How to Paint Behind a Washer and Dryer

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Painting the walls and trim behind the washer and dryer seems like a daunting task, especially since many laundry rooms nowadays are quite small, with little room to maneuver. But leaving the area unpainted looks unprofessional, and it may be easier than you think to paint behind the appliances.

Clear the area before you start painting. Move laundry baskets, piles of boots and shoes and everything else into another room. Most laundry rooms are small and the more room you have to work, the easier the job will be. Make sure both washer and dryer are empty.

Unplug the washer and lift the drain hose from the wall drain. Now you are ready to move the washer. Most washers are on little feet that won't scratch or rip your floor when pulled gently away from the wall. Move it a little way out and check that the feet aren't digging into or scratching the floor. If you are not sure, use the silicone or felt furniture movers. Tip the washer back a little and slide the movers under the feet. It should slide out very easily.

Unplug and pull out the dryer. Most dryers are fairly light and easy to move. You will have to loosen the lint hose from the wall mount. Depending how it's attached you may need a screwdriver to loosen the retaining ring. If it's a gas dryer, leave the gas line intact. The gas line should be long and flexible enough to pull the dryer several feet from the wall.

Vacuum behind the appliances. Chances are there will be dust bunnies, lint and all the odd socks you thought lost forever back there.

Gather your supplies. Once you clamber behind the appliances it will be a nuisance to get back out so plan on doing it only once or twice. Have the drop cloth, damp rags and cleaner, roller, brush and paint at arm's reach. Set an old towel on top of one of the appliances and put all your supplies on it, and climb over the other appliance.

Wipe down the baseboards and floor behind the washer and dryer. Set the drop cloth down as best you can, and mask the baseboard, even if you are going to paint it. Masking it means that if you're careful, you can paint both the wall and the baseboard without waiting for the wall to dry first.

Cut in with the brush first, then roll the walls. If you need to do two coats, let it dry for 30 to 60 minutes or until dry to the touch before recoating. Pull the tape from the baseboard and if it needs painting, paint it carefully.

Reconnect the hoses and electrical. Push the appliances back into place, cover them with drop cloths and paint the rest of the laundry room.

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