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Update Old Ugly Appliances With Paint!

Updated on January 20, 2019
Bishop55 profile image

Rebecca loves sharing what she knows about alternative medicine, health, frugal living, fun, animals, and how to live a better life!

A New Stove!

Brushed stainless appliance paint on a stove top that's at least 50 years old.
Brushed stainless appliance paint on a stove top that's at least 50 years old.

Update With Paint

If you have outdated appliances that are still in decent shape and that work well, why replace them? If they are just ugly and old but work well, you can update them with paint. Appliances are one of the major expenses for a homeowner. But you can also do this quick update for rental property, or if you're selling a home and trying to give it a cheap facelift to speed up a sale.

The appliances in my home are from 1970. They were that popular puke sort of beige color before I painted them. I'm sure the yellow floral wallpaper and yellow vinyl flooring were the smash hit in the 1970s. This look wasn't appealing to me at all. So we decided to paint them. Our wall oven is built in, to replace that was close to $2000. The cooktop was easily another $300-$800, plus cost to replace the hood. This is not our "forever home" so we weighed out the value of refacing vs replacing. Everyone's situation will be different, but for us, the decision to paint was the smarter, more cost-effective choice.

You can just about paint your appliances any color you like, you only need to use a high heat paint, automotive grade paint, or paint specifically for appliances. You can also paint any appliance, although I would not use it on small appliances that are made of plastic. But stoves, ovens, cooktops, washers, dryers, and refrigerators this works great for. We already had a stainless steel refrigerator and dishwasher so the only things needed to be updated were the wall oven and cooktop.

To simplify the process for us, we chose the LSS brand appliance paint, available on Amazon for about $25 USD. Although painting appliances is not a new idea or concept, I hope you find this article helpful for your next home update project!

Supplies you will need

You can complete this update in about 2-3 days, or in a weekend. Make sure you have the supplies you need on hand to get the job going and finished without having to stop once you start working. It's also cheaper to be prepared and buy what you need the first time. There are many helpful Youtube videos on how to complete this project effortlessly and professionally. Check some of those out before you begin, especially if you feel intimidated by this project.

1. The appliance paint you will be using.

2. A mini paint roller and two brushes for it. One will be disposed of.

3. Smaller brushed for detail work or cutting in.

4. Painters tape, drop clothes (optional), 180 grit sandpaper.

5. Cleaning supplies and a degreaser. Magic erasers are amazing for cleaning appliances.

Magic Erasers clean appliances like...well...magic.

Helpful tips and suggestions!

  1. Use a Magic Eraser brand cleaning sponge, these are amazing at removing old gunk and grime.
  2. The brush you use does matter. Metal or appliance paint has a strange texture. I found that by using a good paint brush (not the cheap one included with the kit) worked much better for even coverage.
  3. Use small craft art brushes for nooks and crannies. We were unable to remove the range hood completely because of an issue with electrical wiring, so using a small brush really helped to get into crevices.
  4. Plan to apply at least 4 coats of the metal paint, and 3-4 of the top coat sealer. Don't go heavy on the paint. Allow each coat to be light and even.
  5. If you have parts you can spray paint, use Rustoleum appliance paints. This was not an option for us since it was winter and there was no place to properly spray paint the parts that were disassembled.
  6. Take your time so you only have to do this entire process once. The first coat of paint will look terrible and you'll think "what have I gotten myself into", just keep going the final result is well worth the effort.
  7. Between coats of the base paint, rinse your brushes and seal them in plastic bags.
  8. Between coats with the top coat paint, seal brushes in plastic bags so they don't dry out. The top coat with the kit we bought was some type of polyurethane, we were unable to salvage these brushes when the project was complete, so keep that in mind when buying supplies.

Cooktop before paint

cooktop before painting, gas off, knobs and parts removed.
cooktop before painting, gas off, knobs and parts removed.
First coat looks bad.  Keep going!
First coat looks bad. Keep going!
Range when done.  Kitchen is in process of a big remodeled.  Cabinet painting is next, then walls, then floor.
Range when done. Kitchen is in process of a big remodeled. Cabinet painting is next, then walls, then floor.


  1. Clean and prep the surface. Turn off any gas lines or electrical sources to the appliance. If you need to disassemble parts now is the time to do it. Clean your appliance(s) and any parts you took apart really well with a household cleaner and degreaser. It may seem excessive but you should clean it at least 3 times. It's very important for the dirt and grime to be removed so the paint can adhere properly. Once everything is clean, allow it to dry completely.
  2. Lightly sand the appliance and parts with 180 min grit sandpaper. The goal is to rough up the surface to help the paint adhere.
  3. Once you're done sanding, remove the dust with a tack cloth or rag and allow everything to dry again.
  4. Now tape off or cover any thing you do not want to get paint on.
  5. Paint your appliances per directions and allow every coat the maximum dry time before adding the next.
  6. When the final coat is applied, try to avoid any heavy use for at least two weeks. You can reassemble any parts after the final coat has been allowed maximum dry time. Typically this is 2 hours. But most high temp paint will need at least two full weeks to cure. Now is the perfect time to order your favorite take out!
  7. Avoid any heavy cleaning for two weeks, but then resume use of appliances as normal. Enjoy your new updated applicances!

Wall oven disassembled

Doors removed.
Doors removed.
Doors and parts to wall oven after being cleaned.
Doors and parts to wall oven after being cleaned.
Before cleaning!  Gross!  Almost doesn't look like the same parts.
Before cleaning! Gross! Almost doesn't look like the same parts.
All done and reassembled. Very happy with the results.
All done and reassembled. Very happy with the results.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Rebecca


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    • Bishop55 profile imageAUTHOR


      20 months ago from USA

      Thank you Maren! :)

    • Maren Morgan M-T profile image

      Maren Elizabeth Morgan 

      20 months ago from Pennsylvania

      I like your step by step instructions and photos.


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