Have you ever looked at your old, scratched up washer and dryer and wished you could make them look new again? Painting these appliances is an easy and inexpensive way to update their appearance and make them match your home’s décor. With the right supplies and techniques, you can give your laundry machines a fresh new look.
Can You Paint Washers and Dryers?
Yes, you can definitely paint both the interior and exterior of washers and dryers. Appliance paint is specially formulated to adhere to metal and plastic surfaces. With the right prep work, paint, and application, you can paint a washer and dryer and achieve great results.
However, it’s not recommended to paint the interior drum of a dryer. The paint could chip and peel off from the heat and tumbling action. Focus painting efforts on just the dryer’s exterior cabinet.
What Kind of Paint Do You Use?
The best type of paint for washers and dryers is appliance epoxy spray paint. Epoxy paint is a hard, durable finish that adheres extremely well to metal and plastic. It dries to a scratch-resistant coating capable of withstanding frequent use and cleaning.
Popular brands of appliance epoxy paint include:
- Rust-Oleum Appliance Epoxy
- Krylon Fusion for Plastic
- Valspar Appliance Epoxy
- Dupli-Color Appliance Epoxy
Primer specially made for appliances can also be used for maximum paint adhesion. An appliance primer helps the paint stick to the surfaces better.
Preparing Washers and Dryers for Painting
Proper preparation is crucial for getting great results painting washers and dryers. Here are the key steps:
- Clean surfaces thoroughly with warm soapy water to remove dirt, grease, and oils. This helps the paint adhere properly.
- Lightly sand using fine 220-400 grit sandpaper. This roughs up the surface for paint to cling to.
- Wipe away dust with a tack cloth after sanding. Make sure the surface is perfectly clean.
- Apply appliance primer (optional) which helps paint stick to slick surfaces like metal or plastic. Let primer dry completely.
- Mask areas like logos, controls, vents, cords with painters tape to prevent painting them.
- Use painter’s tape on edges for clean paint lines. Remove tape immediately after painting before the paint dries.
Now the washer or dryer is prepped and ready for painting!
How to Paint a Washer and Dryer
Follow these steps for painting a washer and dryer like a pro:
1. Work in a Well-Ventilated Area
Paint outdoors or in a room with plenty of ventilation. Wear a protective face mask when spray painting. Appliance paint fumes are strong.
2. Shake the Paint Well
Mix the appliance paint thoroughly by shaking the can for at least 60 seconds before spraying. This blends the paint pigments.
3. Use Light, Even Coats
Apply paint in thin, even back-and-forth coats about 8-10 inches from the surface. Steady motions prevent drips.
4. Allow Proper Dry Time
Let each coat dry completely before adding another – usually 1-2 hours. Rushing leads to drips and runs. Be patient!
5. Apply Multiple Thin Coats
2-3 thin coats of appliance paint give better results than one thick coat. Reapply until you achieve full coverage.
6. Remove Masking Tape
Carefully remove painter’s tape immediately after painting each section before the paint dries.
7. Cure Paint Fully
Allow the paint to cure for several days after the final coat before using the appliance. This hardens the paint.
Painting Tips and Tricks
Follow these tips when painting washers and dryers for best results:
- When spray painting, keep the can about 8-10 inches from the surface and use steady back-and-forth motions.
- If dripping occurs, wait for the paint to dry fully and lightly sand the drips smooth before adding another coat.
- For small paint repairs, use appliance paint touch-up pens in matching colors instead of repainting big areas.
- Paint the interior of a washing machine but not a dryer drum – paint can chip from heat and tumbling.
- If painting over rust, use a rust converting primer first for maximum adhesion.
- When painting plastic, use appliance paint specifically made for plastic surfaces.
- If paint coats don’t fully cover, wait longer between coats or apply additional thin coats for opacity.
Painting Over Rust on Washers
For washers with rust spots, take these steps when painting:
- Sand rust gently to roughen and remove any loose rust scale.
- Apply a rust converting primer like Rust-Oleum’s Rust Reformer. This chemically converts rust into a paintable surface.
- Allow converter to fully dry overnight before painting.
- Paint over primed rust spots using an appliance epoxy spray paint. Multiple coats may be needed for coverage over rust.
- For stubborn rust, apply converter again before adding more paint coats. The epoxy paint helps seal and protect the metal.
Paint Color Ideas for Appliances
What color should you paint your washer and dryer? Appliance paints are available in many popular colors:
- White – Fresh, clean, matches any style
- Black – Sleek and modern
- Navy – Classic color, versatile
- Gray – Sophisticated neutral shade
- Red – Bold, energetic, and fun
- Sunny Yellow – Cheery color, cottage charm
- Turquoise – Retro appeal, beachy flair
- Metallic – Modern touch, silver and gold
Match your appliances to your home’s color scheme or make them stand out. Tie together a laundry room’s look with coordinating wall color.
Cost to Paint Washers and Dryers
Painting washers and dryers is an inexpensive way to update them versus buying new. Here are typical costs:
- Appliance epoxy paint: $5 to $20 per spray can
- Appliance primer: $5 to $15 per can
- Sandpaper, masking tape, brushes: $10 to $20
- Total cost: $20 to $60 depending on size/number of appliances
With just a couple cans of paint and primer, you can give your old laundry machines a brand new look!
Painting Washers and Dryers – Before and After
Here is an example of a washer and dryer before and after painting:
The old washer and dryer set is outdated with scratched, worn and discolored paint. The white paint is dingy and yellowed.
The same washer and dryer look completely updated after painting them a trendy navy blue color. The epoxy paint provides durable, long-lasting color that resists scratches and stains.
Paint provides an instant facelift! Just by painting the pair, they look like brand new matching laundry machines.
Should You Paint or Buy New Appliances?
When faced with an outdated washer and dryer, you may wonder – should you paint or just buy new? Here’s how to decide:
Consider painting when:
- Appliances work properly but just look worn
- You want to update color for decorating
- You’re on a tight budget
Buying new may be better if:
- Appliances are very old and need repairs
- Features are outdated like top-load washer
- You want improved energy efficiency
Weigh cost, longevity, and features. Painting can buy you some extra years before a major purchase. But old inefficient washers and dryers may need replacing eventually.
How Long Does Painted Appliance Paint Last?
With proper surface prep and application, appliance paint can last for years. The durable epoxy finish is made to withstand heat, water, detergent, and constant use.
Preventing chips and scratches helps maintain the painted finish. Avoid abrasive cleaners. With care, painted washers and dryers can look great for 3-5 years or longer before needing touch ups or repainting.
Signs paint may need refreshing:
- Visible scratches, chips, and cracks in the paint
- Paint wearing thin in high use areas like handles
- Discoloration or yellowing of white paints over time
Touch up paint as needed on damaged areas to maintain the finish. Completely repainting may be needed after several years when paint appears faded overall. Proper cleaning and avoiding damage helps your painted appliances look their best for as long as possible.
Cleaning and Caring for Painted Washers and Dryers
Painted washers and dryers require some simple care to keep the painted finish looking its best:
- Wipe down exterior surfaces with a soft damp cloth and mild detergent. Avoid harsh cleaners.
- Immediately touch up any paint chips and scratches to prevent damage spreading.
- Clean the interior wash tub of washers regularly to prevent buildup and rusting.
- Use care when loading laundry to prevent bumps and nicks that could chip paint.
- Don’t slam the washer or dryer doors shut. Close gently.
- For dryers, immediately remove any spilled detergent or fabric softener. Don’t allow it to sit on paint.
- Replace worn door seals on older washers and dryers to prevent moisture damage.
With routine cleaning and careful use, your painted appliances can maintain their like-new appearance for years before needing touch-ups or repainting.
alternatives to painting washers and dryers:
While painting washers and dryers is a great way to update their look, you may want to consider alternative options as well:
Use Contact Paper: Self-adhesive contact paper with various prints and textures can cover up old surfaces
Buy New Doors: Replace just the cabinet doors on front loaders to update style
Attach Wood Panels: Glue wood veneer panels to the front for a rustic or shabby-chic look
Covers: Slip-on fitted covers hide worn exteriors with no painting needed
Buy Label Plates: Snap on new logo nameplates to freshen brand labels
Update Handles: Replace old knobs or handles with modern brushed nickel or chrome
Use Washer Cardboard: Insert decorative cardboard inside a glass washer door for patterned look
With a little creativity, you can give your laundry appliances an easy makeover without picking up a paintbrush!
Painting tired old appliances like washers and dryers is an easy DIY makeover project. With proper preparation, primer, appliance paint, and application technique, you can give your laundry machines a brand-new look.
The right appliance paint creates a durable and scratch-resistant finish capable of withstanding everyday use. Just take care when prepping the surface, choosing quality paint, applying thin, even coats, and allowing proper drying time between coats.
In a weekend, you can paint a washer and dryer with ease. For under $100, you can completely transform the look of your laundry room. So grab some appliance paint and give your old washers and dryers new life!