How to Paint a Washer and Dryer

Painting your washer and dryer can be a great way to update the look of your laundry room. With some preparation and the right painting techniques, you can give your appliances a fresh new coat of paint. This comprehensive guide will walk you through all the steps needed to paint a washer and dryer, from start to finish.


Painting a washer and dryer allows you to customize the look of your laundry appliances. It can also help refresh old machines that may be looking worn or dated. With some simple preparation, high-quality paint, and careful application, you can give your washer and dryer a brand new painted finish.

Painting appliances like a washer and dryer is very doable as a DIY project. The process involves cleaning, lightly sanding, priming, painting, and sealing the surfaces. While it does take some time and effort, it is not difficult with proper preparation and materials. The finished look can transform the space and give it an updated, stylish feel.

Below we will outline all the steps, supplies, and techniques needed to successfully paint a washer and dryer yourself. From removing the hardware to choosing paint sheen, this guide covers everything you need to know. With these tips, tricks, and instructions, you can paint your laundry appliances with professional-looking results.

Supplies Needed

Painting your washer and dryer will require some essential supplies. Having these materials on hand will make the project go smoothly from start to finish:

  • Paint stripper or cleaner: To remove any existing paint or residue on the surfaces
  • Sandpaper: For lightly scuffing the surfaces before painting
  • Tarp or drop cloths: To protect floors and surfaces from drips and spills
  • Painter’s tape: For masking off areas you don’t want painted
  • Primer: To prepare the surfaces for painting
  • Paint: Specifically appliance paint or another high-heat enamel paint
  • Paint brushes: For cutting in edges and smaller areas
  • Paint roller: For quickly covering large surfaces
  • Paint tray: For holding paint while rolling
  • Sealer/finish: For protecting the painted surface
  • Rags and paint thinner: For cleaning up spills and messes

Gather these supplies before starting so you have everything you need at hand for an efficient painting process.

Preparing the Appliance Surfaces

Proper preparation of the washer and dryer is crucial for getting a smooth, professional painted finish. Here are the key steps:

Remove Hardware and Detach Hoses/Cords

The first step is to remove any knobs, pull handles or other hardware attached to the washer and dryer. This allows you to paint behind and around these pieces more easily. Make sure to put hardware pieces in a safe container so they can be reattached later.

You’ll also want to detach any hoses, power cords or venting tubes from the backs of the appliances. This allows you to move the machines and fully access all sides during painting.

Clean Surfaces

It’s important to thoroughly clean the washer and dryer before painting. This removes any dirt, grease, lint or residue on the surfaces. You can use a degreasing cleaner or solution made for prepping surfaces for painting.Cleaning helps the paint adhere properly.

Make sure to clean inside the drum of the washer as well, since paint overspray may get inside while working on the project.

Lightly Sand

For the best paint adhesion, you’ll want to scuff sand the surfaces of the washer and dryer before painting. Use fine 220-400 grit sandpaper to rough up the finish. This helps the primer and paint grip properly.

Focus sanding on any glossy or smooth areas on the machines. Be careful not to overly scratch the surfaces – just a light scuffing is needed. Wipe away any sanding dust with a tack cloth when complete.

Mask Off Areas

Use painter’s tape to mask off any areas you don’t want painted. This includes control panels, the inside of the washer drum, serial number plates, etc. Masking helps create clean paint lines and protects components.

You may also want to lay a tarp or drop cloths underneath the appliances to protect nearby floors and surfaces.

Apply Primer

Next, apply a high-quality primer to the sanded and cleaned washer and dryer surfaces. Primer helps the paint adhere evenly and prevents imperfections from showing. Use an appliance enamel primer if possible.

Fully coat all outer sides of the machines with primer. You can use a paint brush for smaller areas and a mini paint roller for larger sections. Allow the primer to fully dry before moving onto painting.

Choosing the Right Paint

Choosing a paint specifically formulated for appliances is the key to getting a durable, long-lasting finish on your washer and dryer. Here’s what to look for:

Appliance Enamel Paint

Look for an enamel paint made for painting appliances, machinery, or other high-use items. Appliance enamel paints are designed to withstand heat, moisture, and frequent use. They create a hard, protective finish.

Heat-Resistant Paint

Since the washer and dryer generate heat during operation, it’s important to use a high-heat paint. Look for paint that is rated for temperatures up to 200°F or higher. This allows the finish to hold up when the machines get hot.

Durable Formula

Opt for paint with maximum durability, hardness, and scratch resistance. Laundry appliances need a finish that can stand up to cleaning, scuffs, and regular use over time. An enamel paint specifically formulated for appliances provides this protection.

Correct Sheen

Appliance enamel paints come in gloss, semi-gloss or satin sheens. Gloss provides the most hardness and washability. Satin is better at hiding imperfections. Choose the sheen you prefer based on the final look you want.

By selecting the right type of paint for this project, you can ensure the painted finish stands up well on your washer and dryer.

Applying the Paint

With the right prep work and paint supplies, you’re ready to apply the new painted finish to your washer and dryer. Follow these tips for the best results:

Work in Sections

It’s best to paint the appliances section-by-section rather than all at once. This allows you to fully coat each area before moving onto the next. Areas like the body, lid, control panel, and rear vent can all be painted separately.

Use Proper Brushwork

Use flat brushstrokes and avoid brushing back and forth excessively. Pull the paint in one direction to prevent visible brush marks. Applying with the grain of the appliance surface helps the paint go on smoothly.

Apply Two Coats

Fully cover all areas of the washer and dryer with an initial base coat of paint. Allow to dry fully, then apply a second finish coat for full coverage and a smooth finish. Two coats ensures even color and proper protection.

Check for Drips

Periodically inspect for any drips or runs as you paint. Use a small brush to smooth out drips before continuing. This prevents imperfections in the final paint job.

Paint Behind Machines

Since the washer and dryer will be pulled away from the wall for painting, take advantage by painting the back and side walls behind them at the same time. This makes the entire area look finished.

With some patience and attention to detail, you can achieve professional looking painted results. Proper application is key.

Applying a Protective Finish

For added durability and stain resistance, apply a clear sealer or finish over the painted washer and dryer surfaces. Here are some tips:

  • Use an appliance clear coat or enamel sealer to protect the paint. This adds an extra layer of defense against scratches, scuffs and chips.
  • Allow the paint to dry fully – ideally for 24 hours – before applying a protective clear top coat. This prevents any reaction with the paint.
  • Apply using smooth, even brush or roller strokes. Thin coats are best for a perfectly clear finish.
  • Multiple thin coats of clear enamel provide better protection than one thick coat. Apply 2-3 thin coats for best results.
  • Read the product instructions carefully. Some clear coatings require curing time between coats. Proper drying is essential.

Adding a sealant or finish helps keep your painted washer and dryer looking like new for longer. The clear coat prevents wear and creates a washable surface.

Reattaching Parts and Allowing Paint to Cure

Once painting is complete, there are a few final steps to finish the project:

Reattach Removed Parts

Carefully reattach any hardware, handles, control panels or other parts that were removed prior to painting. Tighten screws firmly but not excessively.

Reconnect Hoses and Cords

Hook back up any water supply hoses, drains, exhaust venting, power cords and other connections on the backs of the appliances. Make sure they are tightened securely.

Allow Proper Curing Time

It’s important to let the paint fully cure before running the washer and dryer. Check the paint product instructions for exact cure times. Typically, 1-2 weeks is ideal before regular use.

Run an Empty Cycle

When fully cured, run an empty cycle on both machines to ensure proper function before washing clothes again. Check for any paint flakes or debris left behind before loading.

With these finishing steps taken, the appliances are ready for regular use again with a brand new painted exterior.

Tips for a Professional Finish

Follow these tips throughout the prep and painting process to get the best possible results on your DIY washer and dryer paint job:

  • Take your time prepping and cleaning the surfaces – this is crucial for good adhesion.
  • Apply primer and paint in thin, even coats for a smooth professional finish.
  • Opt for high-quality primer and paint designed specifically for appliances.
  • Use angular trim brushes for cutting in edges and corners neatly and cleanly.
  • Work methodically section by section rather than trying to paint the whole machine at once.
  • Let each coat of primer and paint dry fully before adding another coat.
  • Lightly sand paint between coats to smooth any drips or roughness.
  • Finish with a high-heat clear enamel coating for added protection and durability.
  • Ask a second person to inspect your work – they may spot touch-ups needed.
  • Carefully remove all paint drips before reattaching parts post-painting.
  • Avoid painting on humid days or in direct sunlight.

With careful prep and application, you can end up with a paint job on your washer and dryer that looks brand new and custom.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to some common questions about painting a washer and dryer:

Is it okay to paint over rust spots?

No, rust should be removed before painting for best results. Use a wire brush and rust remover solution to thoroughly remove rust. Prime and paint rust-prone areas with a rust-inhibiting primer for protection.

What kind of paint should be used?

High-quality appliance enamel spray paints or brushed-on appliance paints are ideal. They resist heat, moisture, and frequent use. Avoid standard latex wall paints.

How long does the painted finish last?

With proper prep, high-heat paint, and a protective topcoat, a painted washer and dryer can look great for 3-5 years or longer. Touch up chips and scratches as needed.

Should I paint the inside of the washer drum?

In most cases, no. The constant tumbling and water exposure will quickly wear away interior paint. Focus painting efforts on just the outer housing and exposed exterior parts.

Can I use painter’s tape on the control panel?

Yes, use high quality painter’s tape around the controls to protect them from drips and overspray. Remove the tape immediately after painting before it sticks.

How long should I let the paint cure before use?

Typically 1-2 weeks of curing time is best before running laundry loads again. Check the paint product instructions to be sure.

Will paint alter the machines’ functions?

Properly applied appliance paint will not affect operation. But letting paint get onto moving parts or control mechanisms could impact function. Use care while painting.


Painting a washer and dryer allows you to give these appliances a fresh new look with just some simple DIY painting techniques. With appropriate preparation, materials, application, and curing time, you can achieve professional painted results.

Focus on thorough cleaning, using appliance-specific paints and primers, working methodically, and adding a protective finish coat. The finished look can make your laundry room look brand new.

With this comprehensive guide, you now have all the information needed to take on a washer and dryer painting project from start to finish. Just follow the steps and tips outlined above for best results. Take your time, use quality products, and you can completely transform the look of your laundry appliances.