Countertop Improvement for Giani Paint

7 Materials
4 Hours

Adding an extra touch to my dated masterbath countertop. In my instructions below I'll also show you where I came up short and what I will do differently on the next one

Here is my lovely (?) sky blue countertop, complete with dated backsplash and rusty sink. I wanted to go with a Giani product, but hoped to give it more of the granite look by hiding the sharp corner at the front edge. BTW the drywall in this room is rough from removing both painted-over wallpaper and the backsplash. The red cent paint is going to be history as well.

I purchased a 1x3 of red oak at Lowe's ($15) to give me a nice hard material to work with (no pine this time). Measure your space, and take your time to cut to length. I wanted to use as little filler as possible on each end. Rotate your board all possible directions to get the best fit. Note the pencilled in arrows to show where I need to route it. I removed the backsplash to prevent future damage to the Giani paint work.

Using a simple router I added a radius to the two edges of this board that will become the 'front'. A narrower board would have been a more realistic granite look, but I needed to hide the whole formica face.

This radius is 1/4", I think 1/8" would work as well. You could also make the radius with sandpaper and elbow grease.

Fresh wet primer

I then primered the red oak and left overnight to dry.

(Here's mistake No. 1: I should have used a fill and sand product to get rid of the grain, it would look smoother, but I thought the Giani paint would cover it.) Another hometalker has recommended sanding sealer.

Looking down towards the floor

I removed the backsplash, and scuffed the whole countertop with 600 grit sandpaper for the Giani paint. I then cleaned it with a damp cloth to remove any dust.

I taped off the countertop so no glue would end up on the top or the cabinets (hopefully a future project)

I applied 3M No. 77 spray adhesive to both the face of the countertop and unprimered side of the oak. Wait at least one minute for the glue to tack up. I got the 1st coat of paint on the wall while the primer was drying. Another hometalker has suggested to nail/tack this board into place instead of the glue.

After the glue was applied, I removed the masking tape from the countertop. I then placed the oak against the countertop face and held firmly. This is the only chance you'll get to line it up, so do your best and do it quickly.

Quick FYI I've had this same can of spray adhesive over two years, see my desk project. It's super handy and only $15 or so.

I tapped the oak around with the handle of a hammer to seat it, and to line it up as best I could.

The board did not fit as well as I had hoped, or perhaps I let it move, not sure.

Mistake No. 2: I should have sanded, re-routed, and reprimered here for a better fit before moving on

Mistake No. 3: I should have used a different filler, had I made it fit better perhaps I wouldn't need a filler. I would recommend a sandable wood filler, or a quality auto body filler/plastic

Here's the countertop (minus previous backsplash) with the Giani black primer over the whole thing, including the red oak. The large hole is for the new sink. I'm disappointed in the visible joint between the countertop and the wood, but it's still better than the old countertip with the sharp corner. Woodworking and the Giani process took a total of 4 hours.

Quick FYI this job took less than half the Giani paint, so I still have plenty to do the other bathroom

Note the radius where a sharp corner was

Here is the edge after the three colors of the Giani paint process, but no clearcoat. It's not perfect but livable. Sadly, I can see the oak grain thru the paint. (Mistake No. 1)

Here's the backsplash 98% complete, new sink, faucet, and freshly painted countertop, - with the radiused front edge trim I added. Not quite finished with window trim far right, see next pic. I did all of this (countertop, faucet, sink, new valves, backsplash, mirror, and a coat of paint) in a weekend, from Fri at 5 pm to Sunday at 6 pm. Comment if you have ideas to improve the results for someone else   

Finished the window trim and backsplash, finally!

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