How to Paint Washers

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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

  • Tarps
  • Fine-grit sandpaper
  • Coarse-grit sandpaper
  • Rags
  • 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.

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References

  • "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
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