Wednesday, April 20, 2011

How to Paint Your Dishwasher

For years I lived with a dishwasher that stuck out like a sore thumb.  It was white and the rest of our appliances were black.  I couldn't and still can't replace the dishwasher because it is this weird under the sink model.  It is so out of the ordinary that when it was leaking last month and I had the appliance guy come to fix it he said he had never seen anything like it in 20 years.  Yep.  That's how we roll in this old house.

Anyways, on top of that in October we decided to paint the old oak cabinets black which made the dishwasher stand out even more.  It was awful.  I decided to investigate my options and see what could be done.  I looked at Home Depot and all the paint specifically labeled for appliances was the spray paint variety.  Since I couldn't remove the front of my dishwasher I wasn't interested in spray painting in my kitchen.  I just knew I would accidentally paint something else.

I considered wallpapering the front of the dishwasher to match the wallpaper we just hung on the wall but that seemed like it would just draw a different kind of attention to the dishwasher which is not what I wanted.

Then I talked to the guys at Sherwin Williams.  They suggested I use their adhesion primer and then use the black paint (also SW) I used for the cabinets on the dishwasher.  I was skeptical.  I thought for sure it would chip and I would end up touching it up every other day.  Well, after a few months I have to say I am super happy.  The paint has not chipped at all - it has, in fact, held up better than the paint on the wood cabinets.  I can actually scrub on it with a sponge and none of the paint has come off or chipped.

Here's what I did.

1.  I cleaned the outside of the dishwasher with hot water and dish soap making sure to get it squeaky clean.

2.  I scuffed up the front with a 220 sandpaper.  I used 220 grit because that is what I had laying around.  I just went over the surface once to make it look a little dull.  After the scuffing I noticed what I can only call plastic dust on the front of the dishwasher.  I cleaned this off with a damp paper towel.

3.  I applied the SW adhesion primer.  I only bought a quart and I have most of it left.

4.  After letting the primer dry completely - about an hour - I applied the cabinet paint.  I used the SW Pro Classic in the semi-gloss finish.  I used a normal 2 inch paint brush and a small artist type paintbrush for the tricky spots.  I did 3 coats to make sure no white was coming through and to make sure it was all smooth and really well covered.

The only part of the dishwasher that I couldn't paint was the top part where the controls are located.  Since I was using black paint it would completely cover the details and no one would know what cycle they were picking - not that it matters since I know it by heart and I am the only one who turns it on - anyways I had to leave that section white.

I tried to think up all different ways to cover that section and finally I decided to try to use a section of the leftover wallpaper on it.  I traced a glass to get the curved shape for around the dials.  Then I applied the wallpaper like usual and followed up with a coat of polycrylic when the paper was dry.  I think it helps to cover up more of the white.  My husband thinks it looks funny - what does he know.  I also thought I could gorilla glue an extra door handle to the middle of that part of the dishwasher and have a towel kind of disguise the area but for now the wallpaper is good with me.

All in all this was a super easy and quick project that has held up very well.  For once I am glad that my handiwork just kind of fades into the background.

~ Gold Shoe Girl ~

Transformation Thursday

I'm also linking up at Strut Your Stuff at Somewhat Simple.


  1. Nice work. I wonder if that would work on the awful laminate cabinets in my kitchen.

    Btw, I think you should see if you can link this post to the Sherwin Williams website. I bet they have a projects blog and it would be a great ad for them and exposure for you.

  2. You did a beautiful job on your dishwasher and I love the wallpaper addition as well. I'm your newest follower!

  3. That looks really great! I've considered painting appliance before, but I've never done it.

    I recently replaced the old broken dishwasher in my house (I just bought the house). You can see how much flooring we had to cut out to pull the old one out.

    I ended up having to replace my whole kitchen floor. I think the kitchen came out nice though

    angie :)

  4. Who'd have thunk you could paint a dishwasher?! :) Yours looks great!

  5. Incredible... you are a very resourceful decorator! It's so great to hear that the paint is holding up well. The wallpaper at the top is a great touch. Have a great week! ~ Yvonne (your newest follower)

  6. I just wanted to thank you for putting this on your blog! I was wanting to try and paint my dishwasher but I had no idea how to do it and wasn't finding much on the internet to help me. I followed your steps and it turned out really well - thanks so much!

  7. I have been thinking about this too....almond dishwasher with other new black appliances. Thank you for your know how and info!!!

  8. I love it!!! The wallpaper is so artsy and original. Tell your husband. Lol

    Awesome job!!


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