Faux granite countertops are viable options for people who don’t have the necessary budget to acquire the natural stone. Nowadays, even though there are ways to spot which ones are the real deal or not, there’s nothing wrong in getting yourself a faux. In fact, they are so customer-friendly that most kits on the market are designed with a DIY mindset, which is probably why you’re here. If you’re planning on buying one for your home, don’t be daunted – because we are here to teach you the right way to install it.
In this article, we’ll go over some characteristics of faux granite countertops, what you can generally expect from them, as well as how to install them for the first time in 5 easy steps.
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What are faux granite countertops?
Faux granite countertops are fake stones that emulate the look (and sometimes even texture) of real granite. They are cheaper than the natural stone, of course, and made to act like a coat to whatever material that’s underneath – in most cases, laminate countertops.
Laminate is created by combining brown paper with plastic resin; it is then glued to a particle board to create the flat surface we all know. With the aforementioned paint kits, these countertops can imitate granite – or any kind of stone, for that matter – to conceive a beautiful kitchen island or bathroom vanity just like any other. Under due care and periodic maintenance, fake countertops can pass undetected by the naked eye and serve their purpose for a long time.
Keep in mind that these products differ greatly from painted countertops, though. Painting countertops like we do walls is something highly problematic that many homeowners still do to renew their old granite. Needless to say, we don’t recommend painting any kind of natural stone – since it defeats its whole purpose and rarely culminates in great results.
That said, something you should know is that granite countertops (we mean the real deal) are not as expensive as many people think. When looking from the cost-benefit side of things, natural granite is a much better option than faux granite, as you can see here. Although it’s definitely something worth considering, you can check out how to install faux granite countertops below.
List of supplies you’ll need for the installation
Since granite plays such an important role in the aesthetic of your place, prep work is essential to avoid future problems with your faux countertop. Below, we’ve set apart a list of basic materials and tools that you’ll need for this job:
- base coat
- assorted colors of acrylic paint
- polycrylic finish
- sea sponge
- small trays (for mixing paint colors)
- 220 grit sandpaper
- preferred paintbrush and paint roller
- microfiber cloth
- plastic sheeting
Some kits come with all the supplies you need and some kits don’t – just make sure to get everything before you begin. Likewise, it’s always a good idea to consult an expert and read online reviews to determine which items and paint are ideal for your countertop.
If you cannot decide on the perfect theme for your new project, you might like our guide on the best colors for granite countertops – which you can access here.
Faux granite countertops: DIY in 5 steps
Time to begin the installation with the following steps.
STEP ONE: CLEANING THE SURFACE
To start off, remove all appliances, utensils and gadgets in the way. Use warm water and a cleaning solution (always read the manufacturer’s instructions) to remove dirt, grime and other unwanted stains on the countertop. Before anything else, let it dry.
With a microfiber cloth, run the entire surface until you’re sure it’s clean. Then, use the sandpaper to lightly roughen it – this will help the primer and the paint adhere to your counter. After it’s sanded and free of dust particles, protect the surrounding cabinets and floor with plastic sheeting.
STEP TWO: PAINTING
Pour the primer (which is usually included with the paint kit) into a paint tray and apply it through the whole surface with a paint roller. Before moving on, the old coloration must be out of view – so apply as many coats of primer as you find necessary to cover it.
STEP THREE: APPLYING BASE COAT
Start applying the base coat from your kit with the paint roller. You’ll have to apply a few layers of paint using various methods, one at a time, in order to create the granite-like appearance. If there are any paint drips, use a small paintbrush to touch them up and don’t miss any spots. Once the first coat dries, follow the same process to apply at least two more layers. Let your countertop sit for a bit.
STEP FOUR: CREATING A GRANITE-LIKE APPEARANCE
This is the most crucial part to make your faux granite countertop work. It’s time to make use of the remaining paint with the sea sponge, which is here to blot the surface with a slightly darker shade than the basecoat.
Dab and smear the paint across the whole area and avoid the same patterns – our objective is to make it as less artificial as possible, right? For the final touches, repeat this step with two additional accent tones that complement each other, because it creates dimension and charm.
STEP FIVE: APPLYING TOPCOAT
Allow the patterns to dry, as usual, and move on to the glaze coat. With the paint roller, see your counter become shinier and glossy. When it’s dry, apply the polycrylic finish as a topcoat and let the project absorb everything.
Congratulations – you’re done! A few things to know is that this whole thing might take from one to two weeks to be completed, for you have to wait some additional days before starting to use your countertop again.
Also, as you might have heard before, sealing is ideal to preserve your stone’s visual – and this goes for faux granite countertops, too. Click here to read all about sealers.
Despite targeting a DIY process, beginners may face hardships in getting everything done. All in all, installing any furniture is a meticulous task that requires time and effort – attributes that not every person has. Be it faux or not, contracting professional help is never a loss of budget – in fact, it might even make it worth the money spent.
If reading these steps made you reconsider getting a faux countertop, maybe a real one might catch your attention more. After all, granite is a durable material with one of the greatest cost-benefits out there, hence their popularity throughout the years. To find out all the specific details, take a look at our complete article on granite stones and be delighted.
Trust Eagle Stones for the best granite countertops!
At Eagle Stones, our team provides clients with a trustworthy supply of stones from all over the world – including marble, onyx, quartz and granite. In case you’d like to get yourself the real natural stone over a faux granite countertop – which we highly encourage – don’t hesitate to check our online catalog to see the best deals available for purchase! You won’t be let down.
Also, contact us to get a free quote on your dream project – we’ll guide you through every step of the way. We’ll be waiting for you!