An imperfect washing machine exterior will not affect the performance of the machine, but it does devalue the aesthetics. In many homes, washers are no longer hiding in a basement, they are out in plain sight and flow with the decorating theme. A washing machine that no longer suits your color tastes is changeable to a new color. Restoring older, scratched or rusted washing machines is a project that will yield good results as long as you use the proper preparation and paint procedures.
Things You'll Need
- Fine-grit sandpaper
- Coarse-grit sandpaper
- Tri sodium phosphate, or TSP
- Petroleum jelly
- Light-tack painters tape
- Rust-inhibiting appliance primer
- Epoxy-based appliance paint
Lay a large tarp on the ground and up against the walls surrounding the washer, or move it outdoors prior to painting.
Sand the surface of the washer with fine-grit sandpaper to dull the shiny surface. Sand rust spots with coarse-grit sandpaper, followed by fine-grit sandpaper. If there are scratches that show bare metal, sand the entire area down to the bare metal.
Wash the machine with a rag and tri sodium phosphate to remove remaining oils from the surface. Dry the washer with a rag.
Remove the control knobs from the washing machine. Many knobs pull off. If the knob has a set crew holding it in place and is not easily removable, paint a thick coat of petroleum jelly over the knob. The petroleum jelly will create a barrier and interrupt paint adhesion on the knobs. If the washer has a digital control pad, place light-tack painter's tape over the display.
Apply petroleum jelly to metal door handles or tape them with light-tack tape. Tape plastic or paper over the water hook-up and electrical wire.
Prime exposed bare metal with rust-inhibiting appliance primer. Primers are available as a spray or roll on. Sprays generally yield smoother results than rollers or paintbrushes. Allow the primer to dry fully, usually two to four hours.
Spray the washing machine with an epoxy-based appliance paint. Allow the paint to dry completely, typically four to six hours. Apply a second coat of paint and allow to dry completely prior to moving or using the machine.
Tips & Warnings
- Wear safety glasses, gloves and a dust mask when sanding and painting washers.
- Practice spray painting on large pieces of cardboard or wood to get the feel of spray painting smoothly and evenly.
- "New Fix-It-Yourself Manual: How to Repair, Clean, and Maintain Anything and Everything In and Around Your Home"; Reader's Digest Editors; 1996
- "Grandpa's 5001 Handyman Secrets"; Dr. Myles H. Bader; 2006
- Photo Credit Martin Poole/Lifesize/Getty Images
How to Paint Appliances
Painting an appliance is one way to make the appliance appear fresh and new. Many new appliances, such as dishwashers, ship with...
How to Paint Behind a Washer and Dryer
Painting the walls and trim behind the washer and dryer seems like a daunting task, especially since many laundry rooms nowadays are...