Paint Concrete Columns to look like Granite Columns

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Concrete Pillar

Image by codefluency via Flickr

Do you have those amazing massive concrete columns in your home?  They make such a statement!  Grandeur.  I love ‘em and wish I had some, but they just wouldn’t fit in the house I have right now.  If you have them, maybe you’re ready for a change.  Something a little different?

You could paint the columns a solid color to accent your space.  Or the same color as the walls and then maybe stencil some vines growing down them.  Do a little “trompe l’oeil” and paint in some cracks or some missing pieces.  That’d be cool!  Another option is to paint them to look like they’re granite or marble!

If you want your column to be “granite” instead of a solid color you’ll need a sea sponge and some “granite” colors!  To get an idea on what colors you want you can see various types of granite here:  Just click on that link, find the granite you like and click on it.  It’ll pop open larger and you can see the colors you’d need to mimic it. :)  Easy!!!

Faux granite is actually a pretty easy faux finish to do and you can get really creative with it.  You could paint the base and the capital different “types” of granite…like “Rockville Beige” (more black/gray with a tan/peach undertone) and you could paint the shaft of the column a “Golden Persa” granite – more golden tans with some black/gray.

All you really have to do is decide what “type” of granite you want and then get your paint colors ready.  Your “base color” (tan granite or green granite or pink granite or grey granite or ???), black paint, white paint, gray paint and you are pretty much set.

Here’s some quick steps to paint faux granite:

1.  PREP WORK! As with all your projects prep work is KEY to a great outcome.  So…clean your columns.

2.  Primer.  Now is a good time to use tinted primer so you don’t have to cover up a stark white back ground.  Unless you want more white granite like “Mesabi Black”.


3.  Mix up some tints and shades of the base color (base color + white for tints and base color + black for shades).  So you have at least 3 variations of your base color.  It’ll help give your “granite” depth.

4.  Make your sea sponge damp (not soaking wet or it will drip) and then dab it in the paint.  Tap your sponge on a paper plate to make sure you don’t have it loaded to heavy.  You want to see the sea sponge “texture” and not just a blob of paint.

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5.  Let’s start with the darkest shades of your base color first. Gently tap the color on to the column in random patterns. Not necessarily all over but heavier/more in some areas and less so in others and not at all in still others.  The key here is RANDOM!  Turn your hand constantly so you don’t get a “Potato Stamp” look to your sponging.

6.  Next take a lighter shade and dab it on the column.

7.  Then go back to your darkest shades add a little more black to that color and repeat, but less. Dab here and there, but not as much as you did the first time.

8.  Now take the lighter color (the tints) and do the same thing. First dab some here and there. Then lighten and do it again.

9.  Depending on the granite “type” you choose you’ll want to put some black or charcoal paint dabbed on the column but less than the other colors and to create more of a vein.

10.  NOW take the base color and dab some if it on, here and there.

After you have created the granite look of your choice you’ll want to seal the whole thing.  It’s up to you, but I’d choose a GLOSS sheen to give it that polished granite look.

You know I like MinWax Polycrylic because it is so easy to use and clean up.  AND because you can get it in so many different sheens.  Satin, semi-gloss and gloss!
And you’re done! For some extra added help (and excellent detailed instructions) you should check out Debra’s video – The Beginner Guides to Professional Finishes – Painting Faux Marble and Granite!  AND she gives you step-by-step instructions on how to make it look like marble (veining!) in there, too!!

Now get out there and splash some paint around!  :)

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