Granite countertops are a popular choice for kitchens and bathrooms due to their natural beauty, durability, and style. However, over time granite may show signs of wear or you may simply want to update the look. Painting granite is one option to consider to give it a fresh new appearance. Specifically, painting it to resemble quartz can provide an attractive, modern look. Here is an overview of painting granite countertops to look like quartz.
Is It Possible to Paint Granite to Look Like Quartz?
Yes, it is possible to paint existing granite countertops to resemble the look of quartz. With the right preparatory steps, paints, and coating products, granite can be transformed to emulate the aesthetic of quartz quite convincingly.
Quartz countertops are engineered from ground quartz crystals combined with resins and pigments. This creates a surface with a sparkly, stone-like appearance but fewer natural pits, cracks, and markings compared to real granite.
By selecting paint colors and finishes that mimic the flecks and shimmer found in quartz, along with properly prepping and sealing the granite, it is possible to achieve a very close likeness to real quartz countertops.
What Type of Paint Works Best for Painting Granite?
The best type of paint for refinishing granite countertops to look like quartz is epoxy paint. Epoxy is a two-part coating product that consists of resin and a catalyst hardener.
When mixed, it chemically cures into a hard, durable plastic-like finish. Epoxy can be tinted and mixed with additives to create various looks, like a sparkly quartz effect.
Compared to standard latex and oil-based paints, epoxy paint is far superior for adhering to slick surfaces like granite. It provides maximum coverage and protection. Epoxy also resists scratching, fading, and water damage. These performance properties make epoxy ideal for countertop surfaces.
Be sure to use epoxy paint marketed specifically for countertop refinishing. Follow all label instructions carefully.
Step-by-Step Process for Painting Granite Countertops
Painting granite countertops is an involved, multi-step process. Proper preparation is crucial for good adhesion and longevity of the painted finish. Here is an overview of the process:
Clean and Prepare the Granite Surface
- Clean countertops thoroughly with an all-purpose cleaner or granite polish remover to eliminate dirt, residue, wax and oils. Rinse well and allow to fully dry.
- Sand the granite lightly with 120-220 grit sandpaper to remove any existing gloss and create a roughened profile for the paint to adhere to.
- Clean thoroughly again to remove all sanding dust. Let dry completely.
Mask and Protect Surrounding Areas
- Mask off walls, backsplashes, appliances, and fixtures with painters tape and protective drop cloths.
- Detach and remove any hardware, sink fixtures, appliances, backsplashes, etc. that the paint could potentially drip or splatter onto.
Repair Any Damage
- Fill any chips, cracks, seams, or flaws with epoxy filler primer and let cure fully. Sand smooth.
- If there are any overhangs or uneven seams, build up with epoxy filler to create a flush surface.
Apply Primer and Paint
- For best adhesion, first apply a coating of epoxy bonding primer to the entire countertop surface. Allow to fully cure per label directions before painting.
- Mix and prepare epoxy paint according to package instructions. Select a base color and add quartz-like mica powder and paint flakes for a sparkly, stone finish.
- Apply at least 2-3 coats of the epoxy paint using a smooth foam roller and high quality brush to cut-in edges and corners.
- Allow each coat to fully cure for at least 24 hours before adding the next coat. Lightly sand between coats with fine (220+ grit) sandpaper.
Apply Protective Top Coats
- Once paint is fully cured, apply 1-2 coats of a high performance epoxy topcoat to protect the finish.
- Optional: Apply a food-safe epoxy sealer formulated for countertops as a final topcoat layer.
Reinstall Hardware and Accessories
- After all paint and topcoats have cured per manufacturer directions, reinstall sink fixtures, hardware, appliances, backsplash panels, etc. Wipe away any paint drips or overspray.
- Allow 72 hours curing time before regular use of the painted countertops. Avoid placing hot pots/pans during this period.
Proper preparation and using high quality epoxy products will provide the best looking, most durable painted quartz finish on granite countertops. Expect the painting process to take 3-5 days with full curing time.
Common Questions About Painting Granite to Look Like Quartz
Does the granite need to be sealed before painting?
Yes, it’s recommended to apply a coating of epoxy primer/sealer before painting to maximize adhesion.
How long does the painted quartz look last?
With proper prep and epoxy products, the painted finish can last 3-5 years before needing touch ups, assuming normal wear and tear.
Can you add quartz chips when painting for a more natural look?
Yes, real quartz chips or sand can be added to the wet epoxy paint to better simulate the look of real quartz surfaces.
Does every type of granite work for painting?
Very porous or heavily pitted granite may allow some slight visual irregularities to show through the painted finish. But most common granite will achieve great results.
Is it better to paint or replace old granite countertops?
Painting can refresh the look at a fraction of the cost of new countertops. Start with painting granite as an affordable option before undertaking a full replacement.
Painting existing granite countertops using a professional-grade epoxy system can effectively mimic the appearance of quartz or other modern engineered stone looks. With careful preparation, skillful application of specialty paints, and protective top coatings, granite can be made over to closely resemble quartz. While not identical, a durable and visually appealing faux quartz finish can be achieved at a much lower cost compared to a full countertop replacement.