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What to Know Before You Paint Granite Countertops

By March 18, 2024Kitchen
Can you paint granite countertops

Are you tired of your outdated granite countertops but dread the cost of replacing them? You’re in good company! The affordable solution you’ve been looking for could be as simple as adding a coat of paint to the granite countertops. However, before you dive in, there are crucial things you need to know to ensure a successful project.

This article will walk you through seven essential factors to consider before painting granite countertops. From proper preparation and product selection to application techniques and maintenance tips, we’ll equip you with the knowledge to achieve stunning, long-lasting results – all without breaking the bank. 

What to Know First

Granite countertops, while known for their durability and beauty, can start looking dated over time. Replacing them entirely can be a significant expense, often costing thousands of dollars. However, painting your granite countertops offers a budget-friendly alternative that can give your kitchen a fresh, modern look.

The process involves thoroughly cleaning the surface, repairing any damage, and applying a specialized primer and paint designed to adhere to the stone. With the right preparation and products, you can achieve a durable, long-lasting finish that mimics the look of brand-new countertops.

It’s important to keep in mind that painting granite is not a perfect solution, as the painted surface may not be as heat-resistant or durable as the original granite. It will also require more gentle cleaning and maintenance to keep it looking its best. However, if you’re willing to put in a little extra care, painting your granite countertops can be an excellent way to transform your kitchen without a complete renovation.

Granite countertops will need some preparation before you can paint them.

How to Prepare For Painting

If you want your granite countertops and the paint to look great and last for years, there’s one crucial step you can’t afford to skip: thorough cleaning and preparation. This may not be the most exciting part of the process, but trust us, it’s the foundation upon which a beautiful, durable finish is built.

Start by giving your granite countertops a deep clean with a degreasing agent. This will help remove any dirt, grime, and residue accumulated over time, ensuring that the primer and paint adhere properly to the surface. Don’t forget to get into all the nooks and crannies, as any missed spots can lead to an uneven finish.

Next, take the time to repair any cracks, chips, or damage using a granite repair kit or epoxy filler. Let the repairs dry completely, then sand the entire surface with a fine-grit sandpaper. This will create a smooth, even base for the primer, helping to eliminate any imperfections that could show through the final coat of paint.

After sanding, wipe down the countertops with a damp cloth to remove any dust and debris. Then, grab a clean, lint-free cloth and apply a coat of rubbing alcohol or acetone to the surface. This final step is crucial, as it will remove any remaining oils or residue that could prevent the primer and paint from adhering properly.

Choose the Right Paint Type and Tone

When painting granite countertops, use paint made for granite or natural stone to avoid quick deterioration. Granite paint kits offer primer, paint, and topcoat designed for durability and come in various colors and finishes.

Alternatively, high-quality oil-based paints with a built-in primer work well on granite but have a stronger smell and longer drying time; ensure good ventilation and drying time.

Colors and Sheens

Choose a paint color that matches your kitchen’s style and palette, either complementing the existing decor or providing a bold contrast. Neutral colors can provide balance, while vibrant ones add personality. Pay attention to the undertones of your color choice to create the desired atmosphere. Test colors on poster board to see how they change with natural light.

The sheen is crucial too. High-gloss is modern and easy to clean but shows flaws. Semi-gloss or satin hides imperfections and is still maintainable. Matte finish suits rustic or traditional kitchens, offering a warm look.

It’s All in Your Technique

Now, let’s focus on the application process itself. Proper techniques are crucial for achieving a smooth, long-lasting finish that not only looks great but also endures over time.

Start by gathering a high-quality paintbrush, a small foam roller, and a paint tray. If you’re using a granite paint kit, carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions. For oil-based paint, apply a thin, even coat of primer with a foam roller, allowing it to dry completely before painting.

When applying the paint, use both a brush and roller for even coverage. Begin by “cutting in” around edges and corners with a brush, then fill in larger areas with the roller. Apply paint in thin, even coats, ensuring each coat dries fully before adding the next. Multiple coats may be needed for full coverage and desired color depth.

Work in a well-ventilated area and wear protective gear like gloves and a face mask to avoid fumes. Pay attention to drying times between coats with oil-based paint to prevent an uneven finish or poor adhesion. After the final paint coat dries, apply a clear topcoat to protect your surface from scratches, stains, and daily wear. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for applying thin, even layers and drying times.

Be sure to use quality products and certain techniques if you paint granite countertops.

Don’t Skip the Sealer

To preserve your hard work, it’s essential to seal the painted surface of your countertops with a high-quality sealer. This will protect them from moisture, stains, and daily wear, maintaining their beauty and condition.

Choose a sealer made for painted surfaces, available in brush-on or spray-on options. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions closely, as some products may need multiple coats or have specific drying times.

Before sealing, clean and dry your countertops thoroughly to ensure proper adhesion of the sealer. Any residue can lead to poor coverage and a weaker finish.

Apply the sealer in small sections with even strokes, paying close attention to edges and corners where damage is more likely. If using a spray sealer, keep the can 6-8 inches from the surface and move in a steady motion.

After application, wait for the sealer to dry completely before using the countertops. Check the product’s guidelines for drying times. Once cured, your countertops will be safeguarded against moisture, stains, and scratches, ensuring durability and a lasting finish.

Maintaining Your Painted Granite

To keep your granite countertops and paint looking beautiful for longer, routine and gentle cleaning is key. This will help preserve the paint finish, prevent damage, and ensure your countertops continue to impress for years to come. To clean your countertops, make a habit of:

  • Avoid abrasive cleaners, scrubbers, or harsh chemicals that can scratch, dull, or strip the paint
  • Clean with a soft cloth or sponge, such as a microfiber cloth, to prevent lint or streaks
  • For stubborn stains, apply a small amount of cleaner to the cloth and gently rub the area, being careful not to scrub too hard
  • Rinse the surface with clean water and dry thoroughly with a soft, lint-free cloth to prevent water spots

Protecting Your Countertops

  • Place trivets, cutting boards, or coasters under hot dishes, cookware, and beverages to prevent heat damage
  • Use protective barriers to extend the life of your countertops and maintain their appearance

Finally, periodically reapply a fresh coat of sealer to maintain the glossy finish, prevent stains, and protect against daily wear and tear. Ideally, aim to reseal every 6-12 months, depending on the use your countertops receive. Before resealing, thoroughly clean your countertops and allow them to dry completely!

When to Call a Professional

While painting your granite countertops can be a rewarding project, there are situations where it’s best to call in a professional. If you encounter any of the following scenarios, consider reaching out to an expert:

  • Extensive Damage – If your granite countertops have significant cracks, chips, or other structural damage, grab a professional. They may recommend repairs or advise against painting altogether.
  • Unusual Granite Types – Some rare or exotic granite varieties may require specialized knowledge and techniques for successful painting. If you’re unsure about your granite type or its suitability for painting, consult with a professional who can provide expert guidance.
  • Workspace Limitations – If your kitchen lacks proper ventilation or you’re unable to create a dust-free environment for the painting process, it’s safer and more convenient to hire a professional. They’ll have the necessary equipment and expertise to work around these limitations.


Refreshing your granite countertops with paint is not for the faint of heart, but the stunning results are worth every ounce of effort. Embrace the challenge, arm yourself with the right tools and techniques, and watch as your kitchen transforms before your very eyes.

The key to success lies in the details – from meticulous cleaning and repair to bold color choices and flawless application. However, if you find yourself in over your head, don’t be afraid to call in the pros.

If you’re ready to take on a project but want to get an expert inspection of the area or the whole home before diving in, call Atkinson Inspection Services! Our team of experts is here to help in Clermont, FL, and surrounding areas.