"Stainless Steel" Appliances for $10? Yes, Please!

"Stainless Steel" Appliances for $10? Yes, Please!

Happy Wednesday, Everyone!

In my post last week, I talked about how Mr. C and I stained Ikea butcher block countertops to give them a more custom look in our newly remodeled white kitchen. During the last phase of the countertop project, I started debating whether or not to spray paint our icky white trash compactor. I knew it would be perfect timing for such a project, since there were no countertops to contend with - we could easily move the appliance in and out....that is until the new butcher block got installed. It wouldn't be impossible to remove the trash compactor with countertops above it....but with all the blood, sweat and tears we had just put into that project I wasn't lovin that idea. So I figured it was now or never!!!

I had read mixed reviews of other bloggers using stainless steel spray paint....some people with success, and some people that claimed to utterly regret the decision. I weighed the pros/cons carefully, and in the end decided to go for it because:

1) Our trash compactor is a small appliance - much smaller than spraying say, a fridge. I figured with less surface area, there is less room to mess up.
2) The trash compactor is old and always looks dirty - no matter how many times it's been scrubbed down. In my eyes...a slightly imperfect paint job (that was clean looking, at least) would be an improvement to a dirty appliance.
3) All of our other appliances are stainless steel. The white trash compactor sticks out like a sore white thumb.
4) If all else fails and I botch the compactor up something fierce...well, it can be replaced. It is an older appliance - probably going on 10 years, now...at some point, we were bound to replace it. Why not spend the $10 on spray paint first to see if we can give the ole' compactor a face lift that will buy us a few years?? And lastly.....
5) My Mom, the mecca of all crafty, DIY projects, had sprayed my younger brother's appliances stainless in his first apartment and said it was a piece of cake....and she had tackled the big boys - fridge, dishwasher, etc. Even though I had read mixed reviews online, getting in-person feedback from a highly trusted source gave me the last bit of reassurance I needed to get in the rink with a measly little trash compactor.

I really wish I had taken more pictures of the icky white "before" trash compactor to show off the extreme difference in the before/after shots below...but I just couldn't bring myself to photograph that thing up close and personal when it was in our house. So, here are the best "before" pictures I have - with glimpses of the original compactor:

Compactor is in the bottom left corner...

Here are the afters:

Is my "new" compactor perfect looking? No. Would I do it again, though? YES! For an hour or so of my time and for $10, I am beyond pleased with the results.

Here are my tips for spraying appliances stainless steel:

* Clean your appliance! Get it as clean as possible so you have a nice, even surface to work with. Make sure you dry it thoroughly, too.
* If possible, move your appliance outside. Not only will this help to dissipate spray paint fumes, but you won't have to worry about carefully covering up your kitchen floor, counters, cabinets, etc.
* If you aren't an experienced spray painter, practice on something else first! Grab some cardboard boxes - anything! Practice until you're comfortable.
* Spray in even, thin coats. Multiple thin coats will always look better than one heavy, goopy coat.
* Buy extra spray paint. I thought I could get away with only one $3.99 can....then halfway through my paint job I had to make a second run to Wally World to pick up two more cans. In reality, I probably should have bought at least three more.
* Consider buying a spray gun handle. I actually don't have one of these (yet), but my carpenter brother in law suggested I get one...especially for a job like this. A spray gun handle is inexpensive and would make the job much easier on your hands. Here is one for under 4 bucks.
* Use a paint brand you trust. This is not an area to try and save a buck or two. If possible, go with a product brand you're familiar with, or ask a salesperson for a recommendation if you're a novice sprayer. I went with my old standby,Krylon stainless steel....Walmart sells it for $3.99.
* Let your appliance fully dry before moving it back inside - follow the drying time recommendation on your spray can.
* Make sure you get the entire area covered. I even sprayed inside the trash compactor; if I hadn't, you'd see the original white every time you opened the door. Who wants that?!?

Anyone else have success with spraying an appliance stainless??!?! Do share!!

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