Faux Finishing - Granite

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  • 2-3 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 100-500
What You'll Need
Base coat color in satin finish
Latex primer
2 or 3 different colors of satin finish
Hand held whisk brooms (one for each color)
Paper towels
Safety glasses
Paint brushes and roller
Paint tray
Wooden paint stir sticks (one for each color)
Drop cloths if working indoors
Old clothes

Granite can lend an exquisite look to any room. Tabletops, desks, kitchen islands, the list goes on and on as to where the look will fit in perfectly. But have you ever priced out real granite? It costs a fortune.

That’s where faux painting comes in. Faux painting can give the appearance of granite without the outlandish cost of it. It also happens to be one of the most enjoyable faux painting techniques. You’ll feel like a kid again as you splash paint all over the place.

The look of granite is achieved by sprinkling many tiny specs of different colored paints over a primary coat of a solid color. To get the most realistic look of granite, it’s best to keep your base coat black or a shade of gray.

Granite faux painting, while tremendous fun, can be equally messy. It is probably best to do your painting outside, or at least cover everything around you with a drop cloth if you can’t do it outdoors.

Step 1- Sand

If the item you’re painting has a protective coating like a varnish or polyurethane on it, then you will have to use sandpaper to remove the coating. Clean the surface thoroughly with a damp cloth and wait for everything to dry.

Step 2 - Prime

Apply the latex primer. Be sure to coat everywhere the paint is going to be going and let it dry thoroughly before moving on.

Step 3 - Add Base Coat

Apply the base color of paint. Use the roller if it’s a large application. Two coats may be required for the best coverage. Make sure this coat dries before moving on.

Step 4 - Make Granite Affect with Paint

With your safety goggles on, open up one of your alternate colors. Dip the hand-held whisk broom into the paint and shake the excess off. Using the wooden paint stirrer, drag it along the tip of the whisk broom (towards you) allowing the fibers to “flick” paint onto your base color. You may find it helpful to first practice this technique on a piece of cardboard so you can get a good feel for how it works. That way, you can adjust the amount of paint that should be on the whisk broom before you apply it to your subject. It’s usually best to start with the darker colored paint for the specs and then use the lighter color to highlight.

Step 5 - Feather

Once the color specs are in place, use the feather to lightly drag across the surface to give the illusion of granite veins. Be sure not to over-do it. The veins are never straight lines and are pretty random in style and look.

Step 6 - Dry

Allow everything to thoroughly dry.

Step 7 - Add Polyurethane

Applying a few coats of polyurethane to your piece will protect it and give it long-lasting durability. Apply a coat, let it dry and then apply the next coat.

If the application is being added to a writing desk or anything that requires a totally smooth surface, then a glass top would be needed because this faux painting technique is a dimensional one. The specs of paint that give the appearance of granite can be bumpy to the touch once they dry.

With this simple application, you can have the look of granite without the cost. You’ll also have a lot of fun creating the look.