Cynthia E
Cynthia E
  • Hometalker
  • Daleville, AL

Easy Faux Granite With No Sponge Painting

30 Minutes

I found a very easy tutorial for faux granite painting with NO sponging! This is just a sample I worked up in less than 30 minutes. I just wanted to see how easy and well it turned out. Love it and so easy that I may try this on a tabletop in the next few days. The secret ingredient is Zinsser wallpaper remover and a spray bottle.
Sample 1: First base paint with 2 coats of your lightest color - I used off white. When base coats are dry mix a black glaze -( I used black craft paint with water 30% paint 70% water)and roll all over, while glaze is wet spritz with the Zinsser randomly all over get 30-40% coverage. when dry take a wet Warm (hot water) cotton rag and wipe this will remove the zinsser showing color below. Then lightly buff with a scotch pad. Repeat with the black glaze and zinsser 3-4 more times. When finished seal with a gloss shellac or polyurethane 3-4 coats. I'm going to try either the EnviroTex lite pour on high gloss Finish or Rustoleum Diamond Polyurethane (or both on sample boards and see which I like best )---( NOTE: I did not shellac my sample board) and on last pass with the glaze I sprinkled w/ fine black glitter before using Zinsser. Think I will leave out the glitter when working on tabletop and use a pearlescent paint glaze instead wiil post pics using it instead- Sample 2-- This time I left out glitter and mixed pearlescent glaze in with both the off white and black. * Decided to put some gloss poly (1 thin coat) on part of sample it really brings out details and looks much more like granite.
- Be sure and go to this link watch the video on how to do it.
I just used 2 colors . But could use as many colors as you wanted. Going from light to dark or reverse depending on end result you want-- Note: I would look a a picture of the type granite you want to end up with to figure out color order. Most of my time was spent waiting on paint to dry :)
Sample 1 pic 1 -- As you can tell I took photos before paint was completely dry... (need to get dinner started :) )
Sample 1 pic 1 -- As you can tell I took photos before paint was completely dry... (need to get dinner started :) )
Sample 1 pic 2 - Will look much better after gloss finish applied.
Sample 1 pic 2 - Will look much better after gloss finish applied.
actual piece of granite looked at online
actual piece of granite looked at online
Sample 2 pic 1
Sample 2 pic 1
Sample 2 pic 2
Sample 2 pic 2
Sample 2 pic 3
Sample 2 pic 3
This is a photo of partial design with poly-bottom 1/4 is  without poly , top has poly. You can see if brings out depth and details of the patterning.
This is a photo of partial design with poly-bottom 1/4 is without poly , top has poly. You can see if brings out depth and details of the patterning.

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Have a question about this project?

3 questions
  • Sanya
    on Nov 28, 2015

    Love it! Just one question, was the base coat a latex or acrylic or does it matter?

    • SharaLeigh
      on Apr 21, 2016

      Latex and acrylic are both words to describe the same thing: a water-based paint that dries to form a thin layer of plastic...also known as "acrylic". (Think of acrylic fingernails, or even Plexiglass, which are just thicker acrylic products.) Usually, the word "latex" is used to describe water-based house paints for indoors and out. Craft/artist paints are labeled as acrylic. Fun fact: use a glass dish to use as your palette or just a resting place for your brushes. When you are ready for cleanup, set the dish in the sink and put enough water in it to cover the dried paint. Don't touch it. Come back in a while and you'll discover that all of the paint(s) melded together and are now rising up off of the plate in one piece!

  • Brigitte Bailey-pasinski
    on Jan 10, 2016

    Could you please send me the way to do this as I am on a limited budget thank you for your time Brigitte Bailey-Pasinski

    • Cynthia E
      on Jan 19, 2016

      @Brigitte Bailey-pasinski Sorry it took so long to reply, I have had major computer problems here.. This is a VERY inexpensive way to do this the Zinssar wallpaper stripper . I will list items needed and est. cost in next comment. I also had a second post on how to do this where I went into more details and also here is the link (it is in post but at bottom) where the artist Vaughan Baker shows a video (short one) on how to do this - this is where I first ran across this process. Hope these help if you need any other help just ask away happy to help.

    • Cynthia E
      on Jan 20, 2016

      If my notes do not make sense let me know and happy to explain -- final note-- I trashed the sample piece I used the glitter on , it just ended up being bumpy and hated look-- the pearlescent glaze tint I ended up using I loved- gave that translucent shimmer / sparkle that a glitter never could and looked 1 million times better! ok you will need : 1.rags (cotton- old torn up t-shirts etc ) free or can buy small bag at Lowes $3.502. primer (again quart should work)3. eggshell finish latex paint for base paint (depending on amount of countertops you are doing will let you know how much -- but my guess is that a quart would work for most kitchens as only putting 2 coats and done with it) -- cheapest to get paint that has the primer in it like the one listed belowValspar Signature Signature White Eggshell Latex Interior Paint and Primer In One (Actual Net Contents: 29-fl oz) 14.984. Zinsser DIF Ultra concentrate wallpaper stripper (small bottle works you mix 50/50 with water for this process-- this is main thing that makes this whole process work) $5.005. a paint roller AND 1 different roller head for each color of paint you are using-- IE: if doing the black granite only need 3 roller heads 1 for base paint, 1 for black, 1 for polyurethane depends on # of colors using but can easily under $10.00 for 5 colors. (Note I used wood trim sized rollers for the colors- the smaller roller heads gave me more control on where paint went when I played with other colors trying to get a "pattern" on 2nd sample)6. Polyurethane get a good one for countertops you will be fine (3-4 coats) $40.00 (I guesstimated this high) 7. scotch pads $2.008. Acrylic craft paints for the actual granite top colors, small ones like get at Walmart craft store -- figure at least 2 bottles per 6' of countertop -- say 24 ' would need 8 bottles - "if you are using 4 colors just get 2 of each color"- ($4.00 )- you could always pick up more if needed just keep track of brand and color you are using ;) but dont think since mixing it with glaze that you will need more than this.9. Glaze -- Any brand will work--Valspar Signature Colors Clear Eggshell Latex Interior Paint /Glaze $13.48 -- (note on this sample I used craft paint with water -30% paint 70% water instead of glaze-- have to work fast as water dries faster than glaze - on my other sample I invested in the glaze and was easier had more time to roll out and then spritz. I used 20% paint 80% glaze as really wanted almost sheer coverage for my look) 24' need 2 of these. -- 10. Spray bottle cheap one from $ tree/store works fine-- for mixing and applying the Zinnser- which is what makes this process work) $1.0011. optional-- (I prefer gives that little extra and only $5.00 a huge tube of or can purchase a small bottle for around $2.00) pearlescent glaze tint - clear additive -- found in acrylic paint section craft store-or sometimes lowes has - looks white but doesn't change paint colors just gives the pearlescent sheen, use as little or as much as you want)12. optional - liner and craft paint brushes - in case you feel like adding any veining details etc. $3.0013. I used foam plates as my colors paint trays - and I only mixed up a few ounces of the paint, glaze mixture at a time-- although if you get more large spray bottles, pickle jars something you could pour each bottle of craft paint in then pour your glaze into empty craft bottle fill up add 4 of these to the craft paint to get the 20/80 ratio :) ) - note you can change ratio if you dont like it after doing on sample boards-- so before mixing all use measuring spoons use 1/4 tsp x2 paint/1/4 tsp x8 glaze for sample board if you feel color is too sheer for you add 1/4 tsp at a time on paint until you get depth of color you like-- just remember layering these colors so even with black as only top color the sheerness allows depth and the look of multiple shades of black although only using 1 color at 1 ratio ;)14. sandpaper- to lightly sand down countertops before priming so paint will adhere15. I would suggest washing countertops with a degreaser- before or after sanding (especially near stove) so no problems with paint adhering.16.go online and look at granite slabs find the piece you love- print out a color copy- use it to select craft paint colors and to look at while working ;)17. Watch the short video on how Vaughn Baker did this a couple of times until you know you have process steps down and then get a piece of foam board , scrap wood something about 12" x 12" to practice on so you get idea of what final look will be, this lets you test out colors, can still get different craft paint colors or make changes while working sample boards so you get the LOOK YOU want.This finish looks great and so far so good on durability- treat it like its laminate be fine ;) I know the list of supplies and steps sound overwhelming but its really so simple once you've watched video and have done a practice board you will be amazed.I'm on a fixed income here and this was the cheapest way I could get GRANITE that looked good ;) Total cost for 24' of countertop including optional items $119.44 -- (Except for the 2 valspar paint prices others are guesstimated on high side) and even at $120 say buy supplies over 3-4 months do when ready and have all--- to be able to do that much countertop for so little is a great deal-- and your final price will all depend on how expensive a polyurethane you choose and how many craft paints and Valspar glaze you end up using.. Would love to see pictures of your finished product. :)

    • Cynthia E
      on Jan 20, 2016

      Note when you go to Vaughan Bakers site check out his other tutorials-- shows hows to do marble, wood-- has several nice ones there and all are not complicated.

  • Kelly P
    on Jun 7, 2016

    @Cynthia E How long did you have to wait before you wiped? I've tried several times and either wiped too early (glaze not dry) or too late zinnser spots dry. The glaze seems to take forever to dry. I used about 25% black acrylic paint and 75% glaze (Sherwin Williams faux impressions clear latex glaze). It actually looks better if I don't wipe at all. Thanks so much for any tips you may have. UPDATE: I tried another product to mix with paint (Rustoleum Painter's touch clear gloss latex) dries much faster but now my problem is when I wipe off very lightly, it is picking up some of the dried paint and/or leaving drag marks. Ive tried to access Vaughn Baker site at and its either down or no longer available. Any info that you can give would be greatly appreciated.

    • Cynthia E
      on Jun 9, 2016

      looks like other link is gone but he's now on youtube, here is link: I will be honest i did not time length of drying time just touched lightly if was dry then did the wipe (note : pro on paint water glaze, it dried faster than other paint /glaze mixtures, cons: wanted to rub off if wiped to hard and a lot less working time if wanted to play with colors) I did learn on other pieces that i had better control and a nicer finish if instead of wiping 1. I used as hot water as possible (I even put water in a pan and brought almost to a boil) as hot as I could handle, insert rag and wring out- dont want too dry or sopping wet. 2. Instead of wiping and possibly wiping off or smearing I laid hot damp/wet rag flat yet crumpled on top , pressed down with hands, lifted rinsed then re-dipped in hot water and went to next spot keeping crumples folds going the same direction. 3. Once finished 1 direction I repeated going in an off set or opposite direction over whole piece. 4. Then last again rinsed rag wrung out dipped in hot water and rung out (or grab a new rag each step) this 1 I crumpled in hand and pounced lightly rotating directions (like sponging) across whole piece. You do not have to do steps 3 and 4 - I was experimenting and found I removed the zinssar yet had control of the pattern too and liked the finish better. I would say be sure and watch Vaughn's video, try this way and experiment to see what works best for you. good luck and would love to see pictures.

    • Kelly P
      on Jun 12, 2016

      Cynthia E thanks so much for your quick response. I will try your method! Watched the video...he makes it look so easy. Thanks again!

    • Kentwood Kreations
      on Aug 23, 2019

      How did it turn out?

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