, if you have a very large counter, you may need two kits, or at least more White Limestone. So order that separately from the kit.

Materials needed:

  • 100 and 660 grit sandpaper
  • Sanding block
  • Tack cloths
  • Dish Detergent, clean rag, Brillo or SOS pad
  • Tape & Drape drop cloth
  • Painter’s tape
  • Craft knife
  • Fine-tipped paintbrush and or a feather
  • Paper plates
  • Latex gloves
  • 2 plastic containers with lids
  • Optional: Water based caulk/sealant for around sink
Formica countertop painting tutorial
  1. This is truly the most important step of the entire process. You need to create a super clean surface for the primer to adhere. Wash your counters with detergent and hot water a few times. Rinsing well after each washing.
Giani Countertop paint to look like white Carrara marble

2. Then go over with an SOS pad. Rinse well and then because a little sanding will only help the primer to adhere, go over the counter surface with 100 grit sandpaper. Don’t rub too hard, just a light going over.

Clean the surface well and rinse, rinse, rinse, with clear water and then let dry. When dry make sure there is no grease on the counter surface.

Get down to the counter level and look across the counter to make sure. I had one spot in the last section I painted that had something super gunky (not sure that is a word). I needed to use a razor blade scraper to remove it.

3. When the counter is completely clean and dry, you can proceed to start the painting process.

Giani Countertop paint kit in White Diamond

The kit comes with the primer, paint and topcoat sealer. It is all marked by steps which makes knowing what layer is next easy.

4. Stir the primer well and pour into a paint tray.  Put the roller cover on the roller.

How to paint a kitchen or bathroom counter

5. Start adding the IronCore black primer to the counter where it meets the backsplash using the foam brush that comes with the kit. You only need a light coat.

Roll on primer used to paint over laminate counters

6. Then begin to roll on a light coat of the primer over the counter. Don’t roll on with too much pressure that you create roller lines.

Don’t re-coat any missed spots, wait until this primer is dry and then see where you missed and roll over those areas.

Base layer of primer paint needed to paint faux marble on kitchen counters

The primer dries to the touch in about 30 minutes, but you need to wait at least 8 hours before you can begin the next step.

How to paint faux marble and veining

Before applying the mineral paints you need to figure out which direction you want the veining in the marble to flow. All marble veins flow mostly in the same direction.

To make your veining look as realistic as possible, draw out how you want to see the veins. Here is my sketch of the vein flow I chose for each section of my counter

How to paint faux marble over laminate kitchen or bathroom countertops

7. After waiting 8 hours you can begin to apply the “mineral paints”  There are 3 in the White Diamond kit; Inca Gold, Pearl Mica and White Limestone. I did not use the Inca Gold.

Start with the Pearl Mica. Stir it well and then pour a little out on a paper plate. Tear up a piece of the sponge that comes with the kit into a small section. Dip the sponge into the paint and then dab once on an empty part of the paper plate to remove some of the paint.

Begin painting by dabbing the sponge up and down following the angles you want the veins to flow. Move the sponge in different directions so you don’t create the same sponge print with each dab.

How expensive is it to paint a kitchen counter

Here is what the counter looked like after I applied the Pearl Mica. I let it dry for 4 hours. If you are painting to make the counter look like granite, you can apply the layers of the mineral paints one right after each other so you can blend them together.

How to make painted marble veins in faux marble

8. After waiting for 4 hours, I then started to apply the White Limestone using the ripped up section of sponge.

Stir the paint well, pour on plate and then dip sponge into paint, then off to unload some, then onto the counter top in a light pouncing motion. I applied it on an angle the way I planned for the veins to run. Dab over the just painted areas to make sure the paint is not being applied too thickly.

Countertop painting technique

9. After each layer of paint is dry, go over the surface with your hand to check for raised spots of paint. Go over with 660 grit sandpaper and then a tack cloth to remove the sanding grit.

How to apply Giani Countertop paint on a laminate counter to look like marble not granite

9. Once the first coat of White Limestone is on and is dry to the touch, add another layer of White Limestone paint in the same manner. Let dry.

How to paint Formica or laminate counters to look like marble

Keep adding thin layers of White Limestone paint in the direction you want the veins to flow.

Giani White Diamond countertop paint review

Don’t forget to carry the flow of the veining in the same direction on the counter edges just like a slab of real marble would have. The veins go through the slab, they are not just on the top.

I added 4 layers of White Limestone, but depending on how white you want the counters to be you can add more or less layers. Right after the last layer was applied, I added the veining. Doing the veining while the paint is wet will allow it to soften the lines.

How to Paint Marble Veining on Painted Countertops

How to paint faux marble and veining

Bring out your veining sketch again. Remember real marble veins flow mostly in the same direction.

Gianin paint colors to use to make veins in fake marble countertops

1. To create the grey paint for veining:

  • Light Grey Veins – Mix 1 part IronCore Black Primer and 3 parts White Limestone in a plastic bowl
  • Dark Grey Veins – Mix equal parts IronCore Black Primer and White Limestone together in a plastic bowl.
How to make veins in painted marble

2. Dip the tip of a fine-tipped paint brush into the the color vein you would like to create. Apply them following the vein flow pattern you decided on.

You can also use the tip of a feather to paint the veins. It works well especially when you can use water. Since using water is not recommended I didn’t use it. You can see how I used it in this post.

DIY painted marble countertops with veining

3. Immediately after you paint a vein, dab over it with the White Limestone on the sponge.

How to create veins in painted marble

Follow the flow, go over the actual veins or on either side of them to create the flow of the veins. Dab a second time to remove excess paint.

Continue to add veins and soften them by pouncing the sponge with little or no paint on it over them. Let dry.

How to paint Formica counters to look like white Carrara Marble

I like the look of light veining. Let the painted veins dry overnight.

Apply Topcoat Sealer


Before applying the topcoat, make sure there are no paint ridges in the painted surface. If there are, go over them with the 660 sandpaper and wipe off the grit with a tack cloth.

When applying the topcoat, you have to be quick and not go back over a just rolled area more than 2 times or you may create unwanted texture. If this happens, let it dry, sand with very fine grit sandpaper, clean off an then add another light coat of the Topcoat.

You can apply up to 3 light coats of the topcoat sealer waiting at least 4 hours between each coats. Two are recommended. After the last coat is on you have to wait 24 hours before using the counters.

Wait 3 days to place small appliances back on. Be gentle with the counters for 2 weeks while the paint is curing. Wait 24 hours before using a dishwasher.

Best Tips to Ensure Successfully Painted Countertops

The following are the steps that will ensure your efforts in painting your countertops come out beautifully.

  • It’s All About the Prep – Take the time to really clean and prep your counters before painting. It can make or break how well the painted counters will hold up over the years.
  • Veining + Water – When it comes to veining, don’t forget to mix the paint with water. To create real looking veins, spray or dab water just painted veins using a soft paint brush. When I painted my counters using the Giani Granite kit back in 2016, they told me not to do this as they were not sure it would stand up to the test of time. But now their new marble kit shows doing this.  Water is the key to creating real-looking veins.

BEFORE & AFTER Painted Kitchen Counters To Look Like Carrara Marble

DIY-kitchen-makeover-on-a-budget while painting kitchen countertops

This photo shows how my kitchen looked as I started painting the cabinets white and countertops to look like Carrara marble.


Hello light, bright and white. This is the counter on the right side of the sink that I painted to look like Carrara marble.

Painting kitchen countertops to look like Carrara Marble using Giani Countertop paint kit

I didn’t paint the counters all at once so we could still use the kitchen while the transformation was taking place. I did it section by section. I did the cooktop side and then split the larger U-shaped counter on the opposite side of the kitchen into two sections.

Giani countertop paint review White Diamond

Kitchen Counter AFTER Painting

This section has been used for 4 months now and I could not be happier. I treat the counter as if it were Formica. I use a cutting board and place anything hot on a trivet, never right on the counter.

White Diamond Giani Countertop painting tutorial

Here is the section that is to the left of the sink.

Hoe to paint laminate Countertops

The actual painting process is easy. What takes time is you need to allow drying time between each step.

Creating the veins doesn’t take much time, but it does require a teeny bit of confidence to start painting them on. When I didn’t like a vein I created, I simply painted over it using the White Limestone paint that is part of the kit.

The nice thing about painting Carrara marble on your counters is you can decide how much veining you want. I like the veins to be subtle, but if you prefer more veins, larger veins, or a mix of dark and light veining, you can do it easily.

I am going to show you the steps I used to create the marble look. On close inspection you can see and feel that it is not real marble, but the overall white and updated look that I was after.

How to paint fake marble

Painting kitchen countertops to look like marble is all about layering. If you have a slab or tile of real marble you can see that some of the veins look deeper that others, all are under the surface. Layering the paint helps to achieve the same look.

When I created veins using craft paint on a desk top I mention earlier, I used water to let the veining paint flow naturally.

Giani recognizes this method to create marble, but does not recommend it for kitchen counters. (Now they do). So to help make the veins look more realistic, I used a small piece of the sponge and a soft bristle paint brush that comes with the countertop painting kit to soften them.

How to paint Formica counters

My Formica counter is original to the house that was built in the mid 1970’s. It was in good shape, but it is Formica with seams. If your counters have any damage, you will need to fix it first, then paint.

The paint will not hide imperfections in the surface such as a seam in the laminate.  This is what the paint looks like over a seam in the laminate.

You can also see how shiny the surface is if you look at the upper right of the photo (above) you can see the color reflection of the cookbooks I have on the counter.

Can you paint laminate kitchen counters?

I added 3 light coats of the Topcoat. As you can see it is very shiny. The surface is smooth, but at certain angles you can see a slight texture in the rolled on topcoat sealer. For me, applying the topcoat was the scariest part since you cannot go back over the topcoat more than twice as you roll in on. More on this below in the tutorial.

Important TIPS to Follow When Painting Countertops

  • Make sure the counters are very clean and free of all dirt and grease before you begin. Use a tack cloth to make sure no dirt or dust is on the surface before each step.
  • Apply the paint and topcoat when the temperature in the room is around 72. This will ensure good adhesion and smoothness while allowing the paint to dry in optimal time. When I painted the first two sections of my counters I had my outside doors open since it was warm outside. The paint and topcoat went on beautifully. When I did the last section, it was January and we were having a cold spell. The topcoat didn’t go on as smoothly. It still looks great, but I can tell you first hand that the temperature in the room and under the cabinets is crucial. Open the base cabinet doors to get the warm air in so the temps all around the cabinets and counter is around 72 degrees.
  • I used both 220 and 660 grit sandpaper to smooth the paint after each coat of paint was dry.
  • I followed the painting directions that came with the kit, they are well written and easy to follow. I altered them when it came to applying the paint since I wanted to create a marble look, not granite.
  • If you are going to paint your counters to look like marble, I recommend you purchase a marble tile with veining at the home improvement store. They cost about $5.00 a piece. You can use it as a guide to see what veins look like since when you are painting them you can create the most realistic look.
  • Use painter’s tape to mask off the backsplash and around the sink or any section that will not be painted. Use Tape & Drape to protect the base cabinets from getting paint on them.

Painting Countertops Step-by-Step Video

As I mentioned earlier in this post, Giani made a Carrara Marble Painting Kit two years after I painted my counter using the White Diamond Granite Kit. I would have used this kit and would recommend you do to since it was made to resemble marble and uses water to create the veins.

Here is the YouTube video I made showing how I tweaked the only available Giani kit to me at the time. Watching it will help you see the proper way to prep the counter for the paint and a few tips on veining which many feel is the hardest part when it comes to painting faux marble.

YouTube video

In the video I show adding two coats of the White Limestone paint. For my counters I ended up adding four coats to get a very white color. Once I liked the amount of white, I let the paint dry overnight, then began the veining process.

How to Clean The Painted Countertops

Giani sells a cleaner for the painted countertops but I have not used it.  I have been using dish soap, hot water and a rag. It does the job very well. Do not use bleach, cleaners that have essential oils in them, or anything abrasive like Comet, SoftScrub or SOS pads.

How to Fix a Painted Countertop

A few years after painting my kitchen counters to look like Carrara marble, I got a new stovetop. When it was installed, it was smaller than the previous stovetop therefore the unpainted portion of the countertop was now exposed.

To find out how I successfully fixed this, see this post: How to Fix Dings and Dents on Painted Countertops

If you have any questions about painting countertops to look like marble, leave them for me in the comments. I will respond within a day or two.

If you have been thinking about painting kitchen countertops or even the counters in a bathroom or any surface using the Giani paint, I say go for it. I am so happy that I did.

White Diamond Giani Countertop painting tutorial

I LOVE how the counters turned out.

Kitchen countertop painting to look like white Carrara marble. Giani Countertop painting kit review.

More Budget Friendly Kitchen DIY Projects:

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  1. Hi Diane,
    Help!! Advise please 🙏
    I bought the giani marble kit and attempted painting the veins, and hated them too thick and fake looking.Like they show on thier video.
    I am going to reprime and try again
    I love the softer look you did will try using a feather and sponge technique you show.

    Wondering can I: with the giani marble kit
    Add additional apple barrel grey colors for more variation?
    Should I buy and add the giani white limestone paint to sponge on the veins like you show for added depth and softness? It doesn’t come in the marble kit.
    Also whitewashing, would I use the white primer included and mix with 3 parts water or would I need white acrylic paint to whitewash?
    Thank you….

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Lisa – To get the veins on your countertop paint, you can use craft paint over it with no problems. Mix it with some water so you get a variations for each vein. Some more transparent and others more opaque. You can buy the white limestone. It is the perfect texture to build depth and softness since it is thinner than craft paint. You can whitewash with the primer. No need to buy a white acrylic paint to whitewash.

      If you have any other questions, just let me know and I will try to help as best as I can.

  2. Oh I had one more question! You mentioned you’d use the Carrara kit they offer now, however it doesn’t come with black primer to create depth. Would you still use the kit and add black primer? What color primer would you suggest if going for more brown and taupe veining?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Sarah – If I was doing my countertop now, I would use the Carrara Marble kit they sell now only because it is specifically made to look like Carrara marble. In the kit I used, it was for a granite look, they didn’t make a marble one and it wasn’t until I did what I did to make it look like marble is when they developed a kit. I tweaked the White Limestone granite kit by ordering more of the White Limestone paint from Giani. See the kit here, although the contents have changed a little.

      In this kit – there is a black primer that I think would add the look you want. The White Diamond kit also comes with a glitter poly. Mine didn’t but things change so I am not sure what that would look like.

      For the counter I painted with craft paint, I did that a few years before Giani ever made a counter painting kits, so I just did faux marble painting that I learned from a faux painting class I took once.

      To get more brown and taupe veining, I would use acrylic craft paint mixed with water to create the color veining you want.

      The key to getting the look you want is to get a few colors and practice on a piece of scrap plywood to get the look you want.

      As far as sealers, the water-based poly that was in my kit works just fine, but I think the epoxy will be smoother and glossier. Epoxy can be difficult to work with, so if you end up using it, follow the directions to the letter.

      I hope this helps you figure out what will be right for the look you are after. It is worth it, just take your time and use light coats. That is the key to success.

  3. This tutorial is super helpful! I’ve read all of your others too. Thanks for being so detailed and for updating this!

    You mentioned you’d use the current marble kit now, but would you also choose to use craft paint in the kitchen like you did with the sideboard turned vanity? I’m needing a creamier tone in marble veins not gray!

    Would you sub out the included epoxy in the kit for a semi-gloss?

  4. homeaddict says:

    WOW! You are SO skilled! That looks great!I am very tempted to use that kit and hand tint to make my bathroom countertop ” green marble”. How are they holding up?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      The counters are holding up very well, much better than I expected. If you are going to paint your bathroom sink counter – the finish will last for years if you wipe up water right around the sink that gets splashed out when using with a towel. I did paint my bathroom sink cabinet to look like marble and I used wax over that. I like it better than the poly because as it wears, you can simply add another thin layer and buff to a sheen for ongoing protection. If you haven’t read that post, you can find it here:

  5. Thank you so much! Would you suggest rolling on a layer of the white limestone? The marble kit starts with a white primer and I was wondering if I could do a rolled layer of white limestone over the black primer.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Diana – Yes you could roll the white limestone over the black. It would cover, but it would be a more even coverage. I applied it using a sponged to get an uneven white color so that it would look like real marble.

  6. Tracy Catt says:

    I, too, am considering painting my countertops, but I have a small hump right where my seams meet. Any ideas on what I can do about this and will it matter? Can’t find any info on what to do about it and would appreciate any help you can give me. Thanks!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Catt – You can sand the hump around the seam. I would use 100 grit sandpaper to do this. Clean off the grit and repeat until the hump is gone. You may have to apply a lot of pressure when sanding. Once it is gone or lessened, you can go over the area with 220 grit sandpaper and then clean. Make sure the seam is intact and not coming up at all. If it is, place some glue underneath if possible and weight it down with something heavy until the glue dries. If there is gap in the seam from sanding, you can fill this in with wood putty and smooth with a Spackle knife. Let it dry completely, then you can proceed to paint the counter. Let me know if you have any questions.

  7. I love this tutorial but I am curious about the backsplash in my kitchen. Do you have any hints or tips to not over do where the counter curves up into the backsplash?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Angela – If your counter and backsplash are seamlessly run into each other, it does make it harder to make the painted counter look realistic. Can you send me a photo of the counter and backsplash so I can give you the right advise.

  8. Universal Stone says:

    It looks amazing! Excellet Job!

  9. I was thinking of using this for my bathroom counters. However, my bathroom counters and my sink are all connected. Is this something I could use for my sink also?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Jenn – Painting the bathroom counter would be fine, but not the sink. The finish would not hold up.

  10. Hello,
    Thank you for making an easy to follow blog on how to paint the countertops. I love your work! I’m wondering how you feel about epoxy. I just bought the new Giani Carrara Marble kit, but I’m having major second thoughts about using the epoxy. I’m afraid it will be too shiny. Also, I’m worried that I will be stuck with epoxy countertops that I can’t paint over if I change my mind.
    What are your thoughts on using the epoxy after the painting is done?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Michelle –

      I have been getting this question a lot over the summer after Giani changed the kits to include Epoxy sealer in place of the water-base poly that came in the kit I used 4 years ago. Epoxy can look amazing and it does self smooth so application should not be too hard to do.

      I don’t think it will be too shiny, unless you want a less shiny marble look.

      If you opt not to use it, I am quite happy with the water-based poly that came in the kit that I used 4 years ago. You could use Minwax Polycrylic as the sealer which can be sanded and primed over to paint if you don’t like the way the marble painting turns out.

      I would do a test of the epoxy if you can to see how shiny it is, that way you will know for sure.

  11. Your video and this post was beyond helpful. Thank you! I am about to get started. If I run out of white limestone paint, is there a white paint I can buy locally to use instead of waiting for giani’s to come in? Unfortunately there are major shipping delays currently!

    1. My white diamond kid has Greystone, quartzite and white limestone…. do you know why the kit would be different or what I can use in the kit to achieve the same effect?

      1. Diane Henkler says:

        Hi Emily – I know that Giani has changed the kit since I used it. Mine didn’t come with Greystone. I made my own grey to make the veins on my counter tip. So use that color for veining only. Start with the Black Ironcore base color, then the limestone, quartzite and then lots of white limestone until you like what you see. Once that is dry, then use the Greystone and mix some of it to lighten it to a lighter grey. This will give you two colors of grey to make your veins. Use the white limestone and Quartzite to soften the veins. When you like what you see, then add the poly layer.

  12. Derek Kent says:

    Great looking finish!

    Your post mentions the issues of seams on the original countertop. Have you found any way to trim down ridges or bumps from the seams? I have one major one on my countertop and would like to find a way to minimize it in the final product.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Derek – I think if I were to do another countertop, I would make sure the pieces of Formica that meet at the seam were glued down well, and then sand the seam smooth. Then put wood filler into and or over the seam and then sand until the area is very smooth and level with the rest of the counter.

      If the seam is large to begin with, fill first with wood filler/putty and then sand. Repeat the process until the seam is gone. Then paint your countertop.

  13. I used your tutorial on the white diamond kit and love how mine turned out!
    I have a faux brick backsplash (it’s actually 2 of my 4 kitchen walls).
    My cabinets are gray. What color paint do you suggest on walls and brick backsplash? They are both slightly different grays currently but I feel they look too bluish gray against my new countertop.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Whitney – Have you made a decision about the color for your backsplash and walls? I think you could do the bricks in a white color. They will look like subway tile. I would use a darker or lighter color than the cabinets on the wall depending on how light dark you would like to go.

  14. Did you only use the poli provided in the kit and how does it hold up?

  15. Hello,
    I just wanted to say you did a beautiful job! I am in the process of painting my countertop and you have lots of great and helpful advice!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Glad my post is helping you. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask.

  16. Alvin Williams says:

    A really beautiful job you pulled there! Kudos to your efforts and thank you for sharing such an inspiring blog.

  17. Hi there! Amazing tutorial. Just wondering if you’d recommend a different epoxy top coat than the one in the white diamond kit? I’d like a very smooth finish but not plastic looking. I plan on trying your marble method on my laminate kitchen countertops with the white diamond kit (it’s way cheaper than the marble kit). What are your recommendations? Thank you!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Ophie – You don’t want to use an epoxy top coat as it will yellow. You want to use a water-based poly. The one that comes in the kit is what I used and it has held up remarkably well. It looks and smells just like Minwax Polycrylic in a gloss finish, so if you want to experiment a little first, you could se how you like the finish before buying the kit. When applying it, I used the roller that came in the Giani kit, it did add a slight texture to the surface. If I ever paint a counter again, I think I would use a flocked foam paint roller with rounded ends to apply the topcoat. I think it will produce a smoother result. Here is an example:

    2. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Ophie – The link I added in my reply to your question about the topcoat to use was wrong. Here is the correct one:

  18. Hello. Great tutorial! Question. I have used the Giani marble countertop kit in my bathrooms. I would like to do it in my kitchen. They have since come out with their new epoxy top coat. My issue is that the color of their primer is more blue white than true white which clashes with the white subway tile plan on using (subway tile is a warmer white bs a blue white.). So could I use a primer from Home Depot that I get tinted and then use the grey from a pre ious kit for veining and then just purchase the epoxy topcoat from them? Try to be practical as well as match tile to countertop.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Heather – Yes, you can use a good brand name primer and have it tinted. Sand the counter to provide tooth and use light coats. Let it dry over night before adding the paint color coats and topcoat. How do you like the Epoxy topcoat?

  19. You did a beautiful job!! It nice to know what is out there these days, take care.

  20. Why won’t it let me watch the video’s?? It says I need to sign in and get permission, very disappointing

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Angie –

      I am not sure why you are getting a message that says you need permission to sign in to watch my Carrara marble countertop painting video. Is it the video near the end of the post that you tried to watch? This is very strange.

      I have no sign in to watch it, it is just a basic YouTube video.

      Can you let me know if we are talking about the same video? Here is the link to it:

      1. Hi, I just clicked the link and it says the video is private ?

        1. Diane Henkler says:

          Hi Jessica – Sorry about that. I am not sure why the setting on that video was changed. I just changed it back to Public. Let me know if you have any questions about the painting process.

  21. Cathy S Edmondson says:

    I have tried the minwax polycrylic as a countertop top coat and find that mustard or tea will stain. Any suggestions? My husband doesn’t wipe up spills and when I find them it’s too late, a stain!
    Maybe the solution is to get a new husband!?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Cathy –

      I am always reminding my husband to wipe up the counter, but he never does it as well as I do. :-) I have only gotten a few stains on my counter and can if I am fast enough can usually get them out using a dishcloth with hot water and dish detergent on it. I rub it in a circular motion with pressure and they come out.

      I have tried a few cleaners, a Magic Eraser sponge, and even paste wax to try to lift the stain… but none have worked on one stain on my counter that is under where I store fruit and potatoes. Something rotted and dripped. :-(

      I wish I had an answer for you. If I ever come across something I will be sure to email you.

      1. Loved this project and even though I am a total novice I’ve been thinking of trying it. However when read the comment about the staining I had to pause. I have two teenage boys (one with autism) and I ‘m doubtful they’ll remember to wipe up regularly. I would be crushed to put forth all that effort only to have tons of stains. Do you have any suggestions or alternate ideas? Right now we have black Formica (I think) with flecks that doesn’t look terrible, but I wanted something more farmhouse-like and that would lighten up the space (my goal is to mix cream and white colors), but maybe I should stick with darker colors? Than you again for your blog and ideas!

        1. Diane Henkler says:

          Hi Heidi –

          The painted counters can’t have anything hot placed on them which I think could be more of a problem with two teenagers. :-) They could take something from the oven or microwave and place it on the counter without thinking.

          I think with the Farmhouse look you are going for, black counters are a thing. I would leave them be and then try to add white, cream and farmhouse touches elsewhere in the room. On the counter, you could have a collection of white pitchers to hold wooden spoons or flowers. Clear glass canisters to hold flour and sugar. Add a white ceramic tray to place smaller items on to corral them on the counter. Add white/cream window treatment. A new light fixture with a white globe. Etc. The black counters will look amazing, even with the specks.

          What is on the backsplash? Can you paint that white, if it isn’t?

  22. Justin More says:

    Amazing!! I love the information you have shared here. Beautiful! I will definitely share this information with my friend Anna, as she is thinking of to remodel her kitchen. She can remodel her kitchen in this way too (as she is not having that much high budget to install a granite countertop). Hope this information will help her. Thanks for sharing!!

  23. Hello,
    Thanks so much for the detailed post! I just bought the marble kit and excited to get started. I am also painting my cabinets and it looks like you did those first. Do you know what color white you used? I’m a little nervous about matching the whites. Who knew there so many shades?! Thanks so much!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Talia – The white paint color I used on my cabinets is called Pure White – 7005 from Sherwin Williams. You can read all about how I painted my cabinets in this post: Painting Kitchen Cabinets

  24. Christine says:

    Hi Diane,

    Your countertops are gorgeous as are all of your projects! I’m really thinking about diving into this project and saw that you, in hindsight, thought that using paste wax would be a better option. I know that you used in on your bathroom countertop, but wondered if you tried using this over your poly at any point, or would you still recommend using paste wax instead of poly to someone who is just starting the process? Thank you!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Christine – When sealing a painted counter, you can’t go wrong with either the water-based poly or wax. Both are good options. The main difference is that when you have a wax finish, you can easy fix damage or when the surface wears over time. With poly – fixing a problem in the surface is not as easy and you will most likely see where you fixed it – very hard to make a new layer of poly blend in with an existing one.

      I like wax since you can keep adding more layers and buff even years after. Wax does take more effort to apply since you have to put some elbow grease into it to buff to a sheen. Once you have this initial layer of protection – when an area gets damaged or wears away, you can simply apply another coat of wax on top and buff again. You can’t do this with poly. When the poly gets damaged and you try to repair the area, you will see the layer of poly sit on top of the previous poly or where you sanded away to make a fix in the paint.

      Wax would not work over poly. It would have nothing to sink into. It would simply lay on the top of the poly and not be able to penetrate. Flat painted wood with counter top paint accepts wax like a sponge that doesn’t just sit on top, but penetrates into the surface.

      I hope this helps, if you have any other questions, just let me know.

      1. Christine says:

        You rock! Thank you ?? ?

        1. So is there any benefit to using poly over wax on a kitchen counter?

          1. Diane Henkler says:

            Hi Shawn – Either poly or wax will work.

            If I had to do my counter again, I think I would use wax. I just like the way it looks and ease to fix areas. The only negative is that you may have to rewax and buff it a few times a year. This takes time and elbow grease to get it buffed to a subtle sheen.

            With poly it is once and done, but fixing or repairing a section is much harder.

  25. I like how subtle this is as I’ve been doing a lot of research trying to find how to do it subtly myself. I see you recommend using water for the veining effect, but would you also recommend sponging the “white limestone” paint on top in addition to the water?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Stacey – I would do both – sponging the white limestone on top in addition to the water. Do it differently all over the counter so the veining doesn’t look all the same. The more you can create the painted veins to look like they have depth – like deep veins in the marble, the more realistic the marble painting effect will be. If you look at real marble – the veins go deep into the stone, they are all on the surface, none of them look the same.

      If you end up painting an area and you don’t like how it looks, don’t be afraid to go over it again with the sponge, paint and some water, let dry and then add a new vein. I kept checking my work and stepping back to see if I liked the overall effect as I worked. I went over many areas quite a few times until I liked what I saw.

  26. Milly Egan says:

    What a fantastic transformation. I have a conservatory table that I would love to try this on. Do you think iI could add some minute gold flecks in the veining here and there?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Milly –

      In the Giani Granite kit that I used, it comes with gold paint. I just left it out since I didn’t want that color, but you can add any color flat acrylic craft paint to get the look you want. I have another post where I didn’t use a kit to create a marble surface. Using a toothbrush is the best way to speckle the paint when you want to create flecks in the veining. You can find out more in this post:

  27. I am getting ready to try the new Marble kit. I would rather have a chocolate brown veining effect or maybe a brown/ goldish color. Is there a craft paint I can buy separately to use instead of the gray that comes in kit?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Judy –

      You can use craft paint in a flat or satin finish. Don’t use enamel – just the basic acrylic formula. I like the Folk Art brand the best when it comes to craft paint, but any brand is fine to replace the grey paint in the kit.

  28. I used two coats of poly in the kit, and a month later I am getting small marks and cuts. Not trying to baby counters, but not using them hard. Is there another non yellowing top coat you recommend to use? I want to seal them well, so they last for so awhile.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Kate –

      I don’t think at this point you should add another coat of poly. It could be that the paint has still not cured where the chips are happening, it is still soft underneath. I would wait another month or two and see if the problem is still happening.

      If you think you need to add another coat of poly I would use Minwax Polycrylic. It is water-based and non-yellowing. Before applying, you would need to scuff sand the counters and clean them well and then apply another coat – a very light coat. Let it dry for a few days and then add another light coat and let it dry for as long as you can before using. It sometimes takes paint and poly weeks to become fully cured.

      I just got a new cooktop for my kitchen. It is not as big as the previous one and in the front there is a strip of the brown counter showing. :-( I need to fix this and plan to use the Polycrylic to seal it once I paint the area.

  29. Sir Nicholas says:

    Amazing tutorial Diane!!! One question though. Our current countertops have an epoxy type coating and anything hot (e.g. a bowl of soup) will stick to the countertops and you almost have to peel them off. Do you notice that with this coating?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Nick –

      I can place a bowl of hot soup or cup of coffee on the counter with no problem, but with that being said, when you paint counters with paint, not just the Giani Kits, but any paint, placing very hot items on the surface is not a good thing. I treat the counters like they were Formica and place a trivet or plate to place really hot items on. A bowl of hot soup placed on my painted counter has never caused them to stick and the feeling that it has to be peeled off. What type of epoxy paint did you use?

  30. Hi!

    I got the new Marvel kit and I’m getting ready to seal it can I use the poly included and paste wax? And if so what brand of paste wax do you recommend.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Kristen – You can’t use both poly and wax – they are not compatible. If you have the kit, use the poly.

  31. Thanks for sharing this detailed post! I just ordered Gianni’s new Carrara Marble Kit, looking forward to my new looking countertops, and a little less nervous about the process after reading your instructions. I had planned to begin in about two weeks but since it would only be early March, Im afraid that the temp of our home will be a little to cool.
    We have two Labradors that counter surf from time to time when we aren’t home, just hoping they don’t scratch the counters. Thanks!

  32. Tammy Hays says:

    Great tutorial and beautiful job. I would love to to my countertops like this. The heat from my dishwasher and from the bottom of my crockpot has caused my formica to warp which is why I want to redo them. How does this hold up to heat like this? Also since my formica is warped I plan to remove it and was wondering how with this apply to particle board? I want the smooth, glass finish. Thanks.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Tammy –

      Good question. I just updated my post with a video from Giani with a new Carrara Marble kit they just came out with. you should check it out as it shows the process I used to create marble, before I used the GRanite Kit.

      Even with using one of the countertop painting kits, it will not cover the texture of Particle board. You would need to add quite a few coats to get a smooth surface. If you want to try, I would use a lot of very light base coats until you get a smooth finish, letting each base coat dry completely before adding the next. When you like the smoothness, then do the veining and sealing with a top coat.

      As far as the paint holding up to heat. It does, but if there are any seams in the Particle board they will show up in the surface if they are above a heat source like the dishwasher.

      1. Tammy Hays says:

        That’s for your reply!!

  33. I am planning on doing this after many videos….but find your post most helpful. But…. I have the original formica on my countertop from when the house was built. I have small gaps where the formica pieces come together, what do you suggest or how do you suggest to fill those. Ty!

  34. Darci Koller says:

    I just purchased the kit and applied the primer tonight. I’m debating doing the marble look or granite look. I was looking into purchasing the 2 step epoxy from giani but their website says that it can start to yellow after time. Do you know of any other type of epoxy I could use that won’t yellow after time? I have a two year old and my brother in law lives with us so I’m worried about the countertops holding up. Let me know your thoughts!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Darci-

      All types of epoxy will yellow over time. My counter is 2 years old and it has held up great. The only place it has worn is right in front of the sink. The poly has worn away and I will need to put on a new coat. I plan to roll it on and feather it out to blend in. My family is pretty good about not putting anything hot down on the counter, using a cutting board, and wiping up the water around the sink after doing the dishes.

      Another reader recently told me after she put down the two coats of primer she loved the black and didn’t do the marble look. She added the poly to protect.

      If you consider doing this, you could use the epoxy since any yellowing would not be visible. If going with the white marble and using the poly, the biggest factor in keeping it nice is really only around the sink area. If you can get your son and brother-in-law to get in the habit of wiping up any water on the counter, this will help keep the paint intact around the sink.

  35. Diane, you did a fabulous job! I need to add a glass tile backsplash. Would you recommend doing that b4 I do the counter?

    1. Diane. I have applied the black base coat and
      My family thinks I should leave it solid black and just put the top coat on. What do you think?

      1. Diane Henkler says:

        Hi Jean – If you like the way the black looks… go for it. It is a very classic look. Add the poly on top as stated in the directions and you will be good to go. Only roll once, do not back roll over it or you may see the roller marks, especially over the dark color. Let me know how it turns out.

  36. Absolutely beautiful! (The entire kitchen is). I ordered the small kit for a bathroom counter and it came with only 3 oz. of the primer. I have gone on line and tried to find somewhere local that I can purchase more, but am struggling to find acrylic urethane paint. I am worried that I don’t have enough of the primer paint. I can order more on line BUT planned to do it this weekend. Any suggestions?

    1. Mary Nicholson says:

      You can buy any primer at Home Depot. And I did wonderful countertops using a primer and three shades of craft paint. The little bottles. Then sealed the tops with pour on 2 part epoxy. The two part epoxy is tricky to use, but makes a thick glossy finish. For first time printers, I suggest buying a can of polyurethane and using a roller or vey soft, wide brush.

  37. Hi! Which do you think achieved a better result? The Giani kit or the craft paint? Thank you!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Phuong – Good question. It all depends on the amount of use the surface will get. For the desk top that I eventually turned into a bathroom vanity, I used craft paint and then wax to seal. It gets little use. It does get wet on occasion, but not very much since it is a powder room. It has held up perfectly. When I made the piece into the vanity, I did give it another coat of soft wax or protection.

      For a kitchen counter that is going to get a lot of use, I would use the kit. If you take your time and apply the paint in light layers and roll on the sealer as per the instructions the surface is very durable. It has worn very lightly right in front of the sink, where we lean into the counter and where it gets wet.

      The only difference really between the two methods is that in the kit you apply black paint as a base. In the craft paint method I used white as the base. You could also use the craft paint method and seal with the water-based sealer like Minwax Polycrylic instead of wax. The kit also has the right long lasting formula of paint that may be better than basic craft paint. If you want to save money, the craft paint method is less expensive.

      I don’t think you can go wrong with either method. Just sand the surface well, apply paint in light coats and let completely dry. Seal with water based poly for extra durability.

  38. Caroline Lane says:

    Hey! Your countertops look amazing. We just closed on our first house and my fiancé is curious how they have held up?


    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Caroline – The countertop paint is amazing!!! My painted counters have held up better than I could have ever imagined. There is some wearing right along the edge of the counter in front of the sink and on a corner, but very slight. I plan you touch these areas up soon and will be doing a post update with a video tutorial showing the technique I used. I hope to post this next week.

  39. Teresa Harvey says:

    Lovely job! I love to see your paint transformations.

  40. Janice sneddon says:

    Reread instruct toons a few times did you do booth the light and dark veining

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Janice – Yes, I used used two colors of the grey to make the veins and even mixed the two to have a third color. Using the various shades of grey will make the veining look more realistic.

      1. Jaclyn Parsons says:

        I just finished mine today. I had about two weeks to work on my house before I moved in and so I gave it plenty of drying time. However I don’t like as much how old the edges turned out where the backsplash curves and it messed up a bit On my last step as when I put the glitter coat on I didn’t go back along the curve and absorb the excess topcoat and it dried a little yellow. Overall I think I like it and it’s better than what I had but I struggled a lot with that curved backsplash area.

  41. Janet Shingleton says:

    Beautiful, bright countertops! I’m inspired to try this in my RV kitchen. The brownish formica countertops and aosta cherry wood cabinets make for a dark corner galley, and I think that painting the countertops would definitely brighten the area. (I may paint the cabinets eventually, but the faux wood adds a bit of warmth, so I’ll start slowly and go from there.) Your tutorial is filled with helpful information —thank you for sharing!

  42. I’ve painted countertops to look like granite but the marble technique really intimidates me. Your tutorial is the least intimidating technique I’ve seen.

  43. Your countertop is so beautiful!
    I ordered my kit and an extra can of white limestone this week and I’m going to attempt mine when it arrives.
    I really hope I can get the same look you achieved because it looks amazing
    Did you mention you had a video of this transformation? I can’t seem to find one anywhere
    Thanks so much

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Lesley –

      I don’t have a video. I know it would be helpful, but when I was painting my counters, I wanted to focus on doing it right and not having to worry about stopping to video tape it. I have been meaning to make one now on a small fake counter to show what I did. You have reminded me to do it. The best advise I can give you is to take your time, apply thin coats and let them dry overnight. When sponging on the white limestone, rip the sponge up and load with some paint, dab some off and then just dab the surface. Make sure it is all dry before reapplying. My counters look great. The only problem is where the Formica was seamed above the dishwasher. The new dishwasher we got gets much hotter than the old one and has caused the seam to come up which in turn caused the paint to come up a little along it also. It is not a paint fail, just the glue under the Formica. I would do the counters again on another surface. It is really amazing. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask me.

  44. Your counter top looks so beautiful. I purchased my Giani kit last week, and have been scouring the internet for more info (and a final bout of courage) before starting. As I’m looking to have similar results to yours, can you please let me know if you wet the sponges and the artists’ brush? Thanks in advance!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Lori – Yes, I wet and then wrung the sponge out before using. I wet the brush only when I started, but you could keep wetting throughout the veining process as it would help you get a few areas of the veining to look transparent, just like real marble.

      My counters are holding up very well. If I had another counter I didn’t like, I would surely do it again. My best tips would be to make sure you roll the paint on in thin coats and be patient and allow each coat to really dry before applying the next.

  45. Bonnie Hart says:

    This is one of the greatest things ever!! We are working towards putting our house on the market, but need to update the kitchen a little bit. We have Formica counter tops that we were going to replace, but maybe we will try this instead. A whole lot cheaper!! I hope ours turns out as good as yours – if I actually get up the nerve to try it! Thanks for sharing this fantastic idea.

  46. This looks so great. I am building a window seat and thought about doing something like this instead of making a cushion but wondered how well it might do with people sitting on it. What would be your take on that? The alternative would be to buy an actual marble counter top and using your method would look just as good and be a lot less expensive!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Amy –

      I love how well the paint looks and has held up on my counters, but for a window seat, I think the edge of the top may wear faster since legs will be rubbing on it. In the summer even bare legs and sweat that could effect the finish. I think you would be better off using a cushion or use real marble that won’t wear when sit on it. A cushion really helps make the seat more comfy and gives you a place to add color or pattern to the room, too.

      1. Hey Diane,
        I am currently trying this on the countertops in my kitchen. It sounded like you said the dry time in between the pearl mica and the white limestone is 4 hours but then the multiple layers of limestones you just wait until they are dry to the touch? But then I noticed that you were saying in one of your comments that you waited 6 hours after the white limestone? So did you wait 6 hours in between each step of white limestone? Or just until it was dry to the touch?

        1. Diane Henkler says:

          Hi Shaundra –
          Sorry for confusing you. The longer you wait between dry times, the better. 4 hours is the minimum time to wait when applying the white limestone. I did my counters by sections and waited longer when doing the larger sections just to make sure the paint was truly, truly dry. It may feel dry to the touch, but the underside may still be wet. Wait at least 4 hours, but it is better to wait for 6 or overnight. You don’t want to rush the process. Take the time to really let it dry, it will only help the paint adhere and cure better. Applying the paint in very light coats and dabs of paint is the way to go, you son’t want to apply the paint in heavy coats that won’t dry well.

  47. I’m interested in buying this kit, but I only want a pure white, Can I use this kit and not add the designs? How do you think that would look?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Emily –

      Yes you can simply roll the paint on. I would make sure you use very light coats when rolling on the paint for the best adhesion.

  48. THANK YOUUUU!!! :) I have been looking for a tutorial on a look that I loved of this stuff for at least a year, and eventually just put it out of my head! I have been so hesitant because I haven’t found any that I love, and well I LOVE yours. I’m for sure ordering a kit now!

  49. Susanne Ganshirt says:

    I would like to do this same thing to my formica countertop, however, my formica is not the smooth kind, it has a rough texture to it. Do you think it will have the same effect?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Susanne – The paint will go on the same, but it will not hide the texture of the surface. It may not look as real, but if you dislike the color of your countertops and want a new color then I would go for it.

      1. I love your counters, I too have textured Formica and an on my 6 the coat of limestone and still can’t get the solid white look of Carrera. It’s a lovely molted surface, but not the look of Carrera. I don’t need it solid white, but it has this blue hue to it that clashes with my BM cloud white cabinets. For once I’ve actually used a light touch in painting, but none of my layers will create an opague look! Help!

  50. Maura Koulik says:

    You did an amazing job! Are you still happy with It?

    We have black granite that we would LIKE to paint into white marble…the question is: will granite be paintable? What do you think?


    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Maura –

      Yes, I love the counter and would definitely do it again on another counter. The finish has held up great. I plan to do a video showing how well it has held up after one year.

      As far as using the paint over granite, I am not sure. I would contact the company, they will know. You can contact them here:

  51. Lara Malone says:

    This is very impressive! I tried painting my bathroom counter, and I have brush strokes around the sink. How do you avoid that around edges?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Lara – If you haven’t sealed the paint yet you can go over it with 220 – 440 super fine sandpaper to smooth out the brush stroke marks. Spray a tiny bit of water on the surface and then lightly go over with the sandpaper to smooth. Be gentle as you don’t want to remove the paint, just do it very lightly. Clean off any grit to see if the sanding removed the marks. Once you add the sealer over it, any brush strokes should disappear under the sealer.

  52. I am so glad that I found this tutorial. This is exactly the look I am going for! Thank you!!

  53. Solana Foo says:

    Please make a video! Would love to see you explain the process live!

  54. After the black has dried and ready to apply the next coat do you sandpaper? I have applied the first step this morning and waiting overnight to go onto the second step.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Amanda – You can go over it very lightly with 220 or very fine sandpaper. Clean off the grit and then apply the White Limestone.

  55. kaitlin rogers says:

    Hello my counter tops turned out amazing when we did them back in June!!!! Everyone remarks on how beautiful they are , and they can not believe I did them myself. I am so glad I found your blog when I did!! You did such a wonderful job explaining each step and I followed your instructions.

    Now on to my problem. From having a little dinner party and having my platters on the counter for food, I guess one of the platters or utensils scrapped a piece of the counter. basically there are like 4 little nicks. I had put on 4 coats of top coat back when I did them, and I am normally so very careful with cutting boards etc. But for some reason we have 4 little nicks, and are noticeable, even though they are about half a pinky nail size. What do you recommend for us to do to touch them up , or cover them up? We do not have any more limestone left or the top coat :(

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Kaitlin – I am so happy to hear that your countertops came out beautifully. I am so happy I did mine and would do it again if I moved to another house with countertops I didn’t like.

      Sorry to hear that yours got a few little nicks. With time you will find the finish gets very durable. It has been about 10 months since I did the first section of mine. A few months in, mine did get a little nick right in front of the sink.

      Here is how I fixed it: If you don’t have the white limestone or top coat, use flat white enamel craft paint or white chalk paint and Minwax Polycrylic in gloss for the top coat.

      I gently rubbed over the nick with a small piece of fine sandpaper and cleaned the area well and let dry. Using a fine-tipped artist style paint brush, I then dabbed a little of the black primer coat into the nick. I let it dry and then dabbed the white limestone over it. I made sure to dab lightly not to make a ridge. Once the nick was filled in and dry, I place a dab of the poly over it. Let it dry overnight and then added another dab of poly over it and let dry. I did this a while ago and it has held up fine.

  56. I’m working on softening my veins at the moment, and I feel like the more white I add to them, they start looking too white around the veins! It looks like I have these grayer strips between each vein because it’s getting so white around the veins. Did you ever have this issue? Or did you go back and whiten in between veins at all before sealing with the top coat?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Bethany – If you look at a piece of real Carrara Marble you will see that there may be some whiter areas around veins. Try not to focus on any one vein but how the veining on the entire surface looks as a whole. If one area stands out either too white or too dark, then I would go back and fix it to your liking. I did redo a few veins when I blotted them out too much. The nice part is that with each layer you add, it just helps make the faux paint look even more real as long as you don’t apply it too thick. Before I sealed mine, I made sure it all looked good as a whole and then sealed it.

  57. liz bobak says:

    how long did you wait between each white limestone coat? You said you did 4. Any specific time or just as long as they were dry to the touch? Also why did you wait 4 hours after Pearl meca?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Liz – When I was adding the layers of paint, Pearl Mica and the Limestone, I waited as long as the directions said, plus some. So the Pearl Mica was 4 hours between coats. For the limestone, I waited about 6 hours. The reason being, the longer the coat can dry, the better the adhesion before applying the next coat. If you apply the coats too soon after each other, the one under it may feel dry to the touch, but it is not fully dry. Since the counters needed to be SUPER durable, I waited as long as I could…sometimes even overnight.

  58. is there a reason not to use a LIGHTER colored primer? if going for a whiter counter top, would that not be easier? or not as good you think?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Cathy – The black primer helps to add depth to the finish. If you look at real marble, you can see there are layers of colors, grey and black are some of them. You can use white primer, but you will lose the look of the depth layers. I hope this makes sense.

  59. Hi Diane,

    Love this tutorial! I’m curious, I see some golden brown veins. What did you use to create those? The gold that comes in the kit?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Taylor – I did not use the gold paint. Only the White Limestone and the black. I mixed the white and black to get different shades of grey for the veins. If one vein or area looks brown, it must be the lighting in the photo or something being reflected that is on the counter. If you wanted to create brown veins, I would use the gold that comes with the kit and mix it with white and black to come up with a few light shades of gold brown for veining.

  60. Wow this looks amazing! I was debating doing this or layering concrete over my counter tops, I’m totally doing this! My question is that I like the look of plain white quartz counter tops a bit better than the carrara marble look. Do you think it’s possible that it would look good without adding the veins? Would you suggest sponging more white to make it look like a modern quartz countertop?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Chalice – The great thing about using the Giani White Diamond kit or any of their kits is that you can customize how you apply the paints to get any look you want. Go for the quartz look, it will look just like quartz, if you “smush” the sponge (rip the sponge up into smaller pieces to lessen, sponge look) with White Limestone paint onto the primed counter. Then dab the ripped up pieces of sponge over each smush to make sure you remove any ridges of paint. It will be easy since I found the scariest part was veining. Depending on the size of your counters, you may want to order an extra can or two of the White Limestone paint so that you get the very white look of Quartz.

  61. Hi Diane- I just ordered the Gianni kit. I am terrified of this project but excited and hopeful it will turn out like yours!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Amanda –

      It is a little scary when you first start to paint, but it is just paint. The key is to make sure you sand and clean the counters well and let them dry. When rolling on the black first coat, make sure it is a light coat and you follow the drying times. If you are in AC, then it should dry to the directions. If it is humid in your house, I would wait longer to apply the second coat. Once these base coats are on, it is simply pouncing the sponge. rip it up to make smaller pieces, use all the sponges pieces to so you don’t create the same pattern every time you pounce the paint on. Smush the paint on as well, this will lessen the sponge look. When creating the veins, if you don’t like one, simply pounce more shite over it. Keep doing the veining and adding white over them until you like what you see. Then use the sealer. Let me know how it turns out or if you have any questions.

  62. Up close, can you see the sponge marks on yours? Yours looks so smooth and mine looks so…. spongey

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Jen – Depending on how large the holes were on your sponge and the texture of it can make sponge-looking marks. Did you rip the sponge up to create smaller pieces? This does help lessen the sponge look. Another way to lessen the sponge look is to move the sponge all around as you pounce it up and down. I really make sure to blend over any areas so that everything was more white which also lessens the contrast between the dark primer coat and the sponged on White Limestone. Did you add the sealer coat yet?

      1. No I haven’t sealed it yet but I did just do the veining.

        1. Diane Henkler says:

          Hi Jen – It will look more sponge-y before the sealer, but if you don’t like the way it looks, rip up the sponge to get a ragged small piece. Use this to smoosh some more white paint over the areas that look spongy. Don’t dab the sponge, but really smoosh the paint onto the surface, then dab around the wet edges of the area to blend the white in. Let dry. This will also soften the veining, so you can go over the painted surface a few times until you like it. You really can’t add too much white. Doing this will lessen the sponge look. I used a lot of White Limestone to give the overall white look and did a lot of smooshing to even the white out so it resembled marble, not granite. :-)

  63. Looks amazing but how food safe is the finished product?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Cheri –

      The sealed and cured surface is food safe. Since you treat it like Formica, you need to put a cutting board down on the surface before cutting anything, so whatever food you are preparing is as safe as the cutting board you are using. If you cut on the actual painted counter surface, you run the risk of damaging the surface. You would not cut on a Formica top so I tell everyone to treat it as if it was Formica. Use hot pads for hot stuff and cutting boards when cutting food up.

      1. Thank you for your response. I have Formica now that is 47 years old. I always use a cutting board and hot pads as did my mother in law. I have a small drop leaf table in the kitchen I kind of use as an island. Would this product work on wood like that? I want to refinish it and thought about doing the top to look like marble. Your kitchen turned out great. Thanks again.

        1. I forgot to add that I am trying to make sure that what I use is non toxic and such. That is one reason I don’t like granite. It has to be sealed every year with the windows open causing me to worry about what I am laying my bread on to make a sandwich. Thanks again.

        2. Diane Henkler says:

          Hi Cheri –

          Painting the table using the Giani paint kit would look fabulous. It can be done on any surface. Just follow the directions. As far as toxic, when I painted mine there was little to no smell as the paint went on and dried. Once the water-based sealer is cured I don’t think it would be toxic to food at all. I clean it with dish soap and water.

  64. Kaitlin rogers says:

    I followed your tutorial step by step ! I’m so glad I found your post it was very helpful! I do have a question I started to do my veining of marble , ran out of white limestone paint so I ordered more. I feel as though my veins are too dark almost looking zebra like . I’m sure I just need another coat of white limestone overtop once more . But any recommendations on how to soften my lines or make it more real life marble once my other can comes in the mail? I am just worried that waiting for this extra white limestone won’t make a difference once the lines are dried ? Would love to send you pictures to show you so you can give the best advice possible to finish my project !

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Kaitlin – If your lines are too dark for your liking and dry, dabbing white limestone over them will lighten them so don’t worry. Once you get the new white limestone paint, dab over the dark areas with white limestone. When it dries mix up a new batch of light grey using the black and white paint. Create new lines with this over the dabbed over too dark ones. The more smooth layers of color veining you have the more realistic the veining will look. Now you just need to wait for the paint to arrive. :-) I would love to see your pictures. you can send them to inmyownstyle @gmail. com.

  65. Victoria Kay says:

    Shut up?! These counters are ridiculously beautiful. I’ve been waffling between painting my countertops and just flat out buying new ones and you have me convinced. Even if they don’t turn out as lovely as yours, then at least I would have tried. I’m so excited to give this a shot. Thank you for such a beautiful and detailed tutorial.

  66. I just put my third layer of topcoat on. I cannot wait to start using them. I used most of these instructions as I wanted the marble look myself, but I just used what was in the kit, no extras (although I see why you did, as the bright white looks amaz). I used #600 grit sandpaper per the manufactures instructions and they are smooth, although I liked the smooth feel and look pre-topcoat. The topcoat gives it a little texture. All in all I saved $2000 and I’m impressed with the results.

  67. This looks amazing! Thank you so much for the detailed tutorial. My husband and I are going to try this in our kitchen this week, and your tutorial will be a huge help. I hope ours turns out half as beautiful as yours did!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Ashleigh – Thanks so much. :-) It is such a doable project if you break it down and do it step-by-step. The best advice is to use light coats and make sure you follow the drying time in between each coat. I really am enjoying mine. I am careful to use trivets and wipe up spills, but other than these two things, we use the counters as we did before. Happy painting!

  68. I am so happy to have found your tutorial!!! Thank you!

  69. Your kitchen has turned out beautifully. I have very similar plans for my own 70s dark wood kitchen. Would you mind sharing what paint color you have on the walls in the dining area right off your kitchen? Thanks.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Kelly – Thanks – The area of the wall in the dining area of my kitchen that you can see in the photo is sheetrock and wallpaper paste. :-) Next to it you can see painted wallpaper I have not yet stripped. I have not painted the walls yet, but the overall color of the wall is a good match for Sherwin Williams SW 7012 Creamy.

  70. SANDRA L POWELL says:

    it looks absoflipping amazing!!! Mic drop!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Sandra – thanks….ditto to all the projects you have completed in your house.

  71. Julie Blanner says:

    It’s truly amazing, Diane. I appreciate your patience and it clearly paid off!

  72. BCS Plumber says:

    This is SUCH a great idea! Thank you for the “how to!”

  73. Karen Badzik says:

    I’m so impressed by your beautiful countertops! Such a perfect low cost solution – thank you for sharing!!!

  74. I hope you will give us an update next year and let us know how it is holding up. I’m mesmerized by this!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Laura – Yes I will definitely do an update every so often to show how it holds up.

  75. Wow! Your hard work turned out beautiful!

  76. Great looking counters. They look like true marble. Your so talented and brave,you make it look doable.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thanks Sue – About 18 years ago I learned how to do the technique in a crafty how-to book. Back then green marble was the trend. I did it mostly on furniture, but the biggest thing I ever did it on was when I was hired by a brokerage firm to marbleize their reception area. That was a big job. :-)

      1. Shirley Briggs says:

        I am looking to paint over ….. the green marble worktop in our kitchen, which was fitted about 18-20 years ago by previous owners. I had already come across the Gianni kit, available here in the UK, but I think the brilliant white would be too harsh with our oak cabinets and duck egg blue tiles. Do you know whether I could put a tint in to soften the white to a cream?

        1. Diane Henkler says:

          Hi Shirley – Sorry it has taken me so long to answer your question. Not sure if you added some cream to warm up the white paint yet, but I think as long as you add just a small amount of tint or quality acrylic paint to the white diamond color paint in the Gianni Kit, it will be fine. Mix it well apply the same way…using very light coats. More light coats will last. Fewer heavier coats will peel eventually.

          1. Shirley Briggs says:

            Thank you very much Diane – no need to apologise for any delay- I appreciate your reply when you are obviously a very busy person! That’s helpful, will give it a try.

  77. I used the kit and decided I wanted an extra smooth extra durable topcoat so I used epoxy!!!
    The epoxy really gives it that extra sheen. However epoxy can be challenging if directions aren’t followed.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Krist – I give you credit using epoxy…that is a challenge to work with, but does give smooth glass like results. I used it on a tray and cabinet pulls. I bet it looks amazing on your counter.

  78. Becky in 'Bama says:

    So beautiful – but honestly, I do not have the patience for such a task. I got an itch just looking at your photos. LOL
    To share with you: I have discovered a great thing: the ‘foaming pump soap’ that I buy at Bath and Body is GREAT on counter tops and solid surface cook tops. I discovered it accidentally – but it is amazing. I rinse out my dishcloth (or you can use a damp paper towel) – squirt about a tablespoon of the foamy soap on the cloth – wipe down whatever – such that it is ‘soapy’ with foamy bubbles visible. Immediately rinse the cloth again – well – and wring out. Wipe down the surface once more and then wipe dry with a dry dish towel or paper towel. LEAVES NO SOAP SCUM MARKS and shines like crazy. I use the lemon scented soap – so it leaves behind a clean fresh smell. Remarkable!

    You’re welcome.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Becky – Thanks for the tip. I will check it out the next time I go to the mall. If it doesn’t have essential oils in it, then I can use it. :-)

  79. You are amazing. I wish I had the confidence to tackle a project like this. Maybe you could just come do it for me? :) (the whole kitchen)

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Teri – Thanks – Doing the counter is not really hard, but the whole kitchen makeover it is a big project. I am glad I did it, but will be happy to call it done very soon. :-)

  80. Debbie Mayfield says:

    Looks beautiful!!! I am so happy for you. Great job!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thanks Debbie :-)

  81. I’ve been following you for a while and you gave me the courage to paint my kitchen cabinets. I’ve now painted cabinets in two houses and will definitely consider counters. They are wonderful!

    You show how to get the best results without spending a fortune. Thanks for continuing to encourage us to try new things to make our houses our own!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Lisa – Thanks for the nice note. It makes me so happy to hear that I gave you the courage to paint your kitchen cabinets. XO Two kitchens…you have been doing a lot of painting. :-) I have painted the tops of furniture, but never a kitchen counter. This was my first time and I would do it again. I love how they look painted. Painting them really changed the way my kitchen looks.

  82. Cathy Claus says:

    They look beautiful!!!! Such inspiration – but you always make everything looks so easy peasy! your kitchen turned out fabulous! What a difference! so bright and fresh! Great job! : ) i have gotten much inspiration from your blog. thank you!

  83. Your cabinets are beautiful and look so realistic,

  84. I love this look!!! It looks just like carrara marble. You are very talented and I love your blog. I’m looking forward to your next project.

  85. You did a fantastic job ! You are one talented and patient lady….and you continue to inspire! ;)

  86. Nothing compares to an inspiring teacher. You inspire, are a breath of the freshest air. Sincere thanks!

  87. coldwell banker sun city lincoln hills says:

    You seriously rock this one. I am amazed with your work. Job well done. I hope you will posts more DIYs and crafts.

  88. Wow!!! You did an amazing job on the kitchen counters. They look beautiful. Not sure if they sell the Giani products in Canada, but will definitely look into it. I appreciate all of your detailed instructions. Skill, patience and guts! Well done. Looking forward to hearing how the finish holds up over time.

  89. Betty Baker says:

    You are one unbelievable lady. I can only say your work is fantastic. What a beautiful kitchen. It looks like you had some one come in and replaced everything. I love your ability and I am sure a lot of patience went into all of this work. I could go singing praises but I think you can just read what everyone has said. Way to go girl. Betty from Ontario,Canada

  90. Really outstanding job!! Excellent instructions give one the courage to try this! WOW!!

  91. So incredible. The counters are beautiful! Everything you do is wonderful.

  92. Lesley Metcalfe says:

    This is brilliant! Your counters look amazing. A kitchen renovation isn’t in my budget and won’t be any time soon so I was thinking of painting my countertops in the meantime. I’ve seen several tutorials on the subject but none of them had me convinced…until now! I’m going to order this product and give it a try! Thank you for sharing :)

  93. Beautiful job. Thank you for all the information. You truly help many.

  94. You are amazing Diane! Your counter top is so beautiful. I have quartz counters and don’t plan to change but I read every step of your process. I find it so interesting to read how you do all the DIY you do. Of course I love, love seeing all the pictures. Are you totally finished in the kitchen now? Vikki in VA

  95. The counters look beautiful! You did a fantastic job!

  96. Valarie Sanford says:

    thank you so much Diane! You continue to amaze and inspire me and I will copy you once again with gratitude.

  97. Fantastic job! They look absolutely awesome. I doubt I would realize they aren’t real Carrara marble even if I was standing right there in your kitchen. Well worth the effort, Diane!

  98. As usual, you did a super job! I bought new counters for around my sink and all, but am planning on adding some “upper cabinets” to a base on the far side of my kitchen for added storage. I wasn’t sure what to use for the counters, but knowing that you approve of the Giani, I will not be so hesitant to order it. I’ve watched their video a number of times, but just wasn’t sure. Thanks again for the tutorial! You guys are so talented!

  99. That is amazing. I love it and you did a great job. I don’t know if I could do this but if I had too I would come back to this post. Thank you for sharing Diane.

  100. erika wilson says:

    All I can say is WOW! I LOVE it.

  101. It looks beautiful. I did the exact same thing using the same product about five years ago now, it looked so beautiful and I was so happy with it. I followed the instructions to the letter. However, after about two years it started to bubble and peel right above the dishwasher so I rang the company and told them, they sent me a can of the top coat and told me to re apply it. I re sanded it and painted on the top coat. However, after a couple of months it started peeling again (mind you..I was extremely careful with everything I put on my counter top, I always used a board for hot things) I rang the company again and sent them some photos and I said they make claims that it lasts 15 years, anyway they sent me a new kit and said I should do it again. I received the kit but then I decided it was too much work to risk it peeling again, so we got a new Caesarstone one. I hope you don’t have the same issue.

  102. Love the stack of cookbooks!! Looks like my kitchen!!!

  103. Ann Marie Heasley says:

    Bravo! This looks great, Diane. Your kitchen makeover has inspired me to start ours soon. Thank you for the detailed posts!

  104. Gail Vernali says:

    Diane, what a transformation, very well done your kitchen looks amazing! So bright and inviting.

  105. I love them! I do not have the confidence to try myself, but I’m so glad you did and did such a super job! Thanks for sharing.

  106. Catpainter says:

    Look like a tedious demanding job done patiently and with great attention and care. The love for what you do is shown in your work. You take the time to do it right the first time, a trait that many folks don’t have the patience to master.
    Not only are your projects descriptive and wonderful how-to’s, they are also a lesson for us in doing a job well and with our best effort, no matter how much time it takes. The end result is well worth that effort. Thank you for all the lessons you offer. So refreshing in an age when “instant”, “fast”, and “easy” seem to be the norm.
    Much we’ll-deserved praise for you.
    A fan.

  107. Diane,
    I have been following you for a while now and continue to be amazed at the projects you tackle. Everything looks amazing! I always get a little intimidated with a project that big but you are giving me confidence to try! What’s the worst that could happen? Right?

    I’m looking forward to what’s next! I know it will be inspirational!

  108. Melissa Leach says:

    Congratulations on a job well done! Your countertops look amazing. You should be VERY PROUD of your kitchen.

  109. Elisabeth Crowe says:

    Dianne, that is amazing! What a brilliant job you’ve done! You must be really happy with that. Well done, they are beautiful!

    Now…. would it be cheaper to fly Dianne to my place in Australia, to have her do my counter tops, rather than replace them….???? Hmmmm…..

  110. Michael Wurm Jr says:

    You are my hero. Awesome job!

    xo Michael

  111. You did a beautiful job!

  112. The counters look great. The whole kitchen is turning out beautiful. I love to see everything you do.

  113. Linda Weeks says:

    You have outdone yourself, what a stellar job! It looks every bit as marbley as real marble! This product is something I looked into also, but decided to go with a new countertop – which set us back a bit! and having the guys in and out of the house was awkward too. But they did a nice job and I’m still happy with my Formica… but if I’d known you would achieve this kind of finish, I would definitely tried the Giani product! Great job! As usual!!

  114. OHMYGOSH, it’s beautiful!! I’m sure 95 percent of it has to do with the artist… Nice job! You should look into Norwex if you don’t already know about it. They make cleaning cloths that have lines of silver running through them, and the silver kills germs, so you don’t ever need to use cleanser.