$10 Appliance Makeover

Wow. That’s all I have to say about this project. I LOOOOOOOOVE IT!! Oh my goodness, best project ever. The result is so fun! I still need to spray on a few layers of protective laquer so the paint won’t chip. I don’t think it will, but I really want to cover all my bases this time. So, wanna know how easy it is to completely revamp your boring old washer and dryer? Here’s how I did it for under 10 bucks!


123 thoughts on “$10 Appliance Makeover

    1. Hi – I LOVED what you did with your washer & dryer and immediately went out and bought supplies to re-do my white set (old and rusting) in a beautiful red. I got Tremclad-Rustoleum “Colonial Red” – a very nice, not-orangey deep red. The only difference is, I used an acrylic/latex paint. I could have purchased the oil-based, but my laundry area is very far from my basement entrance (through the family room & a hall) and so it would be a major pain to haul it out to where I could have ventilation. Anyway, it’s come out very nice–maybe not as smooth as the oil would be but nevertheless pretty good. I found out after the fact that I should really have thinned the paint out to a milky consistency–that is the key to not having the “orange-peel” like finish that a foam roller can leave. I wanted to share with you a tip on doing the control instructions on the back — I have typed mine out on the computer. First I traced the actual control panel area words with tracing paper and pencil. Then I typed them out roughly how they all appeared. To be more exact–I got the idea to actually tape the tracing paper to the front of my computer and then I could see what I typed on the screen through it and move and adjust the words to be the same layout. I then bought clear contact paper and am planning on printing out what I’ve done on it. (I’m going to cut the contact paper into 8.5″ x 11″ sheets to insert in my printer). You can buy Avery clear 8.5″x11″ sheets which would probably be better, but they are like $12.00 a package for 6 sheets, so I’m going to try this first. I can then just peel the backing off the contact paper and affix to the control area and then I will spray it with a glossy clear finish to protect. Think I will print the words out in a grey or white print so they show better against the red. This should hopefully work out okay!

      1. That sounds like a great method! I’d love to see a photo when you are finished, perhaps I could add it in to the tutorial? Or a link to your blog if you have one?

        1. Maybe just print on a clear address label and then spray over it with a glossy clear finish to protect it?

  1. What a great way to get NEW washer and Dryer without spending too much money!!! I love your idea and may try it with my 10 years old washer and dryer…..Color BLUE!!!!

    1. I didn’t either, but a little quick googling found that people had talked about doing it, but didn’t show any pictures. I’m happy that taking the chance paid off.

  2. Love these! Think this would work on a refrigerator? The metal is “bumpy” and not smooth…so, not sure.

    Great work and I love the hand-written instructions! So charming.

    1. I think it could, you may want to test it out on the back or side in an obscure place. I painted our old refrigerator with chalkboard paint, and that held up relatively well. I’d guess that the enamel paint would be leaps and bounds better than the chalkboard. At the very least, you could test out a small section, and if it chips or flakes, remove it with paint thinner or mineral spirits

  3. Love them! We plan to paint our refrigerator this winter. Good to know it can be done with a brush too…I figured we would have to take it out to the garage for my husband to spray it like a car πŸ™‚

  4. This is just amazing. Truly. Amazing. I’ll paint just about anything, but never would I have even thought to paint my washer and dryer. Now I can’t get the thought out of my mind!!!

    I featured this project on this week’s link party. πŸ™‚

    1. That’s awesome Kristi! You should totally paint yours. It’s not the most fun project in the world to execute, but even so, I couldn’t stop smiling after each coat. I was just so excited with how well it was turning out! I’ve since washed about 5 heavy loads of laundry, and there’s been no issue with water or heat with the paint. Plus, even if it chips somewhere down the road, it will be so easy to touch up. I hope this inspired people to paint more unusual things. Maybe some of them will send me pictures of their own painted appliances! I’d love to see some yellow or orange or green ones πŸ™‚

  5. those look ridiculously amazing!!!!!!!! I’m still fantasizing about getting some matching front loaders and stacking them to build-in some storage in the laundry room… BUT, if this doesn’t happen in the next year or so… I’m soooooo doing this!!! πŸ™‚

  6. When we bought our house, it had original ratty shag carpet, lime green Brillo pad carpet, wallpaper in every room and dark walnut cabinets with the cheap rustic handles. Instead of buying new cabinets we just took off the doors an handles/hinges, spray painted the handles and hinges chrome and painted the cabinets black. It was a laborious task but the result was great and goes well with our stainless steel appliances and original retro stainless steel tile backsplash.

    1. It always amazes me how a little elbow grease can make such a big difference. Your house is one of the prettiest I’ve ever seen, and I know it’s because of your hard work and great taste!

  7. This is the best friggin’ thing I have ever seen!! OMG. I am seriously going to do this. I can only imagine the look on my husband’s face when I tell him I’m fixing to paint the washer and dryer!


    1. It would definitely be easier, but I was wary about spray paint and chipping. That’s why I chose the enamel paint, because it’s formulated for metals (from what I read online). But you could certainly try it out and let us know how it works! Plus, the color options on spraypaint are endless!

        1. I used spray paint on mine( dark blue). I want to paint them with something so I won’t scratch them. I finished last night so it’s too early to tell how good the spray paint will work. I am very pleased with the way it looks now!

  8. This looks fabulous. I have mismatched washer and dryer and you can see them from the kitchen and dining room. Hiding them would involve building, which we won’t be doing now. I am thinking black would be wonderful.

    I have one question though: how did you know where to write your settings once they were painted? I use almost all of my settings and worry about messing them up.

    1. I took close up photos of my settings, so I could copy them down later. Your knobs have a round semi-circle then a flat part, so you can tell where the “arrow” is if you look on the back and see which way your knob fits onto the “appliance stick portion” and see which way the indention is pointing. That’s how we marked our arrows. Then, I started turning the knobs for the settings (like high heat or large load) and with each click, that’s where I knew to write in the next setting. OR:
      You could use wax paper (or tracing paper) and fit them over your current settings. Remove the knobs, pop the paper on, and mark your settings through that. Then after you paint, pop the paper back on, and you can see where you need to mark your settings. DANG! Wish I had thought of that when I did this instead of just now! Sooo much easier!

  9. i love the red and have actually thought about doing this, but i think i would try the paint that is actually made for appliances.

    1. My only hesitation here was the limitation on colors readily available. I searched for appliance paint online and in stores, and my options were: white, black, and almond. Blah. Bring on the brights!

  10. You list spray lacquer but don’t say how you used it. Are some parts better sprayed and how do you match the colors?

    1. The spray laquer is a clear gloss, and I used it after the paint had cured for 24 hours over everything. Basically to seal the paint pen and chrome knobs and provide a thin layer of protection over everything

  11. Fantastic job! I’m curious, you mention that you previously painted a fridge and had no problems and that so farypu’ve had no problems from the heat and water on the washer, how do you think this would work on a stove/range? I don’t have the greatest kitchen, and I definitely don’t have the money to buy all new stuff, but this would make a great way to spruce things up cheaply. My worry is that I have a dual oven and range, so the paint would be tested often and highly. What do you think? Or maybe you ran across some info in your research. Thanks!

    1. If you decide to paint your range, I would recommend using the high-heat stuff you can buy for painting grills. Rustoleum has a spray, http://www.rustoleum.com/CBGProduct.asp?pid=112 . It doesn’t come in a ton of colors, but since it’s food (and heat) I wouldn’t try anything generic. You wouldn’t want to end up poisoned down the road! We toyed around with getting a range professionally powder coated, but I don’t know how much it would cost

      1. My husband got bored one day and spray painted or grill with regular spray paint and it has held up to the heat just fine

  12. Wow! I found this on Pinterest and I am gonna do it! I LOVE how warm & fuzzy it makes me feel inside to see the color of your machines vs. plain white ones! But what I wanna know is — I couldn’t help but notice — what is your “light fixture” above the machines made of? Think you oughta post a “how to” on that! Too cool! Just sayin…..

    1. Thank you! I’m happy that you’re going to do it too! You should post an image of it once it’s done, I would love to see other people’s versions! And I actually already did a how-to on the fixture, the link is here if you’d like to check it out http://www.killerbdesigns.com/light-it-up/ . Thanks again for visiting!

  13. They’re beautiful… so much better than the typical, ordinary and boring basic white color of most home appliances, and I love it that the makeover cost just $10. πŸ˜€

    1. And the best part is the durability! I’ve used them for almost 4 months and dozens of loads and not had a single tiny chip. It’s amazing!

  14. this is a great project i’d like to try! did you paint the inside when you open the door? since it’s inside would that chip more since its susceptible to water and heat?

    1. The paint dries to the touch in about 4 hours, so I painted the top first, then propped up the lid with a stick to get the inside. Once it cures for 24 hours it’s no longer sticky. I’ve used these for 3 months now and done dozens of loads of laundry with nary a chip. It still looks great!

  15. Very cool. If you have a Cricut or a Silhouette die cutting type machine, you could also do the words for the dial with vinyl.

  16. Do you think it is possible to do this to kitchen appliances? I have a mixer that I would like to paint hahaha! I know I could get appliance epoxy spray but that’s only in black, white, or almond. Which I don’t want. Any advice/suggestions would be helpful! Thanks! Also… love your washer and dryer!

    1. I would be very wary on anything that comes in contact with food. But the exterior of things (like a mixer, dishwasher panel, or refrigeragor) would most likely be just fine.

      1. Regarding the ‘comes in contact with food’ part… that’s why I’ve been a little hesitant to do it. Basically it’s an older kitchenaid stand mixer. I don’t think the paint would come in contact with the inside of the bowl or the mixer part of the machine. I just worried about possible flaking. I also wonder if this is heat resistant. I mean the mixer isn’t a towering inferno or anything… but I just like to be on the safe side with things. I might just attempt to paint it anyway lol and see what happens! I do love your red washer and dryer though. I think it’s beautiful!

        — Jenn : )

        1. Have you thought about adding vinyls? And now that I think about it, I have seen airbrushed KitchenAid mixers on Pinterest that are mind-blowing. So I’m betting you would be safe with paint on a mixer. Seriously, you should search it sometime. It will knock your socks off

  17. WOW! This is so awesome! I need to do this to ours. I have been wanting to do red and robins egg blue for a laundry area and this is sooo going to help!

    I have a question though. Not using appliance paints, are there any issues or worries about the dryer getting hot with the paint you used? Ours get very heated (if you touch the top its definately warm) and I wouldnt want to use something that would create a hazzard….thoughts??

    Thanks so much!!

    <3 Michelle


    1. I wouldn’t think it would be a problem once the paint cures. I think it would have to get to an extreme heat to damage the enamel paint

  18. Have you any tips about paint a stove/free range? I want a red stove but no way can I afford 4,000. I have a stainless in my kitchen and an antique in my basement. What do you think?

    1. I think it can be done, though I’m no source on health safety. I’m not sure how the paint would hold up to heat. I know they have heat-resistant appliance paint, but as far as I know it only comes in black (mainly used for grills). The enamel epoxy paint I used has safety information here http://www.rustoleum.com/CBGResourceCenter.asp?sn=ms2&msdstyp=PROCBG&msdsprc=130 . It shows the flash point and external heat resistance (up to 212 degrees celsius). I would contact the company for further information. Since stoves can reach much higher temperatures, I’m thinking paint isn’t the way to go. Have you looked into getting it professionally powder coated?

  19. This is so cool…..I know I’m a bit late getting on the bandwagon…..what do you think of painting them silver, like stainless? I think it’d be GOREGEOUS!! Let me know your thoughts, if you don’t mind πŸ™‚ Thanks for the idea & info/process!!

    1. That sounds fantastic! I believe they have stainless steel looking paint in appliance paint, or you can always try metallic sprays

  20. I bought the bright yellow enamel paint and I am going to do our washer and freezer in just two days. I will post pictures and let you know how it turned out.

    Our laundry room is blue & white and I realy like the red paint that you used but I didn’t want my laundry room to be “red, white and blue.” πŸ™‚

    1. But think of how patriotic it would be! Hahaha. I’m so excited someone else is doing this project, I can’t wait to see it!

  21. OK, now I’ve seen two sets of washers and dryers painted, I really want to do this when I do my laundry room. Now I don’t have to envy people with expensive new front loaders just because they have pretty, shiny colors!

    I’m also wanting to do something with my refrigerator, I have just one side that is all messed up, the rest of it looks fine. I’ve thought about just covering it with dry-erase contact paper, but have also considered painting it.

    I’ve also seen small appliances, such as mixers, that have been painted (on Pinterest). Not fancy air-brushed, but just painted like these appliances.

  22. As promised, I painted my washer and freezer in yellow and here are the pictures.


    I went through a “should I leave it plain yellow”, “should I add something to the yellow” phase. πŸ™‚ I think I should have left it plain yellow.

    My blog is SUPER boring because I never add anything to it but this was a good reason to start using it again.

  23. Ok, I have been following this & reading all the questions/reply’s … it’s been a few months now, so my question is … is it all still holding up well ?!
    Our washer/dryer are in a very small room, basically a hallway to the garage. HIGH traffic ! With 2 boys & my husband blundering through there everyday I am kinda scared it will get scratched/bumped alot !

    That’s my hesitation :/

    But oooohhhhhhh how I am DYING to do this !!!!

    1. So far so good, not a single scratch! I think it’s important to use oil-based enamel so it really adheres. As well as giving the machine a light sanding beforehand. And since my laundry room is the last stop before the garage, my dryer typically has hammers, drills, screws and all other sorts of sharp metal objects banged on top of it and has still held up great. Plus I don’t think it would be difficult to touch up. The paint has the consistency of nail polish, so it would be relatively easy to use a small brush to fill in any scratches down the road.

      1. Awesome !

        IDK, why I am so worried/hesitant, lol ! You’re right … it can’t be hard to touch up even if it does get scratched.

        I’m going for it ! Thank you so much for this post !

  24. This was a pin that I’ve been dying to try so today I finally did it. I used the Rustoleum Blue Oil Enamel and I LOVE the way they turned out! Wish I could upload a picture but I just wanted to say thanks for your awesome inspiration….best $10 mudroom makeover!

  25. Pingback: Before It's News
    1. Thanks Kate! I actually re-decorated the room a month or so ago, you can check it out here http://www.killerbdesigns.com/a-laundry-room-makeover-take-2/ . It got a few changes since we’re listing the home for sale soon, but I’m not sure it’s really “there” yet. In fact, I think it looks a little schizophrenic, but I’m not sure what to do to make it more cohesive and appealing. Any ideas?

      1. I absolutely love what you did! I wouldn’t change a thing because for one, it’s fantastic and two, you seem to have a blast coming up with ideas and executing them! Great job!

  26. We just bought a new house. I have been sneaking around looking at Pinterest for ideas for orginization and different DIY stuff for the new house. I say sneaking because as a firefighter, if the other guys caught wind of it, I would never hear the end of it πŸ™‚ I found a pin that lead to your blog. A wonderful idea. Our washer and dryer has sat in the basement for the last 2 years getting dirty and grungy. I did not want to put those things in the new house looking like that as the new laundry room is on the main living floor. I have not completly finished the project yet. I have only applied the first two layers and they look fantastic! Thank you putting this out there! I cannot wait to see the finished product. Thank you again!

    1. I’m glad you found it Dustin! I’m still shocked at how big a difference a few coats of enamel paint can make on a dingy washer and dryer set. I’ve got some guy friends with Pinterest accounts. Mostly they use it to file away tutorials for fixing up their cars or houses. It’s just such a handy website to have everything stashed all in one place!

      1. So, it’s been 5 months since I finished the washer and dryer and I must say it has been geat. I put a total of three coats of paint and a coat of clear lacquer. They both survived the move and they look great in the new house! The clear cot and the paint are holding up great to the daily grind of laundry and all the banging of laundry baskets and everything else that gets placed on them. Thanks again for the wonderful ideal!

    1. All I did was rub it down lightly with a 150 grit sanding block. Just a once-over, then on to the paint!

  27. Wow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! beautiful. I wonder if I can do it to mt fridge, it’s getting rust spots and I dont know what to do..

    1. You certainly can! I’ve also used chalkboard paint on my refrigerator with good results. Just be sure to sand it a bit first to get the loose rust off

    1. Well to be honest when I moved this past October I sold them, and they only had one spot with a chip. It was a simple, quick patch with a small brush and the same paint. I’m not sure how they’re doing now, but overall they held up really well!

  28. That looks FABULOUS! So easy to get custom colors.
    Everybody is talking about painting the fridge… what about a matching stove, and microwave?
    I have a flat top stove but was thinking of NOT painting that part though!

    1. I wouldn’t recommend painting a stove or microwave with this paint. It’s not formulated for high heats, so it could have some dangerous off gassing, not to mention peeling and such. They make high heat paint for appliances, but sadly it’s in the boring black and white most already come in.

  29. I have some rust on my refridgorator near the ice maker, what prep do I need for that?

    1. I can’t attest to it, but I don’t see why not. The beauty of the enamel paint was that it was an epoxy and oil-based, so it’s very very hard when dry. I never chipped them, even when setting other metal objects (like my drill and hammer) on them.

      1. Spray paints could work. Things to watch for – spray cans put a MUCH thinner layer on compared to brushing and rolling so be prepared to do many coats in order to achieve the same thickness. (You want it thick so that’s its durable enough for wear and tear) Spray paint runs easily when applied too heavily, so have a brush handy to wipe any drops that may form while spraying.

  30. I am definitely doing this to my set as soon as I get a chance to…mine are a lovely shade of faded charcoal and I think it is time to fix those eye sores!! LOL Maybe something fun and funky…..

  31. I was just given a washer that has little rust spots on it and was wondering if I could some how paint the washer..so,i came in and goggled it..wound up here..and am sooo glad I did !! you did a great job on that !! might not paint this one but the wife wants me to paint ours..lol..thanks for the idea !! GODS SPEED

  32. For those wanting to paint stoves, I once used an auto paint shop to have a free refrig painted orange. I don’t remember that it cost very much & the finish was great and durable.

    I’m curious about the light fixture over the W&D.

    1. Oh man, I am SO embarrassed about that project now!It’s just a few ornaments I hung on embroidery hoops and stapled to the ceiling. I was trying to mimic some beautiful blown glass fixtures I’d seen, and didn’t quite hit the mark.

    1. I’d be more cautious with a stove or range, simply because it will be exposed to high temperatures. The paint could offgas, bubble or peel. I know they make appliance paint for high heat things like grills and ovens, but I think they only come in black and white.

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