I can’t believe the time is finally here for me to be able to share with you what’s been going on in my Texas Home! After selling our California home, we moved to Texas and purchased our new home. Everyone thought it was perfect for us, since it had a contemporary appeal, similar to our former California home. However, having the designer brain that I have and that constant itch to try new things, I wanted to do something new and different than how I had styled my home in the past. Since I currently have this huge passion for Farmhouse meets French Country, I quickly decided that would be the style of our new home and I couldn’t wait to get in there and roll up my sleeves to transform and personalize my new Texas brick home!
Since we moved here 9 months ago, I have been tackling and juggling multiple projects throughout the home both inside and out. One of my first projects was updating my guest bathroom on a budget. I should probably mention that I am the type of person that if given the choice I would rather completely gut the space and start fresh. However, with this bathroom I decided I wanted to try my hand at updating and modernizing the space in a way that would deliver quick results that were both impactful and trendy while still maintaining a small budget. I will be sharing with you how I COMPLETELY transformed this bathroom by using paint from top to bottom, combined with a new light fixture, shower fixtures, sink fixtures, cabinet hardware and framing the existing builder-grade mirror. You are going to be amazed by the results! My guest bathroom had a not-so-bad looking brown granite countertop, but I really wanted to brighten the space and love the look of white Carrara marble. In my research for countertops, I came across the Giani Carrara White Marble Epoxy Countertop Kit that would give me the option to paint the existing countertop, rather than having to replace the counter. I decided to go for it, thinking that if I messed up it wouldn’t be too much of an expense to replace a small countertop. The kit is well laid out, with the paints marked steps 1, 2 & 3 and an instruction booklet. The kit also includes paint brushes, a paint sponge, rollers, roller arm, stir sticks, plastic drop cloth, a spray bottle, epoxy resin topcoat, gloves and even a practice board!
Step 1: PREP THE COUNTERTOP SURFACE
I removed the builder-grade faucet before painting, as I knew I would not be keeping that faucet because every time I would rinse my hands, I was constantly brushing the back of the sink with my hands (it was just too short for the bowl). One of the most important things to do in prepping the area for paint is to remove all caulking (this would include around the sink, any seams in the countertop and around the fixtures). The product will not stick to caulking, so this step is crucial. I used a painter’s tool and razor blade to remove the caulking and then lightly sanded the counters with 220 grit sandpaper to rough the surface. After I sanded the surface of the countertop, I used Xylene to thoroughly clean the surface before painting. This is a similar process to how I prepped my painted shower tile.
Step 2: PROTECT THE SURROUNDING AREAS
Now it’s time to prepare for painting. Tape off all areas around the sink, fixtures, walls, cabinets and floors. I used Scotchblue Painter’s tape to mask off the area and attach the included plastic drop cloth to cover my cabinets and floors (this is very important, as when you pour on the epoxy it will literally drip everywhere and this is no exaggeration!).
Step 3: PRIME THE COUNTERTOPS
Let the painting begin! I purchased a small paint tray, as that is one of the items that is not included in the kit. Using the paint brush, I applied the primer to the areas that a roller will not reach (i.e., seam lines, around sink) and then used the roller to apply an overall layer on the granite. You want to make sure you are rolling the area lightly and blending/overlapping in the same direction to avoid roller lines. The kit recommends two coats of primer, but since my counters are so dark, I applied 3 coats to get a nice solid base coat. You’ll need to allow 4 hours to dry between coats. If you need a 3rd coat, that can be applied after allowing 2 hours of dry time instead of 4 hours. Be sure to let your final coat dry for a full 4 hours before moving on to the next step.
Step 4: VEINING
Believe it or not, this is the fun part that most people find intimidating, including myself. However, I honestly don’t know why I was so nervous because it literally was so easy! To help build my confidence, I researched different types of veining and learned that the veins usually run diagonally across the counter and in the same direction. I also watched Giani’s tutorial video for painting the countertops and veins a few times to help build my confidence before getting started.
Still nervous? The best advice I can give you is to sketch out a drawing of your countertops and draw the direction of how you want your veining to look. This will help give you the overall look you want on the first attempt and you can use the drawing as a template. You can also use the provided artist brush and practice board to practice your method in drawing your veins. Depending on personal preference, you can have light to heavy veining. Personally, I like the lighter look. Also, consider the time of day and your schedule, so that you can feel relaxed during this process and take your time.
How to paint the veins:
The nice thing about having the surface primed is that if you don’t like the outcome of a vein you’re drawing, you can simply spray it with water and gently wipe it away using a paper towel. I recommend doing this only when it’s been under 15 minutes or less since you painted the vein.
After you’re done drawing your veins, allow the countertop to dry for a full 4 hours before lightly sanding the surface in advance to applying the epoxy. Sanding the surface helps prime the counter for the epoxy to hold to the painted surface. However, make sure you only sand it lightly and then wipe down with a dry, clean cloth that is free of any lint or hairs.
Step 5: POUR ON THE EPOXY!
This is where you’re really going to see your countertops come to life and go from wow to AMAZING!!!
Before pouring on the epoxy, double check that the cabinets and flooring are covered for drips as the application of the epoxy is designed to drip off the excess as it dries.
I must admit, I was skeptical about adding the epoxy as I worried it was going to ruin the countertop and the beautiful veining that I was so proud of! So, I again watched Giani’s tutorial so that I knew exactly what to expect.
My take on the epoxy process:
The epoxy did perform exactly as it was supposed to in dripping off and self-leveling. However, I noticed issues along the way where drips were not fully dripping away and were leaving a clear drip at the edge of my counters. AHHHH!!! I just used my finger, with a glove, to wipe away any drops that started to form at the underside edge of the counter before they were set and dry.
Step 6: LET IT CURE
The countertops can be gently used after 48 hours, but it will need a full 7 days to cure after the epoxy has been poured. Be sure not to rest anything on the counter that might leave an indentation or pull up the paint when moved. I recommend waiting the full 7 days before placing anything on the counter. It’s just not worth the risk to not wait and potentially ruin your hard-earned beautiful results! I decided to wait the full 7 days to allow the epoxy to cure before replacing my faucet. I have also added the links to my cabinet hardware for the knobs and pulls in case you’re curious where to find them.
Step 7: TIME TO CAULK
After the counter has dried for at least 24 hours, you can re-caulk all the seams. This will give your countertops that beautiful professional finish. Be sure to use a white silicone caulk that is designed for kitchen and bath.
I am in love with the results of my new countertop and can’t believe how much I stressed over this project. It really was easy and they are so beautiful and very realistic looking. In fact, my guests can’t believe they are painted and think they’re the real deal! Mission completed! Next on the list is the stenciling the floor tiles and then my DIY farmhouse bathroom will be complete!
Sep 15, 2021