How to paint a washing machine

White washing machines often fit in quite well with their surroundings. However, when you’re going for a particular colour theme, white appliances can sometimes end up ruining the overall look. While the solution can be to buy a washing machine in the colour that you want, manufacturers aren’t always the best at providing their models in colours outside of white, black, grey and metallic finishes.

Occasionally you will find models in different colours, but they may not be the model you want. So how can you get your ideal washing machine in the right colour? Simple: either you get it painted by a professional or you do it yourself. While the former option will set you back a bit, painting your washing machine at home is totally doable and is far cheaper. So here’s the Repair Aid guide to painting your washing machine.

Step-by-step

1. First steps to take

Make sure the machine’s drum is empty and unplug it from the socket. Ideally, leave it for a few hours so as to ensure any electrical charge has been drained from the appliance. If you have the space, move the unit to a location where you have a bit more space to work with – whether that’s outside, into the spare room or even a garage. If not, then work with any open space that you have to ensure the machine is ventilated and that you are able to avoid splashing the walls with paint. Make sure to put a cloth under the machine to capture any paint that drips off.

2. Preparing for paint

You’ll want to make sure the machine’s exterior is clean before you get started. Wipe it down with a mix of hot water and detergent. Wipe it down with a cloth wetted in water. After you’ve left this to air dry, take some sandpaper (preferably 400 grit classification) and sand down all of the surfaces to be painted. Then take some more abrasive sandpaper (up to 600 grit) to give it a second sanding. This process will allow the factory colours to be dulled, meaning that you’ll be able to paint over it without having to first remove it.

sanding

Use a microfibre cloth to wipe down the machine to get rid of the resulting dust and then vacuum the rest away so it doesn’t get thrown up in the air and stuck in the paint. A final wipe down with some grease-cutting denatured alcohol will ensure it is completely ready to be painted. However, you’ll want to tape over parts of the machine that you don’t want to get splashed by paint (such as dials, switches, glass, touchscreens, etc.).

3. Time to paint

You’ll want to use some appliance spray paint here in your preferred colour. Before you get started, make sure to wear a paint mask to protect you from the mist or vapour. Use the spray paint (as directed by its instructions) to create roughly 14-inch strokes on the appliance in a steady, left-to-right manner with some overlap between each stroke. Do this until everything you want to be covered is covered and, if necessary, put on another coat 30 minutes to an hour later.

Once you’re happy with the finish, it’s time to let it dry. Give it 24 hours before you move it back into position and start using the appliance again. If the colour isn’t working and you want to change it again, you can try to add a new colour over the current coat.

Dealing with dents and rust

If you’re re-jigging an old washing machine, chances are is that it might have some scrapes or even some rust. In order to deal with that, you’ll need to perform some more preparation before you get started. You’ll want to use a scraper to get rid of any paint flakes around the rust and any paint bubbles. You’ll want to use some car body filler to fill in the gaps. You can do this by using a putty knife which can easily allow for any excess to be scraped away. The putty will hardened quite quickly, so be speedy when making it aesthetically-pleasing in preparation for the paint.

If the rust is particularly bad and has lead to a hole, use some fibreglass tape and cover the hole before then applying the filler over the top to keep it all together. Use some less abrasive sandpaper to sand away any excess filler putty. Follow the rest of the steps but make sure, before applying the spray paint, to apply a rust-inhibiting primer to the problem areas. Once this has all been done, following the cleaning instructions as above and get to painting.

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