DIY Countertop Makeover

Easy DIY Countertops - this is great budget kitchen remodel idea that takes just a day!

As many of you know, we moved into our first home a few months ago.

While it’s a lovely home, there are definitely some renovations that need to be done – and we can hardly wait to share them with you.

However, before we got started on our own home, we wanted to help our parents transform their kitchen. Beyond new paint, appliances, and getting wood flooring put in years ago, it has never been updated since it was built back in the 70s.

Which means it had lovely orange countertops and dark brown cabinets.

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So I convinced my parents to let us do a little renovation in there. Since brand new countertops wasn’t exactly in the budget, I suggested that they let us use countertop paint.

I’d heard mixed reviews about countertop paint, but after multiple people recommend Giani Countertop paint, I thought it was worth a shot. I reached out to the company, and they were kind of enough to send us their Countertop Paint kit, as well as the Nuvo Cabinet Paint.

However, the Countertop paint was excellent! So, I thought I’d share a few tips from our experience. If you are looking for a DIY countertop makeover, Giani countertop paint is an excellent option. They have a bunch of different colors, and it’s fairly easy to do.

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My parents chose the Sicilian Sand kit. This was one of the suggested kits for the color my parent’s chose for their cabinet paint – Coconut Espresso.

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The instructions were pretty easy to follow, and the process went fairly quickly. It took us a few tries to get the sponging process done correctly. 


As you can see, our countertops ended up looking much more black than brown. Fortunately, my parents loved the way that this looked.  

 However, if you want the real look of the Sicilian Sand, make sure you sponge on a little dark and thicker the first color in the kit to make sure it covers up more of the black. 

We were a little bit nervous about pressing it on too thickly, but really, that first layer needs to be the thickest!

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Painting the backsplash of the counter op proved to be the most difficult part!  

 At first, we tried their method of attaching a small piece to a pencil, but that didn’t work super well for us. 

So we just used a smaller piece and hand sponged everything carefully. 


We had to go back a few times and touch up certain areas so everything blended together. We had a few different people working on it, so there were a few times where someone’s style was a little bit different.

 I think it’s a good idea to practice sponging first. It can take awhile to get the hang of it.  

The paint also was hard to get off my hands. It is mineral based, and it reminded me of working with clay. I wish I would have worn plastic gloves. 

Overall, we felt like it turned out beautiful. I feel like the transformation with the cabinets and countertops really just brightened the kitchen and made it feel so much more modern. My mom keeps telling us how thrilled she is with how it turned out, and that made all the time we put into it totally worth it. Here’s the final product (with the countertops and paint)

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Pretty, right?!

As I mentioned, we also used Nuvo Cabinet Paint in Coconut Espresso. I do think that it’s a great option. It comes with everything you need to paint the cabinets, and the paint is very low fume. However, we did have some issues, and I saw some others online expressed having similar issues, so I thought I’d address them here so you can successfully use this paint!

A few notes on the Nuvo Cabinet Paint:

  • It says that it is an eight-hour kitchen transformation. I’m not sure who these people are that are taking eight hours, but it took us nearly five days with five people working on it.
  • We had to sand down our cabinets completely in many areas – especially around high traffic/grease areas (by the sink, by the stove, by the microwave) etc. We used our Ryobi Orbital Sander, which made things a lot easier.

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  • Even with the sanding, the paint started to chip after it dried in these areas. This totally stressed us out. No matter what we did, it would not chip. I think it’s because our cabinets were so old, and they’ve had years and years of grease penetrating them. The solution we found was to put down some primer in these areas. It wasn’t everywhere, but it did help to the solve the issues eventually.
  • If you are painting newer cabinets that don’t have years of use on them, you probably can follow the instructions as is.
  • I get really light headed with paint, but I felt that this was very low fume. I didn’t get sick at all the whole time we were painting.
  • I also felt like the paint was very high quality. It wasn’t super thick and didn’t drop very much. I loved the glossy finish! 
  • Using a roller makes everything much easier! 

Overall, it was a great experience. It took a lot longer than anticipated, but I think the results were beautiful. My parents are planning to replace their kitchen sink soon, which I think will make it look even more finished. If you have any questions about using either of these products, please feel free to leave a comment. I’ll get back to you as soon as I can!

Budget 70s Kitchen Remodel


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