Home decor trends and color preferences change constantly, and the beautiful and expensive item you picked out twenty years ago might still be in perfect working order but now seem dated and dull, or clash with a new color scheme when you renovate.
Replacing it because you don’t like the aesthetics seems wasteful and frivolous, but you also don’t really want to look at it anymore. Luckily, you’re not stuck with that boring or regrettable color choice forever. Case in point- this basic black Kitchen Aid stand mixer that was overdue for a makeover. Here’s how to give your mixer or other small appliances a new lease on life. It’s easier than you think!
Find a Goal
Since the painting process is kind of involved, you won’t want to do it every year just for fun. Think carefully about what you want from the finished product. Choose a color that you won’t mind looking at for several years, and a finish that will mesh well with the rest of your kitchen. For the example shown, we went with Rustoleum Sea Mist, a light turquoise with a pearl metallic finish. Hit up Pinterest or your favorite home decor blog for ideas and examples until you settle on the perfect shade.
While it’s exciting to get to the painting part of the process, don’t rush through the boring prep stage! Slow, steady, and meticulous preparation is a must if you want professional quality results. First, use a screwdriver to remove the metal strip around the top of the mixer, the motor cap on the back, bowl plate, and the screw and end cap from the front. Be sure to save all the screws somewhere safe- there are quite a few and they are tiny! Clean all the errant cookie dough and other yuckiness that was hiding underneath all that trim.
Now that all the trim pieces are taken off, use a fine grit sanding block to sand the painted finish of your mixer gently to remove the sheen. You don’t want to see metal, just take off enough of the shiny finish that new paint will stick. A coarser sander will leave scratches that might show through after repainting, so go easy.
Using an all-purpose cleaner (we used Simple Green) thoroughly wipe down the mixer to remove all the paint dust, oils, and other dirt that would prevent a clean paint job. Use a microfiber cloth or old towel instead of a paper towel so you don’t have lint left behind.
Now on to the really important part- tape! Grab a roll of painter’s tape and very carefully tape over the knobs, screws, and other areas you don’t want paint to reach, being careful not to accidentally cover the paint finish around the edges of non-painted parts. Plug the hole in the front where you screw in attachments so you don’t mess up any moving parts. Since the motor is exposed, you’ll need to cover that up too. We used aluminum foil but plastic wrap would work great too. Coil the cord up and cover it. Once you’re satisfied that your lines of tape are straight and completely adhered around the edges to prevent paint seepage, check it all again. The lines around metal ring on the front of the mixer are going to be particularly noticeable if you get sloppy, so really take your time and triple check everything.
You’ve taken off the trim, cleaned and taped and checked everything twice, and now you’re ready to start painting! Lay down a drop cloth somewhere with good ventilation where you won’t have dirt and leaves blowing onto your wet paint. Set the motor cap on top of something (we used an old empty paint can) so you can easily get the bottom edges. It helps to have another surface (a second paint can, in our case) to let the cord rest on so that you don’t risk having it droop down and smudge your wet paint. Shake the paint thoroughly according to manufacturers directions.
Starting with the mixer head down, spray a light, even coat of spray paint over the entire thing. To avoid splatters, start and stop spraying with the paint can pointing at your drop cloth and move the spray onto the mixer mid-stream. Using the taped pieces to move it, carefully tip the head up without touching your wet paint and spray the underside of the mixer arm. Allow to dry for about an hour between coats, repeating until you have full coverage of the new color. For us, that took about 5 coats since we were going from black to a very light color. Your mileage may vary.
Once you’re happy with the color, go over the entire thing using the same process with a clear enamel top coat. Choose matte, gloss, or pearl luster to get the look you have in mind. You can even find a glitter version at craft stores! Two coats of enamel is a good idea to keep your finish looking beautiful for years.
Allow your paint to dry overnight without touching. Carefully remove the tape and inspect your handiwork. Not happy? Sand and start over! If it looks good, go ahead and replace the trim pieces, being cautious not to dent or scratch the new paint job. Admire your amazing results and pat yourself on the back for a job well done. Wait at least three days (ideally an entire week) before using the mixer to allow the paint to be fully cured before you risk getting flour particles, etc. stuck in the finish. Congratulations, you are a DIY master!
Worst Case Scenario
So, you followed all the instructions to the best of your ability, but something went wrong. Not to worry! If you don’t feel like sanding it down and starting over, you can have your mistake corrected at an auto body shop, which uses a similar type of paint to the original Kitchen Aid mixer finish. Look for one that specializes in motorcycles, because they are used to working with smaller parts. It will cost you about $100, which is a lot cheaper than buying a new mixer.
Maybe you like the idea of giving your fancy small appliances a facelift but lack the skill or desire to take on a fairly high-stakes DIY project. That’s ok! Check out Etsy and eBay to shop for long-lasting vinyl decals made specifically for the purpose of adorning a mixer, slow cooker, or other small appliance. They can be time-consuming to remove, but these semi-permanent decorations let you bring in new colors or personalize your kitchen gadgets to fit your tastes and style, and they’ll only set you back about $20.
There you have it! Pick your color and get to Home Depot. You’ll be enjoying your “new” mixer in no time.