Transformation of a 1970's Formica Countertop into a Granite Beauty

 As you all know I spent this week down at the seashore helping my dear friends Donna and Tom prepare their new beach home for its first set of vacationers. The house was built in 1979 and the harvest gold countertop (cringe) in the rather large kitchen was original to the home. 

And in need of some serious updating.

Donna and Tom love the look of granite but to replace the existing countertops with granite, or any other material for that matter, was way out of budget. As the result of some intense internet research, Donna found a product on line that you can use to paint your existing Formica countertops to look like granite. What did she have to lose...the kit was inexpensive enough and nothing could look any less appealing than the current color of the kitchen's counters. So Donna enlisted my help to see the project through.

After a thorough cleaning, no it was more like a complete scouring, along with some painstaking measures to tape off the perimeter of the counter tops including the faucet area, I rolled on the base coat primer which was in a pure black. Then it was off to the beach for a few hours with the kids!

Once the primer was allowed to dry for a full 8 hours, the top was wiped clean with a dry cloth and then it was ready for step two, the addition of the color minerals needed for the mottling inherent to the look of granite. This was done with a sponge and the three colors which came in the color kit Donna chose.

We decided to keep the counters relatively dark to contrast the pure white cabinets, so the bronze mineral paint was dabbed on in a random pattern and then flecks of the pearl white were added. I also went over the entire surface with the black onyx mineral paint.

After the paint had dried for 4 hours, the surface was sanded down using a sanding block with 600 grit sandpaper. This was to remove any rough peaks which may have formed while the paint dried. Again I wiped down the surface to remove any residual paint dust and then I rolled on a clear topcoat and the countertop was allowed to dry for another 4 hours. This step of rolling on the clear top coat was repeated. After the second application of the topcoat the blue painters tape was removed from the cabinets and back splash. The tape was scored around the sink and carefully removed so not to pull any of the new counter paint off with the tape.

I went ahead and gave the top a third application of the topcoat because Donna wanted a high gloss finish.

Here is the side by side.

I have to tell you how easy this product was to apply and the process is truly idiot proof. But to be honest I did have a few spots where the painter's tape was inadvertently placed over part of the laminate. This was an easy fix using a small crafting paint brush and some of the black onyx mineral paint to cover the unpainted surface. I also had an issue with some of the paint bleeding up from the counter's back splash onto the textured tile of the wall above, but that could have been due to poor tape to surface contact. All I did to fix the problem was to liberally paint over the areas where the black paint had bled with some of the paint Donna used to change the tile color, and then just wipe the excess paint off the back splash with a damp paper towel.

The name of the product Donna and I used is by

Click here for the link. The counter top kit Donna selected was Bombay Black and it retails for $79.95.

The result...Donna and Tom are just thrilled with their new granite countertops! In the next few weeks I will share with you their entire kitchen reno including some startling before photos. This reno, believe it or not, was done for just under $2000!!

Hope y'all are enjoying a wonderful weekend!


 My note: 
This post was not solicited by the Giani Company nor was I offered or did I receive any product in exchange for an endorsement. I just wanted to share this product with you because I really believe it does produce a beautiful faux granite countertop using a clearly fool proof process at an unbelievably reasonable price!



  1. Your counters look gorgeous. You did a beautiful job. What a transformation! Have a great weekend. Maria

  2. You did a super job, the counters look amazing.

  3. This looks amazing and it is a wonderful product! I have used this exact same product AND the same color in my kitchen...back in 2009! It is still going strong! I had the ugly butcher block Formica. I used a dark brown for one of my bathrooms too. This is absolutely the best product I have seen as far as transforming old counter tops. I was just thinking this morning that I should finished a post I started about my own project....and then I see yours! So glad to know that someone else has used this amazing product!

  4. What a transformation. Nice job.

  5. You have got me so, so excited. I am in the middle of cleaning my kitchen cabinets, preparing to paint them white. All this time I'm thinking I MUST also do something with the countertops since they're also Formica in a sandy/orange brown color - ewwww! They just won't go with my soon to be white cabinets. You are a savior, thank you so much for sharing. I can't wait to tell hubby how cheap it's going to be to change the color of the countertops! I'm a new follower!! -Bev :)

  6. I've heard about this product around blogland...awesome job Barbara they look amazing! Love that your friend chose black...it looks great with the white cabinets! Did I spy new wood floors also??

  7. Wow, that turned out so great, Barbara. I have heard of those kits and I have to agree it certainly turned out wonderfully. They will have a lovely vacation home (I can't wait to see it all) for an inexpensive price so they can really enjoy their time there without waiting for the bills to come in!..Happy Monday..Judy (The kids are sure growing up!)

  8. Me again, Barbara. I just had to mention that their kitchen floors are just like the ones in my kitchen, only mine are in the red tones. Let me know if you find a cheap way to change those up!.J

  9. I was wondering if you sanded the formica before applying the primer. I got the Giani Kit in slate and am about to start my project. Your counters look amazing. I hope mine turn out like yours.

    1. Yes Stephanie I did sand it with a fine grade sanding block, I want to say a 600 grit. If you are using Giani it will be there as part of the directions. It was sooo incredibly easy and I have to say that I marvel at how wonderful those counters look everytime I see them!
      XO Barbara

    2. Great. Thank you so much. I can't wait to get started! Again....you did an amazing job!

  10. You must along these lines, so energized. I am highly involved with cleaning my kitchen cupboards, get ready to paint them white. This time I'm supposing I MUST likewise accomplish something with the ledges since they're additionally Formica in a sandy/orange chestnut shading - ewwww! They just won't run with my impending white cupboards. You are a rescuer, thank you such a great amount for sharing. I can hardly wait to advise hubby how shabby it will be to change the shade of the ledges! I'm another supporter!! Granite Countertops Lynnwood

  11. Make sure which granite you are going to purchase joint free. Natural joints may be stable for a long time but the designer worktops will worktops UK obviously consist of joints but make sure and try that as well as possible these joints are not to be big.

  12. At SURFACECO we produce, offer and install all types of solid kitchen worktops in Reading and around regions. Utilizing numerous surfaces such as granite, marble or quartz worktops for your own kitchen.

  13. I used this about 5 years ago and did cover it with polyurethane and it has numerous chips. Not a good long term option


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