Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Painting A Washer and Dryer

I have a problem with pretty things. I like things around me to be beautiful and decorated, especially if I use them regularly. That being said, I can't always afford the nice things I want.

Case in point, my washer and dryer.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with them. They are clean, functioning well, never had an issue, but I H.A.T.E. looking at them on a daily basis. They're just....boring. (First world problem, right??)

I had read on Tip Junkie a tutorial on how to paint your washer/dryer (Found here: and thought to myself, "hey, I can do that!" Plus it would save 4K by purchasing a completely unnecessary washer/dryer just because it's prettier.

So I read the tutorial several dozen times ( and headed to Walmart. At first I wandered around the paint section trying to get ideas, but then I made a beeline for the reject paint shelf. I decided I would create a design and color scheme based on what was available.

Boy was I glad I did that! A can of paint can cost from $20-$30, based on the size of the can, plus primer, plus rollers and such, it added up quickly!! Even though this project doesn't require a lot of paint (she says in the tutorial you only need to buy a quart and she's right!!), I still wanted to pinch pennies.

I picked up a gallon of sea foam green paint and a quart of rose paint. Notice both say "flat" and she recommended "eggshell".....that's all that was available.

I also picked up a bathroom roller kit. This was $7 and saved me about $35! If I had bought each of these items individually, it would have added up to around $40. It contained a roller brush, 4 roller heads (2 fabric, 2 foam), a tray, and a grate thingy that I never figured out how to use. I already had that paintbrush you see and the giant orange tarp. I used the empty ice cream container when painting small sections and to scoop the paint from the can to the tray. Since it is plastic, it was very easy to clean up and reuse.

The first thing I did was pull the dryer out of the closet onto the tarp and prepare for priming. (I used the oil-based KILZ primer she recommended). I had just scrubbed my washer and dryer out a few days before, so I knew the outsides were squeaky clean. (note: I left the washer in the closet hooked up so I didn't cause a flood in the apartment. I did unplug both the washer and dryer during the entire process. The dryer is really light, so it was very easy to move out and onto the tarp) I rolled on two layers of oil-based primer onto the machines that first night. Since it was stinky, I had a system of fans set up to keep the house ventilated and drying them as quickly as I could.

After the first layer of paint.

After the second layer of paint.

The paint stuck very easily. I decided early on to paint the entire machines the base color, but focus on the exposed parts (fronts and tops) for the design. I have no idea what my next laundry room will look like, so I didn't want the machines to look weird with bare sides if I'm in a room next time instead of a closet.

I then started in on the design. This is where I should have spent more money. I dug through my supply of stencils and used what I already had, which as you can see, is very small. It was a HUGE pain to lift, retape, and paint every time. I should have made an emergency trip to Joann's with my coupons and bought a bigger stencil that I wouldn't have to move as much. Ah, well.

Here is the dryer finished and drying. You can see splotches from stencil mistakes, I have learned to come to peace with them.

Here is the washer done. By the time I got to the front of the washer I was OVER this project. I didn't want to keep going, so the bottom is kind of messy. Again, oh well.

The last step I chose to do is a seal. The paint was flat and I wipe down my washer and dryer almost every week to clean up after spills, so I wanted something that would wipe up easily. All I had on hand was a spray paint seal, so I ran with it. Any time I added a coat, I timed it with the family leaving the house (it helped that it was Easter weekend and we were all very busy up at church) so no one was around to breath in the fumes. I set up a fan to constantly blow on the machines and had fans by the windows to help draw in fresh air. Last, after the paint and seal was completely dry, I opened the dryer and had a fan blowing on it for days. I didn't want any wet fumes to have seeped in and cause any trouble for me (fires), so I made sure to thoroughly air it out.

Back in the closet :)

And the closet put back together. :-D

I have run about 2 dozen loads in these so far and I am in LOVE! I smile when I open the closet doors, I no longer despise doing laundry. I don't even see those smudges of paint from lazy stenciling in person anymore!

This project was cheap too! The paint, primer, and roller kit cost $30 total. I already owned the brush, painters tape, tarp, and seal.

And the best part is, now that I know what I am up against, I can change it anytime I want. If I want a new color scheme or design, it's as simple as the cost of reject paint. :)