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/ Source: TODAY
By Julie Pennell

Kaylee Strozyk absolutely hated her home’s original kitchen countertops.

“They were a terrible beige-pink color with wood on the edges,” she told TODAY Home, adding they were “just so, so ugly but still in good condition.”

Before: The original counters were outdated, but still in good condition.Kaylee Strozyk/ Mama and More

After some research on painting counters, the Buffalo, New York, homeowner decided to try her hand at making them look like granite. “I was skeptical that I could actually make the paint look good and that it would hold up well, but I still felt like the risk was low,” she said. “Those counters weren’t getting any uglier!”

For a total of about $35 on supplies, she used her DIY skills to create the look of granite with paint. (You can see the full step-by-step tutorial here.)

Once she primed the counter, Strozyk used a sea sponge to apply five different shades of gray in a random pattern.

After: The "granite" look was created with sponges and paint.Kaylee Strozyk/ Mama and More

“I think absolutely anyone could do this,” she wrote on her blog, adding that she wouldn't consider herself an artistic person. “The sea sponge completely does all the magic of making it look like granite.” This process took about 30 minutes, she said.

The next step was sealing the counter, which Strozyk said was the most challenging part. “It was very difficult to see where I had already applied the sealer and to get it on smoothly,” she said, adding that she learned some tips along the way. “I would have started with a foam roller from the beginning, and it would have been very helpful to have a bright light to show your progress.”

But despite that challenge, Strozyk loved the results and said guests never knew they were painted. “When I would mention it to people, they would be shocked.”

Strozyk said no one knew they were painted until she told them.Kaylee Strozyk/ Mama and More

A contractor working in her house was probably the most shocked of all. “He had actually worked with real granite countertops and he said, ‘I would have never, ever guessed that! There’s even a texture to them and everything!’”

Since she painted the counters last August, only one spot needed an update since because someone left a wet pot on it for hours.

“All I had to do was sand a little and re-seal it, which took about 20 minutes,” she said. “I also never put a scalding hot pot right on the counters, but otherwise I really was not careful with them. Nothing else ever showed any signs of wear.”

The “granite” counters were part of a bigger kitchen makeover which was given a seriously impressive update on a $360 budget. Check out the whole DIY transformation at Strozyk’s blog Mama and More.