Kitchen appliances see a lot of wear and tear. From daily cooking to the inevitable splatters and spills, it’s no wonder that our fridges, ovens, and dishwashers can start to look a bit tired and dated after a while. Painting kitchen appliances is an easy and budget-friendly way to give your kitchen a quick facelift. With some proper preparation and the right paint, you can revamp your appliances in no time. In this article, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about painting kitchen appliances.

Assessing Your Appliances

Before picking up a paintbrush, take some time to thoroughly assess the condition of your appliances. Pay attention to the following:


  • What material are your appliances made of? Most are enamel, stainless steel, or aluminum. Paint adheres best to enameled surfaces. Stainless steel and aluminum will need proper priming and prep work.


  • Do your appliances have any chips, pits, or scratches? These may need extra filling and sanding for a smooth finish.
  • Is there existing paint that needs to be removed? Evaluate how difficult this will be.
  • Are there plastic or rubber pieces that need to be taped off? Identify any parts that need protection.


  • What is the current style of your kitchen? Paint colors should complement your existing aesthetic.
  • Are your appliances uniform or mismatched? Paint can help unify a mismatched look.

Choosing Paint

There are a few specialty oven and appliance paints on the market that are formulated to withstand high heat. These are the best choices for painting kitchen appliances:

  • Stove and oven paint – Withstands temperatures up to 1200°F. Use for ovens, ranges, and cooktops.
  • Appliance epoxy – A two-part formula that creates an ultra-durable finish. Use for refrigerators, microwaves, and dishwasher fronts.
  • High-heat spray paint – Good for small touch-ups on grates, knobs, and metal trim pieces.

For best results, choose a high-quality appliance paint designed for long-lasting adhesion and durability. Match the paint finish (gloss, satin, etc.) to your existing appliances.

Prep Work

Preparing your appliances for painting is the most important step. Proper prep will help the paint adhere correctly. Here are the key steps:

  • Wash with soap and water, then rinse and let dry completely.
  • Sand glossy surfaces with 220 grit sandpaper to rough up the finish.
  • Clean any grease or oils with a degreasing cleaner made for kitchen appliances.
  • Fill any chips or scratches with appliance epoxy filler, then sand smooth.
  • Remove doors and hardware if possible to make painting easier.
  • Carefully scrape off any loose or flaking existing paint.
  • Lightly scuff all surfaces with sandpaper to help the paint grip.
  • Wipe away all dust with a tack cloth.
  • Mask off any areas you don’t want painted like plugs or rubber seals.
  • If painting a refrigerator, allow it to fully defrost before painting.

Proper prep removes any barrier between the paint and surface for maximum adhesion.

How to Paint Kitchen Appliances

Once your prep work is complete, it’s time to start painting. Follow these steps:

1. Prime

Use a bonding primer designed for metals and glossy surfaces. This helps the topcoat stick. Allow the primer to fully dry per the product directions.

2. Paint

Apply two coats of appliance paint using a good quality mini foam roller and angled brush. Allow each coat to dry completely before adding another. Gently sand any drips or rough spots between coats.

3. Detail

Use a small brush to carefully paint trim pieces, hardware, and any tight areas. Apply additional coats as needed to these areas to create an evenly painted surface.

4. Seal

Finish with a clear appliance epoxy sealer for extra protection on frequently handled areas like handles and doors.

5. Reinstall

Allow the paint to cure fully before reinstalling doors and hardware. Check product labels for the recommended cure time.

Painting Tips

Follow these handy tips for a smooth painting process:

  • Work in a well-ventilated area. Appliance paints contain VOCs.
  • Paint in a dust-free space, away from cooking splatter.
  • If spraying paint, tent off the area with plastic sheeting.
  • Apply thin, even coats versus thick globs.
  • Work methodically and patiently to cover all sides evenly.
  • Let paint fully cure before use, typically 3-7 days.

Taking your time leads to a hardwearing finish that makes your kitchen look brand new.

FAQs About Painting Kitchen Appliances

How do you prepare enameled appliances for painting?

Lightly scuff the surface with 220 grit sandpaper, then clean with soap and water. No primer is needed on enamel.

What kind of paint adheres best to stainless steel?

Use a bonding primer made for metal, then a high-heat or appliance epoxy paint. Proper priming prevents peeling.

Should you remove old paint before painting appliances?

Yes, removing loose or peeling paint allows for the best adhesion of new paint. Use a scraper and sandpaper.

What areas on a refrigerator should be avoided when painting?

Do not paint rubber gaskets, plastic parts, the interior, or any vents. Tape off these areas to protect them.

How long does appliance paint need to cure before using the appliance?

Check the product label, but typically appliance paint cures fully in 3-7 days before being put into service.

What’s the best way to spray paint kitchen appliances?

Work outside or in a well-ventilated, plastic-tent space. Use light coats, allowing drying time between them.


Painting kitchen appliances allows you to inexpensively update your kitchen without a major renovation. With the right products and thorough preparation, even beginners can achieve long-lasting results. Appliance paint is durable enough to withstand daily use and the heat of ovens and ranges. Invest some time up front in proper prep work and application. In just a weekend, you can revive your kitchen with a fresh new look.