Upgrading kitchen appliances can be an expensive endeavor. Yet stainless steel appliances, once gleaming and modern, can start to show their age after years of use. Grimy fingerprints, scratches and dents, and discolored surfaces can make an appliance look dull and dated.
Instead of replacing them at considerable cost, homeowners can revive old stainless steel appliances with a fresh coat of appliance paint. This offers a budget-friendly way to refresh the look of refrigerators, ovens, dishwashers, and other appliances.
Choosing the Right Paint for Appliance Painting Projects
When taking on a DIY stainless steel appliance paint job, it’s crucial to select the appropriate type of paint for the surface and project.
- Spray paints allow for smooth, even coverage on intricate appliance details like handles and doors. The continuous spray makes it easy to coat hard-to-reach spots.
- Brush-on appliance paints work best for large, flat expanses like the front and sides of a refrigerator. Brush painting allows for thicker coatings and more control than spraying.
Both spray-on and brush-on formulas designed specifically for metal and stainless steel surfaces provide maximum adhesion and durability.
Preparing Appliances for Painting
Proper preparation is key to achieving an attractive, long-lasting finish when painting kitchen appliances. Before applying any primer or paint:
- Clean thoroughly with degreasers, mild detergent, and water to remove oils, dirt, food residue, grime, soap scum, or anything else that could interfere with proper paint adhesion.
- Lightly sand the stainless steel surface with fine 400-600 grit sandpaper to rough it up and help the new paint grip on securely.
- Wipe again with a tack cloth after sanding to pick up any remaining particles before they mess up a smooth paint finish.
Priming Your Appliances
After preparing and sanding an appliance’s surface, it’s highly recommended to apply a primer coat first. Quality primers for metals and stainless steel are formulated to provide maximum paint adhesion. The primer fills in surface irregularities for a smooth, consistent topcoat.
When selecting a primer, consider ones made specifically for adhesion to slick surfaces like Rustoleum Stainless Steel Primer or Krylon Stainless Steel Primer. Apply according to manufacturer directions, using long, even strokes and waiting the suggested drying time between coats to avoid drips or brush marks.
Choosing and Using Paintbrushes
Having the right painting tools makes appliance painting projects much easier. Opt for high-end synthetic bristle brushes that can apply an even coat without leaving brush hairs or marks behind. Foam rollers also work well at preventing excess brush strokes on large surfaces like fridge and oven doors.
Carefully apply the stainless steel paint using thin, smooth passes over the appliance’s surface, maintaining a wet edge to prevent lap marks. Let each coat dry completely before adding another.
Achieving Your Desired Finish
With a quality stainless steel paint and proper application techniques, you can achieve anything from a flat matte look to a glossy, factory-fresh finish:
- Consider the original finish of surrounding appliances when choosing paint sheen so your revamped fridge or oven coordinates.
- Certain paints offer higher shine possibilities if you want a more reflective, lightning-like look.
Take notes on products used if you need to do any paint touch-ups down the road. Touch up kits allow you to easily fix any chips or damaged sections as needed.
Caring for Newly Painted Appliances
Once you’ve completed painting appliances, a bit of care and maintenance will keep them looking refreshed for years. Allow several days for paint to fully cure before regular appliance use.
Clean painted finishes gently using only soft cloths and mild, non-abrasive cleaners. Avoid scouring pads or anything that could scratch the resurfaced appliances. With the proper care and occasional touch-ups as needed, a fresh coat of stainless steel paint lets you revive appliances without replacement.
Painting stainless steel offers an affordable, customizable option to make old appliances look like new again. With some preparation work, quality paints and tools, and careful application techniques, even dingy refrigerators and scratched-up ranges can get a stunning makeover.
The ability to match existing finishes or choose custom looks means painted appliances can harmoniously blend into your current kitchen decor. So instead of breaking the bank on brand new appliances you don’t need, consider this budget-friendly approach first.