Stainless Steel Appliance Paint... or How I Ruined My Kitchen

There will be no pretty "after" pictures in this post. I seriously ruined my kitchen today. Wanting stainless steel appliances and loathing my "bisque" fridge and dishwasher, I started researching cheaper options. I got SO excited when I read about the product, a "liquid" stainless steel! (I haven't listed the brand because I don't want to put a company down or cause it to lose any business, but if you really are interested in the product, you can email me and I can give you more details.) I thought: at least I should give this stuff a try for $50 before buying new appliances. Well, I bought it and here's what I got:


It actually looks better in the above pic than it does in person. It looks more like this:

It's really dark and looks just like what it is: painted appliances. I really fell for the photos on the website. To be fair, I'm sure they applied it much better than we did and so the appliances pictured probably look much better, but I really should have known better. I think it's a great idea and it really might be for some people, but it's not for me. I'm actually embarrassed of my kitchen now.


Coming home tonight (we were out waiting for it to dry) and seeing my kitchen "finished" I wanted to cry. hahha I know how stupid that sounds but it's my favorite spot in our house and now all I see are these fake-fake-fake appliances!!!!! They used to just sort of recede... I forgot about them knowing one day we'd replace them... now they're so in my face I can't stand it!! (Before I thought, "it's got to be better than bisque".. well it's not. at all.)

BUT, I have found a little silver lining. Even though the finish looks terrible, I'm able to envision my kitchen with stainless steel appliances and I'm not sure if that's what I want any more.

I know it's pretty much standard in beautiful kitchens but I'm not so sure how well it will work in mine to get the feeling I'm after. I love all my white beadboard on the walls and the fridge in stainless really makes it feel smaller and interrupts the beadboard. (pic above before, when range was white.) I'm considering a new or craigslist white fridge to replace my bisque-turned-fake-stainless one... which, in the end will be much cheaper than all stainless appliances. Now I'm leaning more towards something like this:

I know "real" stainless reflects much more light than my fake painted stuff and so in that way, it will be lighter & maybe not interrupt the flow as much... but still.. white is now calling to me. After doing a little research, I've decided my "dream fridge" is one of these vintage reproduction fridges by Big Chill....





Oh my goodness how I want one....

And how perfect would the matching stove be?!!!


Ok, so anyone have any other ideas??? I've got to do something!!!! (I'm attempting to scrape off the stainless paint from the range tomorrow... the fridge isn't worth saving..)

xoxo,
lauren

68 comments:

ArchitectDesign™ said...

i'm so sorry it didn't turn out well :-( I really think stainless steel is over-rated (i know i'll get flack for that one) but I just fell in love with these vintage looking white ones! LOVE...save your pennies!!! Maybe an appliance party where everyone chips in $20?....ya - i know...that won't add up to much I suppose haha.

Tracy @ Comfort and Luxury said...

Well, at least it was an inexpensive lesson learned! I only say that because you were planning on replacing the appliances soon anyway. In the meantime, work on your denial skills and pretend they don't bother you!

Cote de Texas said...

Poor thing! Paint ur dishwasher the same color as your cabinets--that might look good. Real stainless is so gorgeous you can't compare this. A glass refrigerator would really look great. I feel so bad for you. You really don't deserve this!!!!?

Erin said...

This sounds like something that would happen to me!! I feel your pain!!

The Big Chill line is FAB! I also learned of Elmira Stove Works (http://www.elmirastoveworks.com) from my dream home by Jane Coslick:
http://www.houseofturquoise.com/2009/06/my-dream-vacation-home.html

Shannon said...

My husband and I were in the process of researching appliances. I want stainless, but the sales guy was really convincing towards just doing white. I like your white choices. I might just being doing the same. Sorry your paint didn't turn out how you expected it.

Isabella & Max Rooms said...

Oh, I am so sorry! You are right to look on the bright side though! I have SS and I like it, but it isn't the only great option out there...and I think the others are catching on with consumers.

I think you could be on to something with the white reproduction appliances, a friend has them and they are fabulous in her space!
Janell

Cara said...

Hahahaha! I did exactly the same thing! And had exactly the same reaction!

After I'd carefully painted everything I sat up all night horrified and then in the morning called my best friend in hysterics over what I had done! He came over, took one look and made an emergency call to an appliance junker who had the hideous frig and stove magically hauled away within hours. So now I can't cook, but at least my white calm kitchen is restored to pristine order....

My friend's only comment: "Friends don't let friends faux..."

Big hugs to you! Isn't life hilarious?

Pat said...

Sorry about the paint! Stainless looks great..if you don't have kids, or anyone with dirty hands...it's a devil to keep clean. My husband wanted white (for the lower price). Shuda, cuda, wudn't. I just clean more.

Porchlight Interiors said...

Thanks for sharing your hard earned lesson with us! Good luck with scraping it off your oven! Tracey xx

Nadine said...

Hi there,

have you ever thought about a chalk coal fridge? I just came across one and although it's a weird idea I think it might look quite cool in some kitchens. U can just use the frisge as a massive message board.
Danny Seo featured one in his blog www.dailydanny.com/

Nadine

Dagny @ Beautiful Living said...

Lo, I'm sorry for laughing, but I completely agree, it doesn't look very fabulous... Maybe you should do something crazy with them until you get new ones, like stenciling on a pattern or something? Or paint the fridge with chalkboard paint so Christian can have fun with it? Oh well, I hope it doesn't take too long until you can get your hands on some new appliances, I'm sure you can find a bargain on craigslist :)

And I have to agree that in your kitchen, white appliances look really good.

J. Fudo said...

you may want to try something like this: http://sticviews.com/articles/appliance-graphics.aspx

Things That Inspire said...

Wow - how many times have I changed something that was perfectly fine (with a little voice in the back of my head warning me that I am going too far), with bad results! So sorry this happened on something as big as appliances.

In my current home, the 22 year old appliances started to die so I got stainless, then my cabinets looked horrible and I had my cabinets painted white dove (Benjamin Moore). I am actually really pleased with how my kitchen looks, it is much better than it was before when I had pickled cabinets and black appliances - but now I realize that in my next house, I don't want to do stainless. I think it shows fingerprints too quickly, and I am worried that it will get a big scratch and ruin the whole look. I would like a panel that matches my cabinetry in the next house. So, sometimes it is good to experiment and really realize what you want.

Michelle said...

I loath the ss finish on my fridge (and dw)...I am constantly wiping it!! Maybe if I was single, without kids, it wouldn't get so dirty. I like the first white one, and the vintage apps. as well!! Good try with the paint...thanks for sharing :)

Best,
Michelle

Linda at Lime in the Coconut! said...

I was thinking the same thing as two of the posters above...Chalkboard paint! I have always wanted to do it...and it would work so well with your whole kitchen and house vibe...and its only another 10 bucks or so...you'll love it more, and in the meantime can save up your clams for your dream fridge!

Your DW you could just add a panel of wood painted the same color as your cabinets.

Hopefully your stove paint will come off.

So sorry...but it is the mistakes that we learn the most from (so say I)

Linda at Lime in the Coconut! said...

some pix of chalkboard fridges:

http://newniquenews.files.wordpress.com/2009/01/fridge-with-paint.jpg

http://www.cookiemag.com/homefront/decor/2007/02/kitchensmarts

L.Duncan@home23duncanboys said...

Wow, you have guts! I think the vintage reproductions will look great in your space. Sorry things didn't work out for you...

white flower design said...

I myself am a fan of simple, crisp clean white appliances. I appreciate that fact that you posted your "stainless paint" results for all to see. Lori

paula said...

oh lauren, how sad. I feel for you. you know that wall paper I did in my bedroom, well, I ended up hating it. It came down this weekend. wasting money is never fun.

my favorite and my best said...

OH NO!!! i laughed out loud though. b/c this is totally something i would do!!! my impatience and need for "right here right now" has gotten me in trouble before just like this. well, the bright side is i guess a new fridge and stove is sooner rather than later.
but seriously....that is about as close to stainless steel as my hair is to real blonde.
good luck lauren. you will be laughing about this one day.

Holly said...

My aunt did this same thing, but with black paint and her fridge and stove look GREAT! I couldn't believe it. But I can see how the stainless looks terrible. Maybe you should try black for the time being???

MyLittleHappyPlace said...

Oh my. I'm so sorry it didn't work out for you. In theory, I can "see" it perfectly.
I think the silver lining, though is just that - you now know white is the way for you to go. Keep an eye on Craigslist for in-good-shape vintage Chambers or O'Keefe and Merritt ranges - my brother-in-law snagged one in Houston for $200 (seller didn't know what they had!)

I think the retro look will go marvelously in your kitchen - which, by the way, is STILL beautiful!

P.S. **Also, love Linda's idea of the chalkboard fridge - your kids would love it! Could you still repaint this fridge with magnetic, chalkboard paint?

Lovely Little Nest said...

Aw that stinks, I'm so sorry! I honestly don't think it looks that bad, though. And you're right; at least now you know that you might not want stainless steel appliances. Better to waste 50 bucks than 5,000!

By the way, I love love love your open shelving! :)

LindsB said...

Aw, I'm sorry Lauren!! I've done projects like this sooo many times. Thinking something will be great in my head and knowing what I want it to look like, but of course it never comes out how I want it too. At least you look at the positive side, you are so good :) I hope you find a solution or a cheap one on craigslist that you like.

Victoria said...

I would have thought it could work too! Maybe you caould try making some painted wood panels for the fridge and dishwasher. The chalkboard idea could be cute but will also be really dark - not sure that would work in your kitchen...

Ruthies Renewed Treasured said...

Maria - If you aren't going to replace your refrigerator and stove for a while, I would do a couple things in the meantime to make it look better. Paint the sides of the fridge black - with the "hammered" spray paint. I would then paint the handle of the stove with the "hammered" spray paint. This might make it look better because it isn't all one solid color (giving the look of a quick fix). Just a thought to make it last until you can get what you want.

I love that you stepped out and tried it. Most people never try! If I lived there, I'd be over this am with my coffee helping you!

Ruthie

Ruthies Renewed Treasured said...

Maria - If you aren't going to replace your refrigerator and stove for a while, I would do a couple things in the meantime to make it look better. Paint the sides of the fridge black - with the "hammered" spray paint. I would then paint the handle of the stove with the "hammered" spray paint. This might make it look better because it isn't all one solid color (giving the look of a quick fix). Just a thought to make it last until you can get what you want.

I love that you stepped out and tried it. Most people never try! If I lived there, I'd be over this am with my coffee helping you!

Ruthie

Karen@StrictlySimpleStyle said...

Really disappointing for you. It was so generous of you to let your readers know. I have considered using this myself. I'm glad that you gave us the information. I'm just sorry it didn't work out as planned.

elizabeth said...

could you paint the fridge in chalkboard paint to make it bearable until you can replace it? i know i've seen that somewhere on the interwebs before, and it looked pretty cute...

rtgaffney said...

I can so relate to this. I sounds like something I would do only I would be "surprising" my husband with it and get into BIG trouble!! I'm sorry you aren't loving your kitchen right now, but I agree with some of the other comments. Do something crazy with it until you can get new ones! Your house is still beautiful!!!

fromtherightbank.com said...

Sorry it didn't turn out! But you're right to look at this as a learning experience and i completely agree that vintage style appliances would look great in your kitchen! I dream of the Aga stoves all the time. :)

fromtherightbank.com said...

Sorry it didn't turn out! But you're right to look at this as a learning experience and i completely agree that vintage style appliances would look great in your kitchen! I dream of the Aga stoves all the time. :)

Danielle @ Transforming Home said...

Sorry that happened, but good for you for trying! I am finally breaking out and trying new things - I used to be too afraid. Now I am happier and happier (even when things don't work out right).

As for the fridge, I LOVE the idea of chalkboard paint. Saw a chalkboard fridge a couple of years back in a Cottage Living - it looked great!

Good luck!

Blog Author(s) said...

I salute your courage. Now you can show us all what follows stainless. Stainless will pass as everything does. Rachel Ray's husband had their fridge painted with Auto Paint to match their range. Maybe that's an thought.

charm home said...

So sorry that your painting experiment didn't work out so well. It so sounds like something I would do. Definitely save your money so you can buy the Big Chill appliances though. They will look just perfect in your kitchen. Love your kitchen by the way.

A Country Farmhouse said...

Ugh, I can so relate to a project like this - so sorry it's been such a disappointment! BUT so much knowledge gained! These are words we've lived by since Day 1 of our remodel. We thought about white reproduction appliances as well but went with stainless steel (more options in our price range than the reproductions). I think either would look great! And remember, if you hadn't tried it, you never would have known! xoTrina

Dianne said...

I went through the same problem recently and ended up with white appliances which I love! I think the stainless is over rated and quite possibly a trend that will look like avocado and harvest gold in the future. White is safe and always in good taste.
I am so sorry for your paint mishap. Why didn't you stop after painting one appliance? Your house is so cute...perhaps this will lead to new appliances quicker than you thought. :)

vanessa said...

Sorry about how things turned out. The sellers of our house put in the stove you have only in white right before we bought the house. It still had the tags and everything. We planned on replacing with stainless but we decided that after our kitchen reno the white actually looked better. We have the beadboard on the walls as well.

LaurenFaythe said...

So sorry about your appliances! Maybe they'll disappear when you get used to the huge change in color. I saw a blogger who covered her fridge with beadboard. I found the link: http://theoldpaintedcottage.blogspot.com/2009/08/cottage8-behind-scenes.html

Luck to you!
Sue

Ann said...

Oh no you poor thing! I am going to echo another commenter's comment and say: stainless is over-rated. I am redoing my kitchen in my new home and I am purposely NOT doing stainess, or granite. OMG I was actually thinking bisque instead of white-white but it's too hard to match. But Joni is right, maybe look to make a wood PANEL for the dishwasher AND fridge to match your beautiful cabinets. ( ala the Painted Cottage I think it is... have you seen what she did w/her fridge? Its amazing! She panelled it in beadboard!)The look on craigslist and find a vinatge stove--- there are tons of them and really cheap. Good luck!!!

Bethany Christensen said...

Lauren - I am the queen on blotching my kitchen. My cabinets need to be replaced and my accent tile is horriable. I figure that if you are an innovative person and willing to take risks and be creative - you are usually going to come up with something new and fabulous. Once in a while the opposite will be the case so you have to be willing to take the risk anyway and roll with the punches.

My last kitchen had stainless appliances and I hated the fridge becasue it showed everything! This time around I got the glass front refrigerator in white and I love it. I also love that it is different then what everyone else has. Frankly- it was more expensive then the stainless steal but oh well.

Here is a link if you are interested.

http://bethy.blogspot.com/2008/08/before-and-after-kitchen.html

ohhh-looks like I need to update that post.

Jennifer said...

oh no! that is the worst feeling. but, at least you know what you DON'T want now ... and you probably saved a couple of us from trying the same thing (or is that just me?)

Maria Killam said...

No way really, you are going to scrape it off!! You are a brave woman! I would definitely do white because of the greeny gray cabinets you already have! So the silver lining is a good thing! You are so great, I love your blog Lauren!

Jenn said...

Sad for your appliances! My husband and I replaced our appliances last year. At first I REALLY wanted stainless, but as we looked at options, I ended up loving white so much more. I've never regretted the white appliances. They still look high end, and they just look so perfect in the kitchen.

cousin Deb said...

Oh I'm so sorry about your appliances! I love the vintage ones too. I saw a photo once of someone who covered their fridge doors in a sheet of stainless steel and it looked good. Best of luck with whatever you decide to do!

Tracy @ Comfort and Luxury said...

Lauren: I meant to say to you in my first comment but forgot... that I totally understand your reluctance to go with stainless and instead stick with white appliances whether new or retro. My kitchen cabs are a creamy, buttery white that I love so much. To put glaring bright stainless next to them would #1 take away from the warmth and #2 break up the continuity of color that helps my little space appear larger. So it's white for me too. Just because something's all the rage (stainless, granite, vessel sinks) doesn't mean it's the right thing for your home. But I know you already know that!

Anne said...

Lauren, I'm so sorry this happened to you...I just hate it when things like this happen to such nice people! I am sure you will get your kitchen looking great again, one way or another! If anyone can, you can :)

Tiffany said...

Lauren - I've recently seen a blog out there - I will find it for you but I just can't remember it rt now - maybe someone else wil read this comment and it will jog their memory if they've also seen - it was a "cottagey" blog and the owner covered her refrigerator in beadboard all by herself . It looked awesome. Since you have nothing to lose, you might as well try it. I'll search for it and e-mail you the link when I find it.

Ruthies Renewed Treasured said...

Lauren - sorry I called you Maria earlier in my post. I had just talked to my good friend Maria and I had her on my brain!

Rosa said...

sorry that it didn't work out. We've always gone the black appliance route because we have small children with very oily hands. I hated the idea of cleaning stainless. I think black is sleek and modern without the fuss.

Maybe you could use that Ready Strip product. I used it once on an old banisters and took the old varnish right off. There was some scraping in parts that I hadn't applied well enough. Give it a try. Good luck.

Jamilyn said...

LAUREN, YOU ARE DOING SUCH A GREAT JOB WITH YOUR HOME..I LOVE EVERYTHING YOU HAVE DONE WITH YOUR DECORATING. YOU HAVE INSPIRED ME TO START MY OWN BLOG AND KEEP CHIPPING AWAY AT MY DECORATING PROJECTS. DON'T WORRY, YOU WILL SOON HAVE THE KITCHEN OF YOUR DREAMS. I THINK THIS MISTAKE HAS OPENED YOUR EYES TO WHAT YOU REALLY WISH FOR.

Good Luck and keep up the good work...jamilyn

My decorating blog, http://liveitathome.blogspot.com

3 Peanuts said...

I am so sorry that this happened. I cannot imagine your disappointment. One of the things I like most about your blog though is that you have GUTS and you try things. Some designers stay so inside their little box of comfort ~ which is fine too ~ but everything is very homogenous and safe. I LOVE that you take risks. Sometimes they work and sometimes they don't but we always learn in the process. I applaud you and I really hope you can get the look you want soon. The kitchen is such an important room and it it the hub if family life.

Best,
Kim

Dianne said...

Lauren, let us know how this saga ends. We feel for you!

katiedid said...

Yikes! Well that'll put a damper on your day! I like the suggestions of chaulkboard paint for the fridge. Can the appliances be repainted white? Love the Big Chill appliances too.

Jenn said...

Oh no! I'm so sorry, but you're right to look on the bright side. You definitely saved a lot of money and now you have a better picture of what you like.

I also think stainless steel is going to be on its way out. I don't think it will ever really look bad or completely go out of style, but vintage style fridges like the ones you posted about are so much more charming.

eddieross said...

OMG!!!!!!!
xoxoxo
E

Ms.A said...

Google softmetalfilm. There are several sites selling rolls of stick-on stainless. Surely not like the real thing, but perhaps better than the paint. The rage for all things stainless will eventually die down, but it's timeless. It's been used for probably 50+ yrs especially for wall ovens and stove hoods. Not arguing for stainless, just saying...

Donna said...

It doesn't look so bad in the photo, but I do love the vintage looks - I think they would go great with the bead board and open shelving!!! Good luck - can't wait to see what you find!

interiorblogging said...

On the upside have you ever had to clean stainless steel appliances? Trust me you have saved yourself a life time of cleaning off fingerprints. It never looks clean so go with white! Sorry about the paint. You mist have a very understanding husband mine would kill me if i wrecked our perfectly fine appliances.

interiorblogging said...

On the upside have you ever had to clean stainless steel appliances? Trust me you have saved yourself a life time of cleaning off fingerprints. It never looks clean so go with white! Sorry about the paint. You mist have a very understanding husband mine would kill me if i wrecked our perfectly fine appliances.

Barbara said...

Hey I had stainless steel and hated it. With three kids there were always fingerprints everywhere and I had to constantly polish it. Way too much maintenance for me. I would sooner have black or white, depending on the decor. Now I just have an ugly fridge that came with the rental house I live in and hate it everytime I look at it. So your "stainless" steel looks better than my ugly 15 year old fridge!

AprylHazle said...

Aww man that really sucks! I really like your new choices with the white reproduction fridge and stove. I think the white would look so much better in your kitchen. I'm a little biased because I love all things vintage. :)

nanab said...

I love the big chill. Do you think it would blend in with traditional?
Your husband is a keeper!

Rowanvamp0 said...

Since this post was from 2009 you might have already updated your appliances if not I have the perfect solution for you..it's Stainless Steel FILM!!! We just tried it in our kitchen and it works!! Here's the website that you can checkout they even have film like granite for your counters that's what we are going to do next. http://stainlesssteelfilm.com/30-x-6-Brushed-Nickel-EZ-Faux-Steel-Film-36x06nickel.htm

I'm posting for others that may still come here to view this post like I did to see that there is another option that does work without harsh live with results if you don't like it just PEEL IT OFF no commitment issues here!

Gayle Dow said...

Lauren- I actually like it! and plan to do the same. Like you I'm in love with those vintage fridges from Big Chill and plan to buy one in two years when I remodel Big Time, until then - it's stainless steel paint for me!

Firefly said...

I agree that the Big Chill appliances are gorgeous, but they are VERY expensive considering they're ordinary otherwise. I bought a used Sub-zero fridge for a very good price. They are surprisingly common on CL; I guess rich folks can afford to replace everything whenever they want! It is THE most wonderful refrigerator I have ever owned!! What I hate about it, though, is the aluminum (faux stainless, haha) finish. I was thinking of covering the front with oilcloth. Anyone ever done that? I may try the beadboard idea instead, although I won't be able to add hinges because the SZ hinges on top of and under the door.

DesignSimple said...

I agree with Victoria suggesting the use of wood panels! I want the appliances to recede rather than jump out visually, like ss and all black or white can. Never been a fan of the ss look anyway, it is so clinical, but weirdly most consumers demand it-even after 40 years. I had matching hickory panels installed on our side-by-side fridge and DW to our cabinets 13 years ago and never regretted it. Having a refrigerator professionally sprayed to match the dominant kitchen color also works- just paint handles black or replace them.

dbj said...

What IS wrong with Bisque? Bisque is different than almond. It's just an off white, which I think can be perfect in some kitchens when white is too stark...such as agains rich wood tones. For those who do not care for stainless...