How to Finish Wood So That it Looks Like Granite

Transforming wood into granite doesn't take an alchemist, but it does require some clever paint tricks. Applying a faux granite finish can add a chic touch to wood surfaces without costing a fortune in time or money. Granite is very popular, but it's expensive and very heavy, making it hard for do-it-yourselfers to install. Because it's faux, you can make your granite finish look as natural or as wild as you like.

Surface Preparation

Transforming wood to granite only takes some clever paint tricks.
  1. Clean the wood surface with a clean, damp cloth to remove all dust and dirt.
  2. Sand the surface with a fine grade sandpaper.
  3. Fill any deep nicks, gashes and holes with a wood-filling agent.
  4. Mask the surrounding areas with tape.
  5. Apply primer with a brush or roller, depending on the size of the surface you're painting.
  6. Apply a coat of primer and allow to dry according to the package directions.

Applying the Paint

  1. Apply a single coat of your base color with a brush or paint roller and allow to dry.
  2. Pour your second color into a shallow pan. Dip the sponge or plastic bag in the paint and lightly dab it onto the surface. Cover the area moderately heavily, allowing some of the background color to show through.
  3. Repeat Step 2 with the rest of the colors, allowing each coat to dry thoroughly before proceeding to the next.
  4. Combine the final color with four parts glaze and apply it very sparingly.

The Finish

  1. Apply the glitter spray very lightly for a natural "sheen" effect.
  2. Apply polyurethane in layers until you get the glossy look that you desire.
  3. Apply a glossy, clear coating such as polyurethane. Repeat until you get your desired gloss look.
  4. Allow the entire project to dry for 12 hours and wipe down with a damp cloth.

Things You Will Need

  • Cloth
  • Sandpaper (180 - 220 grit)
  • Wood filler
  • Masking tape
  • Primer
  • Latex paint (3-4) colors
  • Paint stir sticks
  • A paint pan or shallow dish (one per color)
  • Brush or roller
  • Natural sea sponge or plastic bags
  • Glaze medium
  • Glitter or metallic spray paint
  • Polyurethane


  • If using a metallic paint to add shimmer, this will be your first coat. But the order of layers ultimately depends on the type of granite you want to replicate.
  • Metallic paints are thin, so it may be necessary to apply multiple coats to ensure complete coverage.
  • The finished project will be only as good as the prepared surface. Take as much time and care with this step as you do with the ones that follow.
  • This project can get messy, so dress accordingly.
  • You may need up to four coats of the polyurethane to achieve a high-gloss finish, like that of kitchen counters or tiles.

About the Author

Alana Armstrong started her writing career in 2005, covering street art and graffiti. She currently works as a freelance writer, photographer and artist in Toronto. Armstrong has a diploma in photojournalism from Sheridan College and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in photo media from the University of New South Wales.

Photo Credits

  • gold and silver paint image by Andrew Brown from Fotolia.com
  • brush in paint image by Vladislav Gajic from Fotolia.com
  • granite background image by Alex from Fotolia.com